Music in the Mountains orchestra concerts feature Russian works, patriotic favorites | TheUnion.com

Music in the Mountains orchestra concerts feature Russian works, patriotic favorites

Jennifer Dahlgren
Special to Prospector

In a great Nevada County tradition, the annual Patriotic Pops concert, with orchestra and chorus, concludes Music in the Mountains Summer Fest.

Music in the Mountains' SummerFest comes to a climax this weekend with two full orchestra concerts — a Russian Spectacular Sunday night and the celebrated Patriotic Pops on Monday night.

Both concerts will take place "under the stars" on the lawn at the Nevada Country Fairgrounds. Guests can bring chairs or blankets and a picnic, or purchase food and drink from the vendors serving the event. Groups may also reserve tables with chairs.

Music by Russian composers Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky are on the program for Sunday's concert, performed by the MIM Festival orchestra with guest conductor Keitaro Harada holding the baton.

"We did a Russian concert in last year's festival and it was very well received," said Pete Nowlen, artistic director for MIM. "The 1812 Overture is a magnificent piece that people everywhere love so we're glad to reprise this year."

Also on the program are Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet Overture and Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2.

Currently in his second season as associate conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony and Cincinnati Pops, guest conductor Keitaro Harada also holds the position of associate conductor of the Arizona Opera. A native of Japan, he can be seen guest-conducting symphonies and festivals all over the world.

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2017 resident artist Natsuki Fukasawa will join the orchestra for Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2.

"This is one of the greatest piano concertos ever written," Nowlen said.

Fukasawa has performed at notable venues throughout the world and is an International Steinway Artist. She serves on the artist faculty of the Talis Festival and Academy in Saas-Fee, Switzerland, the Orfeo Music Festival in the Italian Alps and she is on the faculty at American River College. Fukasawa studied at the Czech Republic's Prague Academy of Music as a Fulbright Scholar. She earned her bachelor's and master's degrees from The Juilliard School and a doctorate from the University of Maryland.

In a great Nevada County tradition, the annual Patriotic Pops concert, with orchestra and chorus, concludes the Festival. Conducted by Nowlen, this concert will feature patriotic favorites like John Phillip Sousa's Stars and Stripes Forever and an Armed Forces Salute medley. The chorus and orchestra will also present a set of American songs with pieces by Gershwin, Irving Berlin and The Beach Boys, among others. Adding to the excitement of the evening will be a Color Guard and a flyover.

This year, for the first time, MIM is partnering with local animal welfare organizations to promote pet adoption through FurFest. Rescue partners will be at the July 3 concert with information and photos of available pets.

For more information and tickets, visit http://www.musicinthemountains.org.

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