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La Musica Chamber Music Festival gets a dance beat

Dick Hyman

Dick Hyman

SARASOTA

La Musica Chamber Music Festival begins Monday and offers music to please most tastes, from the Baroque period to the Charleston.

Artistic director Bruno Giuranna has assembled five programs, each with a variety of musical styles and composition eras. For instance, the Friday program begins with a Mozart string quartet and ends with Elgar's Piano Quintet. Between will be Dances and Diversions for String Quartet by Dick Hyman, composed in 2007. The work, featuring the dance rhythms of the Charleston, tango and samba, was debuted in New York.

"I never heard of anyone doing the Charleston for string quartet, so I decided to try it," Hyman said from his Venice home.

At 81, he is still active after nearly 60 years as a pianist, arranger and composer. "I still concertize, doing lots of recitals. One of the things I enjoy performing is a set of improvisations on the great American songbook.''

Composing for chamber ensembles is a major focus.

"I do more and more writing. And I'm happy that my new piece will be the second one of mine performed at the La Musica festival. The first one was composed for clarinet, flute, viola, piano, bass and drums. It was halfway between chamber music and music for a dance band," Hyman said, laughing.

Dances and Diversions for String Quartet is a 13-minute piece. "It's totally harmonic but, I hope, somewhat adventurous," Hyman said.

He also will lecture at an open rehearsal at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Sainer Pavilion of the New College of Florida.

One reason La Musica has thrived is because it attracts great performers from all over the world. Among the 13 performers this year: violinists Ellen DePasquale, former concertmaster of the Florida Orchestra, and Massimo Quarta; violists Cynthia Phelps and Hsin-Yun Huang, and cellists Julie Albers and Andres Diaz. Other artists include flutist Carol Wincenc, clarinetist David Shifrin and pianist Derek Han.

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La Musica Chamber Music Festival

The event is Monday through April 14 in Sarasota.

Concerts are at St. Thomas More Church, 2506 Gulf Gate Drive, Sarasota. Tickets are $35 per concert, $140 for the series of five. (941) 954-0355, ext. 304; lamusicafestival.org.

The schedule:

Monday: Beethoven's Piano Trio in C minor; Ravel's Sonata for Violin and Cello; Dvorak's Piano Quartet.

Friday: Mozart's String Quartet in C Major; Dick Hyman's Dances and Diversions for String Quartet; Elgar's Piano Quintet.

April 7: Mozart's Flute Quartet in C Major; Glazunov's String Quintet; Schumann's Piano Quartet.

April 10: Mozart Trio (Kegelstatt); Martinu's Trio for Flute, Cello and Piano; Vivaldi's Il Cardellino; Mendelssohn's Piano Quartet in B minor.

April 14: Bruch's Four Pieces for Clarinet, Viola and Piano; Weber's Quintet for Clarinet and Strings; Brahms' Piano Quartet in G minor.

•Daily rehearsals start at 9:30 a.m. Friday at Sainer Pavilion of New College of Florida, 5313 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota. $10 each.

•Two off-campus rehearsals and lectures are at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Ballroom at the Polo Grill, 10670 Boardwalk Loop, Lakewood Ranch, and at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Glenridge Performing Arts Center, 7333 Scotland Way, Sarasota. Both are free.

La Musica Chamber Music Festival gets a dance beat 03/29/08 [Last modified: Saturday, March 29, 2008 6:00am]

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