Chamber fest goes ‘flash mob’

Composer Danny Clay at Accent10, a new music event in 2010 at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Photo by Ben L. Kaufman from

The Chamber Music Festival of Lexington is expanding from its traditional August dates to present a series of  “flash-mob inspired” performances at various locations around the Lexington area July 12 to 22.

The performances will feature graduate-student musicians from a number of prestigious music schools around the nation and music by composer Danny Clay, whose recent commissions include the Kronos Quartet. The group will play 16 performances at a series of locations around town that will not be disclosed until they happen, flash-mob style. Impromptu public performances, or flash mobs, became popular several years ago, particularly with choral groups presenting seemingly spontaneous performances of the Hallelujah chorus from George Frideric Handel’s Messiah in public places at Christmastime. In recent years, the Lexington Singers have presented flash mob Hallelujahs in the food court at Fayette Mall, in Joseph-Beth Booksellers and in Lexington Center prior to a University of Kentucky basketball game.

Festival officials said the point of the performances, some of which will take place at events organized by other groups, will be to bring chamber music to audiences that traditionally wouldn’t hear it and present it with a youthful profile.

“From the beginning, we have made a point of showcasing a brilliant cast of young musicians assembled by our artistic director Nathan Cole at our August concerts,” Festival president Charlie Stone said. “These July ‘flash’ programs simply reinforce and underscore our mission.”

The musicians will be:

Nicholas Montopoli, violin, a current masters candidate at the University of Maryland.

Erin Rafferty, viola, a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and current masters candidate at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music.

Luke Darville, cello, a graduate of the University of Minnesota.

Mark Kleine, clarinet, a graduate of Arizona State University and doctoral candidate at Cincinnati.

Matthew Quick, piano, a doctoral candidate at Cincinnati.

Clay is a Cincinnati graduate currently pursuing a masters at the San Francisco Conservatory. He has previously collaborated with groups such as the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and his Kronos Quartet commission will be recorded by the group.

The Chamber Music Festival of Lexington will be Aug. 29 to Sept. 2 at the Fasig-Tipton Sales Pavilion on Newtown Pike and at various locations around downtown Lexington. In addition to the festival’s core quintet, this year’s guest musician will be Andrew Bain, principal horn for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the guest composer will be Chris Rogerson, a widely performed composer currently pursuing a masters degree at Yale University.

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