Welcome To Our 17th SeasonFrom the Artistic Director
Welcome, cherished audience members, to our 17th season of the Michigan City Chamber Music Festival, “The American Musical Experience!” This is a theme which has inspired me greatly, touched me emotionally, and moved me to action, as the grandson of hard-working, America loving, immigrants.
We start with a loving tribute to our own MCCMF musicians and their ethnicities. Zofia Glashauser, a Polish immigrant herself, with music from her native Poland. Rudolf Haken, the son of German immigrants, will play music of the greatest of all German composers, J.S. Bach. Lastly, myself, the grandson of immigrants, Mexican and Serbian, will offer music of those nationalistic traditions. We will pay tribute all week to Antonin Dvorak, a Czech composer, who emigrated to America late in his life to teach young American composers. He was seminal in the development of American composers, as he taught them to use the musical influences of their own country, like Native American lullaby, and the spirituals of the newly freed slaves, in the forming of great American classical music.
We also will pay tribute to the incredible woodwind tradition of Czechoslovakia, with an evening dedicated almost completely to woodwinds. This is a very special night of love, family, and fun, as Nancy Ambrose and William King bring their sons along to perform with them! On Wednesday we present “The Immigrant Song” which highlights music written by immigrant composers. Yes, the title of this evening is a tip of the hat to one of my favorite rock bands… who can guess which one?
Friday night will surely be a memorable one, as we pay tribute to Leonard Bernstein, the quintessential American composer. We will present his beloved songs, as well as his exciting Sonata for Clarinet and Piano. We will also present music of Grammy-winning American composer Jennifer Higdon and Samuel Barber; his string quartet, the middle movement better know as “adagio for strings,” perhaps the single greatest piece of music ever written by an American.
Finally, we close the season with more music of Dvorak, songs of Aaron Copland and Emily Dickinson, and a very special collaboration. Our own Rudolf Haken will premiere 4 arrangements of gospel and hip pop spiritual songs written by John Legend, Beyoncé, John P. Kee, and more! We will be joined by the incredible gospel voices of the New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, with their Music Director, Brandon Lampkin.
Throughout the week we will present our usual 3 “Concerts for Children,” which will highlight rhythm and dance. As always we will have music, song, art projects, and pizza! Great events for families. Join us, in celebration of our American diversity, and the strength which comes from our many colors from many lands, and a thousand tongues to sing!
MCCMF Artistic Director, Co-founder, and violinist