By Lucy De Souza
From jazz to rock, music concerts have become popular weekend entertainment this summer. But for those who prefer the classical music scene, two nights of chamber and choral music will be coming to the East End. The fifth annual Tutti Suonare Weekend will feature live classical music by Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky. The event will take place on two days, Friday in Sag Harbor and Saturday in East Hampton.
The weekend of chamber music is brought to the community by The Perlman Music Program. Based in both New York City and Shelter Island, the program has trained musically gifted, young string players for 17 years.
However, the coaches of these young professionals are not just your average string players; they are world renowned musicians who have dedicated their time to teaching aspiring players.
Cellist and assistant director of the Perlman Music Program Merry Peckham, is a founding member of Cavani String Quartet and winner of the Naumburg Chamber Music Award.
Violinist Don Weilerstein toured globally with the Cleveland Quartet, which he was first violinist in for 20 years, and now currently teaches at the New England Conservatory of Music and the Juilliard School.
Piano instructor Vivian Hornik Weilerstein is the current director of the Professional Piano Trio Training Program at the New England Conservatory and a member of the chamber music faculty of the Juilliard School.
Violinist Itzhak Perlman, the school’s namesake and founder, is a four time Emmy and 15 time Grammy award winner, who has performed at the Academy Awards, for several United States Presidents as well as the Queen of England.
The students performing in Tutti Suonare come from all over the United States, Europe and Israel and are between the ages of 18 and 30. The rising stars, who have studied at prestigious schools such as the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Juilliard School, were personally selected for the program by musician and associate director Merry Peckham.
According to Director of Development Maureen Nash, the students’ dedication to playing music is shown through their focus and commitment to putting on a fantastic show. Having only four days before Tutti Suonare to formally practice the pieces that will be performed, the students have had to commit much time and effort to ensure that it is a success, she said.
Arrangements that were chosen to be apart of the event’s repertoire were selected because they are the fundamentals of chamber music. Some of the songs that will be performed are Beethoven’s Piano Trio in E-Flat Major, Opus 1, No. 1; Shostakovich’s Piano Trio, Opus 67 and Mozart’s Piano Quartet in E-flat Major, K. 493. As an interesting twist to the concert, the string players will also be singing choral music. They will be conducted by their vocal instructor Patrick Romado, a choral director at The Juilliard School.
Rather than students playing with fellow classmates exclusively, the younger musicians will be performing alongside their celebrity teachers. Each performance group will include one faculty member.
“There’s [excitement] for the world’s best musicians to play with a different generation,” Nash said.
Friday night of the Tutti Suonare Weekend will be at the Old Whaler’s Church, where it has taken place for the past four years, chosen for its beauty and great acoustics. Nash emphasized how great it is to bring this performance to the church and the Sag Harbor community. The event will be special, she said, because chamber music is a beautiful genre of music that will be played by “chamber music legends.”
Although this event dedicated to classical music may be formal, Nash assured that the concert will be thrilling for students, teachers and the audience alike as it is a rare opportunity to see famous and soon to be famous, talented musicians perform in the local area.
“It’s a wonderful way to spend a Friday night,” she said.
The Tutti Suonare Weekend of chamber music will be held Friday, August 12 at 7 p.m. at the Old Whaler’s Church and Saturday, August 13 at 8 p.m. at the Jewish Center of the Hamptons in East Hampton. Tickets can be purchased online at http://public.serviceu.com/ticketing.