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‘Mozart at McClaren’ Festival Amadeus to be held

Glacier Symphony presents the Flathead Valley’s only classical music festival with a thoughtfully curated three-day program of music

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News from Glacier Symphony

KALISPELL — Festival Amadeus will take a new format as a weekend classical music festival, rather than a week-long festival, and is called “Mozart at McClaren” this year. The festival will be filled with the same classical music repertoire and pre-concert talks prepared by Maestro John Zoltek that new and returning attendees love, but in a three-evening format in the acoustically excellent home of the Glacier Symphony. Mozart at McClaren is June 23, 24 and 25. Each night’s performance begins at 7:30 p.m. Individual tickets start as low as $40 and three-day passes start as low as $138.

Mozart at McClaren features a special edition of the Glacier Symphony Orchestra, called the Festival Amadeus Orchestra, that performs with traveling, talented soloists under the direction of Founding Artistic Director and Conductor, John Zoltek. This year, pianist Anna Polonsky and violinist Yevgeny Kutik will be performing with our Festival Amadeus Orchestra. 

Anna Polonsky made her solo piano debut at the age of seven at the Special Central Music School in Moscow, Russia. She emigrated to the United States in 1990 and attended high school at the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan. She received her Bachelor of Music diploma from The Curtis Institute of Music under the tutelage of the renowned pianist Peter Serkin, and continued her studies with Jerome Lowenthal, earning her master’s degree from the Juilliard School. Anna Polonsky is widely in demand as a soloist and chamber musician. She has appeared with the Moscow Virtuosi, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, the Memphis Symphony, the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, the St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble, and many others. Ms. Polonsky has collaborated with the Guarneri, Orion, Daedalus, and Shanghai Quartets, and with such musicians as Mitsuko Uchida, Yo-Yo Ma, David Shifrin, Richard Goode, Emanuel Ax, Arnold Steinhardt, Peter Wiley, and Jaime Laredo. She is a recipient of a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship and the Andrew Wolf Chamber Music Award. In addition to performing, she serves on the piano faculty of Vassar College. Ms. Polonsky is a Steinway Artist.

Mozart at McClaren’s featured violinist, Yevgeny Kutik, is praised for his “dark-hued tone and razor-sharp technique,” according to The New York Times. Yevgeny Kutik has captivated audiences worldwide with an old-world sound that communicates a modern intellect. Praised for his technical precision and virtuosity, he is also lauded for his poetic and imaginative interpretations of standard works as well as rarely heard and newly composed repertoire. A native of Minsk, Belarus, Yevgeny Kutik immigrated to the United States with his family at the age of five. Yevgeny Kutik began violin studies with his mother, Alla Zernitskaya, and went on to study with Zinaida Gilels, Shirley Givens, Roman Totenberg, and Donald Weilerstein. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Boston University and a master’s degree from the New England Conservatory. Kutik made his major orchestral debut in 2003 with Keith Lockhart and The Boston Pops as the First Prize recipient of the Boston Symphony Orchestra Young Artists Competition. In 2006, he was awarded the Salon de Virtuosi Grant as well as the Tanglewood Music Center Jules Reiner Violin Prize. His 2014 album, Music from the Suitcase: A Collection of Russian Miniatures (Marquis Classics), features music he found in his family’s suitcase after immigrating to the United States from the Soviet Union in 1990 and debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard Classical chart. The album garnered critical acclaim and was featured on NPR’s All Things Considered and in The New York Times. Kutik’s violin was crafted in Italy in 1915 by Stefano Scarampella.

Like the acclaimed soloists, the Festival Amadeus Orchestra is oozing with talent and dedication to the music planned for the trio of performances. Glacier Symphony’s Concertmaster, Ali Schultz Levesque, and Associate Concertmaster, Sara Schultz Levesque, shared their passion for participating in the Festival Amadeus Orchestra once again during Mozart at McClaren festival weekend. Both musicians are thrilled about the challenge of performing high-level repertoire like Beethoven, Haydn, Mendelssohn, Mozart and more in a condensed period of time, said Ali. “Putting all of that together is constant mental pivoting when going across the genres, to working with soloists and then solely as the core orchestra. It’s eat, sleep, rehearse, perform repeat,” said Ali. Sara added, “It’s a fun orchestra marathon.”  

Mozart at McClaren opens Friday evening with a full-scale duo recital for violin and piano with a virtuosic program to include pieces by Mozart and an assortment of French composers including Cesar Frank, Darius Milhaud and Maurice Ravel. Glacier Symphony’s Conductor, Zoltek is looking forward to the rarely performed, thrilling and rhythmically dynamic Le Boeuf sur le Toit (The Ox on the Roof) by Milhaud. “And, per my request, Yevgeny and Anna will also offer a very beautiful encore written by a famous Russian composer,” said Zoltek. 

Saturday evening, guest pianist Anna Polonsky will take the stage for one of Mozart’s great piano concertos nicknamed ‘The Coronation’ as it was originally composed as a work celebrating the crowning of Leopold II as Holy Roman Emperor in 1790. “The Coronation Concerto is a popular work with dynamic outer movements framing a simple themed slow movement that allows pianists to add ornamentations and improvised passages to the solo piano part,” said Zoltek. “Anna Polonsky is a brilliant pianist and a recognized practitioner of the music of Mozart.”

Sunday’s final concert features violinist Yevgeny Kutik, making his fourth appearance with Glacier Symphony, and playing Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor, one of the most beloved concertos in the repertoire. The orchestra will also present Mozart’s Paris Symphony and Beethoven’s exciting Symphony No. 7 in A, once called the “apotheosis of the dance” will absolutely shine as the concert finale.

“So, there we have it, our three-concert festival, strongly rooted in the Classical Style with a little French music and Mendelssohn added to add just the right amount of variety of musical flavors. I recommend you try the entire menu,” shares our Artistic Director and Conductor.

For more information, contact the Glacier Symphony and Chorale office at 406-407-7000 or, or in-person at 69 N Main Street in Kalispell.

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