A free "shuffle concert," interspersing music by the romantic Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninov and the American Evan Chambers, will open the 2012 Greencastle Summer Music Festival at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the sanctuary of Gobin Memorial United Methodist Church.
Pianist Katya Kramer-Lapin, violinist Matvey Lapin, saxophonist Scotty Stepp (the DePauw University saxophone professor), and cellist Eric Edberg, the festival's founder and artistic director, are this week's performers.
The festival will present concerts each Wednesday at 7:30 through Aug. 15.
"This is our eighth season," said Edberg, a DPU music professor. "'Friends making music for friends' is how I think of what we do. We love playing together, for friends in the audience -- both old and new. And we are always happy to make new friends.
"I'm very excited about this summer's programs, including the opening program which contrasts the lush, lyrical and deeply emotional Rachmaninov sonata for cello and piano with the inventive, folk-music inspired composition 'Come Down Heavy,' for violin, saxophone and piano, by Evan Chambers."
The Chambers work is based on four folk songs, "Steel Drivin' Man," "Gave My Love a Cherry," "Oh, Lovely Appearance of Death" and "Drill Ye Tarriers."
"At times the music is tender and sweet," Edberg said, "and at others energetic and chaotic. It's incredibly powerful -- as is the Rachmaninov, in a very different way."
The movements of the two works are being interspersed, or "shuffled" together. One of Edberg's research interests in alternative presentation of classical music.
"The iPod has changed how younger generations listen to music," he said. "It has a 'shuffle' function in which movements from a classical work, or songs from an album, are played in random order. Many progressive classical musicians are experimenting with this idea in concerts. So we've decided to alternate movements of the Rachmaninov and Chambers. We'll see how it works and what the feedback is from our friends in the audience."
Stepp has performed throughout the U.S., Europe and China. Most notable are performances at the U.S. Embassy in Paris, France, selected performer at the German-American Fulbright Program's 50th anniversary conference in Berlin, Germany and performances in Greece, Cyprus and Italy. Scotty is currently the baritone saxophonist for the Solaire Quartet.
Married since 2004, Matvey and Katya Lapin bring to their collaborations virtuosity, enthusiasm, and striking passion. Their repertoire ranges from 18th to 21st century music, and includes works by Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Prokofiev, Stravinsky and Bartok, among many others. Equally at ease with the standard repertoire, the Duo's offerings range from Rachmaninov to Arvo Part.
Cellist Edberg has performed throughout the U.S., in France, Italy and China. He performs regularly as a member of the DePauw Chamber Players as well as with the International Street Cannibals, an avant-garde, multi-disciplinary New York City performace art collective.
May 30 -- Eric Edberg (cello), Katya Kramer-Lapin (piano), Matvey Lapin (violin), Scotty Sepp (saxophone).
June 6 -- DePauw Chamber Players: May Phang (piano), Dan Rizner (violin), and Eric Edberg (cello).
June 13 -- Claude Cymerman (piano) and Eric Edberg (cello).
June 20 -- Duo Amabile: Katya Kramer-Lapin (piano) and Matvey Lapin (violin).
June 27 -- Hannah Lee (piano), Allison Guest Edberg (violin), and Yeon-Ji Yun (cello).
July 4 -- "Fireworks" music and patriotic singalong.
July 11 -- George Wolfe (saxophone) and James Helton (piano).
July 18 -- Jon Kamfonas (improvising/classical/rock pianist.)
July 25 -- Josiah Rushing (percussion) and Daniel Healton (clarinet) in Thompson Recital Hall in DePauw's Green Center for the Performing Arts.
Aug. 1-- Kerry Jennings (tenor) and Charles Stanton (baritone).
Aug. 8 -- Gareth Guest (clarinet), Nicole Brockmann (viola), Darcy McCoy (piano).
Aug. 15 -- Duo Diez--Donna Clark (viola) and Espen Jensen (guitar) playing music from Haiti and Cuba.