May 27, 2018
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Going for Baroque: Portland Chamber Music Festival celebrates 20 years

Courtesy of Russ Burleigh
Courtesy of Russ Burleigh
The Portland Chamber Music Festival turns 20 this month.
By Kathleen Pierce, BDN Staff

PORTLAND, Maine — The familiar and much-loved “The Four Seasons” composed by Vivaldi has been performed for centuries.

From winter’s blast to the peeping of spring, followed by the mellifluous flowing melodies of summer, the four violin concerto is a transformative way to spend an evening.

Saturday night the Portland Chamber Festival performs the piece for the first time to celebrate its 20th anniversary. Now that it’s reached maturity, the festival, held at the University of Southern Maine, is showing its range.

Also performed Saturday is Ravel’s “Mother Goose Suite” and “27 Morningside” for piano trio composed by Rhodes scholar Nick DiBerardino. International concertmaster Frank Huang performs Vivaldi.

Next Thursday the Piano Quintet of Brahms includes Hanna Renedo of Orono High School as second violinist. Among this season’s 26 performers staging five concerts, the chamber hosts composers and musicians from the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the University of California at Davis faculty, and pianist Rieko Aizawa of the Horszowski Trio.

Local performers this year include chamber’s artistic director and violinist Jennifer Elowitch, cellist Marc Johnson, violinist Laurie Kennedy, and Maine Public Broadcast Network’s host Suzanne Nance. Nance previously announced she is leaving MPBN at the end of August.

This Sunday there’s a free concert for children called “Oh, What Those Strings Can Do!” at noon.

Evening performances include a pre-concert lecture by Dan Sonenberg, a USM professor and composer.

For tickets, visit or call Brown Paper Tickets, (800) 838-3006.

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