$20 RUSH TICKETS For Moscow String Quartet‏

Chamber Music Society of Bethlehem

Moscow String Quartet

  • Beethoven: String Quartet No. 8 in E Minor, Op. 59, No. 2
  • Mozart: String Quartet No. 16 in Eb Major, K. 428
  • Schnittke: String Quartet No. 2

Friday ◊ April 17, 2015 ◊ 7:30 p.m.
Faith United Church of Christ
Center Valley, PA
Founded in 1975 by Moscow Conservatory students of the Borodin Quartet’s famed cellist Valentin Berlinsky, the Moscow String Quartet has been praised by The Philadelphia Inquirer for the grace, sonority, and lyricism associated with Borodin, “their natural home.” Included in the ensemble’s impressive repertoire, of course, are Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich. They have also championed the work of more contemporary Russian composers like Sofia Gubaidulina and Alfred Schnittke. The MSQ artists name, as their inspirations, great Russian musicians: Oistrakh, Rostropovich, Richter, Gilels, and Berlinsky. It is no wonder that they are considered one of the major Russian chamber ensembles currently performing and recording.

At a concert organized by West Berlin Mayor Willy Brandt and at the special invitation of then Soviet composer Alfred Schnittke, the group played in Berlin Stadium to celebrate the collapse of the Berlin Wall. The quartet has toured extensively throughout Europe and North America, including performances in the United States at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and the White House. Glowing reviews of MSQ performances consistently focus on the group’s musical patience, producing “inward subtleties” (The Philadelphia Inquirer) and its “lithe athleticism and wry wit” (Stereophile). The Dallas Morning News noted “deft, elegant playing, passionate where called for, but never hysterical. . . . a welcome reprieve from the turbocharged assaults” too often made by other ensembles. Jerry Dubins, in reviewing for Fanfare a new release (2014) of the quartet’s performance of Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 2 in A, declared “this is amazing music-making at its highest level.”

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Limited RUSH Tickets $20.00

Regular Price $30

Rush Tickets available online only through Lehigh Valley Arts Council

PENNSYLVANIA SINFONIA ORCHESTRA Invites You To Spend “An Afternoon With Mozart”

invites you to spend

“An Afternoon with Mozart”
Breathe. Listen. Smile. Repeat.

Robin Kani, flute
Susan Shaw, bassoon
and their colleagues, Sinfonia Virtuosi

Sunday March 22, 2015 4:00 p.m.
Christ Lutheran Church
1245 W. Hamilton Street
Allentown, PA 18102
Encounter the playful, cheerful and energetic music of Mozart in three distinct ways
Symphony No. 29 in A, K. 201
Concerto in G for flute and orchestra, K. 313
Concerto in B Flat for bassoon and orchestra, K. 191

Meet and converse with the musicians and fellow patrons at the post-concert reception.

The Sinfonia is a professional chamber orchestra that presents high quality, approachable classical music in the Lehigh Valley. The orchestra is widely respected for its talented musicians and imaginative programming, and in particular for the warm rapport it promotes between the musicians and audience members.

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Limited RUSH Tickets $12.00
Regular Prices: Adults $25 & $35 / Seniors 62+ $20 & $30

Rush Tickets available online only through Lehigh Valley Arts Council

Muhlenberg’s ‘Marriage of Figaro’ Brings Beaumarchais’s 18th Century Comedy To A Modern Audience

Logo of Muhlenberg College

Logo of Muhlenberg College (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Allentown, Pa – “The Marriage of Figaro” is known worldwide to opera aficionados and Bugs Bunny fans from the opera composed by W.A. Mozart. Less well-known to modern audiences is the 1784 comedy by French playwright Beaumarchais, upon which Mozart based his opera.

The Muhlenberg College Theatre & Dance Department will present the Beaumarchais play as the finale to its 2012-13 Mainstage Series, April 25-28. Directed by Francine Roussel, the production will feature an original score by composer and musician Mike Krisukas, known to Lehigh Valley audiences as the guitarist and lead songwriter for the band Zen For Primates.

“‘The Marriage of Figaro’ is so well built, the characters so real, and the spirit of the play so uplifting that it deserves exposure to an American audience,” Roussel says. “Opera buffs may know the Mozart classic, but less often the play on which it is based. On Beaumarchais’ behalf, we hope to rectify that inequity.”

Writing a few years before the French Revolution, Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais pours his rage at the aristocracy into “The Marriage of Figaro,” which manages equal parts hilarity and outrage. First produced in 1784, the play was a sequel to “The Barber of Seville,” picking up three years after the wedding of the Count and Countess that concludes that play. Now Figaro, the Count’s valet, plans to marry, but the Count has tired of his lovely Countess and lusts for Figaro’s bride-to-be, Suzanne. He determines to revive the ancient “droit du seigneur” — the lord of the manor’s right to bed any new bride on her wedding night.

Figaro, Suzanne and the Countess concoct a counter-plot, but the Count’s page, Cherubin, makes hash of it through his passionate crush on the Countess. The multiple layers of misunderstanding yield what Roussel calls “one of the most perfect farce scenes of all time,” in one of the most scathing critiques of aristocratic privilege ever written.

“Le droit du seigneur — while anathema to modern sensibilities — was the ‘natural order’ for the aristocracy in much of 18th century Europe,” Roussel says. “Beaumarchais had the temerity to write a comedy about this shocking practice, subtly undermining class privilege, exposing gender inequalities, and revolutionizing the condition of women. Danton claimed that ‘Figaro killed off the nobility.’ Perhaps — but with laughter, not the guillotine.”

Krisukas says his starting point for the show’s original score was his and Roussel’s mutual interest in Spanish flamenco styles.

“Part of the excitement in entering a new artistic project is the opportunity to be quickly thrust into a new world,” Krisukas says. “It’s like going on a journey and immersing yourself in some new land with its own culture, language, history and artistic perspective.”

The production also features original choreography by Nina Pongratz, scenic and lighting design by Curtis Dretsch, and costume design by Liz Covey.

“All Will End with Joyful Songs: A Panel Discussion” will be held Thursday, April 25, at 12:30 p.m. in the Recital Hall, Baker Center for the Arts. This discussion will provide unique perspectives on the content and context of “The Marriage of Figaro.” Theatre professor James Peck and French professor Kathy Wixon will moderate the discussion. The panel will include Roussel, Krisukas, Pongratz, and students of Wixon’s French Theatre of the Resistance course.

Muhlenberg College is a liberal arts college of 2,200 students in Allentown, Pa. The college offers Bachelor of Arts degrees in theater and dance. The Princeton Review consistently ranks Muhlenberg’s production program in the top ten in the nation, and the Fiske Guide to Colleges lists both the theater and dance programs among the top small college programs in the United States.

Performances of “The Marriage of Figaro” are April 25-28: Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for LVAIC students, faculty and staff and for patrons 17 and under.

Performances are in the Baker Theatre, Trexler Pavilion for Theatre and Dance, Muhlenberg College, 2400 Chew St., Allentown. Performance information and tickets are available at 484-664-3333 or http://www.muhlenberg.edu/theatre.