The Bear Valley Music Festival is back, July 25 through August 10. It is the perfect time of year to flee to higher elevations and cooler temperatures, and the wide range of classical performances at this year’s festival offers the perfect excuse for doing so. You can access a full list of performances at bearvalleymusicfestival.org, but here’s a quick rundown of some classical highlights.
Sunday, July 27at 1 p.m., The Delphi String Ensemble: this is the second year in a row that the Delphi Trio has been the ensemble-in-residence at the Bear Valley Music Festival. The trio has been praised for their cohesiveness and depth of expression.
Thursday, July 31 at 7 p.m., the Festival Orchestra: the Festival Orchestra will be busy this year, performing with a number of featured artists, and taking a few turns of their own. This concert features the Festival Orchestra’s interpretations of music by Rossini, Haydn and Schumann.
Saturday, August 2 at 7 pm, J P Jofre and the Festival Orchestra: J P Jofre’s chosen instrument is the bandoneon, a much more challenging relation of the accordion. Jofre fell in love with the instrument when he heard it played by Astor Piazzola, the great Argentine master of nuevo tango. Jofre and the Festival Orchestra will perform works by Piazzola, Bela Bartok and Schubert along with original compositions by Jofre
Sunday, August 3, Classical Stars of Tomorrow: If you are a fan of NPR’s From the Top (Sundays at 3 p.m. on the music station), then you might want to make a point of catching this performance. These very promising young musicians will alternately amaze you, and make you question what you’ve done with your life. A particularly inspiring performance, perhaps, for any young aspiring musicians you may know.
Wednesday, August 6 at 7 p.m., Wine & Chamber Concert: You had me at “wine.” Find the perfect pairing for chamber music, dry or suite, with wines by sommelier Nicole Darracq Bert.
Thursday, August 7 at 7 p.m., Shawnette Sulker and the Festival Orchestra: San Francisco based Shawnette Sulker is a coloratura soprano that has received particularly glowing reviews for her turn as Adele in Die Fledermaus. Sulker is lauded for her light touch and superior voice control. She will perform operatic arias and other works by Gabriel Faure and Mozart with the Festival Orchestra.
Friday, August 8 at 7 p.m., Sarah Davis Buechner and Stephanie Chase with the Festival Orchestra: Pianist Buechner—a Yamaha artist—and violinist Chase are acclaimed collaborators. In October 2011, WQXR (classical, Newark-New York) hailed their New York recital as one of “20 concerts to hear this Fall.” In 2012, they performed the entire cycle of Beethoven’s violin sonatas over consecutive nights in New York City. They will perform an all Mendelssohn program with the Festival Orchestra.
Sunday, August 10 at 1 p.m., the Festival Orchestra: The Festival Orchestra closes this year’s festivities with an all Beethoven concert.