For more information about the 22nd season of Strings Music Festival, go to www.stringsmusicfestival.com. Tickets for summer concerts go on sale March 30. To purchase tickets, call the Strings box office at 879-5056, ext. 105, or buy online at www.stringsmusicfestival.com.
Steamboat Springs Violinist Elmar Oliveira will open the 22nd season of the Strings Music Festival, starting a summer of music that includes performances by The Neville Brothers, country musician Chris Hillman and guitarist Jason Vieaux.
Strings announced part of its 2009 season Wednesday; festival organizers plan to roll out a full schedule by the end of March.
Oliveira performs with an orchestra June 27 to open the season. Oliveira - a 2009 Grammy Award nominee and the only American violinist to win a gold medal at the International Tchaikovsky Competition - will perform Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto, among other works.
Topping the bill of the festival's Different Tempo Series are performances July 2 and 3 by New Orleans R&B legends The Neville Brothers. It's one of the biggest shows Strings has ever produced, said Executive Director Kay Clagett.
"With the number of people performing and the complexity of it, this is a big show. It's very involved," Clagett said. Also on the 2009 Different Tempo schedule are Canadian fiddlers the Leahy family, blues singer Ruthie Foster, bluegrass band Cherryholmes and country musician Chris Hillman.
The festival's classical music programming has changed shape with the introduction of music directors Andres CÃ¡rdenes and Monique Mead, Clagett said.
Wednesday night classical concerts will offer shorter works and a 90-minute, intermission-free program. Those concerts will feature world music, works by contemporary composers and a multimedia presentation.
Saturday night concerts will remain flagship events featuring recognizable repertoire and artists such as pianist Jon Kimura Parker, violinist Chee-Yun and the as-yet-unannounced winner of the 2009 Van Cliburn Piano Competition.
"It's a difference that, when we began the festival in 1988, Wednesday nights were shorter," Clagett said. "It's just an easier way for people to sit at a classical concert in the middle of the week, and be introduced, if need be, to classical music."
Clagett said the festival has confirmed more than 80 performances for this summer, including one big-name act to be announced by the end of March. Performers for the Youth & Family Concert Series will be included in the 2009 Strings Music Festival brochure.
Season ticket packages will start at $277, the same as they were for the 2008 Strings season; tickets for individual concerts will stay between $10 to $50, similar to 2008, Clagett said. Tickets go on sale March 30.