FALLS VILLAGE — Music Mountain continues its 89th season with the all-female Cassatt String Quartet, with guest artist Paul Katz on cello, offering a program featuring Borodin, Shostakovich, and Schubert on Sunday, at 3 p.m. The weekend music begins with first-time guests Amina Figarova Quintet playing her original jazz compositions on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. Concerts are scheduled through Sept. 23.
The Cassatt String Quartett with Katz will perform Borodin: String Quartet No. 2 in D Major; Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 8, Op. 110; and Schubert: Cello Quintet in C Major, Op. 163, D. 956.
Manhattan-based Cassatt String Quartet has performed throughout North America, Europe and the Far East with appearances in London for the Sapphire Jubilee Celebration of Queen Elizabeth II, the Beijing Modern Music Festival, New York’s Alice Tully Hall and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center and Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., the Theatre des Champs Elysées in Paris and Maeda Hall in Tokyo. Equally adept at classical masterpieces and contemporary music, the Cassatt has collaborated with a remarkable array of artists/composers including pianist Marc-Andre Hamelin, soprano Susan Narucki, flutist Ransom Wilson, jazz pianist Fred Hersch, didgeridoo player Simon 7, and the Trisha Brown Dance Co. With a deep commitment to nurturing young musicians, the Cassatt Quartet, in residencies at Princeton, Yale, Syracuse University, the University at Buffalo and the University of Pennsylvania, has devoted itself to coaching, teaching and mentoring.
Katz is known to concertgoers the world over as cellist of the Cleveland Quartet, which, during an international career of 26 years (1969 — 1995), made more than 2,500 appearances on four continents. As an educator, Katz has been on faculty at Eastman School of Music, Rice University and the New England Conservatory of Music, where he founded the Professional String Quartet Training Program. He launched CelloBello in 2011, a website designed to connect cellists of all ages and performance levels. Katz is a passionate spokesman for chamber music, and served for six years as president of Chamber Music America. Among his many accolades, he was the recipient of the Richard M. Bogomolny National Service Award, Chamber Music America’s highest honor, awarded for a lifetime of distinguished service in the field of chamber music.
First-time guest the Amina Figarova Quintet brings her unique jazz sound to Music Mountain on Saturday evening. Her original compositions draw from a rich background, which includes her native Azerbaijan, and jazz collaborations in Holland.
U.S. Jazzscan.com noted, “Figarova and her group are at the top level of today’s jazz world … they produce some of the most interesting music you’ll ever hear.”
Figarova has earned her status as one of the finest jazz composers in the world. A first-rate jazz pianist, she is also highly regarded as a top-level composer-arranger and bandleader. As a child, Figarova studied to be a classical concert pianist. In the late 1980s she entered Rotterdam Conservatory to pursue jazz, coming to the United States in 1989 to complete her formal education at Boston’s Berklee College of Music. Since the 1990s, Figarova is constantly on tour in the U.S. and abroad, appearing in major jazz clubs, concert halls and festivals.
Music Mountain is in Falls Village, on Music Mountain Road, where a short scenic drive leads to Gordon Hall atop Music Mountain. Free parking and picnic facilities are available. Music Mountain is supported, in part, by the Connecticut Commission On Culture & Tourism and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Chamber music concerts continue with the Labor Day Benefit Concert & Reception with Peter Serkin & guests (Sept. 2); Shanghai String Quartet (Sept. 9); American String Quartet with Robert McDonald, piano (Sept. 16); and Ariel String Quartet with Music Mountain artistic director, Oskar Espina-Ruiz, clarinet (September 23).
The Saturday Evening Twilight Series continues with Gabriel Alegría Afro-Peruvian Sextet (Sept. 1); The Bridge Trio (Sept. 8); Roxy Coss Quintet (Sept. 15); and Bert Seager and The Why Not (Sept. 22).
Regularly scheduled Chamber Music Concerts are $35. Twilight Series Concerts are $30.
Children ages 5 to 18 are admitted free to all concerts when accompanied by a ticket holder. Saturday evening Twilight Concerts are at 6:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon Chamber Music concerts are at 3 p.m. Discounts apply through participating organizations. For a complete summer schedule, special ticket prices, and to download a ticket order form, visit musicmountain.org or call 860- 824-7126.