Austerlitz, New York
Body/Soul | Local culture | Local living
16 October 2017 02:08PM
Gina Hyams


Spencertown, New York— Spencertown Academy Concert Series presents Bend the Knotted Oak Chamber Music (BKO) on Saturday, October 21 at 7:30pm. The “Music that Dances!” program features violinist Mitsuko Suzuki, partnered by BKO’s pianist/artistic director Uel Wade. General admission tickets ($20 general public/$15 Academy member/free for young people ages 18 and under) may be purchased in advance via http://www.spencertownacademy.org and will be available at the door. Reservations may also be made at 518-392-3693.

The evening taps Suzuki’s virtuosity in pieces like Tchaikovsky’s Scherzo-Valse, Wieniawski’s Capriccio-Valse, and Miletic’s Danse for Solo Violin. There will also be the humor of Shostakovich’s Polka, the perfume of Ravel’s Habanera, the grit of Piazzolla’s Tanguano, and the quirkiness and melancholy of a Chopin Mazurka, not to mention Ragtime, polka, barn dance, Spanish dance, and African Dance. Because this music dances, much of it is fast. Among the fastest is Fiddle-de-Bop, composed by local celebrity, pianist/arranger/composer, Lincoln Mayorga.

Mitsuko Suzuki’s passion for the violin has taken her across the globe. She was raised in Japan and attended music college in Tokyo, after which she moved to London to study at the Royal Academy of Music. She became a member of the Royal Academy Soloists, the Institute’s celebrated ensemble that toured concert halls and festivals throughout England. During this period, she took part in a master class with the legendary Norbert Brainin, first violinist of the Amadeus String Quartet, and won the Rowsby Woof Violin Prize and the Winifred Small Solo Violin Prize. After graduation from the Academy, she moved the United States to pursue her masters at the Manhattan School of Music. Her contemporary music group was featured on NBC’s Today Show, and she currently performs with many northeastern symphonies and chamber groups, including the Albany and Springfield Symphonies. She teaches privately.

Uel Wade spent most of his career as musical director/conductor/arranger and pianist for musicals on and off Broadway. His credits include Evita, I Remember Mama, and West Side Story. He was instrumental in developing new musicals off Broadway, such as Love, No Way to Treat a Lady, and Portrait of Jennie. He has conducted the Bronx Arts Ensemble, taught music theory at the University of Michigan, and served as musical director/conductor of many regional theaters, including the Berkshire Theater Festival, the Pittsburgh Light Opera, and the Hudson Opera. In addition to sponsoring the Uel Wade Music Scholarship, he currently teaches piano privately and serves as artistic director of Bend the Knotted Oak Chamber Music.

Founded in 1972, Spencertown Academy Arts Center is a cultural center and community resource serving Columbia County, the Berkshires, and the Capital region. Housed in a landmark 1847 Greek Revival schoolhouse, the Academy is located at 790 State Route 203 in Spencertown, New York. For more information, please see http://www.spencertownacademy.org or call 518-392-3693.

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Caption: Mitsuko Suzuki. Photo by Gary Gold.

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