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Home » Archives » June 2012 » 25th Season for Chamber Music San Juans

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06/23/2012: "25th Season for Chamber Music San Juans"

In 1987 renowned violinist Andor Toth brought together a group of accomplished classical musicians and produced a series of concerts on San Juan Island. Toth’s vision and musical legacy lives on, as Chamber Music San Juans opens its 25th season on Saturday, June 23 at San Juan Community Theatre.

The ensemble, first dubbed “Fiddlestix”, was received with such enthusiasm that it was re-christened soon after as “Chamber Music San Juans.” And became an established group.

Toth’s illustrious career spanned well over 60 years, from his student days at Juilliard School at the ripe young age of 18, to his performances with many of the nation’s major symphony orchestras not the least of which was the NBC orchestra (with Arturo Toscanini). He played his violin on the World War II battlefields of Aachen, Germany, performed as violinist for 15 years with the famed Alma Trio and was the founding concertmaster of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. Despite this fame, he found time to artistically shape Chamber Music San Juans and he mentored the group until his death in 2006. University of Victoria’s Patricia Kostek has been the artistic director since then.

Kostek remarks, “Andor possessed an innate ability to inspire us to stretch beyond just a good performance to a much higher level of expression and communication. He was full of wit and genuine love of music.”

Longtime islanders Nancy and Charles Lindenberg have been attending CMSJ concerts for the past 23 years and say the island was blessed to have Toth’s phenomenal talent and connections to the classical music world. “Andor brought a wealth of rich music to this community”, said Nancy. Charles adds that Kostek’s contributions in the past seven years have kept alive Toth’s dream of having world-class musicians come to the island to perform concerts in an intimate setting. Audience members leave the concerts with a sense of amazement at the beauty of the performances.

Kostek, an acclaimed clarinetist and active studio musician has brought together CMSJ regulars and one newcomer to honor the anniversary and celebrate summer. They include bassoonist Martin Kuuskmann; violinists Ron Patterson and Eugene Bazhanov; violist Roxanna Patterson; cellist Rowena Hammill; and pianist Bruce Vogt, who marveled a Whittier stage audience last September with his Portrait of Lizst concert.

Saturday’s celebratory concert, “Music for a Summer’s Eve,” showcases music by pantheon composers Mozart (Quartet for bassoon and strings), Prokofiev (Overture on Hebrew Themes) and Brahms (Quartet for piano and strings in c minor) and presents a delightfully charming gem for clarinet and string trio by Franz Krommer.

The Business Partner for this performance is Managed Reliability. Tickets are $26 for adults and $13 for student reserved. $5 Student RUSH will be available at the door. A private donor has made provision for free tickets to anyone needing financial assistance to attend a Theatre event.

The SJCT Box Office is open Tuesdays-Fridays, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Saturdays 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., and one hour before any performance. Call 360-378-3210, or surf to

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Janice Peterson
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