Elissa Greene: Strings has something for everyone
July 10, 2011
Steamboat Springs — Strings Music Festival's biggest weekend of the summer has arrived. With concerts throughout the week and weekend ranging from country to rock to Broadway, we'll surely have you singing and dancing along with us. For our bicycle enthusiasts, don't miss the Strings Kitchen and Garden Tour, where you can pedal your way to beautiful Steamboat homes.
Starting off the week Tuesday, songwriter and illustrator Morgan Taylor presents two multimedia performances of live music, animated illustrations and storytelling. In these shows, Taylor features his creation, "Gustafer Yellowgold," a friendly yellow alien who has come to Earth from the Sun to live an explorer's life in the Minnesota woods. And it's not just for kids; Taylor's show has opened for acts such as Wilco and Polyphonic Spree. Come at 11 a.m. or 5:30 p.m. to experience this highly creative show.
Angela Cheng and Alvin Chow return to the Strings stage Wednesday to perform works for two pianos and four hands on one piano. These two artists, both faculty at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, have won numerous individual competitions and performed together for many years as a husband and wife duo. Their dazzling program features the Gypsy-flavored Hungarian Dances by Brahms and Slavonic Dances by Dvorák as well as works by French composers.
Country legend Marty Stuart takes the Strings stage for the first time Friday, where he will be joined by his band, His Fabulous Superlatives. Stuart is known best for traditional country music, winning five Grammy awards and touring with Johnny Cash. He is a member of the Grand Ole Opry and hosts a self-titled television show that features up-and-coming country musicians.
On Saturday, the Strings Guild presents the annual Kitchen and Garden Tour. Drive, bike or take a shuttle to each home to tour creative kitchens and gardens throughout the Yampa Valley.
Canadian folk rock band Great Big Sea performs Saturday night. The band members hail from my home province of Newfoundland and have been performing together for 18 years. Their roots are in the traditional instruments and folk tunes of Newfoundland, but their shows feel something like a night in a friendly (if a bit rowdy) pub. Great Big Sea has been nominated for several Juno awards, including four times for Group of the Year.
The free community matinee concert takes place Sunday at 4:30 p.m. This show, entitled "Bach to Broadway," features three young musicians. Steamboat audiences will recognize marimba player Simon Boyar and pianist Alpin Hong from the Strings School Days program in which these artists collaborated with area student musicians. The third artist, singer Jessica Tivens, returns to Strings after a long hiatus to perform everything from opera arias to pop songs. There's something for everyone in the family in this fun, free concert of exceptional music. You'll find open seating throughout the pavilion and Strings Park.