Door County’s Midsummer’s Music is launching its 29th season with an exhilarating program featuring music by Joaquin Turina, Louise Farrenc, Felix Mendelssohn, and Midsummer’s own Composer-in-Residence, Jacob Beranek.
Midsummer’s is delighted to announce that the charismatic Wisconsin Public Radio host Norman Gilliland will emcee the Opening Night Gala, and Door County Poet Laureate, Nancy Rafal, will recite a poem she has written especially for the occasion. The Gala is Friday, June 14, at 7:00 pm in Birch Creek’s Juniper Hall in Egg Harbor. An opening toast of Island Orchard Cider with a wonderful post-concert reception of heavy hors d’oeuvres rounds out the program entitled Mendelssohn Bravura. This concert will be offered three more times in June. Works include Turina’s Scéne Andalouse, Farrenc’s Quintet No. II in E Major, Mendelssohn’s Sextet in D Major, and Beranek’s Of a Fleeting Flower.
Joaquin Turina was born in Seville, Spain. As a composer he was that interesting mix of one whose music bears the undeniable inspiration from his homeland, but whose French training enriches and colors his output. Scéne Andalouse suggests a serenade that is set in a village in Andalusia, the southern region of Spain that borders both the Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea.
Many of Louise Farrenc’s ancestors were painters, sculptors, and engravers. She took up the piano at an early age and by fifteen was studying composition with Anton Reicha and later with Johnn Nepomuk Hummel, two of the most prominent musical names in early 19th century Paris. Ferrenc composed the Piano Quintet No. II immediately following her critically acclaimed first Piano Quintet.
The 2019 season’s title is Magical Mendelssohn, Mozart, and Much More!, so Mendelssohn pieces are featured in the first and last programs of 2019, as well as being scattered throughout the season. He is one of the most naturally gifted musicians of the 19th century, having developed his high degree of talent while still a boy. His Sextet in D Major for Piano and Strings dates from 1824 when Mendelssohn was only 16 years old.
Wisconsin native, 20-year-old Jacob Beranek came to the attention of Midsummer’s Music when he attended a performance in 2015. Thanks to the MMG Foundation’s generous grants, Jacob is now in his third year as the organization’s Composer-in-Residence. Regarding his Of a Fleeting Flower piece, he said, “Last summer, during my second season as Midsummer’s Composer-in-Residence, I received a fellowship at the Talis Festival & Academy in Saas-Fee, Switzerland. The youngest Fellow at Talis, I was inspired by the Swiss Alps and another tight-knit community of professional chamber musicians for eleven days. Given the short time span, Of a Fleeting Flower was composed in six days, and consists of an unorthodox instrumentation: Instead of 2 violins, viola, and cello (the typical ‘string quartet’), the piece features a double bass without the viola. The title references a short poem I composed at the same time as the music.” Jacob returns later this season with another original composition during the Prescient Youth program.
Concerts are 7:00 pm June 14 at Birch Creek’s Juniper Hall; 3:00 pm June 16 at the Kress Pavilion; 7:00 pm June 20 at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church; and 7:00 pm June 21 at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.
Most concerts are $29 for adults, $10 for students, and children 12 and under are free. Premium prices apply toward opening night, salon/home concerts, dinner concerts and other special events. Subscriptions consisting of four concert tickets and flex-packs of six or eight tickets are available. Tickets, subscriptions and flex-packs can be ordered online at midsummersmusic.com or by phone at 920-854-7088.
Midsummer’s Music draws on the extraordinary talent of musicians from the Chicago Symphony, Chicago’s Lyric Opera, Milwaukee Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony, Aspen Music Festival, China National Symphony and the Ravinia Festival, among others.
Midsummer’s Music was co-founded in 1990 by Jim and Jean Berkenstock, long-time Door County summer residents and principal orchestral players with the Lyric Opera of Chicago. What began as two concerts among friends has become one of the Midwest’s most anticipated chamber music series, bringing thousands of chamber music enthusiasts from around the globe to the magical Door County Peninsula.
Midsummer’s Music launches the 2019 season with Mendelssohn BravuraThe 2019 season runs June 14 – September 2.