Classical Crossover: Classical, jazz music performed live

The Trinity Alps Chamber Music Festival will present its third Digital Concert of 2021, entitled “Classical Crossover,” at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 26. The program will feature performances by two young musicians whose careers are successfully straddling the divide between classical and jazz, violinist Mads Tolling and pianist Ben Harper.

Attendees must register to attend, via the festival website, at www.TrinityAlpsCMF.org. Admission is on a pay-what-you-can sliding scale, also accessible via the website.

Held on Zoom, the festival’s Digital Concerts have been popular events during the pandemic times.

“Our current format for programs puts an emphasis on creating a real live experience,” says festival director and program host Ian Scarfe. “Each concert not only offers live musical performances, but also short interviews with our musicians and guest artists from around the world, as well as a chance for the audience to participate in a Q&A session and live discussion.”

Each of the performers began their training learning classical repertoire, before branching out into various genres of popular and jazz music. The musical selections will include classical works from the Romantic Era, including Brahms, Rachmaninoff, and Kreisler. The performers will each also offer perfomances of jazz standards, works by the late Chick Corea, and some of their own original compositions.

Pianist Ben Harper is a native of Trinity County, and has attended live concerts of the Trinity Alps Chamber Music Festival as a young child. He is one of the first guest musicians on the series to have such a life-long connection to the festival.

His performance will feature some music of Brahms, which he describes as an idea “crossover” example, with “characteristic use of complex counterpoint and overlapping harmonies ... dense chords and cross-rhythms below a simple melody.” He is currently a student at UC Berkeley.

Violinist Mads Tolling, originally from Denmark, has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for over a decade, and has enjoyed a wide and varied career as a musician, composer, and the front man for several local groups. He has performed with the Turtle Island String Quartet, Mads Tolling and the Mads Men, and currently plays with Bob Weir and the Wolf Bros. He has won two Grammy awards for his recordings.

More information about the festival and the concert can be found at www.TrinityAlpsCMF.org.

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