Montana Chamber Music Society season kicks off

MCMS launches new season Oct. 14 in Bozeman with trio of acclaimed artists

On Stage

The Montana Chamber Music Society kicks off a new season at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, at Reynolds Recital Hall on the campus of Montana State University in Bozeman. Violinists Angella Ahn and David Porter join pianist Jason Hardink in gems from violin duo and sonata literature. The program includes Beethoven Sonata No. 26 in E-flat, Opus 81a, “Adieus,” Prokofiev’s Sonata for two violins Op. 56, Ryan Carter’s Errata, and Saint-Saens Violin Sonata No. 1 in D minor, Opus 75.

Angella Ahn: Classical revolutionary

Violinist Angella Ahn
Violinist Angella Ahn is part of the internationally acclaimed Ahn Trio.

A violinist for the Ahn Trio – comprised of Angella and her twin sisters, all Juilliard trained – tours the world, playing in such venues as New York’s Lincoln Center, Vienna’s Musikverein, Leipzig’’s Gewandhaus, Argentina’s Teatro Colon, and The Beijing Concert Hall.

In 2011, President Obama invited the Ahn Trio to perform at the White House for a State Dinner honoring South Korea. The trio has been also seen and heard at many prestigious festivals, has collaborated with many different artists outside the classical genre, including a Czech rock band Tata Bojs, the David Parsons Dance Company, and DJ Spooky. The trio has six acclaimed recordings, and the latest, Lullaby for My Favorite Insomniac, made No. 8 on the Billboard Charts for 26 weeks in the classical album category.

The trio has taken it as their mission to expand the piano trio repertoire, and has commissioned over 30 new works by composers including Pat Metheny, Mark O’Connor, Paul Schoenfield, and many other visionaries. For their efforts, New York Newsday dubbed them, “classical revolutionaries.” Possessing an enviable combination of talent and style, the Ahns have also frequented the fashion pages of Vogue and GQ, and in 2003 were named three of People Magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People. In 2010, they appeared in a one-page spread in Glamour Magazine.

A dedicated teacher, Ahn has been involved in numerous residencies, workshops and master classes across the country for students of all ages. As a soloist, she has performed with the Honolulu Symphony, the Louisville Symphony, and the KBS Orchestra, among others.

Ahn is on the faculty at Montana State University and was recently featured in an Emmy award-winning episode of Montana PBS’s show, “11th and Grant.”

Violinist David Porter: Reaching new audiences

Violinist David Porter with the Montana Chamber Music Society
Violinist David Porter performs with the Utah Symphony.

David Porter is a violinist with the Utah Symphony, and helped create MOTUS (Musicians of the Utah Symphony) After Dark, a series of concerts in alternative venues designed to make classical music accessible and attractive to new audiences.

A native of Northfield, Minn., he spent the first dozen or so years of his life in a mostly intact Victorian house that was “infested with musical instruments, newspapers, paper bags, pets, New Yorkers, books, and mice.” His family included a flutist, a cellist, an oboist, two violinists, and a pianist.

Since then – unwilling to escape “the joyful chaos of his early years” – he attempts to balance time spent with his beloved daughter Divna, chamber music and solo appearances, his work with the Utah Symphony, and a dozen or so violin students with various outdoor pursuits that don’t involve a motor.

He is the former president and a founder of the Intermezzo Chamber Music Series.

Pianist Jason Hardink: Wide-ranging repertoire

Pianist Jason Hardink with the Montana Chamber Music Society
Pianist Jason Hardink, also of the Utah Symphony, performs a wide-ranging repertoire.

Pianist Jason Hardink, also of the Utah Symphony, is the artistic Director of the NOVA Chamber Music Series. His performances include a wide-ranging repertoire of music by living composers and works of the historical canon.

This summer he made his soloist debut at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in the North American premiere of Gerald Barry’s Piano Concerto, and next season he will tour with Michael Hersch’s epic 2.5 hour solo piano cycle, The Vanishing Pavilions.

Much sought after as a chamber musician, Hardink has collaborated with violinist Nicola Benedetti, violinist Phillip Setzer of the Emerson String Quartet, and world-renowned soprano Celena Shafer. He has appeared on chamber music series all over the U.S., including Music in Context, fEARnoMUSIC, Music on the Hill, Aperio Music of the Americas, and the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble.

Among his many accomplishments, Hardink has appeared as guest recitalist and adjudicator for both the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition and the Oberlin International Piano Competition. He has recently served as guest artist for the University of Utah Summer Chamber Music Workshop and the Idaho State University Summer Piano Institute.

Chamber Society series continues with Muir, Aaberg

The Montana Chamber Music Society’s series continues with return performances by the Grammy-winning Muir Quartet, Feb. 22 and 24, at MSU. The foursome performs works from string quartet literature and the Dvorak Viola Quintet with their longtime colleague, violist Karen Dreyfous. The Muir also performs Feb. 23 at the Shane Lalani Center in Livingston, and Feb. 25 in Red Lodge, in partnership with Music from the Beartooths.

The season wraps up April 13 with Montana’s legendary pianist, Philip Aaberg, violinist Angella Ahn and cellist Sara Stalnaker in works by Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich. They also perform April 14 in Big Timber.

For details on the 406-585-9551 or visit the Montana Chamber Music Society.