From Aspen to Tanglewood, summer is the season for classical music festivals. Whether you are an ambitious young musician seeking master classes with world-renowned soloists or just a lover of great music, summer festivals offer something for everyone.
There's a fest right here in Bethlehem. The Techne Music Festival, sort of like a summer camp for highly advanced violin, viola, cello, piano and composition students, is a two-week-long event at Moravian College that continues through July 26.
In addition to master classes and individual music instruction on strings, piano and composition, the festival features a free concerts open to the public. The concerts include performances by students enrolled in the festival as well as its distinguished faculty members.
Ten students ages 13-23 and from as far away as Venezuela are enrolled in the festival.
"It's a very small, select group. One of the challenges of a chamber music camp is that you can't have eight violins, a viola and a cello. You really have to get the right combination, and that's tricky," Schwarz says.
"The idea is to keep it at the right level. The assumption is everybody who comes is extremely strong technically and musically. They've been given the music six weeks ago, they all have a score and are expected to have all the cues written in and have an understanding of how the pieces work."
You can hear just how good this outstanding group of young musicians is by sitting in on a master class. Chamber music master classes will be presented at 1 p.m. July 17 by Domenic Salerni, first violinist for the Vega String Quartet, and at 1 p.m. July 18 by Steven Tenenbom, violist of the Orion String Quartet.
The concert schedule opens with a faculty concert 7 p.m. July 18, featuring Schwarz and Salerni, violins, violist Esme Allen-Creighton and cellist Lawrence Stomberg. The program includes Mendelssohn's String Quartet Op. 44 No. 2, the Ravel Sonata for Violin and Cello and works by Lou Harrison.
At 7 p.m. July 24, students at the festival will present a chamber music concert featuring works by Schubert, Beethoven, Mozart, Prokofiev, and Borodin. Violinist Jonathan Carney, joined by the Techne Chamber Orchestra, will be the featured soloist at 7 p.m. July 26 in Vivaldi's "Four Seasons."
•Techne Music Festival, through July 26, Peter Hall, Moravian College, 1200 Main St., Bethlehem. Admission to concerts and auditing a master class is free. 215-880-5869, http://www.technemusic.com.
Recital series in East Stroudsburg
Techne instructor Domenic Salerni is also performing on Saturday as part of a recital series in East Stroudsburg University's Cecelia S. Cohen Recital Hall.
He will be joined by pianist Tim Whitehead in a performance of virtuoso music by violinist-composers, including Nardini/David, Mozart and Bazzini.
Salerni, the son of Lehigh University music professor Paul Salerni, is first violinist of the Vega Quartet, quartet-in-residence at Emory University in Atlanta.
The recital is the second in a series of four produced by L'Archet Concert Group. The series continues Sept. 14 with flutist Bart Feller and Oct. 4 with violist Donald Dal Maso and composer/pianists David Lantz.
•Domenic Salerni, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, East Stroudsburg University, Cecelia S. Cohen Recital Hall, 125 Fine Arts Drive, East Stroudsburg. Tickets are $25; $20, seniors; $10, students. Info: 917-716-9245.
Members of the Pennsylvania Sinfonia Orchestra will present the third Valley Vivaldi chamber music concert Sunday at Wesley Church in Bethlehem. This time, the popular summer series really lives up to its name, with two Vivaldi works — the Oboe Concerto in A minor and the Violin Concerto in G major.