Valley of the Moon Music Festival Announces 2018 Season

Valley of the Moon Music Festival Announces 2018 Season

Valley of the Moon Music Festival(VMMF) founders, Tanya Tomkins and Eric Zivian, today announced the program for their fourth season, which kicks off this month with a return to the Green Music Center's Schroeder Hall at Sonoma State University. In addition to three concerts at the Green Music Center, highlights this year include a presentation on the Berkeley Festival & Exhibition's main stage in June and the annual festival in July at the Hanna Center Auditorium in Sonoma.

VMMF showcases an international roster of leaders within the field of historical performance practice alongside emerging talents and young professionals coached in the Festival's Apprenticeship Program. In addition to Tomkins on cello and Zivian on fortepiano, featured artists this year include Liana Bérubé, violin; Cynthia Black, viola; Elizabeth Blumenstock, violin; Owen Dalby, violin; Nikki Einfeld, soprano; Sadie Glass, natural horn; Eric Hoeprich, clarinet; Monica Huggett, violin; Kati Kyme, viola; Jeffrey LaDeur, fortepiano; Joseph Maile, violin; Catherine Manson, violin and viola; Carla Moore, violin; Nicholas Phan, tenor; Anna Presler, violin; Marc Schachman, oboe; William Skeen, cello; Kyle Stegall, tenor; and Kate van Orden, bassoon and lecturer.

The Festival's winter and spring concerts, January 27 - May 12, will feature a range of Classical and Romantic works from Mozart to Brahms, mixing masterworks of chamber music with more rarely performed pieces from the likes of Gade and Hummel. VMMF's summer season, July 15 - 29, however, is set to expand the organization's historical focus, boldly pushing into the modern era, but with attention to historical performance practices.

Titled Vienna in Transition: From the Enlightenment to the Dawn of Modernism, the summer festival will explore some of the most influential music composed in Vienna: from a lesser-known Oboe Quartet by Wanhal (1771), through the chamber music of Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert, to Schoenberg's Second String Quartet (1908), in which the late Romantic language he inherited from Brahms and Wagner began to give way to Expressionism and atonality.

"All the works will be performed on historic instruments, emphasizing the unbroken line that connects these very different composers' styles," said Zivian.

VMMF's Green Music Center series begins on Saturday, January 27 with a concert featuring returning artist Catherine Manson on violin and viola. Manson, a member of the London Haydn Quartet and Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, is considered one of the most accomplished period instrumentalists of her generation, with critically acclaimed recordings of Haydn, Bach and Buxtehude. She will be joined by clarinetist and Festival Faculty Artist Eric Hoeprich, as well as Tomkins and Zivian, in a program including Schumann Fairy Tales for viola, clarinet and piano; works for clarinet and piano by Schumann and Gade; and the Brahms Piano Trio in C Major.

An encore of this program will take place the following Monday, January 29 at 7:30 p.m. at a house concert in Berkeley. Reservations to this intimate event are very limited. A donation of $25 - $100 per person is suggested, and may be made online via a link at valleyofthemoonmusicfestival.org/green-center-2018.

VMMF's Green Music Center series resumes Saturday, March 31 with a trio of performers, Tomkins and Zivian joined by Festival Faculty Artist Monica Huggett on violin. They will play works by Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven and Hummel. Like Manson, Huggett has an international reputation as one of the foremost baroque violinists of our time, with an active career as a soloist, director and chamber musician. Huggett was born in London, and currently divides her time between the United States and Europe. Her recent direction of the Portland Baroque Orchestra in Mozart's Requiem was met with great critical acclaim.

On Saturday, May 12, VMMF's Green Music Center series comes to a close with a program dedicated to Schubert's legacy with songs by Schumann, Schubert, as well as Schubert's glorious Piano Trio in B-flat. Joining Tomkins and Zivian on this date are tenor Kyle Stegall, returning for his third season, and making his debut with VMMF, violinist Joseph Maile. Maile is a founding member of the San Francisco-based Telegraph Quartet, the recipient of top prizes at the Naumburg and Fischoff Competitions.

The musicians of VMMF are honored to have been invited to take part in the 15th biennial Berkeley Festival & Exhibition. On Friday, June 9 at 8 p.m., they will perform "a typical 19th-century salon concert" titled An Die Musik: the Narrative Power of Schubert and Schumann, featuring Schubert's Quartettsatz, Lieder by Schubert and Schumann and Schumann's Piano Quintet. Artists for this evening include Grammy-nominated lyric tenor Nicholas Phan, a San Francisco native, who has received exuberant praise for his intelligence, stage presence and natural musicianship.

Finally, this summer the Festival is proud to introduce a new program for Apprentice Laureates, inviting back some of the finest apprentices from years past. "It is wonderful to get to share the stage with these talented young artists, and to continue to be a part of their development as chamber musicians," said Tomkins. This year's featured Laureates are Toma Iliev, viola, and Rachell Wong, violin.

Tickets for Valley of the Moon Music Festival's winter and spring concerts are now on sale at the Green Music Center box office, available online at gmc.sonoma.edu/VOTM or by phone at 866-955-6040. Each concert starts at 3 p.m. inside the intimate 240-seat Schroeder Hall. Individual tickets are $30 each; a $70 pass offers admission to all three concerts in the series. Tickets for the Berkeley Festival concert will go on sale this spring. Please visit berkeleyfestival.org for more information. Finally, tickets for the summer festival, which are $40 for single concerts, will go on sale in the spring. For more information visit valleyofthemoonmusicfestival.org.

Photo credit: Stefan Cohen.

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