Prelude … CAM’s Monthly Newsletter October 2016

Oct 20, 2016 | Posted by | 0 comments

The 2016 Heida Hermanns International Voice Competition is a Few Short Weeks Away

The Preliminary Judges had the difficult task of winnowing down 63 applicants to 16 for the Semi-Finals.  Mission was accomplished and these incredibly talented singers will be coming to The Unitarian Church in Westport for the Competition Semi-Finals on Saturday, November 5th.  Learn more about the 16 Semi-Finalists HERE.  Saturday is free and open to the public; you can come and go all day! The Finals Concert on Sunday, November 6th will feature the top six, as determined by our distinguished judges John Macurdy, Patricia Schuman and Martha Sharp.  Sunday is a ticketed event, which will include a post-concert reception while the judges deliberate and an awards ceremony.  Tickets can be purchased HERE. We look forward to seeing you there!

Sunday’s House Concert with Cuatro Puntos Was Fabulous

Mother Nature could not keep us away!  35+ braved the elements on a cold and rainy Sunday, however, once inside the charming barn, we were warm, dry and fully entertained by Cuatro Puntos!  It was a wonderful afternoon of music with their program of String Quartet No. 4 in C Major, K. 157 (Mozart), Graffiti for Idealists (Michael Laster) and String Quartet No. 2 in A minor, op. 13 (Mendelssohn-Bartholdy).  A special surprise was meeting Michael Laster, the 26-year old composer of Graffiti for Idealists!  Watch a few minutes from that afternoon HERE! Cuatro Puntos (‘four points’ in Spanish) is a non-profit organization and musical ensemble dedicated to global co-operation and peace through the writing, performance and teaching of music around the world.  They have an ongoing cultural exchange with an El Sistema music programme in Tarija, Bolivia and with the Afghanistan National Institute of Music in Kabul. Cuatro Puntos has performed and given master-classes and lectures extensively across North and South America, Europe and Asia.

Naples Botanical Garden Presents Classical Pianists in the Garden

CAM is thrilled to announce the introduction of Classical Pianists in the Garden, a series of three piano recitals by Heida Hermanns International Piano Competition winners, at the Naples, Florida Botanical Garden this winter.  CAM friend and Patron, Kristin Foster, was instrumental in its creation and lining up the talent. Classical Pianists in the Garden will feature 2011 Competition winner Yue Chu on February 28th, 2013 Co-Winner Josh Wright on March 28th and 2013 Co-Winner Timur Mustakimov on April 25th.  Complete program details are forthcoming. If you find yourself in Florida this winter, do mark your calendars and head to Naples!

October 2016

Dear Members and Friends of CAM,

Our investment in advanced technology for the 2016 Heida Hermanns International Voice Competition paid off handsomely. Through a very user-friendly third-party vendor, this year’s applicant pool who, based on their age range, are very computer savvy, were able to fill out their applications, submit their fees and upload their audition videos on-line for the judges to easily access and evaluate. The attractiveness of our website, coupled with the ease of application, resulted in 25% more applicants this year than in previous years. From a financial perspective, we received fee revenue immediately, which was direct-deposited in our account, and the overhead cost to administer the application process is projected to be reduced by at least 50% by the close of the Competition. Not bad!

Last weekend’s house concert, featuring the string ensemble Cuatro Puntos, was extraordinary in many ways. The venue, thanks to hosts Maureen and Lawrence Zlatkin, was unique and inviting and the musicality and quality of the ensemble’s presentation was memorable. The theme of their program was “The Precocious Composer” and they presented very early works by Mozart and Mendelssohn. They also offered a sonata for strings by 26 year-old Michael Laster, a native New Yorker, who attended the concert and was interviewed by the ensemble leader in front of a very engrossed audience. The piece was exceptional and engaging and played beautifully by Cuatro Puntos. What was remarkable was that the audience, whose music preferences were probably defined by European classicism, responded so positively and enthusiastically to Michael’s contemporary composition. It got me to thinking – perhaps CAM ought to showcase young, upcoming composers the way we present instrumentalists and vocalists. Composers need to present their craft to an audience just as much as aspiring performers need to. What do you think? Please email me at with your thoughts.

As always, thanks for your continued interest and support,

Barry Persky, President

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