Second half of Festival to cater to children, connoisseurs, crowds
By Kathryn Purcell
As if the first week of Madison's sixth annual Chamber Music Festival, presented by the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center, wasn't jam-packed enough, the second half of the 21-day series of concerts consists of seven more concerts. The Festival's second week features a little of everything, from the music of a cartoon composer to the harmonization of a piano duet to the patriotic sounds of our nation's history.
•The seventh concert in the 2008 Madison Chamber Music Festival lineup, "Musical Tales and Wonders," kicks off the second week of the Festival, and begins at 11 a.m. on Monday, June 23 at The Hall at the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center.
The concert will showcase the work of the "Maestro of Cartoon Music," Raymond Scott.
Scott's music has been featured in such cartoons as "Looney Tunes," "The Ren & Stimpy Show" and "The Simpsons," among many others, and Cartoon Network has adopted some of Scott's music as their theme song, according to www.raymondscott.com.
Also featured in "Musical Tales and Wonders" will be music from the cartoons "Meet Mr. Twink" and "The Adventures of Wonderboy." In fact, the "Meet Mr. Twink" music was composed by Festival artistic director Christopher Rex's father, who also had a radio show, according to Patricia DuBose, Cultural Center marketing director. Further, high school students from the Atlanta Youth Orchestra will be playing the "Meet Mr. Twink" music.
"Adults will recognize the music being played because it came from cartoons when they were much younger," Ruth Bracewell, Chamber Music Festival director, said.
"Musical Tales and Wonders" will require 12 musicians, and the keyboard being played will be run through a computer to add special effects. The Lee Harper Dancers will perform, and cartoons will be shown on panels throughout The Hall during the concert.
In addition to the concert, downtown Madison-based Mulberry Toys is sponsoring a bike parade before the event. Bicycles, tricycles and strollers are invited to participate, and participants are asked to decorate their "vehicle" as their favorite cartoon character.
The parade will begin at 9:30 a.m., and the group will circle around the square in downtown Madison and arrive back at the Cultural Center by 10:30 a.m. Parents are required to escort their children.
Bicycles will be left on the front lawn of the Cultural Center during the concert so that they can be judged, and prizes will be given at the conclusion of the concert.
There is no cost for admission to this concert, and ice cream will be available after the concert.
•The "String Fling Lunch Concert," the eighth in the Festival series, will take place on Tuesday, June 24 at noon at the Mason-Sheehan House.
This concert is sold out.
•The next concert, "Vega Quartet," is scheduled for Thursday, June 26 at 8 p.m. at Perk Avenue Cafe in downtown Madison. The concert will feature the Vega String Quartet, and will resemble a previous concert by the Vega Quartet two years ago at the Madison Chamber Music Festival.
Bracewell attributes the idea of taking the concert to Perk Avenue Cafe to Rex.
"He likes to take the Festival into the community," Bracewell said. "People might be more comfortable going to a concert in a venue they're used to."
Doors will be open at 6 p.m. to concert ticket holders, and coffee, wine and dessert will be available for purchase before the concert and during intermission.
Tickets are $20.
•Pianist Valentina Lisitsa will return to the Madison Chamber Music Festival in two performances, the first being "Lunch with Valentina" on Friday, June 27 at noon in the historic home of Robert Lanier.
This concert was the first of this year's Madison Chamber Music Festival to sell out, according to Bracewell and DuBose.
•Lisitsa returns to the Madison Chamber Music Festival again with the 11th concert in the series, "Dynamic Duo." This time, however, Lisitsa's husband Alexei Kuznetsoff will join her.
"Dynamic Duo" is slated for Saturday, June 28 at 8 p.m. in the Cultural Center's Auditorium.
The intriguing part of this concert, aside from the fact that two internationally known, accomplished pianists will be playing?
"There are two of them, but they will be playing three pianos," Bracewell said.
Tickets are $25, and a reception with Lisitsa and Kuznetsoff on the front lawn of the Cultural Center will follow the concert.
"Musicians make themselves available after the concert," Bracewell said. "It contributes to the relaxed, informal atmosphere of the Festival."
•"Tchaikovsky Trio," the 12th in the Festival series, will take place on Sunday, June 29 at 8 p.m. at Sandy Creek Barn, the Lake Oconee home of Mr. and Mrs. Mercer Reynolds.
The concert will feature "internationally known chamber musicians and Spoleto favorites" Andres Diaz, Anne Akiko Meyers and Wendy Chen playing Tchaikovsky's Piano Trio as well as Schoenfield's Cafe Music, according to information provided by the Cultural Center.
The concert venue itself is also of interest, as Sandy Creek Barn, which Bracewell and DuBose explain as not being a barn at all, was moved from Pennsylvania to Lake Oconee and then renovated.
Tickets are $30.
•The final concert in this year's Madison Chamber Music Festival, "Splendor in the Brass," is an annual tradition. Scheduled for Tuesday, July 3 at 7 p.m. on the front lawn of the Cultural Center, the Atlanta Symphony Brass Quintet will play a variety of patriotic music to accompany the pre-Independence Day celebration.
Those who plan to picnic are invited to come early and "stake their spot," Bracewell said, and set up tables early in the day. Chairs will be available up front for those coming strictly for the concert.
Admission for "Splendor in the Brass" is free.
Tickets are available for most of the Madison Chamber Music Festival concerts by contacting the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center at 706.342.4743, toll-free at 877.233.0598, faxing order forms to 706.342.1154 or bringing order forms to the Cultural Center at 434 South Main Street in Madison.