Arts and Entertainment

Tribute to Toth: Chamber Music San Juans celebrates 25th season

CMSJ lineup: artistic director Patricia Kostek, bassonist Martin Kuuskmann, violinists Ron Patterson, Eugene Bazhanow, violist Roxanna Patterson, cellist Rowena Hammill, pianist Bruce Vogt.   - Contributed photo
CMSJ lineup: artistic director Patricia Kostek, bassonist Martin Kuuskmann, violinists Ron Patterson, Eugene Bazhanow, violist Roxanna Patterson, cellist Rowena Hammill, pianist Bruce Vogt.
— image credit: Contributed photo

It was 1987 when renowned violinist Andor Toth brought together a group of accomplished classical musicians and produced a series of concerts on San Juan Island.

His “Fiddlestix” productions soon transformed into “Chamber Music San Juans,” which opens its 25th season on Saturday, June 23, at San Juan Community Theatre.

Toth—whose illustrious career spanned well over 60 years, from his student days at Juilliard School at the age of 18, to his performances with many of the nation’s major symphony orchestras—shaped and mentored Chamber Music San Juans until his death in 2006.

University of Victoria’s Patricia Kostek has been the artistic director since then.

“Andor possessed an innate ability to inspire us to stretch beyond just a good performance to a much higher level of expression and communication,” Kostek said.

Longtime islanders Nancy and Charles Lindenberg have been attending Chamber Music San Juan concerts for the past 23 years and agree the island was blessed to have Toth’s phenomenal talent and connections to the classical music world.

“Andor brought a wealth of rich music to this community,” Nancy Lindenberg said.

Charles adds that Kostek’s contributions in the past seven years have kept alive Toth’s dream alive of bringing world-class musicians to the island for concerts in an intimate setting.

Kostek, who is an acclaimed clarinetist and active studio musician has brought together CMSJ regulars and one newcomer to honor the anniversary and celebrate summer.

The lineup includes bassoonist Martin Kuuskmann; violinists Ron Patterson and Eugene Bazhanov; violist Roxanna Patterson; cellist Rowena Hammill; and pianist Bruce Vogt, who marveled a Whittier stage audience last September with his “Portrait of Lizst” concert.

Saturday’s concert, “Music for a Summer’s Eve,” showcases music by pantheon composers Mozart, Prokofiev and Brahms and introduces Franz Krommer.

The Business Partner for this performance is Managed Reliability. Tickets are $26 for adults and $13 for student reserved; $5 Student RUSH will be available at the door.

A private donor has made provision for free tickets to anyone needing financial assistance to attend a theatre event.

The SJCT Box Office is open Tuesdays-Fridays, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Saturdays 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., and one hour before any performance. For info, call 360-378-3210, or visit to www.sjctheatre.org.

 

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