What do klezmer, bandoneon, and the Wild West have in common? They are all part of the Endless Mountain Music Festival’s 2017 summer concert series, opening on Friday, July 21 at 7:30 at Mansfield University’s Steadman Theatre. Mansfield University Director of Choral Activities Peggy Dettwiler leads off with choral selections before EMMF Maestro Stephen Gunzenhauser takes the stage for the first night of more than two weeks of wonderful. Stephen, the full-time conductor and artistic director of the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra, brings renowned soloists and the EMMF orchestra—his handpicked band of world-class entertainers, cleverly disguised as classical musicians—back to our community to live, occasionally teach, and generally delight the ear in the peak of the summer. Based in Wellsboro, this year EMMF will also stage multiple performances in Mansfield, Corning, and Elmira, and individual concerts in Tioga, Knoxville, and Cherry Springs State Park.
“I get to realize my dream of bringing a diverse group of wonderful artists to celebrate life in the Twin Tiers,” says Stephen with excitement. “What a great series of concerts for 2017.”
So what is klezmer, you might ask? “It is celebratory music composed by gypsies of Eastern Europe,” explains Stephen, and he is bringing Max Buckholtz and his ensemble specifically to present Melodies of Eastern Europe at the Rockwell Museum on July 24. The bandoneon? It is to the tango as accordion is to the polka, and Argentinian bandoneon master Emmanuel Trifilio will be back with EMMF for two performances, Viva el Tango! at Wellsboro’s Deane Center for the Performing Arts on July 27 and again with the full orchestra onstage at the Corning Museum of Glass on July 29, performing Astor Piazzolla’s Bandoneón Concerto. The Wild West makes its appearance in Cowboy Legends! is full-orchestra concert at Mansfield University’s Steadman Auditorium on July 28, envisioned specifically for young people, will feature video and music from The Magnificent Seven, How the West Was Won, High Noon, and Dances with Wolves. This concert—as well as every one of the festival’s sixteen shows—is free for anyone under twenty-one. Two concerts are free for everyone—the August 2 Four Hands! performance at Knoxville Yoked Church featuring EMMF favorites Asiya Korepanova and Xixi Zhou on piano, and the Oh, My Stars EMMF Brass Ensemble concert on July 30 at Cherry Springs State Park. (You do have to register with the park to come in at night, though. Call (814) 435-1037 or go to www.events.dcnr.pa.gov/cherry_springs_state_park to sign up.)
The musical range is broad, from pure classical to Celtic (by Across the Pond playing at the Williamson High School in Tioga, Pennsylvania, on August 3) to jazz (July 26 sees Terry and Paul Klinefelter at the Arnot Art Museum for Songs of Jazz! On August 1, at the Penn Wells Hotel, Bram Wijnands and Friends get All Jazzed Up!). Go to www.endlessmountain.net for more information or tickets or call the box office at (570) 787-7800.