The Charles Washington Chamber Music Society will hold its inaugural concert on Sunday afternoon, February 25, at Happy Retreat, Charles Washington’s home in Charles Town. The program will feature works by Mozart, Bach and Debussy as well as lesser known early composers Marin Marias, Fernando Sor and Ferdinando Carulli.
The concert has been organized by the founder of the Charles Washington Chamber Music Society, Gary Stewart. Mr. Stewart, who lives in Duffields, is a specialist in early 19th century music, and has performed numerous modern world premieres of 19th century chamber compositions, and concerti. He has also recorded over 150 individual pieces for the Guitar Foundation of America archive. “This concert will be a rare opportunity to hear period music played in the intimacy of a 19th Century parlor,” said Stewart.
For this inaugural performance, Mr. Stewart has assembled a group of musicians of both regional and international renown.
Rene Schiffer is the founding principal cellist of Apollo’s Fire Baroque Orchestra, which has toured throughout the world. He is recognized as one of the most creative musicians on the international period-music scene. He serves on the faculty of the Cleveland Institute of Music, among other leading schools around the world.
Stanley Yates is an Anglo-American guitarist who enjoys an international career as performer, teacher and scholar. He has toured throughout the world and has been described as “one of the elite breed of guitarists.”
Emily Bentgen is principle oboist with the NIH Philharmonia and The Friday Morning Music Club Chorale, and oboist and English Horn player in the in Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Greater Washington, and has played with other orchestras in Michigan and Illinois.
Angela Collier-Reynolds is a flutist with the Gateway Chamber Ensemble and is Adjunct Flute Professor at Fairmont State University and Lecturer of Music at West Virginia University.
Because of the limited space available the parlors at Happy Retreat, there will be two performances of this concert. The first will be at 1:30 p.m. and the second will be at 4 p.m. Tickets are $50. They may be purchased in advance at the Friends of Happy Retreat website. Proceeds from the concert will go towards the restoration of Happy Retreat.