Com­ing up in Philly music: A Cur­tis Sum­mer­fest vari­ety show

2 minute read
The Imani Winds join the Curtis Summerfest faculty roster this year. (Photo by Arts Management Group.)
The Imani Winds join the Curtis Summerfest faculty roster this year. (Photo by Arts Management Group.)

The Imani Winds have spent the last 22 years developing a reputation for lively music-making, with a repertoire that combines specially commissioned work with classic works for the wind quintet. This is the first year they’ve joined the Curtis Summerfest faculty roster. For the final Summerfest faculty concert, they’ll be playing one of their most popular commissions. Kites, by the Cuban American composer Paquito D’Rivera, is a four-movement work that includes spoken words, jazz improvisations, and Afro-Cuban musical elements.

The rest of the program will be a varied, wide-ranging display of the talents concentrated in the Summerfest faculty. Organist Patrick Kreeger will provide a rousing start with a festive overture composed for a 19th-century European monarch that ends with God Save the King. He’ll be followed by a Baroque solo for unaccompanied bass played by Heather Miller Lardin, who’s become one of the key players in local Baroque groups like Tempesta di Mare and the Philadelphia Bach Collegium. She graduated from Curtis as a bass player, branched out into early music, and has added Baroque period instruments and proper Baroque style to her attainments.

The other items on the menu are both trios from the first years of the 20th century. Moritz Moszkowski’s suite for two violins and piano is noted for the loveliness of its melodies. Charles Martin Loeffler’s Two Rhapsodies is a poetic piece for a poetic threesome: oboe, viola, and piano. The musicians include Catherine Needleman, principal oboe of the Baltimore Symphony, and pianist Charles Abramovic.

Most of the Summerfest faculty are Curtis graduates and they are all musicians with thriving careers. Summerfest is an intensive educational program set up for two groups: young musicians with advanced training who are considering professional careers and mature amateurs and professionals who want to upgrade their skills. Curtis initiated Summerfest four years ago and its concerts have become one of the highlights of the Philadelphia summer.

Curtis Summerfest will present its final 2019 faculty recital on Thursday, August 1, at 8pm at Field Concert Hall, Curtis Institute of Music, 1726 Locust Street. Tickets are $20 and they’re available online and at the door.

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