The Wasserman Festival of Chamber Music begins this week at Utah State University in Logan, offering a program of study, performance and fun, according to director Todd Fallis. String players participate in the four-week series, while a one-week study program is designed for pianists.
Fallis says the festival's purpose is twofold: to reach and train the best and brightest young string players, and provide more opportunity for Cache Valley residents to hear chamber music played by professionals.Returning as resident quartet and instructors for the 11th year is the New World String Quartet (NWSQ). The Harvard University-based group includes violinist Curtis Macomber, violinist Vahn Armstrong, violist Benjamin Simon and cellist Ross Harbaugh. Formed in 1977, the quartet won the prestigious Naumburg Chamber Music Award in 1979.
Pianist John Perry will open the festival's concert series with a recital on Thursday, June 25 at 8 p.m. in the Chase Fine Arts Center. Tickets at $8 and $6 are available at the Smith Spectrum or at the door.
Perry is well known and respected throughout North America and Europe as a chamber musician and teacher, presenting masterclasses throughout the world. His numerous awards include highest prizes in the Busoni and Viotti international piano competitions, and at the Marguerite Long international competition in Paris. He is professor of music at the University of Southern California.
Perry's concert will include sonatas of Domenico Scarlatti, works of Schubert and the contemporary Donald Keats, and several Chopin compositions.
Five concerts are scheduled by the NWSQ, on July 2, 6, 9, 16 and 20. USU faculty members Gary Amano, piano and Nicholas Morrison, clarinet are featured in two of the concerts. In addition, student quartets will perform several recitals.