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For a week in December, Reno is center of chamber music world



What do the world’s finest classical musicians do the week following Christmas? They gather in Reno for the Nevada Chamber Music Festival, now in its eighth year as one of classical music’s most important events during the winter holiday season.

The Nevada Chamber Music Festival runs Dec. 26-31 with 11 concerts over six days, featuring renowned musicians performing the masterworks of chamber music.

Among the acclaimed classical musicians playing in this year’s NCMF are:

– Festival artistic director and violist Theodore Kuchar
– Pianist, recording artist and Harvard professor Robert Levin
– Grammy Award-nominated violinist James Buswell
– Cellist Wendy Warner, internationally renowned recording artist
– Yuri Gandelsman, hailed by the Jerusalem Post as “undoubtedly one of the greatest violists of our time”
– Mark Kosower, Avery Fisher Career Grant winner and principal cello of the Cleveland Orchestra
– Several musicians from the Reno area, including cellist Dmitri Atapine and three Reno Chamber Orchestra members: violinist Ruth Lenz, cellist John Lenz and pianist James Winn

Performances will include all-Bach and all-Beethoven concerts, a showcase for the festival’s pianists titled “Chopin, Liszt and Friends” and a New Year’s Eve celebration.

Starting off the memorable week of music will be a special recital by pianist Orion Weiss, featuring the same music he will be performing several weeks later at Washington, D.C.’s Kennedy Center, and a lecture-performance by pianist and Harvard professor Robert Levin titled “Destiny vs. Free Will in Classical Music.”

Concerts will take place at South Reno United Methodist Church and the University of Nevada, Reno’s Nightingale Concert Hall.

Scott Faulkner, Reno Chamber Orchestra executive director, said, “It is Reno’s great fortune that such a distinguished group of musicians will be performing in our community this December. For that week, Reno will once again be the chamber music capital of the world.”

Discounted festival passes (transferable and good for all 11 concerts) are available, as are tickets for each of the individual concerts. Everyone 18 years of age and younger (and all full-time students) can attend any of the concerts for $5.

Tickets and more information are available by calling the Reno Chamber Orchestra at (775) 348-9413, or at www.RenoChamberOrchestra.org.

The Nevada Chamber Music Festival has attracted increasingly large and enthusiastic audiences since it made its debut in 2004 and has become a magnet for both music lovers and holiday tourists. A record 2,295 music lovers attended the 2010 festival.

One critic has written, “Kuchar’s collection of exceptional musicians playing exceptional music brought forth a collection of stellar performances worthy of any of the world’s great centers of culture.” The festival has won international acclaim from publications such as The Strad, a prestigious British magazine for string instrument players.

Theodore Kuchar, Reno Chamber Orchestra music director and the festival’s artistic director, said, “We attract internationally renowned performers by scheduling the Nevada Chamber Music Festival in late December, when most musicians aren’t otherwise engaged. Audience members are also often vacationing for the holidays during this time and have the opportunity to attend.”


Artistic Director & Viola
Theodore Kuchar– Music director of the RCO, Fresno Philharmonic, Janacek Philharmonic and Orquesta Sinfonica de Venezuela; conductor laureate for life, National Symphony of Ukraine

James Buswell – Grammy nominee, Internationally renowned soloist
Corey Cerovsek – Grammy nominee, Internationally renowned soloist
Bella Hristova – First prize winner, 2009 Young Concert Artists International Auditions
Joan Kwuon – Music faculty, Cleveland Institute of Music
Ruth Lenz – Concertmaster, Reno Chamber Orchestra, Reno Philharmonic, Nevada Opera


Yuri Gandelsman – Fine Arts Quartet member; former principal violist, Israel Philharmonic
Robert Vernon – Principal viola, Cleveland Orchestra

Dmitri Atapine – Assistant professor, University of Nevada, Reno
Mark Kosower – Principal cello, Cleveland Orchestra
John Lenz – UNR music professor emeritus, principal French horn, Reno Chamber Orchestra
Carol Ou – Internationally renowned soloist, music faculty, New England Conservatory
Wendy Warner – Internationally renowned soloist and recording artist

Ya-Fei Chuang – Faculty member, Boston Conservatory; ECM and Naxos recording artist
Robert Levin – Harvard University faculty member; world-renowned Mozart scholar
Orion Weiss – Internationally renowned soloist
James Winn – Professor of music, UNR, former solo pianist, New York City Ballet


Orion Weiss Recital
Monday, Dec. 26, 7 p.m. – Nightingale Concert Hall, UNR
To get our spectacular week of music off to a memorable start, pianist Orion Weiss presents a solo recital featuring the same music he’ll be playing in an upcoming Kennedy Center concert.

Robert Levin Lecture
Tuesday, Dec. 27, 12:00 p.m. – Nightingale Concert Hall, UNR
By popular demand after his Reno talk earlier this year, Festival pianist Robert Levin presents a lecture-performance, “Destiny vs. Free Will in Classical Music.”

Masterworks Concert No.1
Wednesday, Dec. 28, 7 p.m. – Nightingale Concert Hall, UNR
Opening Night includes Dvorak’s beloved “Dumky” Trio as well as music by Shostakovich, Schumann and Brahms.

Lunch Concert No. 1
Thursday, Dec. 29, 12:00 p.m. – South Reno United Methodist Church
Violin Sonatas by Beethoven and Janacek will be among the offerings. Lunch will be served right after the performance.

Masterworks Concert No. 2
Thursday, Dec. 29, 2:00 p.m. – South Reno United Methodist Church
Tchaikovsky’s colorful string sextet “Souvenir de Florence” will be featured along with works by Brahms, Turina and Faure.

Lunch Concert No. 2
Friday, Dec. 30, 12:00 p.m. – South Reno United Methodist Church
Vaughan Williams’s beautiful Violin Sonata and the Piano Quintet by Franck will be performed. Lunch will be served right after the performance.

All-Bach Concert
Friday, December 30, 2:00 p.m. – South Reno United Methodist Church
This concert devoted to the music of Johann Sebastian Bach will feature virtuoso music for solo violin, cello and piano.

Masterworks Concert #3
Friday, Dec. 30, 7 p.m. – South Reno United Methodist Church
The dramatic Piano Quintet by Sir Edward Elgar, Bruckner’s seldom-heard String Quintet, and the G minor Piano Quartet by Mozart are this evening’s offerings.

All-Beethoven Concert
Saturday, Dec. 31, 11 a.m. – Nightingale Concert Hall
This hour of chamber music by the great Beethoven includes the “Kakadu” Variations and the “Harp” String Quartet.

“Chopin, Liszt and Friends – A Piano Showcase”
Saturday, Dec. 31, 2 p.m. – Nightingale Concert Hall
This year’s spectacular festival pianists are highlighted in a full-length recital.

New Year’s Eve Celebration

Saturday, Dec. 31, 7 p.m. – Nightingale Concert Hall
Ring in the New Year with the RCO! Major works by Brahms and Dvorak are performed along with short showpieces, culminating in a multi-piano extravaganza.

Programs and artists subject to change.

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