GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

October 11, 2012

Shalin Liu hosts palette of musical offerings

Shalin Liu packs a powerful palette of global talents

By Gail McCarthy Staff Writer
Gloucester Daily Times

---- — Musicgoers can choose from three genres of music this weekend as Rockport Music launches two music series and presents a veteran Chilean world music group in three consecutive concerts at the Shalin Liu Performance Center.

The 8-concert Classical Series kicks off Friday with the Boston Chamber Music Society, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary season.

“Their program features two of the most beautiful chamber works in the entire repertoire -- Brahms’s sextets for two violins, two violas and two celli,” said David Deveau, artistic director of Rockport Music, who added that Brahms has been a signature composer of both the Boston Chamber Music Society and Rockport Music.

Under the direction of violist Marcus Thompson, the group features a core ensemble of strings and piano, plus additional winds and brass as needed. Their program also features works by Strauss and Mendelssohn. There will be a pre-concert talk at 7 p.m.

“There could be no more appropriate way to open our third winter classical season than with these noble and heartfelt works by Brahms,” said Deveau.

The Guitar Series, meanwhile, opens the following night on Saturday featuring two groups — the California Guitar Trio, which performs on steel strings and Montreal Guitar Trio, which perform on nylon-stringed guitars.

The weekend culminates on Sunday with the celebrated Chilean ensemble Inti-Illimani, which performs on more than 30 wind, string and percussion instruments. The eight-member group has a new release titled “La Maquina del Tiempo” (The Time Machine) and was featured nationally on Telemundo and CNN International. The group includes founding member Jorge Coulon while touring for the group’s 45th anniversary.

“They named the CD — as well as their world-wide anniversary tour — ‘La Maquina del Tiempo,’” said Judith Joiner, the band’s publicist. “They’ve had members come and go so the group contains a wide variety of ages and musical backgrounds. The group began as a bunch of engineering students exploring folk music, but the Pinochet coup forced them into exile for 15 years. Their musical and political resistance to his regime led to their reputation as musical ambassadors of South America.”

Next week’s lineup includes a five-time Grammy Award-winning contemporary a cappella group called Swingle Singers next Thursday, performing a repertoire that includes classical, jazz, Latin, pop and rock.

The Classical Series continues with Classical Jam on Oct. 19, featuring everything from dance music of the Renaissance to tangos of Piazzola, and a healthy portion of standard chamber music fare in between, said Deveau. The group will perform and teach at the Rockport schools, and plans to invite a few students to jam with them at the Friday concert.

The classical series returns in 2013 with pianist Wendy Chen on Jan. 13; The Radius Ensemble on Feb. 2; , the Jasper Quartet on Feb. 23; the East Coast Chamber Orchestra on March 15; and Blue Heron, an early music vocal ensemble, on March 24. The Classical Series concludes on April 26 with pianist Lars Vogt, whose credits include being the first pianist-in-residence of the Berlin Philharmonic. He performs around the globe.

The other two shows in the Guitar Series are classical guitarist Benjamin Verdery on March 17 and classical guitarist Jason Vieaux on May 10, who is known as one of the youngest stars of the guitar world.

All concerts are at the Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport. For tickets or information, visit www.rockportmusic.org or call the Rockport Music Box Office at 978-546-7391.

Gail McCarthy can be reached at 978-283-7000, x3445, or at gmccarthy@gloucestertimes.com