This program includes an unpublished quintet from Charles Villiers Stanford.
Sister Bay, Wis. (June 14, 2022) – Midsummer’s Music continues its exciting 2022 concert season with an inspiring program featuring 20th century English classical composers Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson, Ralph Vaughn Williams, and Charles Villiers Stanford, including a rarely heard, unpublished quintet.
Over the past several years, Midsummer’s Music featured works by a very talented composer of English nationality who was black, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. He made a profound impression, first in England, and later internationally. Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson, a black composer who was born in Manhattan, NYC, was named after Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. His mother was a musician, and her encouragement led, among other things, to her son winning the Choral Competition at New York’s famed High School for Music and Art. Eventually, he earned his Bachelor and Masters’ degrees in composition and conducting, and his work spans both the classical and popular music worlds. His String Quartet No. 1, “Calvary,” was written in 1956 and is based on the African American spiritual by the same name as its subtitle.
Ralph Vaughn Williams was the most famous British composer between Edward Elgar and Benjamin Britten. His early music instruction came from an aunt who taught him piano and musical theory. By the time he entered the Royal College of Music, he had also taken up the violin, viola, and organ. Following college – and until he went to Paris to study with Ravel in 1908 – he continued his established practice of being very hard on himself. He destroyed most of his orchestral compositions from these years and withdrew his chamber music works. In the 1990s, his widow agreed to release these pieces to shed light on the development of Vaughn Williams’ unique style. His Phantasy Quintet from 1912 employs two violins, two violas, and a cello.
Charles Villiers Stanford, one of two pillars of English music in the late 19th century, helped re-establish his country’s reputation as a source of compositional excellence. He received an early musical education as a pianist and organist, with additional work on the violin and in composition. Stanford’s composition teacher Joseph Joachim was particularly inspirational to his significant chamber music output. The C Minor String Quintet from 1903 was probably inspired, along with his F Major Quintet, by two quintets that Brahms wrote a decade earlier to celebrate Joachim’s visits to London. The original quintet remains unpublished to this day, but Midsummer’s Music has acquired an edition from British musicologist Jeremy Dibble, who edited the Quintet for the first recording of this work on the SOMM label.
Featured musicians include David Perry and Maynie Bradley, violins, Sally Chisholm and Allyson Fleck, violas, and James Waldo, cello. This program will be performed four times: June 16 at 7:00pm at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Sister Bay; June 19 at 5:00pm at Woodwalk Gallery in Egg Harbor, dedicated to the memory of Arnie Widen; June 21 at 5:00pm at the Historic Town Hall in Fish Creek, dedicated to the memory of Spencer Gould and with an optional post-concert dinner at Alexander’s; and June 23 at 7:00pm at the Donald & Carol Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor.
The third program of the season features the Midsummer’s Music resident quartet, the Griffon String Quartet, playing Dmitri Shostakovich’s Quartet No. 8 in C Minor and Felix Mendelssohn’s Quartet No. 2 in A Minor, Op. 13. Concerts are at 7:00pm, June 24, at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Sister Bay; 7:00pm, June 25, at Hope United Church of Christ in Sturgeon Bay; 3:00pm, June 26, at Sister Bay Moravian Church in Sister Bay; and 7:00pm, June 30, at the Donald & Carol Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor. Violinists Vini Sant’Ana and Ji-Yeon Lee, violist Blakeley Menghini, and cellist Ryan Louie are the musicians.
A complete 2022 summer brochure can be downloaded at www.midsummersmusic.com. Programs are subject to change.
Tickets are $35 for adults, $15 for students, and children 12 and under are free. Premium prices apply for salon/home concerts, dinner concerts and other special events. Flex-packs of six tickets for the price of five tickets are also available. Tickets can be ordered at www.midsummersmusic.com or by phone at 920-854-7088.
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.