The Northern Third Piano Quartet, made up of Vermont professional instrumentalists, returns to Brandon Music to perform “Night Pieces,” a program of music by Beethoven, Brahms and Martinu, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 17.
Martinu’s Three Madrigals for Violin and Viola is cheerful, and a homage to Baroque and Renaissance styles with its polyphonic textures in the two parts. Beethoven’s Cello Sonata in C, is as playful as the Three Madrigals though more complex. Finally, the group will perform Brahm’s Piano Quartet No. 2 in A major, a masterpiece of almost symphonic scope.
The quartet includes violinist Sofia Hirsch, violist Elizabeth Reid, cellist John Dunlop and pianist Alison Bruce Cerutti. Jim Lowe of The Times Argus/Rutland Herald says they play “with the passion and skill they have acquired over their many years as professional Vermont musicians.”
Tickets are $20 (pre-concert dinner is available for $25; reservations are required); call 802-247-4295, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Road.
Explore Vermont’s libraries with the Vermont Library Association’s Passport to Vermont Libraries. From now to Sept. 1, 118 Vermont public and academic libraries will be handing out passports in the third annual Passport to Vermont Libraries program, encouraging Vermonters and visitors alike to visit some of Vermont’s unique, beautiful and creative libraries:
– The Isle La Motte Library is a lovely stone building. Its first librarian was a volunteer named Cynthia Ritchie, described as “an intelligent 12-year-old girl.”
– The Belcher Library in Stockbridge has a (probably) playable pump organ.
– Two libraries in Vermont are made of marble. West Rutland is one; can you find the other?
Local libraries will stamp your passport and some offer small prizes. Four patrons statewide (adult, young adult, child and one wild card) will receive Vermont Library Ambassador awards for visiting the most libraries. This is also the second year of the award for the librarian who visits the most Vermont libraries.
Patrons are encouraged to post pictures and stories on the VLAs Facebook page facebook.com/vermontpassport. More details about the program are available at vermontlibraries.org/passport.
W.C. Fields – silent
He was a performer who could be recognized just by the sound of his voice. But prior to reaching iconic fame in talking pictures, comedian W.C. Fields starred successfully in a popular series of silent feature films for Paramount Pictures and other studios in the 1920s.
See the non-talking W.C. Fields for yourself in “Running Wild” (1927), one of Fields’ most highly regarded silent pictures, in a screening at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 17, at Brandon Town Hall and Community Center.
Live music will be performed by silent-film accompanist Jeff Rapsis. “People find it hard to think of W.C. Fields in silent films, but he was actually quite successful in them,” Rapsis said. “As a vaudeville performer and juggler, Fields cultivated a form of visual comedy and pantomime that transferred well to the silent screen.”
Admission is free (donations welcome); go online to www.brandontownhall.org. For more info on the music, visit www.jeffrapsis.com.
At 8 p.m. tonight, the Big Barn opens early for Yellow Barn Music Festival’s faculty percussionist Eduardo Leandro in a special pre-season performance of traditional, theatrical, and improvisational music for solo percussion. Saxophonist Travis Laplante will join Leandro for the final piece on the program.
“This program consists of three pairs of pieces that represent three different stages of the performer’s involvement with percussion music. The first pair is the more standard marimba repertoire, and it includes an early piece from 1975, and a recent piece written for me by James Wood, based on star charts and bird songs,” says Leandro. “The second pair of pieces involves theater, either in the form of gestures or voice. The third and last pair is improvised music. One reacting to fixed audio media, a prerecorded track, and the other to visual media in the form of a video, followed and interpreted by Travis Laplante and myself.”
For tickets or information, call: 802-387-6637, email: email@example.com, or visit: www.yellowbarn.org.
‘A Night of Comedy’
The Brandon Town Players will be performing their production, “A Night of Comedy” at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, June 23 and 24,” at Brandon Town Hall, set up in cabaret style. The performance will include comedy skits, improv, words of wisdom on everyday situations, songs, short comedy radio shows, a standup comedian and a magician.
Tickets are $7, $5 for seniors (60-plus), students (17 and younger) and military; for reservations (required), call Debbie at 802-345-3033.
Stone Valley Arts at Fox Hill in Poultney presents “Connection,” an exhibition of visual art in various mediums produced by more than 20 regional artists. An opening reception will be held 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 17.
Each of these artists responded to an open call asking for submissions that considered the multiple and layered meanings of the word “connection.” A connection could be a physical link, one piece joining to another. A connection could be an emotional link, a heartfelt attachment to something. A connection could be a conceptual link, a thought merging with a network of ideas. Through the process of installation in the shared space of the gallery, these disparate artworks now form new connections among one another.
For more information, go online to stonevalleyarts.org.
Mandolin chamber music
Led by August Watters, a Boston-area teacher and composer, the Festival of Mandolin Chamber Music IX, June 15-18 at Stone Church Center, is designed for the classical mandolin community and for concertgoers interested in classical chamber music. It creates learning and performance opportunities for those interested in chamber music composed for mandolin and its related instruments (as well as classical guitar).
This year introduces special guests from Novosibirsk, Russia, Aleksei Aleksandrov and Ekaterina Skliar, masters of the Russian domra. They are prize-winning virtuosos of the Russian folk instrument with a rich and diverse literature. They are also masters of the American-style mandolin, and perform music drawing on classical and jazz idioms.
The workshop culminates in a public concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, June 18, in the Chapel at Immanuel Episcopal Church, 20 Church St. Watters will perform with the New England Mandolin Ensemble, special guests, and festival participants. Together they will present a wide-ranging concert, illustrating the many sounds of the concert mandolin. The concert will have limited seating.
Advance tickets are recommended and can be purchased at www.stonechurcharts.org.
Town Hall Theater presents a broadcast of Jonathan Miller’s iconic production of “The Mikado” from the English National Opera, at 7 p.m. Friday, June 23.
Miller’s hilarious and much-loved production of the Gilbert and Sullivan classic returns to the London Coliseum, almost 30 years after its premiere. This iconic ENO production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s “Japanese” satire takes the story out of the tiny oriental town of Titipu and sets it in the faintly seedy grandeur of a 1930s English hotel — the perfect place for lampooning targets much closer to home.
Tickets are $17, $10 for students; call 802-382-9222, or go online to www.townhalltheater.org.
Vermont Theatre Company will hold auditions for its fall production of “The Receptionist,” a comedy by Adam Bock and directed by Bill Wieliczka, at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 22, in the Brattleboro Union High School auditorium. There are four roles for two men and two women ages 20 to 50.
For more information or to schedule an alternate audition time, email the director at firstname.lastname@example.org.