Cape May Court House. After 20 years as a not for profit, Access to Art presents the Mondrian Ensemble, once again, on Sept, 22nd, at 8 p.m. The Mondrian Ensemble was formed for Access to Art. It is the lead group for the arts organization, featuring Aurelia Mika Chang, piano, MM Juilliard, Michael Ludwig, former Associate Concertmaster of the Philadelphia Orchestra violin, Anna Marie Ahn Petersen, violist, John Koen, Acting Assistant Principal Cellist for the Philadelphia Orchestra. A trio will perform. Chang, who performs on three continents and is the artistic director of the festival will be joined by guest violinist, Kathryn Krueger, and Philadelphia Orchestra’s Acting Assistant Principal Cello, John Koen for a performance here. They will converge for Access to Art’s Sam Maitin Summer Chamber Music Festival performing at Our Lady of the Angel’s R.C. Church, at 8 p.m. at 35 Mechanic St., Cape May Court House, N.J., below exit 10 on the Garden State Parkway. Free parking is available. It is the final formal event of Access to Art’s music season, but other music events are in the making. They will perform music by Haydn, Schubert and Piazzola .
John Koen teaches at Temple and Swarthmore. He studied with David Soyer and Peter Wiley of the Guarneri Quartet at Curtis. “Sam Maitin told me to get young prodigies in their youth, and they would remain faithful, and so they have.” said Barbara Beitel, Access to Art, Inc. Director. “I have watched them develop over 20 years.” Beitel said. “They were always amazingly talented, and now they are talented, disciplined, experienced and world renowned.” she said.
Kathryn Krueger began playing the violin at the age of 3.She and Aurelia Mika Chang, friends from boarding school, have been playing together since their teens. She did the first benefit with Aurelia Mika Chang 20 years ago for Access to Art., Inc.
She was accepted into the Chicago Performing group at 4 ½ and participated in concerts in many states. As a master student of Mischa Mischakoff, she began giving concert tours throughout the states and twice performed in Germany at the age of 6. In addition to television and radio performances on German and French National TV, Brasils “Cultural”, TV Santos, WQXR in NYC, KXTR in KC, Klassic Radio and NDR in Hamburg, where she was featured as soloist, she has also participated in several music festivals such as Galamians Meadowmount in NY, Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, Judenburg Sommers, Bad Kreuth, Esbjerg Chamber Music Festival in DK, Full Moon Night Concerts in Greece, Campos do Jordao in Brasil and Lebanon Music Festival. She studied at Juilliard and Eastman Schools, and was later invited to Germany to Lubeck Musikhochscchule. She has lived in Vienna for over a decade.
Kathryn Krueger came from Vienna for the occasion, Aurelia Mika Chang from New York City, and Philly Orchestra cellist, John Koen, from the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia. All three perform regularly on three continents. John Koen and Aurelia Mika Chang are members of the Mondrian Ensemble, and Kathryn Krueger is a guest violinist. Kathryn and Mika were performing together at fifteen years old at a private boarding school in New York, and performed together in a trio at Juilliard and pre-Juilliard. They performed for Access to Art, Inc. several years ago at a Valentine’s Day Concert at the First Baptist Church, Cape May, where they received a standing ovation.
“Aurelia Mika Chang and Kathryn Krueger performed our first benefit in 1992, the year we first began; they were going to perform in Romania, and they performed the concert here for us first. We are now 20 years old. Sam Maitin, our advisor, and famed Philadelphia artist, brought Mika Chang down to the Art League when I was a consultant for their 60th anniversary. He wanted me to create “an Aspen of the East,” and bring very talented young musicians to the area in their incipient careers. If I took care of them in their youth, they would return faithfully when they were well known,” he instructed Barbara Beitel. “These artists were young prodigies who spent 8 hours a day practicing, ” Maitin told her. “Artists”, he said, “put on their pants one leg at a time. They have families, and friends and lives. They want an audience, and they want opportunities to socialize with people, and get to know and enjoy them. I want you to provide that.” Barbara Beitel, then consulting for programming and marketing at the Cape May County Art League’s 60th anniversary, complied. The Art League was not particularly interested, so she formed Access to Art, Inc. in 1992 to do just that, and a lot more as well: dance, WPA art programs, photography, theatre, a classical music series, Shakespeare with Aquila Theatre company, even a Cape May Renaissance Festival. Area students have taken master classes with the likes of Edward Villella, Suki Schorer, Patricia McBride from NYC Ballet, Ruth Andrien from
Paul Taylor Company, Paul Sutherland and many others including dancers from Philadanco and Martha Graham Dance Company.
Aurelia Mika Chang brought her talented friends from Curtis and Juilliard to celebrate the Cape May County Art League’s 60th birthday when Alice Steer Wilson was President of the County Art League, and Roseanne Borgo was their director. It was in 1987/8. “ Barbara Beitel, Access to Art, Executive Director said. “I was sent there by Cape May County Cultural and Heritage Commission to assist them with programming and marketing.” Beitel, said. “It was long ago, and Mika Chang, was just 19 years old. Now she has two sons, playing violin, one, the eldest, who just won a scholarship to Manhattan College, for violin, and is now studying there. He is only 11. Her younger son also studies violin. And Kathryn has two daughters who play violin and cello. They both began studying very young. Kathryn was touring in Germany and the U.S. at six years old. She was born in Kansas, but has lived in Vienna for years. They tour together extensively in China, Japan and Europe.” Beitel said.
“Michael Ludwig, another member of the Mondrian Ensemble, which he began as a very young Associate Concertmaster for the Philadelphia Orchestra, just gave us a wonderful benefit concert at Union Park Restaurant.He is now a sought after soloist performing and recording with the Royal Scottish Symphony Orchestra and the London Philharmonic. He is often heard on NPR. Following our concert, on Saturday, he was featured guest on NPR at WRTI, in an interview with Jill Pasternak, classical host, discussing his rocketing international career as a soloist.’ Beitel said. “They played some of his recordings, including works with the Buffalo Symphony and the London Philharmonic. “He is coming back to do more benefits, and we are going to raise money to hire a composer to do an elegy for his father, Irving Ludwig, long a member of the Philadelphia Orchestra, who worked under Eugene Ormandy. It was he who taught Michael to play from age 3 years old. I think that we will do concerts in area restaurants with dinner as we did before. It has an informal quality and the audience can speak with him, and he gets to explain the music, the period, the personalities, his Cremonese violin and his French bow. Michael is a genius, but with no affectation. His music is heavenly, but he is very down to earth with a wonderful humility and humanity.” Beitel said.
Tickets for the Mondrian Ensemble are $20 adults, $15. seniors, $10 students. They are available at the door of the church from 7 p.m. and can be reserved by calling Access to Art, Inc. at (609) 465-3963. The festival is underwritten in part by the Frank & Lydia Bergen Foundation, the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, Douglass Candies, Kindle Ford, the Herald Newspapers and the Cape May Star & Wave.