Minnesota Valley Sommarfest Celebrates the Music of Mozart Posted on June 30th, 2005 by

Minnesota Valley Sommarfest, southern Minnesota’s oldest summer classical music series, opens its sixteenth season, “Celebrating the Music of Mozart,” on July 7 in St. Peter. Performances are scheduled at 7:30 p.m. for July 7, 14, 21 and 28 in Jussi Björling Recital Hall on the campus of Gustavus Adolphus College. In keeping with Sommarfest’s long-standing tradition, this summer’s series will feature musicians from the region, including Mankato’s Leslie Weber, clarinet and David Viscoli, piano, in addition to the Minnesota Valley Sommarfest Trio and the Artaria String Quartet.

Sommarfest’s 2005 season opens Thursday, July 7, with an All-Mozart program performed by Minneapolis-based Artaria String Quartet. The quartet, now in its fourth season as Sommarfest’s quartet-in-residence, will be joined by Mankato clarinetist Leslie Weber and St. Peter pianist John McKay to perform the Violin Sonata in B flat major, K. 454, the Trio in E flat major for Clarinet, Viola and Piano, the “Kegelstatt,” K. 498 and the Clarinet Quintet in A major, K. 581.

The second concert of the series, July 14, features the Minnesota Valley Sommarfest Trio performing two works by Mozart, the Trio No. 2 in B flat major, K. 502 and Quartet No. 2 in E flat major, K. 493 along with Paul Schoenfield’s Cafe Music. For this performance, the members of the Trio, Mary Horozaniecki, violin, Harry Dunscombe, ‘cello and John McKay, piano, will be joined by one of Sommarfest’s annual guest artists, violist Laurel Browne.

The July 21st concert features a second performance by the members of the Artaria String Quartet who have invited a guest artist, Northfield violist Charles Gray, to join them. For this performance, the players will present three works. They open the concert with the String Quartet No. 1, op. 49 by Dmitry Shostakovitch, and continue with Mozart’s String Quintet in G minor, K. 516. The concert ends with Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s String Quartet in D major, op. 11.

The final concert of the season will be presented on July 28 and features Mankato pianist David Viscoli and St. Peter pianist John McKay and the return of Sommarfest’s Wind Orchestra to the series. Conductor Douglas Nimmo leads an ensemble which includes a “Who’s Who” of southern Minnesota musicians. The finale opens with Mozart’s Sonata for Two Pianos in D major, K. 448 and continues with two works by Igor Stravinsky, the Octet (for Winds) and the Sonata for Two Pianos. The concert, and the celebration of Mozart, concludes with a work by the famous composer, the Serenade in E flat major for Woodwind Octet, K. 375.

Tickets for the 2005 season of Minnesota Valley Sommarfest are available by calling 507-933-7013 or by sending a check, payable to “Minnesota Valley Sommarfest,” to Minnesota Valley Sommarfest, Gustavus Adolphus College, 800 West College Avenue, Saint Peter, Minnesota, 56082. Tickets are $10.00 for adults and $8.00 for senior citizens and students. A special Family Ticket (for parents and their school-aged children) is available for $25.00.

Minnesota Valley Sommarfest is supported by the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council, with funding provided by the Minnesota State Legislature and the McKnight Foundation. Other major funding has been provided by the Carl and Verna Schmidt Foundation, the Raymond and Florence Sponberg Foundation, Mary Ellen Malkasian, John and Katha Chamberlain and Gustavus Adolphus College.


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