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Muzzy Ridge Concerts

Since 1986, we have owned a home on a 10–acre property in the town of Searsmont in central coastal Maine: a landscape of small farms, low-bush blueberry fields, and woodlots inhabited by deer, wild turkeys, numerous species of birds, and the occasional moose, black bear, and coyote.

Our home sits on a gently sloping parcel on the eastern side of Muzzy Ridge. From the house we have a beautiful view eastward to Levenseller Mountain, part of the group of small mountains that includes the Camden Hills.

It is in this setting that I have composed many works in the past 36 years. Our publishing enterprise, Muzzy Ridge Music, is named for this place. The logo of Muzzy Ridge Music is based upon my rendering of Levenseller Mountain as seen from Muzzy Ridge.

Fourteen years ago, we built an 800-square-foot studio onto our house: the perfect intimate venue for chamber music. You are invited to join us for the fourth season of Muzzy Ridge Concerts, as we celebrate chamber music in this space we love. 

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Muzzy Ridge Concerts - 2024 Season

Concerts are approximately 60 minutes, without intermission. Indoor seating is limited to 50 patrons, with additional outdoor seating on the covered patio for another 20. Concerts take place at Robert Sirota's studio in Searsmont, Maine. The address and directions will be supplied to ticket buyers.

Indoor seating: $25
Outdoor seating: $15 (Please bring your own chair to sit outdoors)

Muzzy Ridge Concerts is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the charitable purposes of Muzzy Ridge Concerts must be made payable to “Fractured Atlas” only and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

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Support Season 4 of Muzzy Ridge Concerts with your tax deductible donation through our 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor, Fractured Atlas.

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Saturday, August 24, 2024 at 3pm

Sunday, August 25, 2024 at 3pm

Larsen-Choi Duo

 

Benjamin Larsen, cello

Hyungjin Choi, piano

Program:

Robert Sirota: Cello Sonata No 2
jazz improvisation 
Johannes Brahms: Cello Sonata No 2 in F Major, op 99

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Saturday, August 31, 2024 at 3pm

Sunday, September 1, 2024 at 3pm

Gossamer Trio

 

Carol Wincenc, flute
Claire-Marie Solomon, cello
Nancy Allen, harp

Program:

Heitor Villa-Lobos: Assobio a Játo (Jet Whistle) for Flute and Cello

Maurice Ravel (arr. Carlos Salzedo): Sonatine en Trio for Flute, Cello and Harp

William Healy: Folk Song Suite

Gabriel Fauré: Après un Reve for Cello and Harp

Gabriel Fauré: Morceau de Concours for Flute and Harp

Béla Bartók (arr. Gossamer Trio): Romanian Folk Dances

About the Artists

Larsen-Choi Duo

Benjamin Larsen

Cellist Benjamin Larsen made his solo debut in 1999 at the Merryall Center for the Arts, where critic for the Danbury News Times, Frank Merkling, called him “remarkably gifted,” with “a charming, warm tone.” He has performed in various venues in the Tri-State area, including concerto performances with the Hartford Symphony and Farmington Valley Symphony, and solo and chamber performances in Asia and Europe. He is an avid chamber musician, and is founder and artistic director of the Brooklyn chamber series, Concerts on the Slope.  He is on the faculty of the Music School of Westchester, Brooklyn Music School, Tian Song Musical Arts, has a private studio, and is an experienced chamber music coach. Larsen has performed at summer music festivals including the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Castleman’s Quartet Program, Music@Menlo and Pacific Music Festival, and has won top prizes in several competitions. His chamber music mentors have included members of the Emerson, Tokyo, American and Keller String Quartets, as well as Robert Mann, Nicholas Mann, Peter Frankl, Andre Michel Schub, Daniel Epstein, and Sylvia Rosenberg.  Past teachers include Eric Dahlin, David Finckel, Julia Lichten, and Clive Greensmith, as well as lessons with Marta Casals Istomin and Bonnie Hampton. Larsen holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from Manhattan School of Music, where he was the recipient of the Hans and Klara Bauer Scholarship and the 2011 Pablo Casals Award. He plays on an anonymous 19th century cello.

Hyungjin Choi

A native of South Korea, Hyungjin Choi is a New York-based pianist covering a broad spectrum of genres. She has recorded and performed actively in many venues including Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, Le Poisson Rouge. With her husband, cellist Benjamin Larsen, she has been actively performing worldwide in the Larsen-Choi duo, covering a wide range of repertoire, including world premieres by notable composers such as Robert Sirota and Ke-chia Chen. Choi's debut album, Tales Of A Dreamer, was released on PND Records in March 2014. Her arranging work can be found in many records, including the Korean Music Award nominated, Coffee Calls for a Cigarette, and Lara Downes’ album Holes in the Sky, which was released on Sony Masterworks, and ranked number one on the Billboard chart. After training as a classical pianist from an early age, Choi graduated from the Seoul Institute of the Arts in 2006, and moved to New York in 2008 to attend the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, where she earned a BFA degree. She also holds a Master’s degree for collaborative piano at Manhattan School of Music, where she currently works as a staff pianist.

 

Gossamer Trio

Carol Wincenc

Hailed "queen of the flute" by New York Magazine, flutist Carol Wincenc has appeared as soloist with major orchestras worldwide, including the Chicago, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Detroit, and London symphonies, the BBC, Warsaw, and Buffalo Philharmonics, as well as the Los Angeles, Stuttgart, and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestras. Ms. Wincenc has collaborated with such celebrated ensembles as the Emerson, Tokyo, Guarneri, Cleveland, Juilliard and Escher String Quartets, and performed with Jessye Norman, Emanuel Ax and Yo-Yo Ma. She plays with the New York Woodwind Quintet, Les Amies with New York Philharmonic Principals, harpist Nancy Allen and violist Cynthia Phelps, and The Gossamer Trio with cellist Claire Marie Solomon and harpist Nancy Allen. Her newest collaboration Duo Coquelicot is with the Boston-based cellist Velleda Miragias. Her solo career was launched in 1978 when she won the first prize at the prestigious Naumburg Competition for flute. Since that time she has garnered numerous awards including the Lifetime Achievement Awards from both the China and USA National Flute Associations, the National Society of Arts and Letters Gold Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Music, and Distinguished Alumni Awards from Brevard Music Center and Manhattan School of Music. In addition, she received a GRAMMY® nomination and a Diapason d'Or Award for her recording of the Christopher Rouse’s Flute Concerto with the Houston Symphony, a Recording of Special Merit Award with pianist András Schiff, and Gramophone magazine's "Pick of the Month" with the Buffalo Philharmonic.

Claire Marie Solomon

Claire Marie Solomon, cellist, is a dynamic chamber, solo and orchestral musician based in Charleston, SC. She performs regularly with the Charleston Symphony and the Sarasota Orchestra in Florida. She has toured with the Staatskapelle Weimar, and spent many summers performing at the Aspen Music Festival. Solomon is a graduate of the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, where she won the 2017 Cello Competition performing Saint-Saens Cello Concerto No. 1. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Yale University, where she served as principal of the orchestra and played and toured with Yale’s famed all-cello rock ensemble, Low Strung. Solomon has taught for over ten years maintaining a private studio as well as her popular online course, Hello Cello!. Passionate about all musical genres, she has produced covers and original music under the handle Clairemarie.cello. She recently founded a folk trio, Summerauer, with mandolinist Ben Somerville and guitarist Katelyn Fajardo. She studied primarily with Eric Kim, Wolfram Koessel, and Richard Aaron as well as piano with Hélène Jeanney. Solomon performs on a 2021 William Whedbee cello, and a 1840s Knopf-Bausch bow.


Nancy Allen

Nancy Allen has a solo career spanning 50 years. Principal harpist of the New York Philharmonic since 1999, Allen was the first prize winner of Israel’s Fifth International Harp Competition. She was sponsored by a National Endowment for the Arts Solo Recitalist Award, Affiliate Artists and the Pro Musicis Foundation. As an Angel/ EMI recording artist, her recording “The Music of Ravel and Debussy” earned a GRAMMY® nomination. A student in the last class of the legendary Marcel Grandjany, Allen also studied with Pearl Chertok, Lily Laskine, and with the renowned harpist Susann McDonald. Highlights of her career include performances for Music at the Supreme Court hosted by Justice Sandra Day O’Conner and for the 1986 opening of the Aspen Silverqueen Gondola at the top of Ajax Mountain along with singer John Denver. She has enjoyed close collaborations with soprano Kathleen Battle, guitarist Manuel Barrueco, flutists Carol Wincenc and Ransom Wilson, and with the Tokyo and American String Quartets. Nancy Allen has been head of the harp department of The Juilliard School since 1986. Her students hold major orchestral positions and prizes internationally. A veteran of summer music festivals, she has been a faculty/artist with the Aspen Music Festival since 1976.
 

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