Joanna Kurkowicz
Violinist Joanna Kurkowicz. Photos courtesy of the artists

Thankful for the music

Posted November 22, 2006

The Martha's Vineyard Chamber Music Society begins the season of gift-giving early this Saturday, Nov. 25, presenting its Thanksgiving weekend concert at 8 pm at the Old Whaling Church in Edgartown.

"Summer's big audiences may be gone," says pianist Delores Stevens, artistic director of the chamber society, "but it's been our tradition for many years to present two concerts in the off-season, at Thanksgiving and again in the late winter or early spring."

Scott Woolweaver
Violist Scott Woolweaver.

This Saturday's performance will feature favorite artists from recent summer concerts of the society, and a mixture of chamber music both familiar and new. Straight from the heart of the chamber music repertoire are the Brahms Piano Quartet in g minor, a Bach Adagio for cello and piano, the Shostakovich Preludes for Violin and Piano and the lively Mozart Piano Quartet in E-flat Major. For fans of contemporary chamber music, there's a special treat in store: Blues for Benni, a 1991 work by the German composer Eduard Pütz.

Joining Ms. Stevens for this performance will be violinist Joanna Kurkowicz and violist Scott Woolweaver from Boston, as well as the cellist Matthias Naegele from the Netherlands.

Mr. Naegele has performed extensively as soloist and chamber musician in Europe, the United States, Mexico, Brazil, and Asia. Many of his performances are regularly broadcast over National Public Radio and Public Television. He has also appeared on Dutch, French, Austrian, and BBC radio and television.

Delores Stevens
Pianist Delores Stevens.

He performs regularly with numerous chamber music ensembles, and has recorded with the Koch International, Nonesuch, Musical Heritage and Beyer Records labels.

Violinist Joanna Kurkowicz enjoys an active and versatile career as an award-winning soloist, recitalist, chamber musician and concertmistress. She has performed on many of the great concert stages, including Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Jordan Hall, Boston and the Grosse Saal, Salzburg, and has appeared as a soloist with orchestras around the world. She currently serves as concertmistress of the Boston Philharmonic and the Berkshire Symphony.

Matthias Naegele
Cellist Matthias Naegele.

Ms. Kurkowicz is a strong advocate of contemporary music. Her recent solo CD featuring music of Grazyna Bacewicz, released on Chandos Records, has been praised in Fanfare Magazine as "a spectacular release" and was chosen by the Boston Herald as "Best of Year 2001."

Scott Woolweaver was graduated with distinction from the University of Michigan School of Music, where he won the Earl V. Moore Award for outstanding participation in chamber music. He continued his studies with Walter Trampler at the Boston University School of Fine Arts and the New England Conservatory. Scott was a founding member of the Vaener String Trio, which won the Grand Prize at Fischoff Competition, a founding member of the Boston Composers String Quartet, which won the silver medal at the 1993 Chamber Music Festa in Osaka, Japan, and has been a member of the Ives Quartet, based in San Francisco, Calif., since 1999.

Martha's Vineyard Chamber Music Society concert, Saturday, Nov. 25, 8 pm, Old Whaling Church, Main Street, Edgartown. Tickets $15 or free for students and children. For more information call, 508-696-8055.