“Serene Spring – An Evening of Chamber Music” is the name of the Solace Trio’s program of works chosen to acknowledge the lows of the past year and to celebrate where we are now. The concert will take place on Friday, June 11, at 7:30 p.m. at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Ardsley and is co-produced by RiverArts and Doug Coe, former executive and artistic director of the organization.
The performance will be offered both in person, with a cap of 60 attendees, and as a simultaneous livestreamed event. It is the first time RiverArts has presented a seated, indoors concert since the Covid pandemic began in March 2020.
The Solace Trio has Peter Seidenberg on cello, April Johnson on violin, and Tomoko Uchino on piano. All three have performed in major concert halls and with noted ensembles and orchestras both in the U.S. and internationally. Seidenberg and Johnson, who are married, are Hastings residents; Uchino lives in Briarcliff. Seidenberg is also RiverArts’ artistic director for chamber music.
“I am delighted that we are able to do this concert in person, and also to reach a wider audience virtually. I am very grateful to St. Barnabas for letting us use the church,” said Kate Ashby, artistic director of RiverArts. “I am also excited by the unique program that Peter and Doug have put together. The selection of the four pieces that combine classical, romantic, modern, and contemporary music is a perfect way to speak to the hardships of the lockdown and to renew our spirits.”
The program, as described in a prepared statement, includes: the serene and surreal Mozart-Adagio by Arvo Part (1992); Antonin Dvorák’s Sonatina for Violin and Piano, Op. 100 from his great American period (1893); the lyrically virtuosic Air for Cello and Piano by Aaron Kernis (1995); and will conclude with the triumphant and life-affirming statement of Beethoven’s Piano Trio in E-flat, Op. 70 no. 2 (1809).
“I don’t know exactly what it will be like playing in front of a live audience again, except that it will be emotional,” Seidenberg said. “There is nothing like playing for a heartbeat that is in the same room."
The four pieces chosen for the program, he explained, “intersect darkness and light. They are visceral, involving the senses directly, so that every part of you is alive and aware with no separation. They reflect on what we’ve come through this past year and celebrate the change and the wonderful life that is going to open up.”
This will be the first time that RiverArts has held a concert at St. Barnabas. The church that is there now opened in 1956; however there has been a St. Barnabas at the site in Ardsley for more than a century, according to Larry Wolf, music director for 14 years and another Hastings resident.
“We are very happy that RiverArts chose St. Barnabas as the venue for the chamber music concert — the church has fantastic acoustics,” Wolf said. “We would like to be a hub for musical events in the future.”
Both Ashby and Wolf advised that those coming to the live concert will be expected to wear masks and that social distancing will be maintained by the seating configuration.
Coe summed up his feelings about “Serene Spring” in these words: “For this first chamber music concert since the pandemic, we have put together a program that speaks to both healing and uplifting our community. The one-hour program is a perfect way to start to experience live music again.”
Tickets, $35 for in person and $10 for the livestream, may be purchased in advance at riverarts.org. St. Barnabas is located at 2 Revolutionary Road.