2014 Music Mountain Continues with St. Petersburg String Quartet, The Galvanized Jazz Band & More This Weekend

Music Mountain, America's Oldest Continuing Summer Chamber Music Festival continues its 85th Anniversary Season with the dynamic Galvanized Jazz Band today, August 16 (6:30PM) performing an energetic evening of Dixieland, blues, jazz, and more followed by an encore appearance by the St. Petersburg String Quartet with guest artists Michelle LaCourse, viola, and Rhonda Rider, cello on Sunday, August 17 (3PM). For the first season in over 75 years, Music Mountain is offering an extended season filled with Music Mountain debuts and returning favorites! Chamber, country, and jazz concerts run thru September 14.

The summer still sizzles with the sound of The Galvanized Jazz Band.These dynamic, energetic performers of hot dixieland, New Orleans jazz, blues, rags, stomps, struts, spirituals, swing & popular classics will have the crowd dancing all Saturday evening. The Connecticut based musicians perform at Jazz Festivals from Maine to New Orleans and throughout Europe. Recognized by Connecticut Magazine as the "Best Jazz Band in the State," the Galvanized Jazz Band has thrilled generations of fans since 1971!

St. Petersburg String Quartet returns for a second weekend with guest artists Michelle LaCourse, Viola, and Rhonda Rider, Cello performing Shostakovich: Adagio & Allegretto (Elegy & Polka) - a Music Mountain debut!

The Grammy nominated St. Petersburg String Quartet is one of the world's most esteemed chamber ensembles; they have extensively toured throughout North America, Europe and Asia, performing in some of the most prestigious series' and festivals. Their current season includes performances in New York City, Los Angeles, England and France. In 2009 the St. Petersburg Quartet launched the St. Petersburg International Music Academy, an intensive summer program for students, which they bring to various campuses and festivals in the USA and Mexico. In 2010 St. Petersburg Quartet was appointed the inaugural Quartet in Residence at Wichita State University.

Michelle LaCourse has appeared as soloist and chamber musician on four continents, including recent performances in Italy, Spain, Brazil, and South Korea. An enthusiastic advocate for new viola repertoire, she has also commissioned and premiered several new pieces for the instrument. Ms. LaCourse currently holds the titles of Chair of Applied and Performance Studies; Chair of String Department; Associate Professor of Music, Viola at Boston University's College of Fine Arts.

Rhonda Rider has a career that has spanned decades. As a chamber musicians and soloist, Ms. Rider has won numerous prizes, as well as receiving the Aaron Copland Recording Grant. Dedicated to the performance of "new" music, Ms. Rider has premiered and recorded works by such renowned composers as John Harbison, Lee Hyla, Yu-Hui Chang, Bright Sheng and Elliott Carter. She is currently the Chair of Chamber Music and on the cello faculty at The Boston Conservatory and on the cello faculty of Boston University.

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, wine & beer are also available for purchase.

Upcoming quartets scheduled to perform include Blair String Quartet with Melvin Chen, piano (August 24); Shanghai String Quartet with Haochen Zhang, piano (August 30 & 31); and Dover String Quartet with Roberto Diaz, viola (September 7); Cassatt String Quartet with Ursula Oppens, piano (September 14).

The Saturday Evening Twilight Series will continue with Baroque Italian Opera Arias and Duets (August 23); Michael Berkeley presents "No Tune Like A Show Tune" (September 6) and Tater Patch (September 13).

Chamber Music Concerts are $35 at the door/$30 in advance. Twilight Series Concerts are $30 at the door/$27 in advance. Tickets for the End of Season Benefit Concert on August 31 are $75. 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 at 6:30pm. 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.

Pictured: Rhonda Rider. Photo by Liz Linder.

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