First of all, what a treat to be part of an audience that had violinist Anthea Kreston to themselves for an hour. Last night, Ms. Kreston gave 15 (or so) quite attentive people a preview of her upcoming solo performance in New York City (March 5.) She played the world premiere of Gilda Lyons' "Between Dog and Wolf", the highly evocative and difficult "four" (composed by harpist Anne LeBaron), pieces by Biber, Telemann, Augusta Read Thomas and closed with the virtuosic yet deeply moving"Suite for Violin" by Daron Hagen. The violinist explained each piece, chatted with the attendees (many of whom she knew well) and showed all of us that classical music is always moving forward (the Telemann piece sounded, to these jazz-drenched ears, as "modern" as the Hagen work (written 252 years later.)
Thanks to Barbara Ally of Wesleyan's CFA fo putting together this series (multi-instrumentalist and folklorist Stan Scott is up next, in March.)
Saturday February 20:
The Buttonwood Tree welcomes pianist/composer Jen Allen & Trio to Middletown for an 8 p.m. performance. A graduate of the Hartt School of Music, she's studied with the late Jackie McLean as well as pianists Harold Danko, Andy LaVerne and Michae Weiss. She took some time off to raise her family, is now teaching at Trinity College in Hartford and has begun to create an original repertoire. Joining her will be the versatile bassist Matt Dwonszyk and drummer Joe Palmer.
The Liviu Pop Group is featured at 9 p.m. in Boney's Music Lounge. This week, the drummer Pop brings guitarist Burt Teague along to spice up the sounds.
Sunday February 21:
John Basinger returns to The Buttonwood Tree to perform John Milton's "Paradise Lost." If you've not seen this master at work, his presentation of the epic poem is indeed a treat. He'll begin at 1:30 p.m.
Monday February 22:
Reader's Theater presents a staged reading of Joe DiPietro's "Over the River and Through the Woods" at 7 p.m. in the Hubbard Room of The Russell Library. The ensemble, created by West Hartford resident Myron Gubitz, features 4 Middletown residents including Carolyn Kirsch, Jeffery Allen, Naomi Kamins (as narrator), and myself along with Jacklyn Hart, Barbara Gallo and Mr. Gubitz.
The event is free and open to the public - it's also a lot of fun.