2011 - Brian David Braun

Tomorrow, Sybarite5 will perform at Strings Music Festival. I found this post on their blog that I wanted to re-post here because they are certainly excited to perform in Steamboat Springs! Also be sure to check out their video where they talk about transforming their classical career and include some performance clips.


July 27, 2013 Summertime out west

We hope everyone is enjoying the delicious days of summer! In a few days, we’ll be headed to Colorado to perform for the first time in Steamboat Springs at the Strings Music Festival. In addition to bringing The Shuffle Effect to Steamboat, we’ll also be collaborating with composer-violinist Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR). We will perform DBR’s string quartet Parks which he has adapted for string quintet just for us.

Following these concerts, we’ll head to our beloved Aspen, Colorado to work together on our newest project, our very own festival. The Forward Festival will launch in the 2013-2014 season in another place near and dear to our hearts: Sarasota, Florida. This is a hugely exciting new venture for us, and we’ll be in touch again very soon to give you more information about it.

For our friends in Aspen who are wondering why you haven’t seen us in our usual post at Paradise Bakery, exciting changes are happening! Read all about it here.

Our Fall 2013 calendar is wonderfully busy, with concerts in the Virgin Islands, Wyoming, Iowa, Miami and more! We will also continue our residency at the cell, with concerts there in October and December. We hope to see you soon!


Live Music Steamboat – Sybarite5
Sybarite5 will perform at the Strings Music Pavilion on Wednesday, August 7 at 7:00pm. Buy tickets online now or call the Box Office (970) 879-5056 x 105.

Posted on August 6, 2013
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Vadym Kholondenko - 2013

On June 9, 2013, Vadym Kholodenko was pronounced winner of the 14th International Van Cliburn Piano Competition, one of the most prestigious awards for a pianist in the world. In addition to taking home the grand prize, he also took home prizes for best performance of the piano quintet and best performance of the commissioned work.

Born in Kiev, Ukraine, Vadym Kholodenko (pronounced Vah-DEEM Ko-lo-DENK-o) was the first musician in his family. He told the Huffington Post that his mother started him with piano lessons at the age of five, but that she did not push him. At the age of 13, he made his first appearances in the United States, China, Hungary and Croatia at the age of 13. Since then he has performed across the globe in more than 15 countries and has also won first prize at the International Schubert Competition and the Sendai International Music Competition.

For winning the competition, Kholodenko receives $50,000, a live recording of his competition performances, a studio recording and performance attire. Kholodenko will perform in over 50 engagements in 2013–2014 as part of his debut season as gold medalist, including with the Mann Center with The Philadelphia Orchestra, La Jolla Music Society, CU Presents, Cliburn Concerts, the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, the Lied Center of Kansas and Portland Piano International.

Critic Reviews
“For Kholodenko, that was Mozart’s C Major Concerto…. He was able to communicate its joy from the first moments and added his own tasteful embellishments. His cadenzas were fascinating and well-constructed, calling upon techniques such as imitation and fugue and with unexpected harmonic turns. I found them inventive and stylistically true. He built excitement with momentum, but pulled back to savor a phrase. The slow movement was deeply felt, and one was captivated by the beauty of his phrasing.” – Janelle Gelfand, Cincinnati Enquirer

“Judging from his Prokofiev Concerto No. 3 in C Major (Op. 26), Vadym Kholodenko (Ukraine) is a powerhouse of a pianist who is also capable of great delicacy. His concentration was intense and he seemed to be entirely caught up in the music. The Prokofiev 3rd is the music of youth, with ample wit, nose-thumbing cheer and some ridiculously difficult writing for the soloist, especially in the final movement. Mr. Kholodenko captured all of that and did it with precision and flare. There seemed to me to be a real joy in his playing that communicated itself to the highly appreciative audience. It certainly won me over.” – Chuck Lavazzi, Stage Left

About the Competition
Van Cliburn was the first winner of the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1958. It was a time of pride and nationalism for Americans, and so the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition was established in 1962 as a legacy for the young star. The mission of the Van Cliburn Foundation is to identify and sustain the young talents of classical music. The awards not only include cash prizes, but professional development as well. The winners of each competition are awarded three years of career management and artist services, including the booking of national tours and international engagements for the gold medalist. Today the competition is regarded as the most prestigious of its kind in the world.

Cliburn devoted his life to spreading classical music worldwide and nurturing young artists. This February, Cliburn died at the age of 78 at his Fort Worth home after battling bone cancer. The concert on July 31 is dedicated in his memory.

Live Music Steamboat – Vadym Kholodenko
Pianist Vadym Kholodenko will perform a solo piano recital at the Strings Music Pavilion on Wednesday, July 31 at 6:00pm. Buy tickets online now or call the Box Office (970) 879-5056 x 105.

Sergei Rachmaninov (1873 – 1943)
Sonata No. 1 in D Minor, op. 28
     Allegro moderato
     Allegro molto

Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849)
Nocturne in B Major, op. 62, no. 1
Nocturne in E Major, op. 62, no. 2
Polonaise in A-flat Major, op. 53 “Heroique”

Posted on July 23, 2013
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By Valerie Powell

“I really sing songs that move me. I’m not in the show business; I’m in the communications business. That’s what it’s about for me.” – Richie Havens

Richie Havens 

The music industry lost another legend this week with the death of Richie Havens on Monday, April 22. Havens was best known for his unique guitar style, soul filled folk rock, and pop and folk covers, such as the Beatles song “Here Comes the Sun” and The Who classic “Won’t Get Fooled Again.”

Havens actually started his career as a poet and a portrait artist at the Greenwich Village scene. Later on he picked up the guitar and spent some time with Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix. The major turning point in Havens’ career happened in 1969 with his famous three-hour opening set at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. While Havens recorded 21 studio albums, he was at his best onstage.

Richie Havens also did another important opening: he was the opening Different Tempo act for the Strings Music Pavilion in 2008. Betse Grassby of Strings Music Festival says, “I was honored to present him the opening year of the Pavilion. His live performance was exceptional.” The opening weekend of the Pavilion was an exciting time at Strings, and we will remember Richie Havens’ performance fondly.



Posted on April 25, 2013
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“Pressler’s ability to give all the voices prominence while simultaneously isolating the melody was amazing. His fingers still retain a youthful facility.” –The Washington Post

Menahem Pressler pianist

At the age of 89, world renowned pianist Menahem Pressler has been performing for nearly six decades. And his long career is not over yet, as he continues to hold a rigorous performance schedule with orchestras around the world. In one interview he expresses his appreciation to still be able to play: “At my age, I seem to be not getting tired. That is my own miracle. That I can sit there for five hours and rehearse and practice.”

While he is famous for his solo piano performances, Pressler actually started out playing the violin, and his brother took piano lessons. But frequently his brother would be too tired to play, so Pressler took his brother’s spot at the piano. Eventually his mother told him it was time to choose one instrument or the other, and he chose to pursue the piano.

Menahem Pressler also founded the Beaux Arts Trio, which performed for an impressive 53 years. The Washington Post wrote, “since its founding more than 50 years ago, the Beaux Arts Trio has become the gold standard for trios throughout the world.” Among the trio’s many accomplishments are winning Gramophone Record of the Year, a Grammy nomination for recording music by Spanish composers, and being inducted into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame.

While Pressler was performing solo piano concerts, he never lost sight of his passion for teaching. Read More…

Posted on March 6, 2013
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“A sensational, saucy singer and superb pianist… where Texas stomp-rock and Louisiana blues-swamp meet” – USA Today

Marcia Ball

Since the age of five, Marcia Ball has put her fingers to the keys to bring her Texas heritage and Louisiana upbringing together into one musical sound. She took up the piano because her aunt had a piano, her grandmother had a piano and friends had pianos. The piano was a gathering place for friends and family and Marcia Ball knew she was next to learn to play.

Along the way she began to sing and develop her own sound that transformed her into a successful blues musician. She says, “My piano playing supports my singing and—to about the same extent—my singing supports my piano playing. I’m actually used to doing both at the same time and I lean on one to support the other. Basically, what I say is, I sing well enough to accompany my playing and I play well enough to accompany my singing.”

Her newest album Roadside Attractions is her 15th solo album, and her long musical history is apparent. She tells Chicago Blues Guide, “It’s pretty autobiographical. The songs might not be totally true, but it could have happened like that. That’s what writing is. It’s just somebody’s version of the truth. So I guess the album is my version of the truth.” 


Contemporary Female Vocalist of the Year
Five-time Best Blues Instrumentalist-Keyboards
Two-time Contemporary Blues Album of the Year
Contemporary Blues Artist of the Year-Female

Grammy Nominations
Sing It!
So Many Rivers
Live! Down The Road
Peace, Love & BBQ

Marcia Ball Live in Steamboat Springs
Marcia Ball will perform a romantic Valentine’s Day Concert at the Strings Music Pavilion on Thursday, February 14. Order tickets online or by calling the Box Office (970) 879-5056 x 105.

Posted on February 6, 2013
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One day during a piano lesson, Michael Kaeshammer’s classically trained teacher left to get a coffee. While he was gone, young Kaeshammer noodled around with boogie woogie jazz and blues. When the piano teacher returned, he was not impressed. So, at the age of 13, Kaeshammer quit piano lessons.

And it’s a good thing he did. Kaeshammer is now an award-winning boogie woogie pianist, singer, and songwriter, and his career includes seven albums. Whereas blues is stereotyped as melancholy and slow, boogie woogie will make you want to get up and dance.



“I see music as being an excuse to hang out in the same room.” Micheal Kaeshammer

The people of Steamboat Springs sure love hanging out with him, as this is Kaeshammer’s third appearance at Strings Music Festival. He performed at Strings in the summers of 2010 and 2011 and the concert experience was so well received that the audience asked us to bring him back again.

Montreal Gazette writes: “He’s a showman. And showmanship is what makes people talk… If you haven’t seen him live, you haven’t really experienced him in his true element.”

Michael Kaeshammer Live in Steamboat Springs
Michael Kaeshammer will perform a special holiday concert, mixing in his own hits with the most festive songs of the season. Joined by drummer Mark McLean, the dynamic duo will dance you right into the holiday mood.

Kaeshammer plays at the Strings Music Pavilion on Friday December 21. Tickets are on sale now! Bring the whole family with $25 tickets for juniors and students. Order tickets online or by calling the Box Office (970) 879-5056 x 105.

Posted on December 12, 2012
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“Architecture is frozen music.” -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

William Close Plays the Earth Harp
This quote sums up musician and inventor William Close’s career. Close has been pushing boundaries with what actually constitutes a musical instrument by turning architecture into instruments and instruments into architecture.

Close’s first major experiment with music and architecture came with the creation of a bridge made of strings. The stringed bridge spanned 1,000 feet across a valley. Vibrations across the strings resonated in the valley below turning the landscape into a giant musical instrument. The instrument later became known as the Earth Harp and has since been constructed in various other architectural masterpieces, including the Coliseum in Rome, the Space Needle in Seattle, the Grand Theatre in Shanghai, and a 9th century castle in Italy.

Behind the Earth Harp at the Strings Music Pavilion
After building the Earth Harp, Close explored other unique instruments. His tinkerings led to the invention of over 100 original musical instruments. Below are a few of the instruments I saw first hand this summer.

Drum Orb

The Drum Orb is a spherical cage with all kinds of different sized and shaped drums attached to the outside of the cage. The orb is suspended in space and spins while it is being played. The drummers become dancers as they move around the orb.

Drum Orb
Percussion Jacket
Synthesized drum pads are sewn into a jacket, creating a musical instrument you can wear. When plugged into an amplifier, the jacket is played by beating on the pads.

The Aquatar is made up of two guitars, attached in the middle by a longer sounding board fitted with strings. The Aquatar gets its name because it has a water-like sound.

Drum Jacket and Aquatar
Chime Sword
An arc connects two sets of chimes making a musical baton. It can be played either by spinning it in the air above your head or running your fingers through the chimes. I’m not sure if it was the dazzling sight of the chime sword spinning around or the mysteriousness of the chime sound, but this instrument was my favorite.
Chime Sword
Since seeing William Close perform this summer, I’ve followed his progress on the hit TV show America’s Got Talent. Howard Stern said, “You, my friend, are doing everything America’s Got Talent is looking for,” and I hope that America agrees. The Finals Performances is tomorrow night, so be sure to tune into NBC to watch all the finalists and cast your vote!
Special thanks to Corey Kopischke for photographing William Close and MASS Ensemble this summer.

Posted on September 11, 2012
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“A seriously funky collective capable of bringing elements of deep soul, New Orleans funk, Stax/Memphis stylings and earthy R&B together . . . Kincheloe wove a sultry, sexy spell with her incredible blues-soaked lines and deep-in-the-groove dance moves.” -The Buffalo News

Sister Sparrow and The Dirty Birds

Sister Sparrow and The Dirty Birds have hit the ground running since 2010 with the release of their debut, self-titled album. The band is the next hottest thing, having opened for the Black Keys, the Neville Brothers, Dr. John, the Rebirth Brass Band, and the Soul Rebels Brass Band, and with lead singer Arleigh Kincheloe’s voice being compared to Adele, Amy Winehouse, and Janis. Their music turns jazzy New Orleans blues into rock ‘n roll, and the crowd can’t resist the urge to dance.

Below you can watch the band’s newest music video, ‘Another Ride.’ Kincheloe says, “The whole carnival idea, “Another Ride” is about life, but the imagery is directly inspired by being a little kid at the Margaretville Fair.”

If you want the inside scoop from the band, check out their blog here: http://www.sistersparrow.com/category/tour-blog/. Humorous anecdotes and entertaining stories from life on the road let you know that they have just as much fun off the stage as on.

Live Music in Steamboat:
Kincheloe talks about the band’s explosive live show in an interview with The Grateful Web: “The boys sort of told me this early on, ‘Man you sing the song different every time and it’s really cool because it inspires us to do the same and to have that freedom and creativity.’ We try to play to the audience as much as we can and I think that immediately changes the vibe of the song. So you might not hear the same thing twice with us, which is exciting.” 

Sister Sparrow and The Dirty Birds will play at the Strings Music Pavilion on Saturday July 21st. Tickets on sale now for only $25! Order tickets online or by calling the Box Office (970) 879-5056 x 105.

Posted on July 18, 2012
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“From rock clubs to symphony halls, the composer, musician, and performer Daniel Bernard Roumain seems unstoppable.”  -New York Sun

Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR)

Before Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR) was a nationally known violinist performing with Lady Gaga and Philip Glass, he started out as most of us do. Just trying to figure out who we are. While many musicians conform to set genre lines and follow the rules for their specific instrument, Roumain did the opposite. “What I set out to do was make the violin more reflective of who I am, and what I’m into,” Roumain told NPR 

Along the way he asked himself more questions: “Where does blackness come into play in the violin – and more than that, where does hip-hop come in?” The answers are in the music. So if you thought that the classical violin could never touch hip-hop, dance, and African rhythms, you’re about to be proven wrong.

Besides erasing genre lines, Roumain also challenges the inherent qualities of the violin. The violin is classified as a stringed instrument, where sound is generated from the vibration of strings across a soundboard or soundbox. But Roumain proves that the violin can also be a percussion instrument, where sound is generated by striking one object against another.

In the above video, Roumain states, “I feel it’s my responsibility and obligation to get out into the schools and talk about music.” The next schools Roumain will visit are those in Northwest Colorado. Roumain will act as Strings Music Festival’s Artist-in-Residence for the Strings School Days program through May of 2013. Next week, Roumain will visit schools in Steamboat Springs, Hayden, Oak Creek, and Craig and conduct field trips at the Strings Music Pavilion. During his time here he will meet students, introduce his unique approach to music, and guide music ensembles through a new learning process.

Live Music in Steamboat
Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR) will perform a Free Concert at the Strings Music Pavilion on Friday, May 11th at 7:00pm. Tickets will be available Friday evening outside the Pavilion starting at 6:00pm and the doors open at 6:30pm. There are no advance ticket reservations.

Strings School Days Field Trips
Thurs, 5/10 – 10:15-11:00am: Strawberry Park, Soda Creek, and South Routt
Thurs, 5/10 – 1:00-1:45pm: Strawberry Park and Soda Creek Elementary Schools
Fri, 5/11 – 10:00-10:45am: Steamboat Springs Middle and High Schools

All field trips are held at the Strings Music Pavilion and are free and open to the public.

Posted on May 2, 2012
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The Tesla Quartet

This summer Strings Music Festival welcomes the Tesla Quartet to the Young Artist-in-Residence program. The Tesla Quartet was founded in 2008 at The Julliard School and currently studies with the Takács Quartet through their Graduate String Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Music festivals are familiar to the Tesla Quartet, and before coming to Strings, they spent three summers at Aspen Music Festival.

Most recently the quartet took 3rd prize in the London International String Quartet Competition. Nick Kimberly of the London Evening Standard wrote the following about the competition:

“The Tesla Quartet (US) followed with Debussy’s String Quartet, the fleeting atmospheres of which have defeated some of the world’s finest. This was a subtly coloured performance that balanced confidently between intimacy and extraversion. A real sense of four players listening to each other did not obstruct a natural rapport with the audience.

Confusingly, the judges’ decision took account of performances in earlier rounds. Based on the final alone, I would have given the prize to the Tesla, whom the jury placed third. First prize went to the Arcadia. All three quartets deserve a bright future.”

The Tesla Quartet at Wigmore Hall, London

Ross Snyder, violin: The founder of the Tesla Quartet, Ross won Second Prize in the Hudson Valley Philharmonic String Competition and first prize in the Dorothy J. Bales ’41 Violin Competition at the New England Conservatory.

Michelle Lie, violin: Born in Munich, Germany and raised in South Korea since the age of six, Michelle did not start playing the violin until the age of 14. Michelle was awarded first prize in the 250th anniversary of the J.S. Bach Competition and was the winner of Dankook University’s 2004 Concerto Competition.

Megan Mason, viola: Founding violist of the Tesla Quartet, Megan spends her summers as a Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center and has studied at Le Domaine Forget and the Idyllwild Arts Academy.

Kimberly Patterson, cello: Kimberly recently gave the world premiere of Cayetano Soto’s ballet for solo cello, Uneven, with the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet and subsequently toured throughout the United Sates. She has completed chamber residencies with the Aspen Music Festival and the Bravo! Vail Music Festival.

Live Music in Steamboat – The Tesla Quartet
The Tesla Quartet will perform free lunchtime concerts at the Yampa River Botanic Park Thursdays June 28 to July 19. They will also present outreach concerts for Boys and Girls Clubs and Senior Centers, as well as be featured in select evening classical concerts at the Strings Music Pavilion.

Posted on April 24, 2012
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