Stories

By Sam Rosenblatt - July 11, 2018

Every day our peaceful woods are filled with the sounds of the assembly. The faint rustle of leaves in the wind, the jaunty laughter of children at play, the sweet “thwack” of a ball and racket meeting in air, to all of us who have waited throughout the year to be here, these sounds are music to our ears. A few times a summer, though, a different kind of music dances from the Meeting House stage: the composed and dazzling notes of the artists who visit our little slice of paradise. This summer we are incredibly lucky to have some big names coming to perform in these hallowed woods. You can thank Ken Cox for this year’s amazing lineup of concerts. See you there.

The Dutton Concert: July 14 7:30pm - Meeting House

The annual Dutton concert will be a duo piano recital featuring Liza Wu and Susan Osborn playing music by Mozart, Ravel, Poulenc and more. 

DuttonOsbornOsborn holds degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, The New School for Music Study, and Smith College, including her D.M. in Piano Performance and Pedagogy. She continued her musical education post-grad by studying at the American Conservatory at Fontainebleau, France, and L’Ecole Normale de Musique, Paris, as a recipient of a Harriet Hale Woolley Scholarship. Osborn now sits as Keyboard Skills faculty of the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University and teaches private and group piano at the Northwestern University Music Academy and Interlochen Arts Camp.

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Osborn’s forte for group piano and connection to Interlochen bring her both to us and together with Liza Wu, who has served as a long-time affiliate with the Interlochen Arts Camp, Institutes, and College of Creative Arts. Currently a pianist in New York, Wu has also served as an affiliate at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, the Big Brass 'Brothers on the Battlefield', Barnard College/Columbia University, New York University, the School for Strings, and the Westchester Conservatory of Music. Previously, she has served as faculty, musician, or director for a long list of distinguished organizations including: the National Chorale, the Church of St. Denis, the Bronx Opera, Chelsea Opera & Orchestra, the Diller-Quaile School of Music and as a sideline musician for NBC's music series “Smash.” Despite her vast experience with such large-scale music, Wu remains an avid lover of the serenity and beauty of plants and birds, so be sure to stop by and welcome her to our peaceful little refuge.

The Burrows-Getz Concert: July 28 7:30pm - Meeting House

This year’s Burrows-Getz artist is the internationally recognized Czech Pianist Karolina Syrovatkova, who aims to bring a fascinating twist to the concert series with her performance, “Clara.” As someone who uniquely combines theater and a classical music concert, Syrovatkova’s work is rooted in her belief that, “Art should be experienced on many levels and should be accessible to everyone.”

But that is not to say that this “drama concert” won’t please the classics buffs too. Her work has won both the North London International CompetitioBGConcertSyrovatkovan and the Sidney M. Wright Presidential Competition, echoes both the pianistic lineage of the European and American schools, and utilizes the well-established principles of the Alexander Technique which “…improve[s] the quality of the physical movements involved in playing an instrument or singing … [and] helps improve the quality of the music itself.” Syrovatkova’s performance at the Meeting House will be her original show, “Clara,” which is part of her “Living With the Great Composers” series. Called “transporting” by Charlotte McLain, Director of BRL Concert Series, “Clara” focuses on the music and lives of the three famous pianists, Johannes Brahms, his muse, Clara Schumann, and her husband Robert Schumann—using dramatic theater, including dialogue, to bring out the subtle and not-so-subtle influences that this complicated relationship had on the music of all three.

To find out more about Karolina Syrovatkova, this performance, or to hear a sample of her music, visit her website at https://www.pianistkarolina.com/

The Armstrong Concert: August 4th 7:30pm - Meeting House

Our Armstrong Concert will be also be performed by an artist with roots at Interlochen. Soprano Sage DeAgro-Ruopp’s studies began with the Interlochen Arts Academy where she quickly made a name for herself as a winner of the Interlochen concerto competition, and as a guest on “A Prairie Home Companion Show with Garrison Keillor.” Between academic years at Interlochen, she studied at the summer program “Oberlin in Italy” under the tutelage of Duane Mahy. She continued her studies with Mahy at the Oberlin Conservatory where she performed the roles of Corilla from Donizetti’s “Viva la mamma,” La Fee from Massenet’s “Cendrillon,” and Morgana from Handel’s “Alcina,” which we will get a sample of at the Meeting House, along with works from Mozart, Mendelssohn, Strauss, Rodrigo, Vitezslava Kapralova, and Bernstein.

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During her time at Oberlin DeAgro-Ruopp sang with several ensembles including as a soloist with the Contemporary Music Ensemble premiering “The Sandburg Songs” under the baton of conductor Timothy Weiss. DeAgro-Ruopp has performed in masterclasses with renowned musicians such as Mikael Eliasen, Danielle Orlando, Barbara Hannigan, Marilyn Horne, and composer Ben Moore. She now holds a performance diploma from Oberlin (’18) and is continuing her undergraduate and graduate studies at the Curtis Institute of Music under the tutelage of Marlena Malas. Her most recent roles at Curtis include Melisande from Debussy’s “Impressions de Pelleas,” Bessie from Kurt Weill’s “Mahagonney ein Songspiel” and Monica from Menotti’s “The Medium.”

For an article about DeAgro-Ruopp’s earlier years, see http://www.interlochen.org/story/onward-greatness or listen to the “A Prairie Home Companion With Garrison Keillor” episode on which she performed at https://www.prairiehome.org/shows/56429.html