Elissa Greene's "This Week in Strings" column appears Mondays in Steamboat Today.
Steamboat Springs On March 4, 1678, there was an earthquake in Venice, Italy, at the exact moment that Antonio Vivaldi was born. His mother promised God that if he spared little Antonio’s life, she would give her son to God. So as a young man, Antonio was sent to become a priest. Sadly, he suffered horrible panic attacks every time he had to officiate in the services, but strangely enough, performing the violin in church posed no difficulty at all. Unable to retract his vows, he remained a priest but was given the duty of teaching music at a girls orphanage. With his superior talent and technique, the girls orchestra that he created became famous across Europe. It was this school of violin playing that set the standard for modern violin playing.
Strings Music Director Andrés Cárdenes can trace his violin lineage back to Antonio Vivaldi, and on Saturday night, he will perform four of Vivaldi’s most difficult and brilliant violin concertos, entitled La Stravaganza (The Extravagant) with the Strings Festival Orchestra. The other piece on this program is Vivaldi’s Gloria, featuring the orchestra and the Colorado Chamber Choir. This piece was written for the church where Vivaldi was working.
On Tuesday, hip-hop artist Secret Agent 23 Skidoo performs a program for children at 11 a.m. After five years as a father and 13 years of touring nationally as a rapper, 23 Skidoo decided to combine these two things to create “Kid-Hop,” a refreshing blend of child-friendly rhymes and adult-friendly beats.
On Friday, singer/songwriter Marc Cohn returns to the Strings stage. He is best known for his own songs, including “Walking In Memphis,” which won him the Grammy for Best New Artist in 1991. On this visit, he will bring songs from his new record, “Listening Booth 1970,” featuring his personal interpretations of classic songs made famous in 1970 by the most important musicians of our time, including Cat Stevens, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Van Morrison, Smokey Robinson and Creedence Clearwater Revival.
Also this week, don’t miss the final free Music on the Green concert of the season. Local bluegrass band 3Wire performs at 12:15 p.m. Thursday at the Yampa River Botanic Park.