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Harpsichord music festival scheduled this weekend in Stonington


STONINGTON — Zuckermann Harpsichords International will be present a three-event festival this weekend in Stonington Borough. The festival will kick off with a lecture and a demonstration of two newly finished, lavishly decorated harpsichords Friday evening at the Stonington Free Library, continue with a harpsichord recital Saturday at the Zuckermann shop at 65 Cutler St., and culminate Sunday at St. Mary’s Church where a Baroque cello will join the stage. All three events will begin at 6 p.m.

The Friday lecture, titled “Two Harpsichord-building Traditions, Italian vs. French: Shape, Structure, and Sound,” will explore the methods of building harpsichords in both styles. Richard Auber, president of Zuckermann Harpsichords, and Aymeric Dupré la Tour, musical-finishing technician at Zuckermann, will explain and demonstrate the construction process used on two recently completed harpsichords. The Italian model is named after Carlo Grimaldi, one of the finest builders of the late 17th through early 18th centuries. The other is a French double instrument made in the tradition of the large French harpsichords of the 18th century. A wine reception will follow the lecture-demonstration.

Harpsichordist Elena Zamolodchikova of Moscow will perform the Saturday recital, “Renaissance and Baroque Keyboard Miniatures: Works by William Byrd and Jean- Philippe Rameau.” A doctor of musical arts candidate at Stony Brook University, Zamolodchikova is an intern this summer in the musical finishing department at the Zuckermann shop.

Sunday’s concert at St. Mary’s Church, “The Franco-Italian Contretemps,” will feature a program of French and Italian cello music played by Juliana Soltis, an accomplished cellist working on her master’s in historical performance at Oberlin Conservatory. She will be playing on an antique baroque cello dated 1677 by Andreas Ferdinand Mayr, recently restored by Warren Ellison of Jericho, Vt. The duo of Zamolodchikova and Dupré la Tour on harpsichords will open the concert and will share the continuo accompaniment. Ms. Soltis can be heard playing Bach on the YouTube link.

The festival revives a tradition at Zuckermann of bringing music to the community. The events are free. For more information, contact Pamela Ryley at pamela.ryley@snet.net or 860-536-4826.



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