Classic Chamber Series: Russian overtones, American premiere

Special to the Daily News/Jason Easterly 
 William Noll directs the Fifth Avenue Chamber Orchestra at a rehearsal in Sugden Community Theatre last season. The orchestra, comprising regional talent, will be the foundation behind three concerts this coming season.$RETURN$$RETURN$

Photo by JASON EASTERLY // Buy this photo

Special to the Daily News/Jason Easterly William Noll directs the Fifth Avenue Chamber Orchestra at a rehearsal in Sugden Community Theatre last season. The orchestra, comprising regional talent, will be the foundation behind three concerts this coming season.$RETURN$$RETURN$

It’s not the blaze of White Nights, but there will be a distinct Russian coloring to the upcoming 19th season of the Classic Chamber Concerts series.

Artistic Director William Noll swears he has not been seduced by a good vodka.

“It was an accident. It wasn’t by intelligent design,” he quipped. “We weren’t able to get our two consecutive weeks of programs in March because March 17 falls on a Monday, and the Sugden theater was booked.”

If you go

Classic Chamber Concerts 2013-14 season

Where: Sugden Community Theatre, 701 Fifth Ave. S., Naples

When: Various dates

Tickets: $385; only season subscriptions available, beginning in May

To buy: 239-434-8505

So Noll said he picked up on a tour of the Kremlin Chamber Orchestra for a finale concert March 31.

Noll is most excited about a very American concert: the U.S. premiere of the “Ragtime” Concerto for Clarinet and Chamber Orchestra by Dick Hyman on Dec. 9.

Hyman is known in Naples for his annual concert-lecture series on periods and styles in American music at Artis—Naples (formerly the Philharmonic Center). He is an acclaimed jazz analyst and recording artist and a member of the Jazz Hall of Fame of the Rutgers Institute of Jazz Studies.

Hyman was artistic director for the Jazz in July series at New York’s 92nd Street Y for 20 years and has served as composer, arranger, and pianist or conductor for dozens of films.

The solo artist will be Julian Milkis, who has appeared occasionally with the Classic Chamber Concerts series over at least 10 years. He also will star in an arrangement of Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue,” with Noll at the piano and conducting.

Both works also will feature the Fifth Avenue Chamber Orchestra, which has become a mainstay of concerts. It performs for two more concerts: Feb. 3 for a program of Bach and Handel, and March 10, for a program of Beethoven and Liszt, with a Russian favorite star here, Philipp Kopachevsky.

Special to the Daily News/Jason Easterly 
 Rachel Freivogel warms up on cello with the Fifth Avenue Chamber Orchestra before a concert last March at Sugden Community Theatre. She is cellist for the Jasper Quartet, who return for two concerts this coming season.$RETURN$$RETURN$

Photo by JASON EASTERLY // Buy this photo

Special to the Daily News/Jason Easterly Rachel Freivogel warms up on cello with the Fifth Avenue Chamber Orchestra before a concert last March at Sugden Community Theatre. She is cellist for the Jasper Quartet, who return for two concerts this coming season.$RETURN$$RETURN$

Performances by the Jasper Quartet are becoming a seminal part of the season, and they return next year as well. On their programs: piano quintets in G minor and E-flat Major, by Brahms and Schumann, respectively, on Jan. 20; and masterpieces of Mozart, Shostakovich and Beethoven on Feb. 3. Michael Berkovsky, who performed during the ArtsNaples World Festival last year, is the pianist.

Possibly a first, or at least a rarity, will be what’s billed as “A Spectacular Evening of Russian Music” with the State Capella of Russia under Valer Polyanski on Dec. 16.

“We haven’t had any vocal works in a long time, and it’s a part of chamber music as much as instrumental. You’re not going to hear ‘Jingle Bells.’ But among the music I’m sure there will be some seasonal Russian works, and Russian church music is gorgeous,” Noll said.

The 19th season might continue one of the more unusual treats of the last season: an open rehearsal for season subscribers.

This spring, two open rehearsals with the Jasper String Quartet brought out little knots of the curious, hoping to see the process that gels the works. Musicians asked questions, their section leaders commented and interpretations were shaped in a casual setting of T-shirts and jeans — to be presented later in evening dress before a full house.

Season tickets are not available yet, except for past subscribers, but are expected to be on sale within the month.

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