The Final Songs of Summer
September 15, 2022
While the weather in Montana over the past few weeks has oscillated from extreme highs to lows, the 2022 concert season at Tippet Rise has left us living happily on cloud nine. It is hard to believe that the music season is more than halfway through. There have been so many unforgettable performances, with musicians joining us from across the continent and as far away as Hungary.
Violinist Jennifer Frautschi, pianist Zoltán Fejérvári, and cellist Arlen Hlusko kicked things off on August 26, playing works by Mozart and Schumann. Arlen also performed the first of five world premieres of Tippet Rise commissions this year, Sandhiprakash, written by Reena Esmail. This new work for solo cello was a celebration of Hlusko’s September Commissioning Cello project in which she invited composers to write music she could record while isolated due to the pandemic, resulting in more than 20 works. Also in concert were violinist Katie Hyun, violists Jordan Bak and Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt, and cellist Gabriel Cabezas. It was such a thrill to host so many talented artists for our first weekend of live concerts.
The second weekend, September 2 – 4, featured our very own Artistic Advisor and acclaimed pianist Pedja Mužijević, who performed three world premieres, including excerpts from Gregory Spears’s Seven Days and Ukrainian composer Valentyn Silvestrov’s Nine Waltzes, Op. 308 and Four Pieces, Op. 305, commissioned by the art center. Tippet Rise has commissioned a total of ten works by Silvestrov, three of which have been performed this summer. Known as one of Ukraine’s most important living composers, Silvestrov is now living in exile because of the war.
In addition to this powerful performance, Saturday morning’s concert was held out on the land in “Cathy’s Meadow,” where guests spread out blankets and sat on chairs that had been placed amongst the performers, which included the innovative ensemble Sandbox Percussion together with flutists Brandon Patrick George and Alex Sopp. While surrounded in nature, the musicians performed songbirdsongs, an early composition by the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Luther Adams. Then, back inside on Sunday, the internationally celebrated pianist Marc-André Hamelin brought the weekend to a close and brought down the Olivier Music Barn with his performance of Beethoven’s monumental Sonata No. 29 in B-flat Major and Sonata in A-flat Major by C.P.E. Bach.
Last weekend, pianist Richard Goode, one of today’s most revered American recitalists, offered an all-Beethoven recital, and rising stars cellist Sterling Elliott and pianist Wynona Wang performed cello and piano sonatas by Shostakovich and the contemporary composer Brian Raphael Nabors, and Saint-Saëns’ Havanaise. Violinist Geneva Lewis and pianist and composer Audrey Vardanega later performed the third Valentyn Silvestrov world premiere, Two Pieces for Violin and Piano, in addition to works by Schumann, William Grant Still, and contemporary composer Gareth Farr.
We look forward to welcoming back two gifted ensembles this weekend, September 16 – 18, including the Calidore String Quartet on Friday evening and the Gryphon Trio on Saturday morning. On Sunday morning, both groups will perform, with cellist Roman Borys of the Gryphon Trio joining the Calidore String Quartet in Schubert’s epic String Quintet in C Major.
The 2022 season concludes on September 23-25 with concerts by the Aizuri Quartet, performing Schumann and The Aizuri Songbook, a series of works curated by the Aizuris, and pianist Yulianna Avdeeva, in a performance that will showcase her mastery of Chopin. Violinist Johnny Gandelsman performs the last concert of Tippet Rise’s 2022 season with selections from This is America, his commissioning project of more than 20 new works for solo violin created by American and US-based composers. The performance fittingly includes the last world premiere of the season, Dólii for guitar, a Tippet Rise commission by Bojan Louis, a poet, composer, and member of the Navajo Nation.
In addition to these incredible concerts and visiting musicians, these past few weeks at Tippet Rise have included an art expedition by students from the Honors College at Montana State University, a photography workshop with notable photographer James Florio, community events including a plein-air water color painting workshop, a special walking production collaboration with Montana InSite Theatre, pop-up concerts, delicious meals prepared by PREROGATIvE Kitchen, and of course the hikers and bikers who continue to explore the many monumental artworks throughout the ranch via our 15-mile trail system.
We will cherish these remaining summer days, filled with so much activity and music at Tippet Rise, and we hope you will join us. Hiking and biking at the art center is free for everyone; reservations are required and can be made here. Any concert tickets returned to the box office are placed for sale on the Events page of the website the week of each concert.We will cherish these remaining summer days, filled with so much activity and music at Tippet Rise, and we hope you will join us. Hiking and biking at the art center is free for everyone; reservations are required and can be made here. Any concert tickets returned to the box office are placed for sale on the Events page of the website the week of each concert.
All photos by Kinzley Photography