New York Benefit Celebrates 45th Year of Bar Harbor Music Festival

April 15, 2011 Updated: October 1, 2015

JULLIARD ALUMNI: The Ardelia Trio played a benefit for the Bar Harbor Music Festival last week in New York. (Ardelia Trio)
JULLIARD ALUMNI: The Ardelia Trio played a benefit for the Bar Harbor Music Festival last week in New York. (Ardelia Trio)
NEW YORK—On Thursday, April 7, The Kosciuszko Foundation hosted a Spring 2011 Benefit Musicale for the 45th season of The Bar Harbor Music Festival.

It was one of the five benefit events planned this year by the Bar Harbor Music Festival Committee. The night featured a cocktail party, a wonderful performance by the Ardelia Trio, and a great dinner provided by Open Skies Hospitality Inc.

It was an opportunity for friends, patrons, benefactors, and sponsors to make a generous contribution to the festival fund in order to keep this wonderful musical tradition alive.

When introduced to some members of the Benefit Musicale committee, I could see great enthusiasm, love, and passion for music. There is a strong urge to share music and especially introduce this wonderful tradition with our youth.

The highlight of the evening was a concert by the Ardelia Trio held in the upper concert room, which has very fine acoustics and tone quality, especially so for chamber music. The trio is a music project of former Juilliard students of Korean origin—violinist Janey Choi, cellist Clara Yang, and pianist Jihea Hong-Park.

Their performance was very delicate, filled with different emotions, and featured a variety of musical styles—ranging from the Classical period to Nuevo Tango to jazz. What is very special about the ensemble members is their way of communicating with the audience, which removes the barrier between the performers and the listeners.

On the program was Piano Trio in E flat major, Opus No.1, from Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770–1872), which was one of the composers earlier works written when he was about 23 years old; Piano Trio in D minor, Opus 49, by Felix Mendelssohn (1809–1847); and ”Spring” from “The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires” by Astor Piazzolla.

The musicians then played a very special performance of a composition by a North Korean composer titled “Arirang” which, as pianist Jihea Hong-Park commented, “gave a sense of hope” to Korean people during hard times.” The concert concluded with Paul Schoenfield’s “Cafe Music” and Harold Arlen’s “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” as an encore.

Annual Festival in Maine

Founded by Mr. Francis Fortier, who is the artistic director of the festival and also the conductor of the Bar Harbor Festival String Orchestra, the Bar Harbor Music Festival has been known as a “beacon of hope” for young artists as it is one of the few festivals in the United States that provides outstanding up-and-coming talent with a performance opportunity. Over the past 44 years, it has advanced the careers of over 1,800 aspiring instrumentalist, singers, and composers. The genres range from chamber music to opera, jazz, and string orchestra concerts.

The festival’s admission-free outdoor concerts in Acadia National Park and artists-in-residence programs in American schools and colleges have been a wonderful driving force in providing public cultural service.

This year’s program will be very rich and will include many great artists and music groups such as Brass Venture; pianists Christopher Johnson and Inesa Sinkevych; “East Meets West” featuring mezzo-soprano Fenlon Lamb, tenor Timothy Culver, and pianist Cara Chowning; ”Musical Thinkism” featuring double bassist Allan Von Schenkel and pianist Kristen Williams; and of course The Bar Harbor Festival String Orchestra.

The composer in residence is Edmund Cionek, a New York-based composer who writes for the concert hall and the theater and teaches at Purchase College and New York University.

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