Sister Bay, Wis. (July 31, 2020) – Midsummer’s Music, Door County’s premiere chamber music series, presents its second streaming concert program, Soaring Spirits, August 12 – 16, which features three composers of color.
These three spirits of African descent are voices that need to be heard in these strenuous times, as they remind us of the power and beauty of universal feelings expressed in music. George Walker’s quartet is heartfelt, even devout. Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s piece reminds us of his ability to resource the European tradition to his own end while imbuing his style with a taste of his mixed heritage. For her quintet, Florence Price calls most explicitly on her African American background steeped in gospel music, folk and work song, and the blues. She takes Dvořák’s attempt to assimilate the African American song he heard on his trip to the new world in the 1890s into a new realm.
The free concerts will stream online at midsummersmusic.com, and on the Midsummer’s Music Facebook page and YouTube channel. Soaring Spirits will be hosted by Lisa Flynn of WFMT-Chicago, and it will be broadcast in two segments, each being approximately 30 minutes. Part I, featuring Walker’s Molto adagio from String Quartet No. 1 and Coleridge-Taylor’s Five Fantasy Pieces, Op. 5, Piano Trio from Quatre Piéces en Trio, Op. 6, will play at 7:00 pm (CT) Wednesday, August 12, and 8:00 pm (CT) Friday, August 14. Part II with Price’s Quintet in A Minor for Piano and Strings will play at 7:00 pm (CT) Thursday, August 13, and 8:00 pm (CT) Saturday, August 15. A matinée at 3:00 pm (CT) Sunday, August 16, will combine Parts I & II, along with live interviews with Artistic Director Jim Berkenstock and musicians.
Midsummer’s Music musicians for these performances are David Perry and Ann Palen (violins), Allyson Fleck (viola), Paula Kosower (cello), and Jennie Yu (piano).
Support from Nicolet National Bank and Sponsors Sandy Zingler and Barb Johnson help to make it possible to provide the Soaring Spirits concerts at no cost to viewers.
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.