Coastal Concerts’ upcoming season, which runs from October to March, promises to be one of its most diverse. The five-concert series will feature two world-renowned pianists, four of today’s finest saxophonists, five distinguished wind players and two unusual string quartets, including a precedent-setting African-American ensemble.
Anyone interested in hearing live quality music in an intimate setting performed by internationally acclaimed artists should find much to intrigue them.
All concerts will take place on Saturdays in downtown Lewes at wheelchair-accessible Bethel United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall, Fourth and Market streets. The first and last concerts will begin at 7 p.m. The three other concerts will start at 2 p.m.
The season kicks off Oct. 18 with a joint appearance by famed pianist Leon Bates and the Portland String Quartet of Maine. Born in Philadelphia, Bates is celebrated around the world for his powerful artistry and inspiring work with youth. He will begin the 7 p.m. program with three Impromptus by Franz Schubert. Afterward, he will be joined by the quartet to perform two piano quintets, the lyrical Op. 67 in F-sharp Minor by Amy Beach and the Op. 44 in E-flat by Robert Schumann.
The 2 p.m. matinee Nov. 22 will be a definite change of pace. The members of the PRISM Saxophone Quartet will present an untraditional selection of works adapted for the saxophone as well as pieces written for them incorporating elements of pop, jazz and blues. When one thinks of instruments associated with chamber music, the saxophone does not necessarily leap to mind. That may change after attendees hear how expressive and entertaining these four classically trained masters of the sax can be.
For the next matinee Jan. 17, the Marian Anderson String Quartet, the first African-American ensemble to win a major classical music competition, will perform a program befitting the weekend’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. birthday observances. The all-female group will play William Grant Still’s “Songs of Separation,” inspired by poetry that will be read aloud by Richard Moore of Lewes. Also on the program will be Adolphus Hailstork’s newly composed String Quartet No.2, a set of variations on “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” and the String Quartet in E Minor by Frederick Delius.
A highlight of the season will be the appearance at 2 p.m. Feb. 7 by one of the world’s most celebrated young pianists, Ingrid Fliter. This Argentine native won the 2006 Gilmore Artist Award, one of only a handful of pianists and the only woman to have received this prestigious honor. She has since gone on to set the standard for a new generation of Chopin interpreters. Fliter’s recital will include Schubert’s late Sonata in A Major and all of Chopin’s 24 Preludes, Op. 28.
To round out the series, the Grammy-nominated Borealis Wind Quintet will offer a lively and varied program at 7 p.m., March 21, including arrangements of a concerto by J.S. Bach and the “Lincolnshire Posy” by Percy Grainger. Works by Philip Wharton, Eugene Bozza and Andrey Rubtsov will follow, and the concert will conclude with Giulio Briccialdi’s “Potpourri Fantastico,” a witty take on opera themes from Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville.”
The Marian Anderson String Quartet and the Borealis Wind Quintet will give outreach concerts during their visits to the Lewes area. Through these free events, Coastal Concerts gives young audiences a chance to hear and interact with professional musicians of the highest caliber.
Tickets to the new season are on sale now at coastalconcerts.org. A full-season subscription is available for $150. Individual tickets are $30. Ages 10-18, as well as one adult per youth, are admitted free with advance reservations made by calling 888-212-6458. Discounted admission is available for students 19 years and older with a valid school ID.
Coastal Concerts is a nonprofit organization promoting classical music appreciation in central Delmarva. Programs are made possible, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency dedicated to nurturing and supporting the arts in Delaware, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The engagement of Ingrid Fliter is a Delaware Performing Arts Presenters Initiative project, made possible through funding by the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation with support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Delaware Division of the Arts.