BRAHMS RETURNS TO THREE HILLS

It had been a hot day, but when they stepped into the Three Hills Arts Academy one year ago, the Rosebud Chamber musicians were delighted with the pleasant, welcoming space that Lewis Frere had created. Forty-five minutes before the show, people were lining up at the door to get a good seat in the hall that would soon be filled to overflowing.  And by the time the musicians launched into the Beethoven String Quartet, the building was sizzling with the dynamic precision that reverberated those walls.

This was the third annual performance by the Rosebud Chamber Music Festival in Three Hills, this year at the Arts Academy.  The appreciative Three Hills audience has always been delightfully responsive to this engaging ensemble of musicians. But never more so than last year at the Arts Academy.

As the beautiful strains of Brahms filled the corners, the audience remained riveted by the passionate energy of these musicians, even as programs gradually became fans.  Intermission and glasses of cold water offered by our host Lewis Frere, and then back into the hall for the Brahms Piano Quartet showing off the Academy’s beautiful piano.  Everything, even the “program fans” stopped moving and the audience held its collective breath, as the Brahms Piano Quartet flowed authoritatively from pathos to power with these skilled musicians.

As the audience stepped out into the cool night area after a roaring standing ovation, they were greeted with the smile of a beautiful ‘blue moon’ rising in the east, providing a perfect ending to an exhilarating evening.

Although the next Blue Moon will show her face in 2018, friends in Three Hills can expect musical luminaries to again light up the summer night this July.  Peter Longworth (piano), Sheila Jaffe (violin), Arnold Choi (cello), and local favourite, Keith Hamm (viola) are returning from their posts in Toronto and the States.  They will be joined by Canadian Opera Company’s Concert Master, Marie Bérard (violin) and Belgian violist Florian Peelman, collaborating to create another world-class musical program which includes Haydn, Schubert and Brahms.

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