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UR's Modlin Summer Music Series fills in the season's classical music gaps. 

Summer Sounds

Modlin Summer Music Series
University of Richmond
Camp Concert Hall
8 p.m.
June 10-15
$12-$15 per show; $30-$36 for series
289-8980

There is no need to spend your vacation searching for classical music out of town this summer. For the second year, the University of Richmond will present the Modlin Summer Music Series June 10-15 to satisfy the appetites of classical music lovers during the Richmond Symphony's off-season.

This five-day series of concerts and workshops features the Shanghai Quartet, flutist Eugenia Zukerman, harpist Yolanda Kondonassis, pianist Ruth Laredo and Richmond Symphony bassist Paul Bedell. In a segment that is new to the series this year, the musicians will offer workshops, lectures and hands-on coaching.

Previously, after the Richmond Symphony's final concert at the end of May, little if any classical music was to be found in the city until the symphony's season began again in the fall. This absence had not gone unnoticed. Even before the 1996 opening of the Modlin Center, Fred Cohen, chairman of UR's music department; and Kathy Panoff, director of the Modlin Center; wanted to host a summer classical-music event.

"This is an idea the music department had for a long time, but we just didn't have the space to do it," Cohen explains. "When the concert hall opened, we talked more about getting this off the ground."

Before the series came to fruition in 1998, supporters in the music department and the Modlin Center researched the idea for more than a year. The series was created not only to offer classical music during the summer, but also to showcase the Shanghai Quartet, artists-in-residence at UR.

These well-known musicians were already an established quartet known nationwide when they were invited to the University as the artists-in-residence in 1990. Cohen saw the residency as an opportunity to expand the music department's string program while adding prestige to the school.

"This is an unusual residency for a string quartet," Cohen says. "It's rare for a liberal arts school to even have a quartet-in-residence. Furthermore, at other schools, the artists tend to be on campus for about two weeks a semester. The Shanghai Quartet is part of the faculty, they direct the string program. People really can't believe it when they hear their son or daughter might be studying with them."

As the artistic directors of the summer concert series, the Shanghai Quartet selected the other musicians in the series. The featured musicians are friends of the Quartet, having played with them at different venues for about 10 years.

The series will feature concerts on June 10, 11 and 15, with workshops scheduled for June 12, 13 and 14. On June 10, look forward to Eugenia Zukerman, Yolanda Kondonassis, and the Shanghai Quartet performing elegant "summertime" serenades. The following evening, June 11, bring a loved one and settle back as Zukerman, Kondonassis and the Shanghai Quartet present a program of romantic works by American composers. The final concert on June 15, a piano finale featuring Ruth Laredo and Paul Bedell, will pay tribute to Chopin on the 150th anniversary of his death with several solo pieces. The highlight of this evening comes with the performance of the Schubert "Trout" Quintet, one of the masterpieces of the chamber music repertoire.

The series' workshops will be led by the musicians to help students, amateurs or young professionals improve their musical ability. June 12 offers a full-day workshop including a concert by all of the artists; master classes on flute, strings and harp; and a workshop on chamber music involving harp, winds and strings. A master class presented by the Shanghai Quartet will be held on June 13. The workshops will conclude the following day with a master class lead by Ruth Laredo for solo pianists and small
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