News Column

Future perfect: Chamber festival channels past, present composers

July 13, 2014

By Melody Parker, Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, Iowa

July 13--Imagine Mozart with a Mohawk or Bach hangin' with the Beatles.

Hunter Capoccioni can.

There's nothing staid or stick-in-the-mud about classical music in Capoccioni's capable hands. As founder and artistic director of the Cedar Valley Chamber Music Festival, he enjoys juxtaposing themes with music to create live musical experiences, not merely concerts.

The ninth season's theme pays homage to the film "Back to the Future," which turns 30 in 2015. "I thought about the idea related to how composers build on tradition and how their music influences those who come after. Composers look back and channel voices of those who influence their creative process, borrowing themes or creating variations or reworking some piece in the classical canon," Cappoccioni explains.

The festival begins with a free After-Work recital concert on Thursday at 220East in downtown Waterloo. Another After-Work concert is set for July 21. Outreach programs will take place throughout the festival.

Saturday's first festival concert takes place at the Brown Derby, featuring Franz Schubert's celebrated homage to a fish, "Trout Quintet." The program also features a reflection on Schubert's work, "The Red Snapper" by American composer Kevin Puts, and a work by composer Aaron Jay Kernis that sets an Italian futurist cookbook to music.

On July 23 at Waterloo's First Congregational UCC, "Moz-ART" will feature Mozart's Piano Quartet in G Minor -- "a huge piece, a great masterwork," Cappocioni says. A collage of romantic and contemporary pieces by composers Alfred Schnittke, Anton Reicha, Arvo Part and Aaron Kay Kernis will showcase Mozart's far-reaching legacy.

The final concert links Bach and the Beatles in "Bach to the Future" on July 26 at First United Methodist Church in Cedar Falls. "We're doing Bach's Orchestral Suite No. 2 and different interpretations of the Baroque dance suite includes the Beatles and Edward Grieg's 'Norwegian Wood,'" he explains.

Performers will be joined by Jason Weinberger, artistic director and chief executive officer for the wcfsymphony.

"This is what the festival can offer that many concerts can't -- total immersion in a theme. Every once in a while, I run into someone who wants to talk about the memorable music experience that took place for them at a concert or they want to talk about a piece, and that makes me smile," Cappocioni says.

"We appreciate the people who come and support us. We have 100 to 120 at each concert, but I want to bring more people into the family. Once someone comes to a concert, they usually become ticket holders every summer."

In nine seasons, Capoccioni has built a cadre of great musicians and continues to mix in new blood with long-time members who have an Iowa connection.

Familiar faces such as violist Julia Bullard of Cedar Falls, Frederick Halgedahl of Reinbeck and pianist Rene Lecuona of Iowa City are among returning musicians. New guests include pianist Cristina Capparelli Gerling, on faculty at Indiana University and Universidad Federal do Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil, and violinist Kirsten Yon, on faculty at University of Houston.

Other musicians are Michelle Cheramy and Nathan Cook, both of St. John's, Newfoundland, Daphne Gerling of Denton, Texas, Hannah Holman of Iowa City and Susanna Klein of Richmond, Va.


(c)2014 Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier (Waterloo, Iowa)

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Source: Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier (IA)

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