Concert melds diverse musicianship

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Keeping with the Beaux Arts Festival's spirit of melding diverse performing arts, the Beaux Arts Symphony Concert will bring bluegrass, Brahms and "La BohÃme" together for a free community concert Thursday night on Headwall.

The open-air concert begins with the foot-stomping sounds of Bearfoot Bluegrass, continues with an orchestra performance of classical music selections, and closes with a vocal sampling by internationally renowned opera singers. The concert includes seasoned professionals performing alongside many of the Yampa Valley's musicians and singers.

What: Beaux Arts Symphony Concert When: 6 p.m. Thursday Where: Headwall, at the base of the Steamboat Ski Area Cost: Free

"It's a really light, enjoyable outdoors concert. It's very easy to listen to," said David Felberg, guest conductor for the Beaux Arts Symphony. He brings his expertise in collaborative community concerts from New Mexico, where he is conductor of the Albuquerque Philharmonic, a community orchestra he described as similar to the Steamboat Springs Chamber Orchestra. Felberg is also a violinist for the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra.

"I chose music that is manageable, given the rehearsal time," Felberg said. "These are songs that are familiar to the ear."

Bearfoot Bluegrass, a young, five-member bluegrass band from Alaska that won the 2001 Telluride Bluegrass Festival band competition, starts the evening's showcase with talented string-picking and soulful, original harmonies.

For the evening's classical component, the Beaux Arts Symphony Concert features a full orchestra with 40 to 50 musicians, Felberg said. The orchestra will be playing Johannes Brahms' "Hungarian Dances" and Latin American pieces by Astor Piazzolla and Alberto Gimenez.

Felix Wurman, a veteran of the Chicago Lyric Opera Orchestra and the New Mexico Symphony, will perform Peter Tchaikovsky's "Pezzo Cappricio," a piece Felberg called "a virtuoso show piece for cello."

Felberg characterized the concert's range of classical music as "lively and lots of fun to listen to."

With the Emerald City Opera's production of "La BohÃme" on the horizon, the Beaux Arts Symphony Concert polishes off the evening with some of the internationally renowned opera talent that is hanging around Steamboat. LeRoy Lehr, a veteran of the Metropolitan Opera, will sing an aria from "Cavaliera Rusticana," and Dominique Morales and Kara Shay Thompson will perform a duet from "La BohÃme." Opera singer Keri Rusthoi, founder of the Emerald City Opera, will end the evening with a solo performance that previews her company's 2005 performance of "The Merry Widow."

The free Beaux Arts Symphony Concert starts at 6 p.m. on Headwall at the base of the Steamboat Ski Area.

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