Bachauer Winner Stephen Beus to debut at Beethoven Festival August 12

Dynamic concert pianist Stephen Beus will make his Beethoven Festival concert debut in a concert recently added to the Festival’s final week of its seven-week summer schedule, performing with his colleague Monte Belknap, violinist, and Festival Artists in Residence Russell and Leslie Harlow. Mr. Beus is distinguished internationally as a superb artist with phenomenal technique, winning audience and critical praise while a competitor in major piano competitions around the world. The concert on the 12th, billed as the final Salon Concert of the Festival’s 34th Summer Season, will be held at the Park City Community Church.

In the space of four months, American pianist Stephen Beus won first prize in the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition, first place in the Vendome Prize International Competition (Lisbon) and he was awarded the Max I. Allen Fellowship of the American Pianists Association (Indianapolis).

As a result of winning the Juilliard School Concerto Competition Mr. Beus made his Carnegie Hall debut with the Juilliard Orchestra and James DePreist, playing Prokofiev’s  Concerto No. 3. He has also performed as guest soloist with the Gulbenkian Symphony (Lisbon), Oxford Philomusica, the Tivoli Symphony (Copenhagen), the Tbilisi National Opera Orchestra, the Northwest Sinfonietta (Seattle), the Royal Philharmonic of Morocco (Casablanca), the Vaasa Symphony Orchestra (Finland) as well as with the Hamburg, Indianapolis, Nashville, Santa Fe, Utah, Fort Worth, Tucson, Yakima, Bellevue, Salt Lake, Eastern Sierra, Corvallis, Jacksonville, Texarkana and Walla Walla Symphonies.

Virtuoso Violinist Monte Belknap is a veteran favorite with Beethoven Festival audiences, performing each summer and throughout the year with the Festival since 2004. Of his playing at the Festival, the Deseret News music critic stated, “his playing was infused with finely crafted lyricism that was mirrored by the others”.  He also performs with rave reviews as concertmaster and soloist for the Orchestra of the Cathedral of the Madeline in Salt Lake City. In recent years Mr. Belknap has performed as a guest artist at the George Enescu International Violin Competition, the Barge Music Series in NYC, and served as concertmaster of the Illinois Symphony and Chamber Orchestras.

The concert on the 12th, billed as the final Salon Concert of the Festival’s 34th Summer Season, will be held at the Park City Community Church. The concert, billed as the final Salon Concert of the Festival’s 34th Summer Season, will be held at the Park City Community Church and will begin at 6:30pm. The Festival Salon concerts are fundraisers for the Beethoven Festival Young Artist Institute and a minimum donation of $35 serves as the ticket to attend this favorite Festival event. Attendees are invited to add to their donations during the evening. Tickets are available online in advance and any remaining seats will be available at the door at the concert. Seating is limited.

About the Festival’s popular Salon concerts: Attendees start with a visit to the dinner buffet, then enjoy the first set of performances. Desserts are the fare for the second course of the buffet, then the artists will present their second set of performances.

This will be the second Festival Salon concert to introduce a new artist to the Festival roster – Tchaikovsky Competition medalist and acclaimed violinist Stephanie Chase, made her Festival debut performing alongside fellow Festival violinists Monte Belknap, Donna Fairbanks and Simon Gollo as soloists in Vivaldi’s Four Violin Concerto accompanied by Festival faculty and student performers. Ms. Chase was also featured in the Festival’s Gala Salon Concert, as well as performing in four additional Festival performances over her 10-day tenure at the Beethoven Festival this summer. St. Louis Symphony Principal Bassist Erik Harris also joined the Beethoven Festival this summer as performer and bass instructor at the Institute.StephenBeusDramaticBWExc MonteBelknapBWExc

INTERMEZZO RETURNS FOR A NEW SEASON JUNE 26

Since its inception the Intermezzo Chamber Music Series has sought to bring imaginative variety to its programming. It’s always succeeded in this endeavor and this summer’s offerings are no exception. Under the guidance of music director Vedrana Subotic, the five concerts that make up the series this year run the gamut from well known to neglected works.

Vedrana Subotic

Vedrana Subotic

Among the latter is a chamber ensemble version of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 4, which will ostensibly receive its Utah premiere on the July 10 program. This version, from 1921, was made by Erwin Stein, who was a student of Arnold Schoenberg. It reduces the orchestra down to 13 instruments.
“This concert is a big extravaganza,” Subotic said. “The music is dense, but in this condensed version you get to hear everybody.” The musicians, mostly taken from the Utah Symphony, “are thrilled to do the piece because it highlights each player.”
Conducting will be the Utah Symphony’s outgoing associate conductor Rei Hotoda, who is “super excited at this opportunity,” according to Subotic. Soprano soloist in the last movement is Aubrey McMillan.
Offsetting the Mahler are the Sonata for Solo Cello by Eugène Ysaÿe and the Sonata for Cello and Piano, op. 4, by Zoltán Kodály. There is a common thread between these two sonatas and the Mahler, Subotic said. “All of the music is intense and all three works focus on tone color.”
The initial concert, on June 26, features works by three disparate composers: Ludwig van Beethoven, Béla Bartók and Astor Piazzolla.
Opening the program is an early Beethoven piece, the so-called Gassenhauer Trio, op. 11, for clarinet, cello and piano. “This is a happy Beethoven who’s sitting on the top of the world,” Subotic said. “It’s a wonderful hors d’oeuvre for the rest of the concert.”
On the other hand, the Bartók Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 1, is a peculiar work,
Subotic said. “Bartók writes in Gypsy/Hungarian idioms for the violin, but there is no such melodic content for the piano. Instead, the piano is very percussive and rhythmic.” The work overall is bold and dramatic. “It’s reminiscent of Ives.”
Rounding out the concert is Piazzolla’s Four Seasons of Buenos Aires, in an arrangement for piano trio.
Performing Monday are Utah Symphony colleagues Lee Livengood, clarinet; Lun Jiang, violin; and Pegsoon Whang, cello; with Subotic at the piano.
All concerts take place in Vieve Gore Concert Hall on the Westminster College campus. Start time is 7:30 p.m. Individual tickets are $20 for general, $18 for seniors and free for students with ID. Season tickets are also available. Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance by logging on to www.intermezzoconcerts.org.
Below is the Intermezzo concert schedule:
June 26: Beethoven, Gassenhauer Trio; Bartók, Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 1; Piazzolla, Four Seasons of Buenos Aires.
July 10: Ysaÿe, Sonata for Solo Cello; Kodály, Sonata for Cello and Piano, op. 4; Mahler/Stein, Symphony No. 4.
July 17: Ravel, String Quartet; Webern, Langsamer Satz; Szymanowski, String Quartet No. 2.
July 31: Beethoven, Piano Trio op. 70, no. 2, Ghost; Mendelssohn, Piano Trio No. 1.
Aug. 7: Roens: Three Existential Songs (world premiere); Debussy, Piano Etudes, Books 1 and 2; Ravel, Introduction and Allegro for Harp, Clarinet, Flute and String Quartet.