Professional pianist Alpin Hong returns to Steamboat Springs this week for performances tonight and Tuesday at the Strings Music Pavilion.

Courtesy Photo

Professional pianist Alpin Hong returns to Steamboat Springs this week for performances tonight and Tuesday at the Strings Music Pavilion.

Elissa Greene: Alpin Hong returns to Strings

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Elissa Greene

Elissa Greene's "This Week in Strings" column appears Mondays in Steamboat Today.

This week marks the return of Beatlemania - Alpin Hong style - to the Strings stage.

This will be Hong's fifth visit to Steamboat Springs in the past two years. During his previous visits, the professional pianist was part of Strings' youth touring programs and the inaugural Strings School Days & Class Acts! For a week in May, Strings hosted 2,500 area schoolchildren, community members and music lovers at the Strings Music Pavilion in a series of daytime performances featuring Hong performing with area school ensembles.

The culmination of those events was an evening performance of more than 200 youth performers from Christian Heritage School, Lowell Whiteman Primary School, Moffat County High School, Steamboat Springs Middle School and Steamboat Springs High School. This program was called Strings Class Acts! and was the first time a concert of this magnitude was performed on the Strings Music Pavilion stage.

Alpin Hong returns to perform tonight and Tuesday.

Tonight, as a thank-you to our 2009 donors, Strings' Music Directors Andres Cárdenes and Monique Mead, along with Hong, will perform a light concert of showy pieces, including a special performance by "Steamboat Suzuki Strings," a combined group of Lowell Whiteman Primary School music students - who performed as part of Strings Class Acts! - and students of Mary Anne Fairlie and Teresa Steffen Greenlee. Tickets are available for purchase.

Tuesday morning, Alpin presents an encore performance of "Movies to Games, Classically Trained." I've seen this show 29 times - really - and I still laugh every time. If you have children who had the opportunity to come see him perform on their field trips to Strings in May, ask them what they thought and see if they want to go. But be ready for them to drag you to the Pavilion to enjoy the show. Tickets usually become available before the performance, so stop by the box office at 10 a.m. to get on the wait list.

On Wednesday is a concert featuring the Juno Award-winning ensemble the Gryphon Trio. The program includes music by contemporary Greek composer Christos Hatzis, and Hindemith, Dvorák and Mozart. At noon Wednesday, join concert commentator Dr. Ken Greene for a free talk with the Gryphon Trio about their upcoming programs on stage at the Strings Music Pavilion.

Friday welcomes a double bill, with southern country rock veterans Darrell Scott Band and newcomers to the bluegrass scene, the Abalone Dots. Grammy nominee Darrell Scott has played on solo albums and with Guy Clark, Randy Travis and Joan Baez. Suzy Bogguss, Garth Brooks, Faith Hill, Kathy Mattea and The Dixie Chicks have all featured Scott's original songs on their albums. Darrell Scott recently has been featured in local bluegrass radio hours, as well as a recording on "etown," a radio variety show.

The Abalone Dots just crossed the Atlantic from a tour in Sweden and won a Swedish folk/bluegrass Grammy this year. The four Swedish women have been playing together for more than six years and have toured Europe, Sweden, Tanzania and the U.S.

The Gryphon Trio returns to the stage on July 25 for a special Saturday classical concert. This performance features "and the masks evoke..." by contemporary composer Ka-Nin Chan, featuring a hauntingly beautiful multimedia work based on the indigenous Haida culture of the Pacific Northwest Coast. Also featured is Brahms' powerful Piano Quintet, where the Gryphon Trio will be joined by violinist Cárdenes and violist Rebecca Albers.

Elissa Greene is education and information technology director, and advertising coordinator, for the Strings Music Festival. Contact her at 970-879-5056, ext. 100, or elissa@stringsmusicfestival.com.

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