Allegeheny RiverStone Center for the Arts strives to cultivate the growing regional audience of classical music enthusiasts. It is a challenge as well as a satisfying joy to present good music performed well by talented and caring artists. It is also quite gratifying to share it with a diverse audience who forgo other Spring activities from yard work, gardening, sporting events, the list can seem endless, to attend a music moment that can suspend time. A recent piano concert on a Sunday afternoon in Foxburg, was such a marvelous event, with Gayle Martin Henry playing the Lincoln Hall Steinway piano. Her fingers dazzled and arrested the audience’s attention, literally dancing across the keys and with her playing, she delighted and inspired. She demonstrated that good music brightens the world. Live performed music is doubly bright. Her playing enlivened music written decades and centuries ago. With our short attention span and sound bite world, she captivated the audience, which still does happen when music is masterfully performed no matter the genre.
Expectations are heightened for another such experience Sunday afternoon May 6th at 2:00 PM at Lincoln Hall in Foxburg. The Pittsburgh Symphony Chamber Players return for their 2012 Spring Concert. Past performances have captivated the audience and transformed Lincoln Hall to the world stage. Their appeal transcends age and social demographics. Young people and students all the way to card-carrying members of AARP are linked by sweet sound of strings, piano, and for this concert clarinet. The Chamber Players led by Mikhail Istomin have set a spring theme for Sunday’s concert, “Romantics Inspired by Woman”. According to Mr. Istomin, “At this special interactive concert performed by members of the world famous Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the audience will be treated to heartwarming masterworks of classical music composed by two of the greatest composers of the romantic era, Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms, inspired by their muses, the woman they loved. Also on the program to celebrate the spring season will be the melodic and airy ‘Lark’ string quartet by the great Austrian composer Joseph Haydn .” . . .“And we are absolutely enthusiastic about playing in the intimate space of Lincoln Hall”.
Indeed live classical music can thrive, bridge generations, and win new friends when brought to life by the likes of the Chamber Players, and Ms. Henry, truly gifted and dedicated musicians. Such is the moment when the listener sits enthralled, bedazzled and beguiled. There is no gadgetry, or electronic enhancement. There is just the connection between the listener and the performer, something energetic and a transforming, sound entwined with emotion. This is the essence of ARCA’s mission to offer to its members and friends such moments that touch the heart and soul.
How marvelous are these musical moments that embrace those who find their way across hill and valley to this intimate space called Lincoln Hall. Both performer and listener are better for it. Yes, being present at such a moment is so worth one’s time. We the audience can participate and appreciate the artistry of musicians, the genius of the composers across the years, continents and oceans. For all, it is a grand convergence on a Sunday afternoon in the village of Foxburg.