For One Night, a Feeling of Caramoor on the Seine

Alisa Weilerstein, Cello

REVIEW  |  06.23.08  |  The New York Times

Almost as soon as American music was weaned of its early dependency on German models it developed an adolescent crush on France. George Gershwin, of course, celebrated the allure of Paris. The relationship was consummated by the influential pedagogue Nadia Boulanger and her distinguished line of American students, chief among them Aaron Copland.

Inspired by this historical connection, pieces by Gershwin, Copland, Leonard Bernstein and the French composer Gabriel Fauré – grandfathered in for having taught Boulanger – were strung together for the opening concert of the Caramoor International Music Festival on Saturday night. The title of the program, “Americans in Paris,” was something of a stretch given the pieces included.

There was a more significant theme lurking in this performance by the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, though admittedly one not as readily adapted for a gala dinner and post-concert party. Of the three soloists, two – the cellist Alisa Weilerstein and the clarinetist Igor Begelman – were students in Rising Stars, Caramoor’s mentor program, founded in 1992 as a way for promising young players to work with seasoned professionals. The third, the pianist Jon Kimura Parker, was a Rising Stars mentor. Continue reading


"Jon Kimura Parker...Has never performed as intimately and imaginatively in Portland as he did Sunday. Parker played like a one-man orchestra, calling forth different colors and textures as the music required."
-The Oregonian

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