American Chamber Players Perform Classical Selections by Gaubert, Beethoven, and Dvorak

American Chamber Players Perform Classical Selections by Gaubert, Beethoven, and DvorakAcclaimed classical chamber group the American Chamber Players will perform Sunday, June 3, at 4 p.m., at Castleton. Featuring internationally renowned cellist Inbal Segev, the Castleton in Performance (CiP) concert will offer classical works by Philippe Gaubert, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Antonin Dvorák. Segev will perform all works on a cello made in 1673 by musical instrument maker Francesco Ruggeri, apprentice to the world-famous luthier Nicolò Amati. American Chamber Players founder and violist Miles Hoffman is known to American audiences for his commentary on National Public Radio's (NPR) Morning Edition. Hoffman is joined by members of the chamber group, Sarah Stern, flute, and Joanna Maurer, violin. Acclaimed pianist Reiko Uchida will accompany the chamber group. The New York Times says the Chamber Players appeal "to the heart and the head, offering a warm, seductively luxurious sound and an impressive precision and unity of purpose." The Washington Post writes that the group has, "established standards of chamber music performance equal to any in the world." Tickets for this Castleton in Performance (CiP) concert are $20-40. The performance will be held in the Theatre House at Castleton (663 Castleton View Road, Castleton, VA.), an intimate, state-of-the-art 140-seat proscenium theatre. To order tickets and information visit www.CastletonFestival.org or call Connie Payne at 540.937.3454.

The concert will commence with Gaubert's romantic Three Watercolors (1926) for flute, cello, and piano. Gaubert (1879-1941) was a French musician best known for his compositions for the flute. Following will be a performance of Beethoven's Trio in C Minor for violin, viola, and cello, Op. 9, No. 3 (1798). Beethoven (1770-1827) first debuted this work at a dinner party, and it is considered quintessential of the high Classical movement. After an intermission, audiences will hear a performance of Beethoven's variations on La ci darem la mano, for flute, violin, and viola (1797). Beethoven wrote this piece, translating as "There we will give each other our hands" in Italian, after he was inspired by the duet for the characters Don Giovanni and Zerlina in Mozart's 1787 opera Don Giovani. Finally, audiences will hear Dvorák's Quartet in E-Flat Major for piano and strings, Op. 87 (1889). Dvorák (1841-1904) was an accomplished violinist and violist, and the piece was written later in his career, highlighting his "string-writing" technique.

"This is the kind of program that the American Chamber Players love to present, a combination of great masterpieces and at least one 'neglected gem,'" said Hoffman. "In this case the masterpieces are by Beethoven and Dvorák, and the gem is by the wonderful French composer and flute virtuoso Philippe Gaubert. There's an extra little jewel by Beethoven, too-his variations on 'Là ci darem la mano,' from Mozart's Don Giovanni."

Among today's most exciting and innovative chamber music ensembles, Hoffman formed the American Chamber Players in 1985 out of a core group of artists from the Library of Congress Summer Chamber Festival. The ensemble performs repertoire ranging from popular classical masterpieces to newly commissioned American works, working with a range of instrumental combinations and praised for their dynamic performances. They have toured throughout North America and European capitals, performing for a series of special gala concerts at the Paris Opera and the Bibliothèque Nationale. National Public Radio's Performance Today featured the ensemble regularly on local radio stations throughout the United States, and they are the resident ensemble of the June Chamber Festival at the Kreeger Museum in Washington, D.C. The American Chamber Players have recorded the music of Mozart, Bruch, Bloch, Stravinsky, Harbison, and Rochberg for a series of compact discs distributed internationally on the Koch International Classics label.

Cellist Segev gained international recognition after making critically acclaimed debuts with the Israel Philharmonic and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestras. She has performed as soloist with all the major orchestras in Israel, her native country, and with orchestras around the world, including the Helsinki Philharmonic, the Orchestre National de Lyon, the Bangkok Symphony, and the Bogota Philharmonic. Segev has won prizes at the Casals International Competition, the Paulo International Competition in Helsinki, and the Washington International Competition, among others. She is a member of the Jupiter Chamber Players, and a founding member of Amerigo, a string trio. Segev is a frequent guest artist with the American Chamber Players, and she has performed at the chamber music festivals of Banff, Ravinia, Siena, and Montpellier, among others. Segev is a graduate of the Juilliard School and the Yale School of Music.

Currently a distinguished visiting professor of chamber music at the Schwob School of Music of Columbus State University, Hoffman made his New York violin recital debut in 1979 at the 92nd Street Y and has performed nationally in recital, as chamber musician, and as soloist with many orchestras. In 1982, he founded the Library of Congress Summer Chamber Festival, which he directed for nine years, and which ultimately led to the formation of the American Chamber Players. Hoffman's musical commentary, Coming to Terms, was heard weekly throughout the United States from 1989 to 2002 on NPR's Performance Today. He has also served as a classical music commentator for NPR's flagship news program, Morning Edition, for which he is regularly heard by a national audience of nearly 14 million people. His radio modules, A Minute with Miles, produced by South Carolina Public Radio, are broadcast nationally. Hoffman is the author of the NPR Classical Music Companion, now in its tenth printing from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. He is a graduate of Yale University and the Juilliard School, and in 2003 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Centenary College of Louisiana in recognition of his achievements as a performer and educator.

Stern is a solo flutist of the 21st Century Consort, in residence at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., and has premiered and recorded countless new works. She has presented solo recitals at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Carnegie Recital Hall, and at various concert halls around the country, and she has appeared as guest artist with the Emerson String Quartet and other distinguished chamber ensembles. Stern toured nationally and internationally as one half of the duo "Stern and Levalier," with harpist Dotian Levalier. She is also a founding member of the Eastwind Consort, a critically acclaimed woodwind ensemble.

Maurer has performed as orchestral violin soloist and recitalist throughout the United States, Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic. She won first place in various competitions, including the E. Nakamichi Violin Competition, the Denver Young Artist Orchestra Competition, the Young Musicians Foundation Competition, and the National MTNA Selmer Competition. Now a resident of New York City, she previously served as concertmaster of both the Metamorphosen and Prometheus Chamber Orchestras. A versatile artist with a broad repertoire, Maurer has collaborated with fiddler/violinist Mark O'Connor in, among other projects, performances of his Double Violin Concerto, and has been a featured artist in concerts with Sting. Maurer received her bachelor's and master's degrees at the Juilliard School.

Uchida is the winner of various international prizes and enjoys an active career as a piano soloist and chamber musician, performing regularly throughout the United States, Asia, and Europe. Among others, she has appeared as soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Santa Fe Symphony, Greenwich Symphony, and the Princeton Symphony. As a chamber musician, Uchida has performed at the Marlboro, Santa Fe, Tanglewood, and Spoleto Music Festivals; as a member of the Laurel Trio; as guest artist with the Borromeo and Tokyo Quartets and with the American Chamber Players; and in recital with Jennifer Koh, Anne Akiko Myers, Sharon Robinson, Jaime Laredo, and Miles Hoffman. She is also a past member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Two. A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and the Mannes College of Music, Uchida studied with Claude Frank, Leon Fleisher, and Edward Aldwell. She currently resides in New York City, where she is an associate faculty member at Columbia University.

"We are thrilled to welcome the American Chamber Players back to Castleton," said Castleton CEO and Artistic Director Dietlinde Turban Maazel. "Inbal Segev is a charismatic performer and master of her instrument." In 1997, Ms. Maazel and her husband, Maestro Lorin Maazel, created the Castleton Theatre House, one of the most exquisite performance spaces in the world.

Castleton is ideally suited for a weekend trip and a variety of accommodations are available on the idyllic grounds of Castleton Farms. Cottage and home rates begin at $100/night and include access to amenities such as the spa (large heated lap pool, Turkish steam room, Finnish sauna), petting zoo, six miles of hiking trails, and tennis courts. To inquire about booking, please contact Connie Payne at 540.577.8820 or castletonfarmretreat@gmail.com.

The grounds of Castleton Farms have been home to a prestigious performance series since 1997, when the late Maestro Lorin Maazel inaugurated the Theatre House, a "mini-Globe" European-style Pocket Theatre with unparalleled acoustics. Since then, CiP has given audiences in Rappahannock County multicultural experiences of the highest caliber bringing internationally acclaimed artists into our own backyard. Artists have included Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Itzhak Perlman, José Carreras, Emanuel Ax, Sir James Galway, Gil Shaham, the Paris Piano Trio, Mariachi Los Camperos Group, Chinese traditional soloists Wu Man and Ma Xiaohui, classical guitarists Pepe Romero and Berta Rojas, Indian dance companies, and famous actors such as Alec Baldwin and Claire Bloom.

In 2009 Maestro Maazel and his wife Dietlinde Turban Maazel established the Castleton Festival, a combination of music festival and summer academy for young artists. During this period, Dietlinde developed a wildly popular acting training studio for opera singers. Ranked by The New York Times as one of the top 10 festivals in the country, the Castleton Festival formed an educational partnership with Wynton Marsalis, his Summer Jazz Academy, in 2015. The monthly CiP (Castleton in Performance) events continue throughout the year as well as the Educational Community Outreach programming that furthers Castleton's mission of nurturing the arts in the lives of children through in-school programs.

Photo: Internationally renowned chamber group, American Chamber Players, will perform classical selections by Phillipe Gaubert, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Antonin Dvorák at the Castleton Theatre House on Sunday, June 3, at 4 p.m. Pictured are members of the original American Chamber Players. Back row, from left: Miles Hoffman, American Chamber Players founder; Stephen Balderston, cello. Front row, from left: Sara Stern, flute; Joanna Mauer, violin; and Anna Stoytcheva, piano. Photo Credit: Mary Noble Ours

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