This Thursday at 8 pm, Bargemusic presents Jazz Night with Josh Roseman’s Water Surgeons. On Friday at 8 pm, the Here and Now: American Contemporary Music series features the Williams Chamber Players presenting pieces by Osvaldo Golijov, David Kechley, William Bolcom, and Felipe Lara. On Saturday at 8 pm and Sunday at 4 pm, violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins, cellist Amy Sue Barston, and pianist Olga Vinokur play pieces by Beethoven, Brahms, and Schubert.
Dear Music Lovers,
I often get asked the question, “How do musicians get selected to perform at the Bargemusic concert series?” This weekend reminds me of one of the ways.
Admission-free concerts, which I started at the Barge about five and a half years ago, are a way to showcase gifted artists of all ages and to give them the opportunity to perform before a live audience with the possibility of future engagements on the Bargemusic concert series. The admission-free concerts are an exciting event for people in the audience, since they do not know the names of the performers, their instruments, or programs until an hour before the concert (I guess the audiences have learned to trust us; those concerts are always very well attended). Usually these concerts last for an hour without an intermission. Except in the case of Olga Vinokur—when she played her admission-free concert it lasted more than two hours. She shared the concert with another pianist/composer who is in her late 90’s, who started the concert and played Chopin with a lovely imagination, except that her tempi were quite slow. So after an hour and a half, when Olga Vinokur came on the stage and played for about forty minutes, the audience was very excited. Since then Olga Vinokur has been a frequent guest artist at the Bargemusic series; the audience always responds favorably to her passionate playing in both lyrical and virtuosic repertoire.
The cellist Amy Sue Barston, one of the other two players this weekend, was actually an audience member at one of the other admission-free concerts in which another cellist was playing. At the end of the concert, she introduced herself to me. I believe she knew the cellist who performed, so I suggested to her that she take the opportunity to go on stage and play a few notes on the cello. She obliged. She played in her mini-audition with an impressively strong, big tone and projected great confidence . I invited her right on the spot to return to Bargemusic—first she returned to Bargemusic to play some unaccompanied Bach suites, and then to perform with her Corigliano String Quartet.
Over the last five and a half years we have presented close to 80 admission free concerts. Probably hundreds of the musicians involved were invited back to perform on Bargemusic’s concert series.
In the case of violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins, I heard her on some recordings and thought that she, Amy Sue Barston, and Olga Vinokur would be a good fit. So let’s welcome all three of them this weekend. Happy Easter!
Lots of Love,