If there’s one thing the “experts” tell you about building a business, it’s about the importance of building relationships.
And if that involves sharing pants, so be it.
That’s how the Felici Trio’s Brian Schuldt ended up recruiting one of the world class musicians who will perform at this year’s Chamber Music Unbound Summer Festival, which takes place Thursday-Sunday over the next two weekends at Mammoth’s Cerro Coso College campus.
Schuldt was in Reno playing the Nevada Chamber Music Festival when he realized he’d packed his wife’s pants for the performance. Try as he might, he wasn’t getting into those.
As he looked around the dressing room, the closest fit he saw belonged to pianist James Winn, a music professor at the University of Nevada-Reno. As they weren’t playing in the same piece … Brian traded his jeans for James’s dress pants for the show, and a friendship was struck.
Call it the Brotherhood of the Concert Pants.
Schuldt, a cellist, and fellow Felici principal Rebecca Hang, a violinist (they’re married, having met in college at the prestigious Jacobs School of Music at the University of Indiana) describe James Winn as “a great improvisor. Fun to work with. He lives and breathes music. There ls no small talk with James. You talk about music.”
Winn is among the new faces you’ll see at this year’s festival. Another new face is Violinist Sabrina-Vivian Hopcker. This relationship was built courtesy of Rebecca Hang, who explains, “We shared a music stand while I was down in L.A. subbing at the L.A. Chamber Orchestra. We bonded over our shared love of German romantic poetry.”
Mercedes Smith, Principal Flutist with the Utah Symphony, is yet another new artist. As Brian and Rebecca did not provide any romantic, poetic or pant-swapping tales related to Ms. Smith, The Sheet turned to the Utah Symphony for a bio which featured too many accomplishments to list.
She has served as Principal Flutist for the Utah Symphony since 2012, and was awarded first prize in the National Flute Association’s 2010 Young Artist Competition. Last year, she was the guest Principal Flutist with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra on its 2018 European tour.
Boccherini and a typewriter
Now in its 19th year, Schuldt and Hang started the Festival initially because they had small children and it was difficult to travel. So they decided to bring their friends here instead.
While you can’t go wrong on any night (all evening concerts take place at 7:30 p.m., with the Saturday mini-recitals at 4 p.m.), Schuldt and Hang highlighted shows for both this weekend and next.
At this Saturday’s mini-recital, Schuldt will play the 2nd cello in Boccherini’s “Sonata for Two Cellos in G Major.”
Boccherini was an Italian composer and cellist who worked for the King of Spain. The King was an amateur cellist. Boccherini wrote this piece so he and the king could perform together.
Schuldt will play the king’s part Saturday. Mark Votapek will play the lead
As Schuldt says, “Our audience gets to hear us featured the rest of the year. So this is our chance to play 2nd fiddle [and let others take the spotlight].”
And next weekend, at the closing performance on August 3, you’ll hear a world premiere arrangement by Cellist Emilio Colon where a typewriter is featured prominently in Works for Cello Ensemble.
You’ll never be able to look at your computer keyboard again without a little bit of disdain.
Also, try to catch Violinist Corey Cerovsek this weekend: As Brian and Rebecca say, “In short, Corey’s one of the greatest violinists in the world. He was a late fill-in one year and became an instant crowd favorite. He loves the area and is a frequent returning guest.
Finally, 37 students (from China, Canada, California, Indiana Univ. and more) are here over the next two weeks to attend the Sierra Academy of Music for instrumentalists ages 14-24. The students play free concerts the next two Sundays at 10 a.m. Saturday evening concerts also feature advanced students playing with faculty.
For more information on tickets and schedule, please visit www.ChamberMusicUnbound.org or see the advertisement on page 9.