The Sam Maitin Summer Chamber Music Festival presents two concerts at Our Lady of the Angels R.C. church in Cape May Court House. On Wed. July l0th, a violin/piano concert, with Aurelia Mika Chang, piano, and Ari Boutris, violin, featuring Beethoven, Massenet and Wieniawski will be performed and on Sat., July 13th, a second concert with Sue Ann Kahn and Aurelia Mika Chang will feature sonatas by Bach and Mozart . Ari, the son of artistic director, of the Sam Maitin Chamber Music festival is only 12 years of age. He is, like his mother before him, is a young prodigy on the violin winning competitions and scholarships in NYC.
Maitin, after whom the music festival is named, assisted Barbara Beitel arrange a celebration for the Cape May Country Art League’s 60th birthday in l987-8. He was the Fleisher connection, and Sam Fleisher had worked with the Art League in the l920’s. Fleisher also served on the board of the Cape May County Chamber of Commerce, and on the Woodbine Baron de Hirsh Fund. And he founded a free school for art and music for inner city kids with talent called Fleisher Art Memorial in Philadelphia on Catherine St. Both Louis I. Kahn, architect, and Sam Maitin, artist, attended Fleisher. Both of them attended the University of Pennsylvania. Both were second generation Americans. And both of them taught at University of Pennsylvania which now houses the definitive collection of Louis I. Kahn artifacts, courtesy of the efforts of Sam Maitin, who saved them by lobbying the Pennsylvania Legislature who bought them for the University of Pennsylvania School of Architecture for $500,000.
The July l0th concert will be followed by another that Saturday, July 13th, at 8 p.m. with Chang, piano, and Sue Ann Kahn, flute. Both concerts will be held at Our Lady of the Angel’s R.C. Church, Mechanic St., & Garden State Parkway, Cape May Court House, below exit l0, at 8 p.m. Tickets will be on sale for both concerts an hour prior to the concert at the church. Reservations may be made by calling (609) 465-3963. Tickets are $20. Adults, $l5. Seniors, $l0. students.
What causes creativity? Who knows? But it seems to have some family connections. Access to Art’s Sam Maitin Summer Chamber Music Festival, in its l5th year, brings together memories of former neighbors Louis I. Kahn, architect, and Sam Maitin, artist, from South Philadelphia, who exhibited together, taught together, attended Fleisher Art Memorial, had mutual friends and relatives working for Kahn, attended the University of Pennsylvania, and lived within striking distance in South Philadelphia. Both enjoyed the Philadelphia Orchestra. Kahn had been told, at Fleisher, according to his wife Esther,
that he would be a genius in one discipline: art, music, or architecture. But he must chose, because to be great, you have to concentrate. He chose the last. But he never gave up music. He was famous for his improvisational playing. And he played the piano during silent movies while working his way through college.
Maitin and Beitel developed a conversation series with artists, historians, writers, exhibits, concerts, dinners and socials around the two year event. He brought Chinese artists, Philadelphia artists, collectors, musicians, the lawyer responsible for the 1% for art legislation, Pen Faulkner writers, to the area. The Art League had been connected with Sam Fleisher, who sat on the Baron de Hirsh board in Woodbine, and on the chamber of commerce in Cape May County. He gave them their first collection of antiquities. He also brought Philadelphia Orchestra quartets to the area in the l920’s.
Maitin laid out the Cape May Handbook when Carolyn Pitts and her associate Hugh McCauley, put the city on the map. Carolyn had wanted Sam to buy a studio in Cape May. He had summered, as a child, in Wildwood with his mother’s sisters. And so began a 17 year collaboration that lasted until his death in 2004. Aurelia Mika Chang age 19, in the late 1980’s, then in Juilliard, brought friends from Juilliard and Curtis, who were commissioned to perform some chamber music as part of the total event schedule.
Prior to Mika, there were no musicians in her family. Her mother was an artist, and her father an architect who worked for Louis I. Kahn. She was Japanese, he Chinese. They met on the Sorbonne. Chang worked in Louis I. Kahn’s Philadelphia office as an architect. Mika was born in the U.S.
Ari Boutris, Mika’s son, has studied violin, at his own request, since he was three. He slept with a little wooden violin, and requested special tapes during meals with violin music. Recently, he won competitions in NYC, and a scholarship to study at pre-college at Manhattan School of Music where he studies with Patina Kopec. He studied at the Thurnauer School of Music with Dorothy Kaplan Roffman, violin. He has attended several music camps this summer. “He has been to Ottawa to study with Pinckus Zuckerman, and he was the student of Bela Horvath, also a student of Zuckerman. Bela told me that Ari, now 12, plays like a man.” Barbara Beitel said. (Horvath played with Mika at a Valentine’s Day concert several years ago.) He is equally involved with baseball and with music, according to his mother.” she said. He is a sixth grader at Collegiate School in NYC and a pitcher for a baseball team. He also has a little brother, Leo, also studying violin.
“Ari was here in the audience at a concert with the Mondrian Ensemble, our core group, when he was three. He wanted to know why he was not up there performing?” said Barbara Beitel, Access to Art director. “ I thought that we would have him down here to show his virtuosity.” said Barbara Beitel, Access to Art, Inc. Director. “Mika began studying piano when she was six. She won a young adult competition with the NJ Symphony Orchestra at l6. She saw a pianist on T.V at six years old and she decided that that was what she would do. Now, following her pre-Juilliard, Juilliard, and post Julliard degrees, she performs in China, Greece, the U.S., Vienna, etc.” Beitel said. She is a Steinway pianist. Maitin, whose works are in the permanent collection of the Philadelphia Art Museum, the Tate Gallery, London, the National Gallery, Washington, and exhibited on four continents, did our flyers. Mika thought our local art work needed help.” Beitel said. On July 13th, Sat. evening, at 8 p.m., Kahn and Chang will give a concert featuring a Sonata by J.S. Bach in Eb major, and a Sonata by W.A. Mozart in Bb
major at Our Lady of the Angel’s R.C. Church. “ Sue Ann has been here twice before, appearing in the series once with a pianist, and once with some friends who performed in the Metropolitan Opera, etc. This is a first appearance with Mika Chang, whose father worked as an architect in Louis I. Kahn’s office. She teaches at Columbia University and the Mannes School of Music. She has recorded on many labels including CRT, Musical Heritage, MMG, Vox-Candide, New World, and most recently she recorded The Mozart Flute Quartets for Albany Records to critical acclaim.
She won the coveted Walter W. Naumberg Chamber Music Award as a founding member of the renowned Jubal Trio. She is the daughter of the famous architect, Louis I. Kahn. Mika is the daughter of Ching Yu Chang, also an architect in China, who worked for Kahn in his Philadelphia office. Mika played ball in Kahn’s office with him when she was three. Louis, as a child, showed up at the Fleisher Art Memorial, which gave free music lessons and art lessons to young children with talent. Louis sat down, and began to play on the piano. Helen Fleisher appeared in the room, and asked where he studied. “I don’t,” he said, “I have no piano.” The next day, Fleisher sent a piano around, and his bedroom was so small, they had to take out the bed to fit in the piano. He played his way through college in silent movie theatres. He slept under it during his youth. According to his wife, he could go to the Philadelphia Orchestra, and come home and play Beethoven’s 9th by ear. He performed improv compositions on Saturday nights during the 30’s, propping up a Saturday Evening Post on the piano, and making up a composition to entertain his friends. “We had no money,” Esther Kahn, said. “This is how we entertained ourselves.”
To attend either or both concerts at Our Lady of the Angel’s R.C. Church, call Access to Art, Inc. at (609) 465-3963. Tickets will be available for each concert, at Our Lady of the Angel’s R.C. Church, one hour prior to the concert at 7 p.m. Concert begins at 8 p.m. Our Lady of the Angel’s is located at 33 Mechanic St., and the Garden State Parkway, below exit 10, in Cape May Court House. Tickets are $20. Adults; $l5. Seniors, $l0. Students. Checks may be written out to Access to Art, Inc. and sent to Access to Art, Inc., 4l7 E. Pacific Ave., Cape May Court House, N.J. Reservations may be obtained by calling 465- 3963. Check out www.accesstoart.org for additional information.