Strings Music Festival in Steamboat receives NEA grant |

Strings Music Festival in Steamboat receives NEA grant

National Endowment for the Arts gives $10,000 for chamber music

Margaret Hair

Contemporary composers Mike Garson, pictured, and David Stock will act as composers-in-resident for the Strings Music Festival this year. The festival was awarded a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

— A grant from the National Endowment for the Arts will help support Strings Music Festival programming honoring Jewish-American composers this summer.

Festival organizers received con­­fi­rmation of the $10,000 grant Thursday, said Jennifer Shea, marketing and development manager for the summer music festival. The grant will help underwrite musicians' fees and overall programming costs for several concerts featuring classical and jazz music in late July and early August, Shea said.

The funding comes from the National Endowment of the Arts' 2010 American Masterpieces grant program in chamber music. Strings' grant request outlines a chamber music festival celebrating influential Jewish-American composers Leonard Bernstein and Aaron Copland, according to the website for the National Endowment for the Arts.

Concerts scheduled for July 21, July 24, Aug. 1, Aug. 4 and Aug. 7 fit into Strings Music Festival's usual classical programming, with smaller, chamber-oriented concerts Wednesday evenings and larger, full-fledged concerts on Saturday evenings. Event organizers worked closely with music directors Andrés Cárdenes and Monique Mead to develop programming for those concerts that fit the theme of Jewish-American music, Shea said.

"The grant is for their (NEA) chamber music part of their programming, and in particular, American masterpieces. We happened to notice that it was the 20th anniversary of the death of Leonard Bernstein and Aaron Copland this year," Shea said. Branching out from the influence of those composers, Strings incorporated pieces by American writers including George Gershwin and Lukas Foss.

Also included in grant-related programming are two events in a new Meet the Composers Series. Contemporary composers Mike Garson and David Stock will act as composers-in-residence for the festival, giving performances and leading free educational events at Bud Werner Memorial Library. Stock is featured July 21; Garson is featured July 28.

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Strings plans to create podcasts of concerts and lecture events involved with the grant, Shea said. The summer music festival with a focus on chamber work received tentative approval for its first successful NEA grant proposal on April 1, Shea said.

"Strings has tried to receive funding from the NEA for several years, to no avail, so this was wonderful news for us," Shea said.


Concerts included in National Endow­ment for the Arts grant programming:

■ Meet the Composer Series with David Stock, 12:15 p.m. July 21: Strings composer-in-residence Stock leads an educational event. Free

■ Donors’ Concert, 7 p.m. July 21: Musicians Wendy Chen, Michael Kaeshammer and others present a diverse program. $22 for adults, $5 for juniors (children ages 6 to 18)

■ Classical Concert, 8 p.m. July 24: The program features Aaron Copland’s Sonata for Violin and Piano and a selection by composer-in-residence David Stock. $30 for adults, $5 for juniors

■ Meet the Composer Series with Mike Garson, 12:15 p.m. July 28: Strings composer-in-residence Garson leads an educational event. Free

■ Community Matinee Concert, 4:30 p.m. Aug. 1: This program features a combination of classical and jazz music. Free

■ Classical Concert, 7 p.m. Aug. 4: The program features Leonard Bernstein’s Sonata for Clarinet and Piano, Anton Arensky’s Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor, and Carl Maria von Weber’s Clarinet Quintet in B-Flat Major. $28 for adults, $5 for juniors

■ Classical Concert, 8 p.m. Aug. 7: The program includes Three American Pieces for Clarinet and Piano, a Richard Stoltzman arrangement of a Lukas Foss composition; Mozart’s Piano Quintet in G minor; and Brahms’ Piano Quartet No. 1 in G minor. $28 for adults, $5 for juniors

All concerts are at the Strings Music Pavilion at Pine Grove and Mount Werner roads. The two meet-the-composer events are at Bud Werner Memorial Library, 1289 Lincoln Ave. For more information, go to or call 879-5056.

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