Event of the Week: La Musica International Chamber Music Festival

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Posted: Wednesday, April 10, 2013 6:12 pm | Updated: 6:17 pm, Wed Apr 10, 2013.

SARASOTA - Our love for cultural events on the Suncoast is one of the things that draws international visitors to our shores. And La Musica -- one of the most popular events -- is just kicking off. It's our Event of the Week.

Celebration is the theme of 2013 La Musica. The concerts are fabulous, but one of the best parts is that you're also invited to the daily rehearsals. There, you can watch step by step as the musicians negotiate with each other and actually put the pieces together that'll they'll be performing in the concerts.

Those rehearsals are held at New College's Sainer Pavilion. "Open to the public every day, including Saturdays and Sundays. And there are morning rehearsals and afternoon rehearsals," says executive director Sally Faron.

"Coming to a rehearsal, and watching the way dismantle and build a piece of music, is music education," says violist Daniel Avshalomov.

And a very enjoyable one; the 5 concerts that will result from these rehearsals are to be held at the Sarasota Opera House. The celebration theme pays tribute to Italian violist Bruno Giuranna, celebrating his 80th birthday this week. "One of the really legendary musical figures of all time...and drawing on a lifetime of musical experience," says associate director Derek Han.

And Giuranna is also celebrating his 27th year as La Musica artistic director. "So much beautiful music played together with excellent musicians. Some pieces were music that we had the opportunity to play and study, rehearse, and perform here at the festival. Pieces in our musical life probably we would not have had the occasion to play. So it is very enriching and very rewarding," says Giuranna.

The festival brings in world class musicians from six different countries. "We have Dmitri Atapine, a rising star from Russia; a Latvian violinist; from Europe as well Laura Zarina; we have also Jose Franch-Ballester, a stunning Spanish clarinetist playing with us," says Han.

And these world class musicians relish the opportunity to work together. “You would think since I play quartets all the time during the year, that when I had free time, going to play more chamber music would somehow not make sense, but it does. Sometime the results are immeasurably exciting," says Avshalomov.

La Musica began April 8th. The remaining concerts are Thursday, April 11th at 8pm and Sunday, April 14th at 2:30pm. Then next week, there are concerts at 8pm on Wednesday, April 17th and Friday, April 19th.

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