Strings Festival Orchestra opens with 1st classical concert of season Saturday |

Strings Festival Orchestra opens with 1st classical concert of season Saturday

— As a conductor of an orchestra, there is a vision in mind. But when a conductor himself engages with the musicians to become part of the music, a nuance of spontaneity is brought to the experience.

"This is really a unique experience because there is no conductor for the whole program," said Anastasia Storer, a violinist in the first classical concert of the Strings Festival Orchestra season. "I think to hear (conductor Andrés Cárdenes) play gives us a lot of inspiration and it's a remarkable thing because it's more like making Chamber music, rather than following a conductor."

Chamber music, a form of classical music described as "the music of friends," rings true for the musicians that will take the stage at 8 p.m. Saturday at Strings Music Pavilion.

"Cárdenes is a very collaborative person, he engages people to play with him and lead more by example," said Kate Hatmaker, a violinist in the performance. "Many of us know each other really well and it feels like you are just playing with your family members."

Friends and former students of Cárdenes got together for three rehearsals before the show. Because the musicians abide to his style and understand what he is looking for with each piece, a more cohesive group began to take form in a short amount of time.

The spark in the air that comes with the excitement of an upcoming performance, was unmistakably present at rehearsal Thursday afternoon as musicians swiftly made modifications.

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"I look forward to seeing the energy that we will bring to the performance," Hatmaker said. "What we learned in rehearsal will be very fresh still by the concert and there is a spontaneity that comes with that."

The three featured pieces in the show go through the history of classical works. First, the Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart piece, "Adagio and Fugue in C minor, K. 546," is a more traditional form of classical music to start the night off.

Then, the Piotr Tchaikovsky piece, "Serenade for Strings in C Major, Op. 48″ infuses more of a romantic classic chamber orchestra component.

To end the night will be Astor Piazzolla's Argentinian mix, "Four Seasons in Buenos Aires."

"These pieces really bring the whole program together," said Cárdenes, who is the conductor, violinist and music director. "It's sort of like going through history where we are doing a classical work and then a romantic work by Tachaikovsky. Then we've go the Piazzolla piece, which is very unusual because it's contemporary with a few slashes of baroque."

For these musicians, it's not about the fame, or the money or the prestige. It's about living in the moment and creating music that can reach the depth of one's emotions, all with the strum of a chord.

"We play music because we like to play for people," Cárdenes said. "You don't just play it by yourself, but you are in an element or an atmosphere and people on stage are electrically charged to give and the audience is there to receive."

The excitement that comes with a live performance is that the audience and musicians never really know what could happen. Customary to a Chamber music performance, Saturday's concert will be an infusion of spontaneity, talent and an education of classical pieces among friends.

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1

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