A summer full of music: Music in the Mountains outlines SummerFest | TheUnion.com

A summer full of music: Music in the Mountains outlines SummerFest

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For more than 37 years, Music in the Mountains SummerFest has been Northern California's premier summer concert series, featuring exciting outdoor classical and pop performances along with sophisticated chamber concerts, performed by a world-class orchestra and chorus, plus acclaimed special guests musicians, soloists and conductors.

This year's SummerFest stretches over the course of 11 days from June 23 through July 3 and welcomes over 65 professional musicians from major orchestras throughout the United States. Most of these musicians have been returning to Nevada County for decades to perform in the Music in the Mountains Orchestra, and some have even decided to make it their home.

This year's artists

Music in the Mountains welcomes back guest conductor Daniel Stewart, Thursday, June 23, for an epic concert featuring Rachmaninoff's luscious "2nd Symphony" under the towering pines of the Nevada County Fairgrounds.

Stewart is the Music Director of the Santa Cruz Symphony, and former assistant conductor with The Metropolitan Opera. Known for his exuberant and exciting style, Stewart's first three seasons in Santa Cruz have led to great critical acclaim including the Peninsula Reviews' assertion that "the Santa Cruz Symphony Orchestra under Daniel Stewart has now developed into the finest musical ensemble South of San Francisco and North of Los Angeles."

Also featured in this concert is the dreamlike "Four Last Songs" of Richard Strauss sung by soprano, Carrie Hennessey. Known for her soaring voice and richly nuanced characters, Hennessey is consistently thrilling audiences and critics in opera and concert appearances around the world. She has performed with the Sacramento Opera, Oakland Symphony, Modesto Symphony Orchestra, and many more.

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On Saturday, June 30, pianist Richard Glazier and soprano Robin Fisher are featured in Bernstein and Gershwin, a program that celebrates Leonard Bernstein's 100th and George Gershwin's 120th anniversaries with music from "Westside Story," "Candide," "Strike up the Band," and more.

After a poignant meeting with Ira Gershwin when he was only 12, classically trained, award-winning pianist, Glazier dedicated himself to the Gershwin repertoire and the American Popular Songbook, eventually becoming one of the genre's leading authorities. Over the years he has also developed a keen interest in contemporary music standards from the Broadway stage and the Hollywood screen. He will perform Gershwin's classic "Rhapsody in Blue."

The night will feature Robin Fisher singing "Glitter and Be Gay," "I've Got a Crush on You" and "Man I Love." Fisher has performed to critical acclaim in such cities as Paris, Vienna, Prague, Hamburg, Chicago and Dallas. She has appeared with the Sacramento Opera, Townsend Opera Players, UC Davis Symphony and with the Sacramento Choral Society & Orchestra, where the Sacramento Bee wrote, "Soprano soloist Robin Fisher was thrilling…"

And finally 10-year-old violin prodigy Amaryn Olmeda makes her professional debut on Sunday, July 1, in "The Music of Love and Drama," featuring Tchaikovsky's "Romeo and Juliet," "Sarasate's Carmen Fantasy" and "The Force of Destiny."

Aspiring young violinist Amaryn Olmeda, began playing the violin at 4 years old. She is a student of renowned violinist and educator, William Barbini. Olmeda made her performance debut at the Colorado Suzuki Strings Institute in Beaver Colorado at the age of 6.

Since then, she has gone on to win first place in her division for the Auburn Symphony Young Artists Competition, the Music in the Mountains Young Musicians Competition, the Classical Music Masters at the Harris Center for the Performing Arts, the Sacramento Youth Symphony Academic Orchestra Concerto Competition, the Pacific Musical Society Competition in San Francisco, and the Sacramento Section of the American String Teachers Association Solo Competition.

Pack a picnic and enjoy these musicians and many more during SummerFest's outdoor concerts on the Great Lawn at the Nevada County Fairgrounds.

Source: Music in the Mountains.

Know & Go

WHAT: Music in the Mountains presents SummerFest

WHEN: June 23 through July 3

WHERE: Great Lawn, Nevada County Fairgrounds and Peace Lutheran Church, 828 W. Main Street, Grass Valley

TICKETS: $30/advance, $40 at the gate, $10 for youth, free for 10 and under. Four Concert Tickets for $99 (Good until 6/22), Reserve a table for six for $99. For tickets and more information call 530-265-6124, visit http://www.MusicInTheMountains.org or visit the box office Tuesday-Friday between noon and 4 p.m. at 530 Searls Ave, Suite A, Nevada City.

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