Elissa Greene: Fresh season of music upon us

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Elissa Greene

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

— I'm back, and that can mean only one thing: a fresh season of music is upon us at the Strings Music Pavilion.

Please allow me to re-introduce myself. My name is Elissa Greene, and I am the education and IT director for Strings Music Festival. In the following weeks, you will read about upcoming summer concerts, some exciting things we have done recently and some things to expect to see in the future.

On Thursdays throughout the entire season, beginning this week on the 25th, are the free Music on the Green concerts at the Yampa River Botanic Park. These casual lunchtime concerts feature Strings Young Artists in Residence, the Meridian Quartet - all members of the prestigious New World Symphony in Miami - and several talented local musicians. The Meridian Quartet performs June 25, July 2 and July 9. The July 16 program features the Steamboat Wind Trio, consisting of Steamboat Springs Orchestra and Strings Festival Orchestra members Mary Beth Norris, flute; Gary Foss, clarinet; and John Fairlie, bassoon. Trevor G. Potter performs acoustic American folk music July 23, Steve Boynton and Tim Cunningham play jazz July 30, Western band Yampa Valley Boys perform August 6, and folk group Legal Tender are featured August 13.

This Saturday is Opening Night featuring the Strings Festival Orchestra with violin soloist Elmar Oliveira, kicking off the regular Strings summer season. Oliveira has been nominated twice for Grammy Awards, and he remains the only American violinist to win the Gold Medal at the Tchaikovsky International Competition. He also was the first violinist to win the coveted Avery Fisher Prize. Other winners include Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, Joshua Bell and Midori. He will be performing Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto. The orchestra also will perform Visions and Miracles by contemporary American composer Christopher Theofanidis and Beethoven's 8th Symphony.

On Sunday, Strings presents Four Bitchin' Babes. These women are hilarious. And they're amazing musicians. If you missed their past shows at Strings, you really want to make it to this one. I recommend it for a girls' night out, but they're not too hard on men, so guys, don't feel like you won't be welcome. At this show, we will be getting a sneak preview of their new album, Diva Nation, due out this September.

Because of the constant overwhelming demand for Tuesday youth concerts - some of this year's events sold out in just a week - we have added an encore performance of Taiko With Toni at 1 p.m. June 30. Taiko drumming incorporates percussion on large drums and dance movements while playing. Toni Yagami, of Denver, performs in traditional costume using different sizes of taiko drums, various hand percussion, bamboo flutes and the koto, a Japanese harp. At $10 for adults and $1 for children, this is a great one for the whole family.

Stay tuned every Monday to read my column for all the reasons you won't want to miss the concerts at the Strings Music Pavilion this summer.

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