Taconic Music looks forward to summer season

Four guest groups, programming with variety

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Taconic Music returns this June with a four-week chamber music festival in addition its already existing year-round education programs.

Taconic 2.0 is the second annual summer festival that will run from June 22 to July 15 at the Riley Center for the Arts at Burr and Burton Academy.

Artistic Directors Joana Genova and Ariel Rudiakov said this year is a bit of an upgrade with the modern title, intended to see what students have accomplished and what new guests will bring to the table. There will also be four master classes instead of two.

"We always want some kind of element of surprise -- new music or people," Genova said. "We're always trying to find a balance of figuring out how to preserve the tradition and still make it interesting."

Concerts for the summer festival will be on Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.; June 23 and 30, July 7 and 14. Tickets cost $25 for adults and $10 for students and children. Advance purchase tickets for adults are $20 and can be purchased online or by phone before 2 p.m. on the day of the concert.

Master classes, setup as open rehearsals, are two hours long and open to the public. The directors encourage those who can't attend a concert to visit a master class to get a behind-the-scenes look at how the guest performers interact with each other and discuss the arrangement of pieces, for example.

"There's a lot of discussion and detail," Rudiakov said. "It's interesting and entertaining; the human element of music making. It is a working rehearsal. We're also in the interest of making things as accessible as possible to as many people as possible."

Master classes will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. on Fridays June 22, June 29, July 6 and July 13.

"We have four diverse group of guests coming and a resident faculty with 100 years of teaching experience between them," Rudiakov said.

A special guest musical group is featured for each concert, as well as a collaboration with Taconic Music faculty and students during certain arrangements.

The Shanghai Quartet will open the festival on June 23 with pieces from Ludwig van Beethoven, Yi-Wen Jiang and Felix Mendelssohn. On June 30 the Enso String Quartet will play music from Edward Elgar, Joaquin Turina, Lou Harrison and Beethoven. On July 7 the Horszowski Trio will play music from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Maurice Ravel and Ralph Vaughan Williams. The Indianapolis Quartet, a new addition to the festival and Genova's latest musical act, will close the festival on July 14 with two pieces; one from Claude Debussy and the other by Johannes Brahms.

"[We look at] who are the right people for the job... not only in terms of skills with their instruments," Rudiakov said. "We have a group of faculty members and guests who have an awful lot of experience doing what they do. We know there are good pianists out there. It has to do with chemistry -- whether its a rock band or chamber music, it's the same thing. Chemistry and how you get along together as people."

After the musicians are chosen, the program comes together. With Taconic Music's year round classes, Rudiakov said he hopes to incorporate electric instruments more, and that's what the last concert involves; pure rock and roll. Instead of having a theme for the festival, the directors decide on programming good music with not too long of a concert.

"We love the collaborative dynamic," Rudiakov said. "In our case, during the summer at Taconic we're putting ingredients into a pot that we know are flavorful and adding something new here and there for variety. We're not hung up on a program."

The community has welcomed Taconic Music throughout the past year as it worked to become an established nonprofit, which officially occurred on April 9. Taconic Music resident musicians regularly perform at the Manchester Community Library and the Zion Episcopal Church.

"We're not going anywhere, we're very much in this for the long haul," Rudiakov said. "Our hope is to be here for many years to come and to increase and amplify what we can do for the community and for their human experiences."

For more information on Taconic 2.0, the Taconic Music's 2018 summer chamber music festival visit taconicmusic.org.

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