Next week, we get to hear Delores Stevens and two of the world’s greatest classical string players perform in two free concerts at the Old Whaling Church in Edgartown on July 9 and at the Chilmark Community Center on July 10, thanks to Island resident Sam Feldman and some virtuoso work by Island resident and classical pianist Delores Stevens. Both concerts begin at 8 pm.
Mr. Feldman is underwriting the Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Society (MVCMS) concerts this weekend in memory of his late wife Gretchen, an artist and devotee of the classical genre. Ms. Feldman’s work is currently on exhibit at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore through January.
All-world violinist Timothy Fain will play a piece written expressly for him by Philip Glass, arguably the most popular composer at work today. Mr. Fain played on-screen in “Black Swan” (accompanying Natalie’s Portman’s ballet solo). He also tours with Mr. Glass and gives a new multi-media eye and ear in his classical performances.
William Derosa plays a 250-year old cello, a legacy from his family’s involvement in founding the Milan Music Society. He will perform Shostakovitch’s Cello Sonata, Op 40. The program also contains the three musicians performing Haydn Trio Hob XV-12 in e Minor and Brahms’ Piano Trio in B Major, Op. 8, in the opening performance of MVCMS’ summer season.
One of the MVCMS themes this season is to make the classical genre more accessible and exciting for a complete range of music audiences with a weave of well-known classical works and exciting modern compositions that push the classical envelope with taut, edgy constructions.
The Glass piece to be played is an example, Ms. Stevens, a co-founder and MVMCS musical director, said in an interview with The Times.
“It’s emotive, emotional, and exciting,” Ms. Stevens said. “There is something about Phil Glass that touches people in the depths of the soul. Classical can mean old and sleepy, but this is edgy, new, and exciting. It’s a rouser. People were standing up during performances I’ve seen,” she said.
Ms. Stevens, a long time Chilmark summer resident, knows a bit about classical performances. Recent career engagements have taken her from her Los Angeles base to Argentina, Australia, The Czech Republic, Japan, China, Spain, England, Scandinavia, and the U.S. Acclaimed as a soloist and chamber musician, she has performed on the Los Angeles Philharmonic/Green Umbrella Series, the Ojai Festival, Monday Evening Concerts, Chamber Music in Historic Sites, the Coleman Chamber Concerts and the Athenaeum Chamber Concerts, among others. She is a long time director and trustee of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, is the Chamber Music Director of the Young Musicians Foundation, and is a co-founder and artistic director of Chamber Music Palisades now in its 15th season.
“I’ve been in the business a long time and have many collegues, and I want to make sure I bring them here. The program shows the range and virtuosity of these two players. I’ve played many times with these guys, and I’m thrilled they will play with me and for us this weekend,” she said.
MVCMS is also working to make classical more affordable as well as accessible, according to president David Rhoderick. Mr. Rhoderick is also organist, pianist, and music director at the Union Chapel in Oak Bluffs.
“We’re grateful to Sam Feldman for making this concert available,” he said. “We want everyone to come and hear the music. His wife is dear and important to Sam and to us all. We’ll celebrate her life and music during the performance.”
Concert: Acclaimed Virtuoso: Not One but Two; with Timothy Fain & William DeRosa, 8 pm, July 9, Old Whaling Church; July 10, Chilmark Community Center. Free, sponsored by the Feldman Family. 508-696-8055; mvcms.org.
MVCMS offers concert ticket packages this year at $155 for 5 concerts or $124 for 4 concerts. Purchases are eligible for a 10 percent discount using either annual and temporary Island Club Cards.
For details on the MVCMS 42nd annual concert series and to reserve tickets, visit mvcms.org or call 508-696-8055.