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Violin Pyrotechnics: Italian Virtuoso Violinist Matteo Fedeli Returns to Town

Violin Pyrotechnics

Last June, the Italian virtuoso Matteo Fedeli made his Buffalo debut with the Camerata di Sant’Antonio at its home in St. Anthony of Padua’s. Fedeli, joined by his touring partner Milanese pianist Andrea Carcano, offered a rare performance of the Concerto for Violin, Piano and Strings, written at the age of 13 by the precocious Felix Mendelssohn. It brought the packed house down as they delivered a performance that will remain an aural memory treasured for decades. Fedeli also offered some virtuosic encores, including one that found him playing while wandering up and down the aisles of the church, much to the delight of the audience.

If you were not lucky enough to be in that audience last June, you have another chance to experience the exceptional musicianship of Fedeli and Carcano on Friday June 13 at 7pm when they offer a recital at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, across from the Anchor Bar on Main Street. While St. Anthony’s is a wonderful venue for hearing music, its only drawback is its seating capacity. Moving Fedeli’s return engagement to Holy Trinity Lutheran ensures that a generous amount of additional seating will be available in a venue renowned locally for its fine acoustics.

Matteo Fedeli is the associate founder and the principal violin of the Academy Concert String Orchestra of Milan. He has appeared as a violin soloist at La Scala in Milan, La Fenice in Venice and at the Musikverein in Vienna. In recent years he has concentrated on his project, “A Stradivarius for the People,” supported by the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage. Its aim is to allow people throughout Italy to be able to experience the opportunity of hearing free concerts performed on some of the finest violins in existence, including numerous instruments by Stradivarius.

For his previous Buffalo recital, Fedeli performed on the 1726 “Grand” Stradivarius, once owned by the legendary Austrian violinist Fritz Kreisler and now in the collection of the violin museum in Cremona, Italy. For Friday’s performance, Fedeli will perform on the Stradivarius violin known as the ex-Bazzini 1715. Purchased in the nineteenth century by Antonio Bazzini, performer, composer and director of the Conservatory in Milan, it passed through the hands of several private owners in the last century, before being brought back to the concert stage by Gioconda De Vito before it again disappeared from public view in the late 1960’s.

The ex-Bazzini has recently been trusted exclusively to Fedeli who will perform on it in a recital program very much in the tradition of the legendary violin virtuosos of the early 20th century, Works to be performed include the Cantabile by Niccolò Paganini, the Danse Macabre by Camille Saint-Saëns, Après un Reve by Gabriel Fauré, Danse Hongroise by Sergei Rachmaninoff, and very appropriately, the Tarantella by Antonio Bazzini, the violin virtuoso and former owner of the violin that Fedeli will perform on.

Tickets: $20. Phone: 856-3626.

Roycroft Chamber Music Festival

By all reports, the Roycroft Chamber Music Festival got off to a good start last weekend at its home at St. Mathias’ Episcopal Church at the corner of Main Street and Maple Street in East Aurora. One of the most frustrating things about the local classical music scene to ardent concert goers is the all too often occurring feast or famine scenario. Last weekend was a casebook example of this phenomenon, as the long running June in Buffalo festival at UB, which is into its fifth decade, had to compete with both the Roycroft Chamber Music Festival, now in its 21st year, as well as with the new kid on the block, the JoAnn Falletta Guitar Competition, now in its tenth year. The sad thing is that a week from now there will be almost no classical music concerts in the Buffalo area, except for some outdoor events, for most of the rest of summer,

Friday’s 8pm concert features BPO principal clarinetist John Fullam with violist Donna Lorenzo and pianist Gail Niwa in Bruch’s rarely programmed Pieces for Clarinet, Viola and Piano, Op. 83. Beethoven’s Piano Trio in E-flat, Op. 70 features pianist Eugene Gaub, violinist Rebecca Ansel and cellist Sarah Markle. Violinist David Niwa joins violinist Nancy Gaub, violist Lorenzo and cellist Peter Szczepanek for Smetana’s deeply autobiographical Quartet No. 1, “From My Life”.

On Saturday at 8pm, David Niwa, associate concertmaster of the Columbus Symphony, teams up with Gail Niwa for Ravel’s Sonata for Violin and Piano, while Ansel, Gaub and Szczepanek will be joined by violist Zachary Collins in Grieg’s String Quartet No. 2 in F Major. The festival concludes with Gaub and Fullam being joined by flutist Christine Davis, oboist Anna Mattix, bassoonist Glen Einschlag and BPO principal French horn Jacek Muzyk in Poulenc’s Sextet for Piano and Winds.

Tickets: Advance: $15 Door: $20.Information:

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