Now Hear This: An Interview with Laura Bennett Cameron

Dr. Laura Bennett Cameron – performer, teacher, authority on French composer Roger Boutry. Read on to learn more about the musician and her special connection with the pieces on Saturday’s program, WOOD MUSIC.

Photo of Dr. Laura Bennett Cameron with bassoon

What piece on the program are you most excited about? What should we listen for? Oh! That’s a tough one. For me, I think I’m the most excited to play the Poulenc. It’s a standard chamber work for the bassoon, but this will be my first time to play it! I think the Glinka will also be interesting; it’s usually performed with violin or clarinet, so we’re breaking the mold a little using the oboe — but listening to the piece, it’s a natural and beautiful fit. I’m Paris right now, and just put the finishing touches on Rencontres with the sound engineer, and so I’ve got a renewed excitement for that piece, too. This concert will be the work’s Dallas premiere!

You recorded a CD of Roger Boutry’s music WITH Roger Boutry also performing. How did that come about? What was that experience like? Absolutely sublime. Boutry was a big name in French music for most of the 20th century, and we recorded in France. It was like a dream come true to work with a musician of his caliber, with his finesse and technical skill. It could have been terrifying to record a composer’s works with the composer, but he was kind, flexible, and appreciative. The week we recorded that CD will always be one of the high points in my life: making beautiful music, working with a living composer, and enjoying the food and culture of Paris with Parisians.

Is chamber music for bassoon a big part of the repertoire?  It really is. I love playing chamber music for the same reasons many musicians do: the intimacy, sharing creative control over the artistic direction, and the blend of timbres. But being bassoonist who plays chamber music is especially great: the bassoon can play very high, very low, and everywhere in between. So that means we’re equally at home as the supportive bass line, a flexible inner voice, or as the soloist or melody. Chamber music really allows bassoonists to showcase what a unique instrument we play.

How old were you when you started playing bassoon? Why did you choose it? Did you learn other instruments? I actually started on the saxophone! My band director said, “Laura, we have too many saxes. We need more bassoons.” I said, “OK.” I remembered my mom, listening to WRR, saying, “Oh, do you hear that beautiful bassoon?” several times, so I thought it might make her happy. I started in eighth grade. Within just a few months, the bassoon became a part of my body. I was much better at the bassoon than I ever was at the saxophone; I simply fell in love with the instrument. When my sister, a college music major, came home for Christmas that year, I asked her how a person could make a living playing bassoon. She said, “Do you want to play or teach?” I said, “Both!” So she told me to get a doctorate and practice a lot. As a matter of fact, I met Emily Levin playing chamber music during my doctorate!


What type of music did you listen growing up?
As I mentioned earlier, my mother had great taste in classical music, so I got to hear a lot of WRR. For an amateur singer, my mother had a surprising amount of baroque period instrument recordings, so I heard a lot of Bach and Mozart growing up. I didn’t realize until much later how fortunate I was to have those excellent recordings in my ear from a young age.

What do you listen to now? I’m ashamed to admit that I listen to a lot of pop. Like, Top 40, usually-not-that-creative pop. :-\  Heaven help the person who hears me in my car or the shower!

Who’s your favorite composer to listen to? To play? Such thought-provoking questions! To listen, perhaps Beethoven or Stravinsky. They’re very different but engage the listener with equally complex music. I think to play, it’s probably Mozart. His music requires technique, but even more finesse. It’s playful and sophisticated, and at times fraught with more emotion than most classical music. Mozart and really comes alive with the right interpretation, and I love creating that interpretation with others.

What advice would you give 14-year-old Laura? Listen to more –and better–bassoon recordings! There’s more repertoire out there than you think. Hang on every word your bassoon teacher says. And you should practice with a metronome more.

What advice would you give a high schooler who wants to pursue music in college?  (1) Find someone who does what you want to do when you graduate. Ask them how they got there. (2)  Know what you want to sound like, and truly listen to yourself when you practice. You’ll never make worthwhile changes to your playing because someone tells you to: you will only improve when you’re not satisfied with the distance between yourself and your goal.

What’s your favorite sound (musical or non-musical), and your least favorite sound (musical or non-musical)?  My favorite sound is either my husband’s voice (sappy, I know), or the sound of my dog running to greet me at the door.


When you leave this world and reach the pearly gates, what celestial concert do you hope to hear? Hmm…I want to hear Brahms tell me he’s written a sonata for bassoon and piano, and I’m just in time to hear the heavenly premiere.


The Impact of Music Education

Congratulations, Quinn Mason!

My time as a FACP scholarship student helped immensely in my journey to become a composer…

Quinn Mason

How Fine Arts Chamber Players had a part…

Dallas-based composer Quinn Mason enjoyed the World Premiere of Inner City Rhapsody last night as part of the Meyerson Symphony Center’s 30th Anniversary Concert. Commissioned by the Dallas Symphony Association, the piece was performed by the excellent musicians of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. FACP leadership watched proudly as the accomplished 23-year-old composer stepped onto the Meyerson stage to acknowledge the rousing applause and standing ovation following the premiere. Scott Cantrell wrote in his Dallas Morning News review: “What’s impressive about Inner City Rhapsody is Mason’s command of complex orchestral textures…[he] is a most impressive talent, and I look forward to hearing more from him.” Quinn has been supported as a scholarship student through FACP’s free music education programs since he was in the fifth grade.

Rogene Russell, FACP Co-Founder, first met Quinn when she was performing during Career Day at Dallas ISD’s Onesimo Hernandez Elementary School. Focused on the performance, Quinn identified every piece performed. His school counselor, who often attended FACP’s free chamber music concerts and was aware of FACP’s music education initiative, asked if FACP could help Quinn learn to play the cello. FACP was pleased to help!

“My time as a FACP scholarship student helped immensely in my journey to become a composer,” Quinn said. “The years of free lessons have been invaluable to my development and my ambition to inspire the next generation. The support from FACP is something I will always cherish not only in my career but in my life as well.”

Immediately, Quinn demonstrated an incredible ability to identify – solely by hearing – pitches, intervals, melody, chords, and rhythms. Coupled with his thirst to learn about classical music, Quinn showed remarkable promise. FACP stepped forward to provide free cello lessons to the youngster, and eventually composition lessons and a computer with composition software for Quinn to develop his undeniable talent.

In 2017, Quinn was one of the first two FACP alumni to receive an award from the Rogene Russell Scholarship Fund. Started by long-time FACP and arts supporters Norma and Don Stone (pictured above), the Fund supports promising DISD musicians and honors the legacy of Rogene Russell as an artist and educator. The 2017 scholarship award is recapped HERE.

FACP premiered Quinn’s Quartet No. 5 at the 2018 Basically Beethoven Festival. Read our interview with Quinn HERE and learn more about his career HERE

Thank you, Dallas Symphony, for your support of young talent.  Keep your eye and ear on Quinn Mason – he has something to say with his music! 

How to support FACP Music Education programs…

Funds raised through North Texas Giving Day help support FACP Music Education programs in DISD and an East Dallas charter school.

North Texas Giving Day: Thursday, September 19

Scheduled Giving starts Monday, September 9

Or give to FACP today!


Hallam Family Concerts: Season Announcement

New name, new leadership for new season

Free classical music concert series packs an artistic punch with exciting programming

DALLAS (August 28, 2019) – Fine Arts Chamber Players (FACP) unveils the 2019–2020 season of its free Hallam Family Concert Series at the Dallas Museum of Art: seven virtuosic programs featuring Dallas’s top professional musicians. Emily Levin, Principal Harp of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, serves as Artistic Director of the series. Ms. Levin was appointed in March 2019 after Rogene Russell, FACP’s Co-Founder and Artistic Director, had announced her retirement and an executive search was held.

“In my first season as Artistic Director of the series, I wanted to craft programs that highlight the incredible talent here in Dallas, and feature music that connects to the art, culture, and writing of its time,” Ms. Levin explains. “At each concert, the audience will be able to hear great music performed by great musicians and will also be invited to explore the broader world surrounding each piece.”

The season is varied in instrumentation and musical character. The Hallam Family Concert season, outlined below, features known and obscure works for the harp, oboe, bassoon, trumpet paired with guitar, and groupings of string musicians. FACP is honored to have several preeminent members of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra (DSO) and other local ensembles featured throughout the series. 

Hallam Family Concerts, 2019-2020 Season

  • Saturday afternoons: October 5, November 2, January 25, February 29, March 28, April 25, May 9
  • All concerts begin at 3 p.m., doors to the auditorium open at 2:30 p.m.
  • Horchow Auditorium in the Dallas Museum of Art (1717 N. Harwood St., Dallas 75201)
  • FREE. No tickets required. General admission to the DMA is also free. Families with children welcome.

October 5, 2019: FRENCH IMPRESSIONS 

Hallam Concerts Artistic Director Emily Levin is joined by flutist Ebonee Thomas and violist Sarah Kienle in a program of stunningly colorful trios that pay homage to the French Impressionist era of Monet, Debussy, Renoir, and Ravel. The afternoon also includes music by Toru Takemitsu. Of note, the DMA recently re-opened its European art galleries with a reinstallation of treasurers, including masterworks of French Impressionism gifted to the museum by Margaret and Eugene McDermott. FACP’s program will reference the DMA’s collection.

November 2, 2019: WOOD MUSIC

In this concert featuring “wood” instruments, Poulenc’s trio, a quintessential piece for oboe, bassoon, and piano, is paired with two other works for these instruments  by Francaix and living French composer Roger Boutry.

January 25, 2020: TALES OF THE MACABRE

The great American writer Edgar Allan Poe was born on January 19, 1809. Come celebrate his 210th birthday with an afternoon of his most chilling short stories, dramatically told through music for harp and string quartet alongside Schubert’s eerie masterpiece “Death and the Maiden.” Emily Levin will perform with PLUS Quartet, a string ensemble whose members come from the DSO.

February 29, 2020: ENGLISH SENTIMENT

Experience the lush harmony and beautiful colors of three extraordinary British composers in a musical journey across the pond that showcases the Dallas Symphony’s Principal Oboist, Erin Hannigan, and members of the DSO strings.

March 28, 2020: MUSICA 

Trumpet wunderkind Elmer Churampi is featured in an incredible afternoon of virtuosic and vibrant trumpet and guitar music from his native Peru. Mr. Churampi appears courtesy of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, where he is a member of the trumpet section.

April 25, 2020: A TRAGIC GENIUS

Tchaikovsky’s epic masterpiece for violin, cello, and piano takes center stage this month, in a touching tribute to the teachers of Jolyon Pegis, DSO Associate Principal Cello; and DSO violinist Shu Lee, who performed this same work when they were college students.

May 9, 2020: STARS OF TOMORROW, the Charles Barr Memorial

The Charles Barr Memorial Concert showcases the best and brightest of Dallas young musicians. Don’t miss the next generation of musical virtuosi.


Overview – Fine Arts Chamber Players

  • Hallam Family Concerts: monthly, FREE chamber music concert series on Saturday afternoons, October – May (excluding December); performed in the Horchow Auditorium at the Dallas Museum of Art; 3 p.m.; newly appointed Artistic Director of the series is Emily Levin (pronounced luh-VEEN)
  • Basically Beethoven Festival: FREE chamber music concerts on Sunday afternoons in July at Moody Performance Hall; 2:30 p.m.; the Festival celebrates its 40th season in the summer of 2020; the Basically Beethoven Festival Director is Dr. Alex McDonald
  • Music Education Programs: FREE education programs including Musical Residencies at two Dallas ISD high schools and at an east Dallas charter school; FACP Teaching Artists lead individual and small group lessons in voice, piano, and violin to students with financial need; instruction provided at no cost to students and schools

FACP was founded in 1981 with the FREE Basically Beethoven Festival, which quickly became Dallas’ premier summer chamber music festival. In 1984, FACP began the Bancroft Family Concert series performing in the Horchow Auditorium of the Dallas Museum of Art. Starting with the 2019-2020 season, that series has been renamed the Hallam Family Concert series under its new sponsorship. FACP also maintains educational programs via musical residencies in select Dallas schools, masterclasses, and a troupe who creates original educational material for school performances. To date, FACP has served more than 250,000 children with education programs and performed quality classical music for over half a million North Texas citizens – all completely free of charge.


Texas Capital Bank continues support of FACP and Basically Beethoven Festival

Texas Capital Bank logo

Fine Arts Chamber Players (FACP) proudly announces Texas Capital Bank is the Title Sponsor of the final concert of FACP’s 39th annual Basically Beethoven Festival. The program, titled “Paris Connections,” features chamber music for flute and strings, with music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and French composers François Devienne, Maurice Ravel, and Claude Debussy. The performance is Sunday, July 28, at 2:30 p.m. in Moody Performance Hall in the Dallas Arts District.

“Texas Capital Bank is such a fine community partner and business leader,” says FACP Executive Director Emily Guthrie. “We admire their outreach to underserved communities and feel a kinship between that and our work to break down barriers that prevent North Texans from experiencing and enjoying classical music. Texas Capital Bank’s sponsorship again this year has allowed us to improve the Festival for our audience and our musicians. We love producing concerts that are free for all to attend, and we are thankful for Texas Capital Bank’s vision in helping us do just that.”

Every Festival program starts with a Rising Star Recital at 2:30 p.m. followed by a Feature Performance at 3 p.m. Rising Star Recitals present local, gifted young musicians; Feature Performances showcase professional musicians from the area. The July 28 Rising Star Recital features two student musicians: Anais Feller, violin, and Ella Tran, piano performing Ludwig van Beethoven’s Violin Sonata No. 8, op. 30 no. 3.

The Feature Performance musicians, Margaret Fischer, flute; Lucas Aleman, violin; Lauren Menard, viola; and Una Gong, cello; come together for performances of music related to the artistic hub and inspirational oasis of Paris:

  • François Devienne: Duo No. 5 for flute and viola
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart:  Flute Quartet in D Major, K. 285
  • Maurice Ravel:  Sonata for violin and cello
  • Claude Debussy (arr. Bernard Chapron):  Six Epigraphes Antiques

The Basically Beethoven Festival is made possible in part by Texas Capital Bank, The John Baptiste “Tad” Adoue III Fund of the Dallas Foundation, Moody Fund for the Arts, Texas Commission on the Arts, City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, TACA, Ben E. Keith, VisitDallas, and DART. Since 1981, FACP has presented free classical music programs open to the public. In addition to the Basically Beethoven Festival, FACP presents free, monthly Hallam Family Concerts October through May at the Dallas Museum of Art.  Since its inception, FACP has served over 250,000 children and performed for over a half-million residents of North Texas.

About Texas Capital Bank Texas Capital Bank, N.A. is a commercial bank that delivers highly personalized financial services to businesses and entrepreneurs. We are headquartered in Texas working with clients throughout the state and across the country. Texas Capital Bank is a wholly owned subsidiary of Texas Capital Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ®: TCBI) and is recognized as a Forbes Best Banks in America and the Dallas Morning News’ Top 100 Places To Work company. For more information, visit www.texascapitalbank.com. Member FDIC.


Hallam Family Concerts debut in October 2019

Flagship concert series renamed for new sponsors Fanchon & Howard Hallam

Fine Arts Chamber Players (FACP) announces a new partnership with Dallas philanthropists and business leaders Fanchon and Howard Hallam. Beginning in October 2019, FACP’s free chamber music concert series at the Dallas Museum of Art will be renamed the Hallam Family Concerts, in honor of their multi-year commitment.

“Fanchon and I are proud to support Fine Arts Chamber Players and the free programming they offer our community,” Mr. Hallam explained. “We were happy to sponsor this concert series.”

 

“The Hallams have championed FACP’s mission and our work for years,” said FACP Executive Director Emily Guthrie. “Many organizations in town have benefitted from their generosity and we are honored to have this new partnership.” 

 

“This sponsorship allows FACP to continue our free concert series that is truly a unique offering,” Ms. Guthrie remarked. “FACP remains the only arts group in Dallas that features professional musicians, compensates them for their time and talent, while never charging admission. I am beyond pleased to announce that the concerts will remain free for all, staged monthly at the DMA on Saturday afternoons from October through May.”

 

For 35 years, the concerts at the DMA were named the Bancroft Family Concerts. “FACP has been privileged to have the support of the Bancroft family for the concert series and for FACP education programs. Their sponsorship truly helped build this series that is one of the pillars of our community offerings. We are so grateful for it,” Ms. Guthrie said.

 

“We were inspired by the leadership the Bancroft family showed,” Mr. Hallam added, “and we’re honored to continue that for FACP.”

 

Earlier this year Rogene Russell, FACP’s Co-founder and Artistic Director, announced her retirement and the appointment of Emily Levin as Artistic Airector of this concert series. Ms. Levin is Principal Harp of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

 

“The support of Fanchon and Howard and the new leadership team of Emily Levin and Emily Guthrie mark a new era for FACP. It’s very exciting to see the path ahead,” Ms. Russell said. “The organization is in good hands: FACP will continue to create remarkable musical experiences for our audience.”

 

Ms. Levin added, “The enthusiasm shared between audience and musicians speaks to the success of this series in engaging the community. With the support from the Hallams, I am eager to continue the legacy of these concerts.”


Overview – Fine Arts Chamber Players

  • Hallam Family Concerts: monthly, FREE chamber music concert series on Saturday afternoons, October – May (excluding December); performed in the Horchow Auditorium at the Dallas Museum of Art; 3 p.m.; newly appointed Artistic Director Emily Levin (pronounced luh-VEEN)

 

  • Basically Beethoven Festival: FACP’s inaugural program; FREE chamber music concerts on Sunday afternoons in July at Moody Performance Hall; 2:30 p.m.; Dr. Alex McDonald is the Basically Beethoven Festival Director

 

  • FREE education programs including Musical Residencies at three Dallas ISD high schools and at an east Dallas charter school; FACP Teaching Artists lead individual and small group lessons in voice, piano, and violin to students with financial need; instruction and instruments provided at no cost to students and schools

 


 

FACP was founded in 1981 with the FREE Basically Beethoven Festival, which quickly became Dallas’ premier summer chamber music festival. In 1984, FACP began the Bancroft Family Concert series performing in the Horchow Auditorium of the Dallas Museum of Art. Starting with the 2019-2020 season, that series will be named the Hallam Family Concerts. FACP also maintains educational programs via musical residencies in select Dallas schools, masterclasses, and a troupe who creates original educational material for school performances. To date, FACP has served more than 250,000 children with education programs and performed quality classical music for over half a million North Texas citizens – all completely free of charge.


Now Hear This: Matthew Ho, violin

Matthew Ho comes to our stage after having performed as a Rising Star recitalist during the 2018 Basically Beethoven Festival. Of course, he hasn’t been idle since July! In fact, Matthew is one of the finalists of the Lynn Harrell Concerto Competition sponsored by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Beyond the stage, Matthew is a high school student and competitive ice skater. (No, we don’t know how he does it all, either!) FACP is thrilled to have Matthew perform this Saturday with pianist Yurie Iwasaki at the Charles Barr Memorial concert.


Matthew Ho at the 2018 Basically Beethoven Festival

What piece on the program are you most looking forward to sharing with our audience, and why? I am very excited about this program. It has many great pieces from composition, violin performance, and listening points of view. If I had to pick one, I would say “Nightclub 1960” by Astor Piazzolla. This nuevo tango includes a section of interesting percussion sounds. I had to practice it quite a bit and consult a friend who is now attending Juilliard. My teacher has confirmed, I am doing it just right! I hope you all will find it as surprising as I did when I first heard it.

 

In addition to being an accomplished musician, you’re a competitive ice skater. Can you tell us more about that? Yes, I have had been ice skating since I was very young. I started at a mall rink and now skate regularly at Farmers Branch Children’s Health rink. I am working on my triple jumps right now and have been doing pairs skating for two years now. My pairs team was ranked 6th place in Juvenile Pairs at the 2019 Geico USFS National Championships at Detroit this past January. It was a great experience to compete at Nationals. We hope to do it again this coming year.

 

What’s your typical daily schedule to fit in all you have to do? My daily schedule changes from day to day. During weekdays, it usually starts around 6:45am so I can get to school. School runs from 8 a.m. – 3 or 4 p.m. I then rush to my various after school activities such as ice skating, violin lessons, or rehearsals. Like many of my classmates, I don’t get home until almost 7:00! I quickly take a shower, have dinner, and then start homework and practice violin. The nights are usually long. On Saturdays, I wake up even earlier for ice skating training.

 

How do you unwind? Hmm…sleep is good. Watching TV, texting my friends, and day dreaming are all great – if I have the time.

 

What kind of music do you like to listen to? I like to listen to classical music and some pop music. Recently, I have liked songs by Ed Sheeran, Shawn Mendes, and some Asian pop songs.

 

Who’s your favorite composer to listen to? To play? My favorite composer changes depending on my mood and what I am playing at the time. If I had to pick one right now, I probably would choose Astor Piazzolla. Not only will I be performing it in my Saturday program, I also recently performed one of his trios at my school. His music is interesting to listen to and play.

 

What do you plan to do after high school graduation in a few years? Will you continue studying music in college? After high school graduation, I hope to take a relaxing vacation and maybe have a concert tour (this is a big maybe). I do hope I will have been accepted to one of my dream colleges. Yes, I am planning on continuing my music education in college.

 

What’s your favorite sound? Least favorite sound? My favorite sounds change often, from the lyrical, soothing sound of a violin to just white noise. Right now, I think the light tapping of rain sounds quite soothing. My least favorite sound would probably be scratching, like nails scratching on a chalkboard.


FACP Co-Founder and Artistic Director Rogene Russell announces retirement

Fine Arts Chamber Players Co-Founder & Artistic Director Rogene Russell announces retirement

Emily Levin named artistic director of museum concert series

 

Rogene Russell and Emily Levin

DALLAS (March 23, 2019) – Fine Arts Chamber Players announces the retirement of Rogene Russell, the organization’s co-founder and artistic director. The Board of Directors has appointed Emily Levin as artistic director of the free chamber music concert series FACP produces at the Dallas Museum of Art. Ms. Levin is principal harp of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. The two will work together this Spring and Ms. Russell will officially conclude her time with FACP when the current concert season concludes in May 2019.

I have been honored to lead the artistic vision of Fine Arts Chamber Players since 1981,” Ms. Russell said. “Emily Levin will bring fresh ideas and remarkable musical experience to our enthusiastic audience.”

In addition to being an incredible administrator and fixture among the Dallas music scene, Ms. Russell enjoyed 39 seasons with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and 29 seasons with The Dallas Opera Orchestra as principal oboe. Ms. Russell is also a faculty member at the University of Texas at Arlington and teaches private students.

Her experience as a musician is what led to the creation of FACP. She explained, “When bassoonist Charles Price and I co-founded FACP, we were convinced that providing free chamber music concerts for Dallas was important to the growth of the arts. I am extremely pleased that FACP has played a part of the development of the Dallas Arts District and its offerings to the public. And FACP is incredibly thankful for the Dallas Museum of Art embracing our concept of free programs of professional music nearly 40 years ago.

Ms. Levin is enthusiastic in carrying on the tradition. She said, “From my very first performance for FACP, I was struck by its ability to fill the hall with such a large and diverse audience. The enthusiasm shared between audience and musicians speaks not only to the high artistic quality of the performers, but also to the success of this concert series in engaging the community. I am honored to be following in the footsteps of Rogene, who has brought so much talent and vision to the Dallas arts community.”

Ms. Russell told the FACP Board of her retirement plans last fall. A search committee was convened and met with multiple interested parties.

Board President Anne Witherspoon expressed, “We are so grateful for Rogene’s commitment to the organization over the past 38 years. She has been an inspirational leader and has filled a critical need within our community by ensuring quality educational programs and free classical concerts. She has been a mentor, teacher, and friend to so many and will be greatly missed. Our organization is so fortunate to have such a dynamic and talented successor in Emily Levin and look forward to her vision as we continue to evolve and serve our community.”

Under Ms. Russell’s direction, FACP expanded steadily over the years. The inaugural program, the Basically Beethoven Festival, is Dallas’s only free chamber music series offered in the summer. The museum series, presented in conjunction with the Dallas Museum of Art, is the only series with always free admission and features professional musicians. Beyond public performances, FACP has robust music education offerings, including individual and small group lessons, that are offered to deserving Dallas students at no cost to the students.

“The wealth of knowledge Rogene has is staggering,” Executive Director Emily Guthrie added. “Over the course of these 38 years, she’s done a little bit of everything in the organization. Beyond the artistic decisions, she has handled the administrative role, including significant fundraising efforts, she was a founding member of our educational performance troupe, and she has been hands-on with our music residency programs.”

She added, “The programming on FACP’s concert stage routinely balances familiar pieces from the chamber music canon and pieces that are new to most listeners. Rogene has honored the fact that some FACP’s audience members know this music inside and out, but many in our audience are relatively new to classical music. That’s the spirit of Fine Arts Chamber Players: building a community and providing a welcoming environment for all people to enjoy this music together. Rogene has embodied that spirit and has inspired countless others – including Emily Levin and me – to keep that wonderful, welcoming spirit alive.

The final museum concerts of the season are April 13 and May 4, 2019. Under the direction of Ms. Levin, the 2019-2020 season will open in October 2019. FACP’s 39th annual Basically Beethoven Festival opens July 7 with weekly concerts on July 14, 21, and 28. Information on all FACP programs and concerts can be found online at www.fineartschamberplayers.org.

Overview – Fine Arts Chamber Players

  • Basically Beethoven Festival: FACP’s inaugural program; free chamber music concerts on Sunday afternoons in July at Moody Performance Hall; FACP Festival Director is Dr. Alex McDonald
  • Museum concert series: monthly, free chamber music concert series on Saturday afternoons, October – May (excluding December); performed in the Horchow Auditorium at the Dallas Museum of Art; incoming Artistic Director is Emily Levin (pronounced luh-VEEN)
  • Free music education programs including Musical Residencies at three Dallas ISD high schools and at an east Dallas charter school; FACP Teaching Artists lead individual and small group lessons in voice, piano, and violin to students with financial need; instruction and instruments provided at no cost to students and schools

FACP was founded in 1981 with the FREE Basically Beethoven Festival, which quickly became Dallas’ premier summer chamber music festival. In 1984, FACP began the Bancroft Family Concert series performing in the Horchow Auditorium of the Dallas Museum of Art. FACP also maintains educational programs via musical residencies in select Dallas schools, masterclasses, and a troupe who creates original educational material for school performances. To date, FACP has served more than 250,000 children with education programs and performed quality classical music for over half a million North Texas citizens – all completely free of charge.


Now Hear This: an Interview with Ann Hung and Stanislav Chernyshev, clarinet

Ann Hung and Stanislav “Stas” Chernyshev not only play the same instrument; co-lead Opus Nova, a new chamber music series in Fort Worth; and will perform together at FACP’s Bancroft Family Concert: WOMEN OF NOTE; but they are also married! The dynamic duo took a moment to give our audience a glimpse at the program, which focuses on female composers, and some background on their lives and careers.


What piece on the program are you most looking forward to sharing with our audience, and why? Ann and Stas: Missy Mazzoli’s trio “Lies you can believe in.” Not only Missy Mazzoli is one of the most inventive living composers these days, she is also close to our age and speaks the musical language of the 21st century.

When did you start playing the clarinet? Why did you choose the instrument? Did you learn other instruments? Ann: I started to play the clarinet when I was 10. My mom actually chose it for me, simply because it is an easy instrument to carry around. I also play the piano, and I started the piano when I was 5. Stas: I started the clarinet when I was 13. I heard Benny Goodman play the clarinet on the radio and immediately fell in love with the sound. That’s what made me want to learn this instrument. I also play a little bit of piano, I started at the age of 8.

When did you decide to pursue music as a career? Ann: I have been in music school since 3rd grade. Of course there are some difficult times when I just wanted to play outside with friends instead of sitting in front of a music stand and practicing, but music brings me so much of joy, I’ve always known I wanted to do something that relates to it. Stas: I decided to be a professional musician after I won my first solo competition at age 15.
 
Who’s your favorite composer to listen to? To play? Ann: It’s hard to pick just one, and it changes with time. Lately I’ve been in love with Scarlatti, Ravel, and Beethoven. But Brahms has always been my favorite to listen and play without a doubt. Stas: Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms.

What advice would you give 14-year-old Ann and Stas? Ann: Practice and listen to music as much as you can! Enjoy the time that practicing is the only thing you need to worry about (ha-ha)! Stas: I would definitely give myself lots of life advice if I could go back! If we are talking about music,  I would suggest myself to practice more and attend as many concerts as possible.

What advice would you give to a high schooler who wants to pursue music in college? Ann: Know that you are going to spend the majority of your time alone in the practice room whether you are free or not: holidays, weekends, finals–doesn’t matter. If you still think that’s something you want to do, then yes! Follow your heart! It’s a hard path, but I guarantee the result is just as gratifying as it can be. Stas: If you decide to pursue music as your career practice hard, but don’t forget to have a life as well. Your life experience is what makes your music unique. The music has to be personal and it has to come from your heart.

What’s your favorite sound? Ann: The waves from the ocean. Stas: I recently heard a Mariachi group, one of the instruments there called guitarron (basically a bass guitar), absolutely blew my mind.

Finally, when you leave this world and reach the pearly gates, what celestial concert to you hope to hear? Ann and Stas: Beethoven String Quartets

 


Now Hear This (again!): an Interview with Jolyon Pegis, cello

When Jolyon Pegis, Associate Principal Cello of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, played our Bancroft Family Concert series last season, we conducted a “Now Hear This” interview to get to know the musician and the program for that day. For this go-round, we asked a few more questions to get that behind-the-scenes peek our audience loves. Enjoy! And we’ll see you this Saturday, November 10, at 3 p.m. for Dynamic Duos: the Bancroft concert featuring Jolyon with DSO violinist Maria Schleuning.


 

Jolyon Pegis & Maria Schleuning

What piece on Saturday’s program with Maria are you most excited about?  I’m probably most excited to perform the Kodály Duo. We haven’t performed this work in over 10 years. It’s so well written for both instruments and is fun to perform. The audience will find it entertaining and very satisfying.

Can you explain a bit about what your role as Associate Principal Cello is? What’s your function with the other musicians/within the cello section?  There are two things I need to accomplish as an Associate Principal. If you attend a DSO concert you’ll notice that I am sitting directly behind the Principal. My first goal is to play with the Principal. If I don’t, it will make the job of the section much harder since I will essentially block their view of what the Principal is doing. I also help transmit information from the Principal to the rest of the section. The other duty of anyone who is an Associate Principal is to cover for the Principal if they are off that day. That means you have to be ready to assume the duties of the Principal, sometimes with little notice.

You last played for us in March 2018. What brought you back to play for our audience this season?  This program is the first of a series of concerts that Maria and I are giving. We’ll repeat this program in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in December.

What cello piece or recording should everyone have in their music library?  In my last DMA concert in March I performed the Vivaldi Cello Concerto in B Minor. I learned about this piece from a CD of Vivaldi Concertos featuring the cellist Heinrich Schiff. I really love this CD. I think this is a good one for your collection!

 

An excerpt from Jolyon’s interview in March 2018:

Is chamber music for cello a big part of the repertoire? Yes, it is. These pieces are interesting because they are really chamber concertos. I was surprised to learn many years ago that Vivaldi wrote about 35 of these concertos for cello and Boccherini wrote 15.

How old were you when you started playing cello? Why did you choose it? Did you learn other instruments? I actually started with the violin. I played from ages 5 to 8 and then switched to cello. I’ve always liked the lower register and darker sounds of the cello. I also played the piano throughout high school.

What type of music did you listen growing up? I come from a family of classical musicians so it was strictly classical in our house growing up. With three violinists in the family I heard a lot of violin concertos as a kid. I know we wore out many records from constant playing. Although I preferred playing the cello I really liked listening to certain violinists more than anything. Fritz Kreisler and Pinchas Zukerman were my favorites.

What do you listen to now? I spend so much of my time in rehearsals or performing that sometimes I prefer silence after a concert. The radio stays off on the car ride home! Or I prefer a book on tape.

What advice would you give 14-year-old Jolyon? If you really want to improve, you need to practice consistently and you need to practice smart. It’s so important to have a plan when you get to work. I wish I learned this at an earlier age.

What advice would you give a high schooler who wants to pursue music in college? Music is a very demanding profession. If you’re not all in, don’t do it. If you try to do a double major as a “back-up,” you most likely won’t succeed. The most important thing you will do in college is practice – probably 4 or 5 hours a day. Anything that gets in the way of doing that needs to go. After college you aren’t going to get hired because of your degrees, grades, extra-curricular activities etc. You’ll get hired because of how well you play.


Season Announcement: 35th year of free concerts features top DFW musicians

Fine Arts Chamber Players: A Season of Family and Friends

Fine Arts Chamber Players is pleased to share with you the 2018–2019 season of its free Bancroft Family Concert Series at the Dallas Museum of Art: seven virtuosic programs featuring Dallas’s top professional musicians. The season is bookended by key Dallas Symphony Orchestra (DSO) personnel Alexander Kerr and Nathan Olson, and FACP is honored to have several preeminent members of the DSO, The Dallas Opera Orchestra, and the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra (FWSO) featured throughout the series – truly a celebration of musical families and FACP’s friends. The season opens with DSO Concertmaster Alexander Kerr joined by DSO pianist Anastasia Markina and closes with DSO Co-Concertmaster Nathan Olson’s Baumer String Quartet.

The Bancroft Family Concert series, 2018-2019 Season

  • Saturday afternoons: October 13, November 10, January 12, February 9, March 23, April 13, May 4
  • All concerts begin at 3 p.m., doors to the auditorium open at 2:30 p.m.
  • Horchow Auditorium in the Dallas Museum of Art (1717 N. Harwood St., Dallas 75201)
  • No tickets required. General admission to the DMA is also free. Families with children welcome.

 

October 13, 2018: MUSIC FROM THE TOP

DSO Concertmaster Alexander Kerr and DSO pianist Anastasia Markina perform music by Antonín Dvořák, Leoš Janáček, and Ludwig van Beethoven.

 

November 10, 2018: DYNAMIC DUOS

A DSO duo featuring Associate Principal Cello Jolyon Pegis, and DSO violinist Maria Schleuning presents music by Joseph Haydn, Astor Piazzolla, and Zoltán Kodály.

 

January 12, 2019: ANCIENT INSTRUMENTS IN MODERN TIME (update)

Russell CampbellAssociate Principal Trumpet of the DSO, and DSO Principal Harp Emily Levin perform fresh and engaging music in this unusual pairing of instruments whose histories are thousands of years old. The program includes music by DebussyGershwinde Falla, and more.

 

February 9, 2019: FAMILY OF FLUTES

David BuckPrincipal Flute of the DSO, and his wife, distinguished flutist Jung-Wan Kang, join DSO pianist Steven Harlos in an afternoon of music for two flutes and piano.

 

March 23, 2019: WOMEN OF NOTE

Opus Nova, DFW’s newest chamber music ensemble, features husband and wife Artistic Directors: clarinetist Ann Hung and Stanislav ChernyshevFWSO Principal Clarinet. Presented during Women’s History Month and during the Dallas Museum of Art’s exhibit Berthe Morisot, Woman Impressionist, this concert celebrates the artistic contributions of women.

 

April 13, 2019: CHARLES BARR MEMORIAL

Yong-Ha Jung, viola, winner of the 2018 Lynn Harrell Concerto Competition, a Rising Star recitalist at FACP’s 2017 Basically Beethoven Festival, and music student at The Juilliard School, presents a recital in memory of Dallas native, bassist Charles Barr.

 

May 4, 2019: QUARTETS IN HARMONY

The Mendelssohn Octet, jewel of the chamber music repertoire, is performed by the Baumer String Quartet, led by DSO Co-Concertmaster Nathan Olson, and SMU’s resident ensemble, the Julius Quartet.