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Mozart and More Set for 2013 Cooperstown Summer Music Festival Opening, Today

Mozart and More Set for 2013 Cooperstown Summer Music Festival Opening, Today

Birds of Paradise, Greek mythology, and a piece Mozart called "the best work I have ever written," all are featured in Opening Night of the Cooperstown Summer Music Festival on July 7 at 7:30 pm at the Otesaga Hotel, 60 Lake Street in Cooperstown, NY.

The Festival will premiere a new multi-media work that integrates a live performance of Robert Sirota's 2008 composition Birds of Paradise for flute clarinet and piano with video footage and wildlife sound recordings from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's Birds-of-Paradise Project. At the pre-concert talk at 7 pm, Cornell Lab scientist Ed Scholes, composer Robert Sirota and Festival artistic director Linda Chesis will discuss their collaboration. Scholes, an evolutionary biologist, spent 8 years and 18 expeditions scientifically documenting all 39 species of the birds-of-paradise family with National Geographic photographer Tim Laman.

"The birds-of-paradise are universally captivating and have been inspiring poets, painters and musicians for centuries. Almost everyone, from scientist to regular citizen, is drawn to them out of a sense of aesthetic wonder similar to what we experience through fine art and music," says Ed Scholes. He then added, "The multimedia piece accompanying Sirota's Birds of Paradise is a perfect combination of science, nature and the arts. We're excited that our spectacular video of these unique birds will be presented with Sirota's composition at this year's Cooperstown Summer Music Festival. "

"Imagine watching these extraordinary birds in HD, hearing a composer's evocation of bird sounds, combined with actual bird calls," says Chesis, who will be performing Opening Night with James Roe, oboe; Marianne Gythfeldt, clarinet; Adrian Morejon, bassoon; Zohar Schondorf, French Horn; and Pedja Muzijevic, piano. The Birds-of-Paradise Project video that will be shown at the Festival was edited by Jim Berman, Creative Director of Zapcast Creative.

Two composers' musical portraits of Pan and Syrinx will be performed: "Pan" from Britten's Six Metamorphoses after Ovid, Op. 49 and Syrinx by Debussy. Mozart's celebrated Quintet for Piano and Winds, the Poulenc Sextet and Francaix Quartet round out the evening's program.

"The Mozart is the first work of its kind and a cornerstone of the woodwind repertoire. This program shows the woodwind family's breadth and variety of tonal color," says Chesis. "It's just perfect for a summer Sunday evening."


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by Peter Danish