Elissa Greene: Welcome back to Strings | SteamboatToday.com

Elissa Greene: Welcome back to Strings

— My name is Elissa Greene, and I'm the education and information technology director for Strings Music Festival. I am honored to be writing in this space for the third year in a row. In the weeks ahead, you'll learn about upcoming summer events at Strings and why you shouldn't miss a single one.

Saturday is Opening Night, kicking off Strings' summer season and featuring the Strings Festival Orchestra with violin soloist Sarah Chang. Music directors Andrés Cárdenes and Monique Mead have put tremendous effort into creating a first-rate orchestra. They handpicked every member and put together a terrific group of seasoned players from across the country. The strings and wind sections feature principal players from major orchestras in Houston, Pittsburgh, San Diego, Colorado, St. Louis and Honolulu. Cárdenes will be conducting, and six of his former students will be playing violin in the orchestra this year. The group will be performing Rossini's delicate Overture to L'Italiana in Algeri and Beethoven's energetic Seventh Symphony, as well as Bruch's Violin Concerto with soloist Sarah Chang.

Cárdenes met Chang 15 years ago, when she performed as soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony. They became instant friends. Chang remains close with the Cárdenes family. We all feel very fortunate that Cárdenes and Mead know her so well and are able to bring her to Steamboat Springs to perform at the Strings Music Pavilion. One of the most remarkable prodigies of any generation, Sarah has matured into a young artist whose musical insight, technical virtuosity and emotional range continue to astonish audiences throughout the world. The Bruch concerto she'll perform Saturday is the piece that launched her career. She played it at her audition for The Juilliard School at age 6.

On Sunday, Strings presents The Kingston Trio, a group that has sold more records than any other folk group in history. In fact, in Billboard's December 12, 1959, issue, four Kingston Trio albums were listed among the top 10 — a feat unsurpassed as of today. They've recorded more than 40 albums and won two Grammys. The Trio still tours more than 30 weeks each year.

On Thursdays, beginning this week, are free, lunchtime Music on the Green concerts at the Yampa River Botanic Park. The Meridian Quartet performs Thursday, July 1, July 8 and July 15. The remaining four concerts will feature some of Steamboat's favorite local musicians. Missed the Boat performs July 22, The Easy Peaces take you back to the '60s on July 29, Todd Musselman plays folk rock Aug. 5 and the bluegrass band 3Wire is featured Aug. 12.