The simultaneously soothing and stirring sounds of the compact and international La Musica chamber ensemble will return to Sarasota for the 29th season of the La Musica International Chamber Music Festival. Running from April 4 through 15 at the Sarasota Opera House, this year’s festival, titled “Things New,” strives to offer the intricate beauties of chamber music in fresh perspectives to new audiences unfamiliar yet curious with the genre.
In order to achieve those new musical outlooks, La Musica will present the world premiere of the composition “String Quartet in Modus Lascivus” written by Jerry Bilik. Bilik, a Sarasota resident, has composed music for “Charlie’s Angels,” “Disney on Ice” and the “M Fanfare” for the University of Michigan Marching Band.
In addition to the world premiere, Brazilian violinist Claudio Cruz will join and perform with the La Musica chamber ensemble for the first time. Cruz joins an 11-member team of three violinists (Cruz, Federico Agostini and Jennifer Frautschi) three violists (Bruno Giuranna, Rebecca Albers and Daniel Avshalomov), three cellists (Julie Albers, Dmitri Atapine and Antonio Meneses), one horn player (Eric Ruske) and one pianist (Derek Han). The nearly one dozen musicians have diverse origins that range from here in the United States to Russia, Italy and Switzerland.
Another leg of this year’s festival includes a program titled “Simply Sonatas at Sainer,” which allows each chamber musician to present their own musical expertise and skills as an individual. The La Musica musicians will also perform a piano trio composed by La Musica intern Nicholas Murphy who is a sophomore at the Out-of-Door Academy in Sarasota. The piece will be performed in the matinee program on April 12.
The new compositions by Bilik and Murphy notwithstanding, the festival’s musical program features classical chamber standards for the area’s consummate chamber audiophiles. Music by composing giants such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Robert Alexander Schumann, Antonín Dvorák, Johannes Brahms, Maurice Ravel and Dmitri Shostakovich among others will bounce of the walls of the Sarasota Opera House.
“This season offers audiences the opportunity to explore chamber music from different perspectives,” says Sally Faron, La Musica president, in a prepared statement. “How, for example, some disapproving medieval monks gave rise a millennium later to a new direction in modern composing, or how adding a non-traditional chamber instrument can create an entirely new atmospheric, and how hearing these brilliant musicians in solo mode helps explain the beauty of their chamber performances."