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Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival presents free concert March 8 at PVCC

Crystal Graham
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The Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival opens its 25th season with a free concert on March 8 at the Dickinson Fine & Performing Arts Center at Piedmont Virginia Community College.

The concert is one stop on a tour that includes Columbia, Beaufort and Charleston, S.C.; Macon, Ga.; and New York City.

The six musicians, all renowned instrumentalists, have active orchestral, ensemble and solo careers with engagements in the U.S. and abroad.

Cellist Raphael Bell, the festival’s co-artistic director, joins Andrew Armstrong, pianist; Alexander Fiterstein, clarinetist; Matthew Lipman, violist; R. J. Kelley, French hornist; and Amy Schwartz Moretti, violinist.

Highlights of the program include Sergei Rachmaninoff’s soulful Trio élégiaque No. 1 in G minor for piano, violin and cello, and Ernő Dohnányi’s Sextet, Op. 37 for all six musicians.

“Everyone shines, and the audience get to hear all the instruments separately. And it’s such a colorful and beautiful program,” said festival co-founder and co-artistic director Raphael Bell.

Doors will open at 7 p.m. The concert will last approximately 75 minutes, with no intermission. No tickets are necessary for this general admission concert.

Since its founding in 2000, the Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival has established itself as one of the premier classical music events in the region. The festival’s founders and artistic directors, violinist Timothy Summers and cellist Raphael Bell, are Charlottesville natives and Juilliard graduates who currently reside and work in Berlin, Germany, and Antwerp, Belgium, respectively.

Since its inception, they have invited their friends and colleagues from the U.S., Canada and abroad to come together in Charlottesville for several weeks in September for intensive rehearsals and performances. Unlike their regular work in orchestras and established groups performing the same pieces on tour, the festival offers the excitement of compressed rehearsal time and playing with new partners. During the year, the festival offers occasional concerts such as this one.


Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.