The Greencastle Summer Music Festival continues its celebration of musical and personal relationships Wednesday night in a concert featuring two works, Rebecca Clarke's 1919 "Sonata for Viola and Piano" and "Quintet for Clarinet and Strings" by Johannes Brahms.
DePauw University music professors Nicole Brockmann (viola) and Darcy McCoy (piano) and clarinetist Gareth Guest, who has performed almost every year in the festival's eight-year history, will be featured performers.
The free 7:30 p.m. concert in Gobin Memorial United Methodist Church is the 11th of the summer. The final concert on Aug. 15 will feature Duo Diez playing Latin American music arranged for guitar and viola.
"The response from the community to this summer's concerts has been amazing," DPU music professor Eric Edberg, festival founder and organizer, said.
"We've been averaging over 100 people in attendance, and have never raised so much money," Edberg added. "Making and listening to music can be a deep experience of human connection and interaction, as well as an aesthetic experience, and it appears all of us involved with these concerts have embraced that."
Brockmann and McCoy have played many concerts together.
"They are both such extraordinary players," Edberg said, "and it has been a joy to see their musical partnership grow over the years they have been working together at DePauw."
They will perform a sonata Rebecca Clarke composed at age 23 in 1919.
Guest has had a dual career as a nuclear and physicist and a professional clarinetist and has performed in Greencastle many times. At age 79, he says this may be his last public classical performance.
"We hope that's not true," Edberg said, "because he's playing beautifully, with soul and insight. I've been making music with Gareth for almost 30 years, since I met his daughter Allison, to whom I was married for many years. This concert is a very special celebration of our musical family, of which I feel so blessed to be a part."
"The Brahms Quintet for Clarinet and Strings," considered by many to be the composer's greatest work of chamber music, was written after Brahms had declared himself retired from composing. Then he heard clarinetist Richard Mühlfeld play, and began composing again, writing this piece, a trio (for clarinet, piano and cello), and two clarinet sonatas.
"Sometimes we think great composers compose just to compose, but that's rarely the case. Almost always a composition is the result of a relationship between a composer and a performer or performers, and that's the case with this piece."
Joining Guest in the Brahms performance are his daughter Allison Guest Edberg, a violinist and violist who has taught at DePauw and is now the education director of the Lafayette Symphony and concertmaster of the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra; Regan Eckstein, a Lafayette-area violinist; Nicole Brockmann and Eric Edberg.
Violist Brockmann enjoys a multifaceted career of performance, teaching and scholarship. She has been a member of professional chamber ensembles, including the Brooklyn Chamber Players, the Lumina String Quartet, and the West Virginia Piano Quartet, and has performed at venues across the country and abroad, including Merkin Concert Hall and Carnegie Hall in New York.
A frequent adjudicator and collaborative performer, pianist McCoy has received numerous awards, including the Stewart Graduate Performance Grant, Young Artist Grand Prizes from the Lawton Philharmonic and the Bartlesville Symphony Orchestra, and the Gail Boyd de Stwolinski Award for achievement in performance and scholarship.