Music Mountain Presents Benefit Concert Featuring Peter Serkin, The Orion String Quartet, and Gunsmoke This Weekend

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Music Mountain Presents Benefit Concert Featuring Peter Serkin, The Orion String Quartet, and Gunsmoke This Weekend

Music Mountain, America's oldest continuing summer chamber music festival, continues its 85th anniversary season with a mid-season benefit concert featuring the master pianist Peter Serkin and the acclaimed Orion String Quartet, July 19 (3PM), performing a distinguished program including Haydn, plus works for piano and strings by Brahms, and Dvorak. Also appearing this weekend is the audience favorite, Gunsmoke today, July 18 (6:30PM). This summer, Music Mountain has welcomed some of the most highly regarded string quartets in the country -- The Emerson String Quartet opened the season, audiences enjoyed The Juilliard String Quartet, and now Music Mountain has the privilege of hosting the Orion String Quartet. And, as always, the Twilight Series offers a wide range of country, folk and jazz concerts that are fun for the entire family! Concerts are scheduled thru September 14.

Sunday afternoon brings the piano legend pianist Peter Serkin and the incomparable Orion String Quartet performing a very special benefit program: Haydn: String Quartet in D Major, Opus 76 # 5; Brahms: Quintet for Piano & Strings in F Minor, Opus 34; and Dvorak: Quintet for Piano & Strings in A Major, Opus 81. (Sunday afternoon is underwritten by an Anonymous Donor)

The Orion String Quartet is one of the most sought-after ensembles in the United States, and recently embarked on its first-ever tour of Japan. The Quartet offers diverse programs that juxtapose classic works of the standard quartet literature with masterworks by twentieth and twenty-first century composers. They also enjoy a creative partnership with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, and recently collaborated with the company at New York City's Joyce Theater for a special two-week project featuring musical excerpts and arrangements of works by Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Ravel and Schubert for which the New Yorker claimed, "the sound they made in the Joyce was tremendous." The members of the Orion String Quartet have worked closely with such legendary figures as Pablo Casals, András Schiff, Rudolf Serkin, Isaac Stern, Pinchas Zukerman, and Peter Serkin, among others. They maintain a strong dedication to the next generation of musical artists and serve on the faculties of the Mannes College of Music, Curtis Institute of Music, The Juilliard School, Queens College, Rutgers University and the Bard College Conservatory of Music. Formed in 1987, the Orion String Quartet chose its name from the Orion constellation as a metaphor for the unique personality each musician brings to the group in its collective pursuit of the highest musical ideals.

Peter Serkin is one of the most thoughtful and individualistic musicians appearing before the public today. He is grandson of violinist and composer Adolf Busch, and son of pianist Rudolf Serkin. Respected worldwide, he has performed with the world's major symphony orchestras with such eminent conductors as Seiji Ozawa, Pierre Boulez, Daniel Barenboim, and James Levine. A dedicated chamber musician, Mr. Serkin has collaborated with Alexander Schneider, Pamela Frank, and Yo-Yo Ma, among many others. Mr. Serkin currently teaches at Bard College Conservatory of Music and the Longy School of Music.

Dust off your dancing shoes on Saturday for an evening with Gunsmoke! Classic Country, Rockabilly, Western Swing all wrapped into one lively and danceable package! This Connecticut favorite has been entertaining audiences for over three decades - no wonder they were inducted into the Connecticut Country Music Association Hall of Fame in 2011! Gunsmoke is proud to be recognized as a leader in carrying the torch for the sounds of traditional country music.

Music Mountain is located in Falls Village, Connecticut on Music Mountain Road, where a short scenic drive will bring you to Gordon Hall atop Music Mountain. Free parking and picnic facilities are available. Food, coffee, lemonade and water are also available for purchase.

Upcoming quartets scheduled to perform include Harlem String Quartet with Misha Dichter, piano (July 27); Penderecki String Quartet with Geoffrey Burleson, piano (August 3); St. Petersburg String Quartet with Ricardo Cavalcante de Oliveira, viola (August 10); St. Petersburg String Quartet with Michelle LaCourse, viola and Rhonda Rider, cell (August 17); Blair String Quartet with Melvin Chen, piano (August 24).

The Saturday Evening Twilight Series will continue with Swingtime Big Band (July 26); The New Black Eagle Jazz Band (August 2); The Falcon Ridge Folk Music Festival featuring Spuyten Duyvil (August 9); The Galvanized Jazz Band (August 16); Baroque Italian Opera Arias and Duets (August 23).

Tickets for the mid-summer benefit concert on Sunday, July 20 with the Orion String Quartet, featuring Peter Serkin, piano are $60. Chamber Music Concerts are $35 at the door/$30 in advance. Twilight Series Concerts are $30 at the door/$27 in advance. Children ages 5-18 are admitted FREE for ALL CONCERTS when accompanied by a ticket holder (Music Mountain gratefully acknowledges children admission support by the Hellen Plummer Foundation for a gift in memory of James Merrill, Connecticut's first Poet Laureate). Saturday Twilight Concerts are at6:30pm. Chamber Music concerts are at 3pm on Sundays. Group rates and pre season ticket vouchers are available. Discounts apply through participating organizations. For a complete summer schedule, special ticket prices, and to download a ticket order form visit www.musicmountain.org or call 860-824-7126.

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