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Red Rocks Music Festival announces 2019 season

Yibin Li

Yibin Li

Originally Published: July 22, 2019 10:44 a.m.

The Red Rocks Music Festival announced its 2019 season with concerts in various venues in the Verde Valley as well as Sedona.

“Our goal is to offer concerts, at affordable prices, that will appeal to a variety of musical tastes – from Tangos to Chinese Folk Songs to Gershwin and of course, the great classical masters including Bach, Beethoven, Chopin and Mozart, to name a few,” says Moshe Bukshpan, executive director. “We are a small organization with a limited schedule, so we try to make every concert a memorable experience- from the music to the venue.”

This is the first year that the Red Rocks Music Festival will be held at the Mary D. Fisher Theater, Sedona’s premiere arthouse theatre venue, operated by the Sedona International Film Festival.

The season opens with Piazzolla – The Genius of Tango including arrangements that are being premiered for the first time in Arizona. Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992) was an Argentine tango composer, bandoneon (accordian) player, and arranger. He revolutionized the traditional tango into a new style termed nuevo tango, incorporating elements from jazz and classical music.

Featured musicians, Elmira Darvarova, Grammy-award nominated violinist, Howard Wall, French Horn, New York Philharmonic and Thomas Weaver, concert pianist will bring Piazzolla’s tangos to the Arizona stage on August 17 and 18, 2019.

From Mozart to Gerswhin and More opens September 5th in Phoenix and Sunday, September 9th in Sedona. Guest violinists David Ehrlich and Yibin Li will perform with principals from the Phoenix Symphony including Alex Laing, clarinet, Christopher McKay, viola and Jan Simiz, cello.

Raised in Israel, violinist David Ehrlich started his professional career as concertmaster and soloist with the Tel Aviv Chamber Orchestra and toured as guest soloist with other Israeli chamber orchestras. In the US, he served as concertmaster and soloist of the Colorado Festival Orchestra, Chicago Philharmonic Orchestra and was associate concertmaster with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. Later, he joined the Audubon Quartet as first violinist, and toured all over the world, performing in some of the most prestigious concert series, collaborating with many of the world’s great chamber musicians, and appearing on radio and television Ms. Li has performed as a soloist with major symphonies in China including the Beijing National Symphony Orchestra, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Taipei Symphony Orchestra and Gaoxiong Symphony Orchestra. In the US, Ms. Li gave her New York debut at Carnegie Hall in 2001, and has had solo performances with the San Diego Symphony, Hunter Symphony and Syracuse Symphony Orchestra. She directed and played chamber music recitals in many New York City venues including Alice Tully Hall, Merkin Hall, and Carnegie Hall.

Ms. Li will be the featured artist in East Meets West on Sept. 6-7. This concert features a mix of Chinese Folk Songs and Classical music. “We are trying to broaden our reach by offering music that appeals to new audiences,” says Bukshpan.

The final concert in the series is Polonaise_Fantaisie, the story of a pianist, Sept. 21-22 featuring Ukranian-born artist Inna Faliks. Ms. Faliks’s distinguished career has taken her to thousands of recitals and concerti throughout the U.S., Asia, Europe and the Middle East. She is also head of the piano department at UCLA.

Polonaise-Fantaisie is a unique performance that combines a recital of short piano works from Bach to Chopin to Carter, combined with Ms. Faliks’s autobiographical essays. Her story chronicles her childhood in Odessa, the former Soviet Union, her family’s emigration to America, her seminal early influences and her evolution as an artist. It’s also her love story, as she is reunited as an adult with the childhood friend who is now her husband.

Says Ms. Faliks, “It is my hope that, in sharing this story, I offer audiences a glimpse into the life of a performing musician, as well as into my very personal story – the story that makes me the artist I am today.”

Tickets prices for all concerts are $36 for general admission and $14 for children, ages 14 and under.

Patrons can take advantage of the Phoenix & Sedona Festival Special and pay $108 for a ticket to all four concerts. To purchase tickets, go to www.redrocksmusicfestival.com.