The University of Colorado’s Tesla Quartet, the new quartet-in-residence at Strings Music Festival, will kick off Music on the Green’s free lunchtime concert series Thursday.

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The University of Colorado’s Tesla Quartet, the new quartet-in-residence at Strings Music Festival, will kick off Music on the Green’s free lunchtime concert series Thursday.

Strings Music Festival: Toasting to a new season

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Elissa Greene

On July 16, 1988, Strings in the Mountains, now known as Strings Music Festival, presented its first concert, on the deck of the Steamboat Athletic Club at Storm Meadows. I was there that night. My mom said there is a chance I fell asleep before the concert was over, but I was only 5, and it was after my bedtime.

Twenty-five years later, it is my pleasure to welcome you to this year’s season. I look forward to sharing with you the upcoming music and musicians of Strings each week.

On Saturday, the season kicks off with the Strings Festival Orchestra, conducted by Andres Cardenes, featuring cello soloist Gary Hoffman. Hoffman was the first North American to win the prestigious Rostropovich International Competition. He will perform Antonin Dvorak’s cello concerto with the orchestra. The concert also features Dvorak’s Seventh Symphony and music by Russian composer Mikhail Glinka.

Following the concert is a one-of-a-kind celebration: Light Up the Night. The Strings Guild raised more than $12,500, which supports musicians such as Daniel Bernard Roumain, who inspired nearly 3,000 students, teachers, parents and community members in May. The volunteer Strings Guild concludes this yearlong fundraiser that supports Strings School Days and youth music education with a Champagne toast under the new lights in the Strings Park. All community members and concert attendees are welcome to attend.

Free lunchtime concerts start next Thursday as part of Music on the Green. The series begins with the new quartet-in-residence, the Tesla Quartet, of the University of Colorado. In the past six months, this young quartet has won the Gold Medal at the 2012 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and third prize in the 2012 London International String Quartet Competition. They will perform four free concerts at the Yampa River Botanic Park on Thursday, July 5, July 12 and July 19. Four other Music on the Green concerts feature local favorites: Trevor G. Potter and Walt Seabert on July 26; Old Town Pickers on Aug. 2; Steve Boynton Trio on Aug. 9; and Jon Gibbs and Randy Kelley on Aug. 16.

Check out our new locals deal. We have half-price tickets to classical concerts. Visit the box office to purchase these tickets.

Stay tuned for a very exciting 25th anniversary season from Strings Music Festival.

Elissa Greene is the director of artistic administration, education and technology at Strings Music Festival. She can be reached at elissa@stringsmusicfestival.com or 970-879-5056, ext. 100.

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