Must See: Aston Magna Music Festival adds Gill venue

  • Daniel Stepner, who plays baroque violin, will be involved in three performances at Northfield Mount Hermon School’s Rhodes Arts Center this month. Contributed photo/Susan Wilson

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

For the first time ever, the Aston Magna Music Festival is featuring performances in the Pioneer Valley, making this the summer to experience early music on original, period instruments at a local venue.

The festival is now in its 46th summer season, and includes shows at seven Northeast venues. The new Pioneer Valley performances will be held on July 6, 13 and 20 at Northfield Mount Hermon School’s Rhodes Arts Center in Gill, all starting at 7:30 p.m.

Aston Magna is the nation’s longest-running festival of early music. Its musicians are accomplished experts in early music, performing on authentic period instruments.

At the Rhodes Arts Center, Aston Magna will present works by Brahms, Beethoven, Mozart and, in its final June 20 performance, J.S. Bach’s “Art of the Fugue,” in a new orchestration by Daniel Stepner. Each performance is preceded at 6:30 by a pre-concert talk with Stepner.

On Friday, July 6, pianist Robert Levin and Stepner, baroque violin, perform “Brahms: The Sonatas for Piano and Violin,” with Levin performing on his own 1869 Streicher piano.

On July 13, Aston Magna presents “Beethoven Septet, Mozart Quartet, Bernhard Romberg Trio,” with Eric Hoeprich, classical clarinet; Stepner, baroque violin; Todd Williams, natural horn; Andrew Schwartz, baroque bassoon; Anne Trout, bass, and Jacques Lee Wood, baroque cello.

Finally, on July 20, in a new orchestration by Stepner, “J.S. Bach: Art of the Fugue” includes the Aston Magna ensemble and special guests: Stepner, baroque violin; Christopher Krueger, flute; Peter Sykes, harpsichord; Laura Jeppesen, gamba; Stephen Hammer, baroque oboe; Loretta O’Sullivan, baroque cello; and Jason Fisher, viola.

Tickets are $40 in advance, $45 at the door, with discounts for students and patrons under age 30. Children are admitted for free with ticketed adults.

To purchase tickets or to view the full season program, visit: www.astonmagna.org.