Thursday, August 16, 2012

61st Washington College Community Concert Series Promises Strings, Brass, Piano, Percussion

CHESTERTOWN, MD—The 61st Season of the Washington College Community Concert Series will bring international artists to the Gibson Center for the Arts to perform a range of classical and modern music. The Series begins October 6 with The Russian Trio, followed by Ethos Percussion Group in early November. The new year will bring the Axiom Brass Quintet in late January and the Calidore String Quartet in March. Pianist Inna Faliks will close the Series in April.
            Tickets to individual concerts ($15, or $5 for youth ages 18 and under) and season tickets ($50 for all five concerts) can be purchased at the door or in advance. Patron levels, which include season tickets, begin at $75 per person. Washington College students are admitted free with a valid ID. There are no reserved seats. To purchase tickets or become a patron, please call 410-778-7839 or e-mail concert series director Kate Bennett at
            Following is a summary of the season. Please check the Washington College Web site ( closer to each date to confirm details and get more information. Both Decker Theatre and the Hotchkiss Recital Hall are located in the Gibson Center for the Arts on the Washington College campus, 30 Washington Avenue, Chestertown.

The Russian Trio, Saturday, October 6, at 7:30 p.m. in Decker Theatre.
            The young musicians of the Russian Trio began making their individual marks in their native country as child prodigies, winning prestigious competitions and performing throughout Europe and the Americas. After coming to Baltimore for graduate studies at the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University, the three—a pianist, a violinist and a cellist—formed the Trio in September of 2011 and quickly began making their collective mark, as well.  This past March the Russian Trio won both the Silver Medal and the Audience Choice Award at the 2012 Chesapeake Chamber Music Competition in Easton.
            Pianist Katherine Harris Rick made her debut at age 9 in her hometown of Yakutsk, Siberia, winning the Republic of Yakutia Competition for Young Pianists, and never looked back. She earned honors and awards from the World Piano Competition, the Rachmaninoff Competition for Young Pianists, and the International Russian Music Piano Competition. Her musical education continued with a full scholarship to Azusa Pacific University at age 15 and a full graduate assistantship in accompanying at the Peabody Conservatory.
            Violinist Nikita Borisevich began studying the violin at age 5, first played with the Perm Opera Symphony Orchestra at 12, and won Russia’s  “Magical Bow” national competition for violinists and cellists at 15. He was admitted on a full scholarship to the Moscow Conservatory.  An avid chamber musician as well as soloist, Nikita won a Grand Prix in the 2011 International Chamber Music Competition in St. Petersburg, Russia. This year, he made his debut at the Moscow Philharmonic Society. Borisevich is pursuing graduate studies at both the Peabody Conservatory and the Moscow Conservatory.  
            Cellist Dmitry Volkov has performed as a soloist with the National Symphony of Mexico, the Youth Orchestra of the Americas, the Samara Symphony Orchestra, the Togliatti Symphony, and the Naberezhyne Chelny Symphony.  He has won numerous scholarships and awards, including the Stephen Kates Memorial Scholarship in Cello and the First Act Heifetz Institute Scholarship. He is pursuing an Artist Diploma at the Peabody Conservatory.  

Ethos Percussion Group, Sunday, November 4, at 4 p.m., in Decker Theatre.
            The energetic Ethos Percussion Group combines global influences with contemporary classical repertoire to perform with what The New York Times has described as “expert togetherness, sensitivity, and zest.” The Group, founded in 1989, currently includes accomplished percussionists Trey Files, Michael Lipsey, Eric Phinney and Yousif Sheronick. 
            In their 20-plus years of performance, Ethos has played in major concert venues throughout the United States and United Kingdom, including Carnegie Hall, the Bermuda Festival, and London’s Wigmore Hall. The Group has commissioned more than 25 works for percussion quartet from composers in the musical traditions of Argentina, China, Ghana, Indonesia, Palestine, and more. It has released six albums since 1996, including a collaboration with the Philadelphia Virtuosi String Orchestra.

Axiom Brass Quintet, Friday, January 25, at 7:30 p.m. in Hotchkiss Recital Hall.
            The award-winning Axiom Brass Quintet features a repertoire ranging from jazz and Latin music to string quartet transcriptions, as well as original compositions for brass quintet. The talented five-man group is the only brass quintet to win the prestigious Chamber Music Yellow Springs Competition (2012), and it has also earned top honors at brass competitions that include the 2008 International Chamber Brass Competition and the Jeju City International Brass Quintet Competition in South Korea. Axiom has entertained all over the globe, and its educational concerts for young audiences earned a 2011 Fischoff Educator Award.
            The Quintet has partnered with the New York Philharmonic Brass Quintet, the Chicago Symphony Brass Quintet, the Chicago Chamber Musicians and the Fischoff Chamber Music Society. The Quintet is also an Ensemble-in-Residence at the Music Institute of Chicago and at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. This season, Axiom will release the next album of its “New Standards” series and a third album, Sacred Brass.

Calidore String Quartet, Wednesday, March 6, at 7:30 p.m. in  Hotchkiss Recital Hall
            The up-and-coming Calidore Quartet features violinists Jeffrey Myers and Ryan Meehan, violist Jeremy Berry, and cellist Estelle Choi. The last two years have seen the group’s popularity surge, from its debut in October 2010 in front of a sold-out audience at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica, Cal., to its grand prize wins at the 2012 Coleman Chamber Ensemble Competition and the Chesapeake Chamber Music Competition. Calidore has toured across the United States and collaborated with major music names that include Joshua Bell and the Calder Quartet.
            Individually, the members of the quartet have worked with a number of notable ensembles and artists, among them the Tokyo, St. Lawrence, and Cavani string quartets, and musicians Paul Coletti, Joseph Silverstein, and John Perry.

Inna Faliks, piano, Saturday, April 13, at 7:30 p.m. in Decker Theatre.
            Ukrainian-born pianist Inna Faliks has garnered a reputation as an adventurous and passionate performer since beginning her career with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra five years after moving to the United States at age 15. Faliks has played in prestigious venues worldwide, including Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Paris’ Salle Cortot, Chicago’s Orchestra Hall, and Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Hall, with acclaimed conductors Leonard Slatkin, Keith Lockhart, and Edward Polochick, to name a few. Her 2009 CD, “Sound of Verse,” garnered rave reviews from Gramophone, American Record Guide, and other music publications.
            An innovative artist, Faliks plays new and rarely heard music; her work with the unknown piano pieces of Russian writer Boris Pasternak led to a recording and a lecture recital series at the University of Chicago. The unique stamp she puts on her work has helped her win numerous competitions and awards, including the coveted International Pro Musicis Award in 2005 and first prize in the Yale Gordon Competition at the Peabody Conservatory. Committed to audience communication and education, Faliks is the founder and curator of the interdisciplinary Music/Words series, which features live poetry and classical music performances in New York City.