St. Brendan the Navigator R.C. Church, Avalon has been hosting celebrities of late, with Mark Forrest, the celebrated Irish tenor. Adding to its lustre, Access to Art, Inc. is bringing its lead Sam Maitin Music Festival group, the Mondrian Ensemble,to the church on September 11th.
The Mondrian who opened the festival in 1998 at the behest of internationally known Philadelphia artist, Sam Maitin, have, since that time, expanded their horizons and they perform individually and with the Philadelphia Orchestra all over the world. “Sam asked Mika Chang to put a group together, and she chose friends from the Philadelphia Orchestra, Michael Ludwig, then Associate Concertmaster, Anna Marie Ahn Petersen, violist, John Koen, cello. Mika Chang was a Steinway artist, a graduate of Juilliard where she received her MM in music. The others were Curtis graduates.
The first concerts included Elizabeth Hainen, principal harp, of Philadelphia Orchestra, Steven Copes, Concertmaster of St. Paul’s Chamber Orchestra, and others playing with the Mondrian. In successive years, we brought in individual groups, and hosted the Mondrian once as part of the entire event.” Barbara Beitel, Access to Art, Inc. Director said. “In most recent times, Michael Ludwig, who left the orchestra, and is concertmaster of the Buffalo Symphony, is spending most of his time performing and soloing for international orchestras including performances in Germany, Spain, Poland, China, Korea, and Israel, England, Scotland, Kiev, as well as numerous appearances throughout the U.S. A highly sought after soloist, he is hailed by Strad Magazine for his “effortless, envy-provoking technique…sweet tone, brilliant expression and grand style.” He has performed on four continents including appearances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Pops, Philly Pops, KBS Symphony in Seoul, Korea, Beijing Symphony, and the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra, collaborating with such conductors as JoAnn Falletta, Sir Georg Solti, and John Williams among others. He has recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Lithuanian National Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, and Virginia Symphony. He returns from performances in Kiev to perform for us.” Beitel said. “Last year, we were fortunate enough to have him at a dinner at Union Park Hotel in Cape May where he wowed a select audience with his virtuosity.” she said. “He opened with the Philly Pops and Peter Nero in Cape May as well.
John Koen now is the negotiator on behalf of the Philadelphia Orchestra members, and he was on the front page of the Philly Inquirer in China giving lessons to students there. He also has a special mentoring relationship with the New Symphony Orchestra in Bulgaria. He has given masterclasses for Universities in Seoul and Sofia, as well as Access to Art and teaches locally at Temple and Swarthmore. He studied at the Curtis Institute with David Soyer and Peter Wiley of the Guarneri Quartet. He collaborates in chamber music with artists Emanuel Ax, Joshua Bell, Christoph Eschenback, Stephen Hough, Lang Lang, Wolfgang Sawallisch and many others.” Beitel said.
Aurelia Mika Chang, Steinway pianist, performed in Japan this summer, as well as in Cape May, and has been spending her summer taking her child prodigy violinist son, Ari, 12, to chamber music camps across the country. Chang performs on three continents.
Anna Marie Ahn Petersen joined the Philadelphia Orchestra immediately upon graduation from the Curtis Institute of Music. She has collaborated in chamber music with such luminaries as Christopher Eschenbach, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Yefim Bronfman and Christopher Parkening. She is a frequent guest at chamber music festivals including the Ravinia Festival, Casals Festival, Seoul Arts Festival, Kingston and Saratoga Chamber Music Festivals. She is the daughter of the famed pedagogue Yong Ku Ahn, of Peabody Institute, recently deceased. Hailed by the Washington Post, Ms Petersen “…played with a grace, fluency of phrasing, richness of tone and expressive power…that marks her as a major artist.”
The artists will perform Beethoven’s Quartet in E-Flat Major, Op. 16, and Schumann’s Quartet in E-Flat Major, Op. 47. They have prepared a piece from Faure, for a salute to 9/11’s victims. St. Brendan the Navigator (Maris Stella RC Church) is located at 5012 Dune Drive, Avalon. Tickets are $20. Adults, $l5. Seniors. Call Access to Art, Inc. at (609) 465-3963. Tickets are available at the door from an 6 p.m. September 11th. Checks may be sent to Access to Art, Inc., 417 E. Pacific Ave., Cape May Court House, NJ 08210. The concerts are partially underwritten by the Frank & Lydia Bergen Foundation, Charlotte Bennett Schoen Foundation, Kyriakos Tsakopoulos Fund, from the Sacramento Community Foundation, honoring Ari Boutris. The Herald Newspapers, and the Cape May Star and Wave, and Ocean Sentinel Ledger are media sponsors.