• March 6, 2024

Concert 3

Concert 3

Concert 3 600 602 Welcome to Kingston Chamber Music Festival | Kingston Chamber Music Festival

Travel around the Mediterranean without leaving Kingston!

Concert 3: Mediterranean Plectrum and Strings will be held Sunday, July 28 at 4:00 PM in Edwards Hall at the University of Rhode Island.

We’re delighted to welcome Duo Mantar to KCMF! Adam Levin, a classical guitarist, and Jacob Reuven, a mandolinist, have been playing together since 2017. The novel pairing of a mandolin and classical guitar is rare in the chamber music world, and this concert will showcase how they complement each other—and traditional stringed instruments—beautifully.

Levin and Reuven are committed to expanding the repertoire available for mandolin and guitar by actively commissioning some of today’s most sought after composers. This concert will introduce you to original works for each instrument through music that celebrates a rich cultural influence from around the Mediterranean. Enjoy some fresh takes on classic repertoire, as well as a few pieces arranged in a new way just for this concert!

Some highlights of each selection include:

Victor Kioulaphides (Greece) Quintet for Mandolin and String Quartet

Reuven was a fan of the original version of this piece, written for mandolin and string trio. When considering the repertoire for this concert, he wrote to the composer–who is also a mandolin player–and asked if it could be reworked for a quartet. Kioulaphides accepted, and the version presented at KCMF will be the first time this new version is played live.

Ittai Rosenbaum (Israel) Quintet for Mandolin and String Quartet

Trained as a jazz pianist who now composes classical music, Rosenbaum’s style is all his own. This quintet manages to capture the jazzy feeling of improvisation within a larger cadence influenced by Mediterranean themes. “It’s one of the most beautiful pieces written for the mandolin,” Reuven says. “When I heard it for the first time, I was shocked by how many colors Rosenbaum incorporated – but it’s so natural, done in such an artistic way, like it’s his own language.”

Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco (Italy) Quintet for Guitar and String Quartet

Described by Levin as being “evocative, fun, and quirky,” this beloved repertoire for classical guitar helped establish the instrument for the concert stage. A prolific Italian composer of Jewish origin, Castelnuovo-Tedesco emigrated to the United States in 1937 in the face of rising antisemitism in Europe. “I think he was looking for salvation, a place to spread his wings,” Levin says. “America was a blank canvas for him. You can hear strains of hope and Americana expansiveness in his music, and that’s what makes it so compelling.”

Camille Saint-Saëns (France) Piano Trio No. 1 in F Major for Piano, Violin and Cello

The repertoire chosen for this concert will celebrate the sounds of plucked and string instruments, and this piece diversifies the experience by adding a piano as well. “Overall, while keyboard and plucked instruments may have different physical designs and playing techniques, they share many similarities in terms of how they produce sound, the musical possibilities they offer, and the skills required to play them effectively,” Artistic Director Natalie Zhu says. “By incorporating mandolin, guitar, string quartet, and piano, we will elevate the concert experience and create a truly magical and memorable event for performers and audience members alike.”

Masud Jamil (Turkey) Sama’i Nahwand for Mandolin, Guitar and Strings

An energetic, fast-paced, melodic piece will conclude the concert. Reuven is writing the arrangement, and he notes that this will be the first time it’s been played in this kind of orchestration. “This is one of the most important compositions in the Arab world, and to listen to it played inside a classical ensemble is super rare,” he says. “It’s a very unique program and I’m really proud we could put it out.”