VIDEO: Summer festival begins at Academy of Music

By Cliff Lewis

Saturday evening, June 13, was the opening concert of the Pennsylvania Academy of Music’s (PAM) 2009 international summer music festival, “Vivace!” The program consisted of three orchestral pieces, two of which were written by Felix Mendelssohn, the nineteenth century composer with a knack for the dramatic.

The festival, now in its tenth year, was conceived during the late 90s with a series of outdoor summer concerts. As the annual tradition flourished, it continued to draw premier music talent from various corners of the world, including Italy, Hungary, and China. One defining quality of the festival is the friendly intermingling of these special guests with PAM student and faculty talent.

Saturday’s performance was both simple and lively. The first piece, Mendelssohn’s “Octet in E flat major, op. 20” (sampled in the video below), was perhaps the most moving, as the string octet gracefully swept through a persistently epic composition. The second performance, Carl Maria von Weber’s “Clarinet Quintet in B flat Major, op. 34,” was light and playful, showcasing the agility of clarinetist Doris Hall-Gulati. The evening concluded with the Newstead Trio’s pounding performance of Mendelsson’s “Trio in D minor, op. 49.”

The following video features a sample of the first performance, along with a few images from that night in Lancaster City:

[youtube 3tR0OtxSKOw 640 385]

“Vivace!” will continue, with twelve different performances, until June 27. To find out more about the festival, including show times, please click here.