Quartet performs at Music in the Mountains
“Young, vibrant and stunning…” are attributes critics have bestowed upon Toronto-based, Quartetto Gelato. This interestingly named and unusual quartet will perform Thursday, June 8, 8pm during Music in the Mountains Summer Fest. Why unusual…well, how many quartets include a non-traditional accordion in their mix? “We recognize the range of accordion as both a classical and traditional instrument.” says Cynthia Steljes, who performs oboe and English horn in the quartet, and is often asked to give oboe master-classes while on tour with Quartetto Gelato. “In the right hands (like those of 3-time world accordion champion Alexander Sevastian!) the accordion is a chameleon. People often say we sound like an orchestra because the accordion has many sonorities; it can sound like a church organ, can breathe like a wind instrument, and can blend like a string instrument.” Alexander Sevastian, born in Minsk, Belarus, also won the Oslofjord in Norway, The Cup of the North in Russia and the Accordion Teachers Guild in the U.S.A.
Quartetto Gelato travels the world enchanting audiences with their exotic blend of musical virtuosity, artistic passion and charismatic presence. Their concerts include classical, gypsy, tango, folk and an unexpected bonus of a brilliant operatic tenor, Peter DeSoto, who plays the violin and mandolin. “First and foremost we want the audience to feel a sense of escape from their everyday lives and to be entertained by us as musicians and personalities.” says Steljes. “The audience will be wowed by the technical brilliance of a gypsy showpiece, touched by the emotional intimacy of Peter’s singing in La Vie en Rose and amused by humorous anecdotes.” Other notes of interest, newest member of the quartet, Elinor Frey performs on a 115-yr old French cello on loan to her as the winner of the Virtu Foundation competition.
Quartetto Gelato established themselves a dominant force on the emerging “new classical” scene early in their career by winning the coveted title of NPR Performance Today’s Debut Artist of the Year in 1996. Classical in intent, eclectic by design, Quartetto Gelato continues its reign as an international sensation with repeat sold-out performances throughout the globe. With a performance repertoire that travels imaginatively between classical masterworks, operatic arias and the sizzling energy of tangos, gypsy and folk songs, the group’s relaxed stage presence and delightful humor establishes an immediate rapport with traditional and non-traditional classical audiences alike. “If there were ever a group of musicians that could make anyone feel at home with classical music, Quartetto Gelato is it.” Newsday – NY
Their 2005-6 season featured over 100 concerts in recital and with orchestras throughout the U.S., Canada, Sweden, Estonia and Asia. Last November, the quartet returned to Sweden for a 14 concert tour and toured Estonia for the first time, performing 3 concerts. The quartet’s first compilation CD was released. Favourite Flavours, featuring highlights from their earlier 5 CDs. The most recent CD includes a sneak preview of their 6 CD which will features music from Latin America. This concert is indoors at the Amaral Family Festival Center, Nevada County Fairgrounds, Grass Valley. Ticket prices start at $16 for adults and children 17 (not recommended for young children) and under $5. For tickets and information, please call 530-265-6124, 800-218-2188 or check the MIM website: HYPERLINK “http://www.musicinthemountains.org” http://www.musicinthemountains.org
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Grass Valley will get a brief respite from the heat this week, though highs in the upper 90s will return by this weekend, the National Weather Service said.