WSU’s Bonneville Chamber Music Festival celebrates Villa-Lobos, other composers

WSU’s Bonneville Chamber Music Festival celebrates Villa-Lobos, other composers

The Bonneville Chamber Music Festival returns next week for its 13th year — a little smaller, but no less significant.

This year’s festival will feature just two concerts, but founder and organizer Viktor Uzur said they’ll pack a lot of interesting music into those two dates.

The festival begins Wednesday, Sept. 4, with “I Am the Folklore,” described as a lively mix of America’s great composers featuring winds, piano and cellos. It concludes on Saturday, Sept. 7, with “Villa-Lobos +,” a celebration of the Brazilian composer’s music.

Both concerts start at 7:30 p.m. in the Browning Center’s Allred Theater at Weber State University, 3848 Harrison Blvd., Ogden. Tickets are $7 for adults, $6 for seniors and military, and $4.50 for students, available at or 801-626-8500.

“The whole idea is, it’s an event which brings outstanding international guest artists to play on our campus here, for our community, in a chamber music setting,” Uzur said.

This year’s festival will feature guest artists Ricardo Castro, a well-known pianist from Brazil; and Italian violinist Emmanuele Baldini, concertmaster of the Sao Paolo Symphony Orchestra.

The two musicians will be joined by Uzur, a WSU professor and cellist, for the Saturday concert. They’ll perform Martinu’s “Duo for Violin and Cello” and Beethoven’s “Piano Trio in B-flat Major” during the first half of the program, then tackle Villa-Lobos’ “Ciclo Brasileiro” and “Piano Trio No. 1 in C Minor” in the second half.

“Hearing Villa-Lobos, played by Brazilians, is a great opportunity for audiences here,” Uzur said.

In addition to the two guest artists, the festival will also involve both faculty and students from Weber State.

“So it brings everyone together for high-level performances that are interesting and electrifying,” Uzur said.

The Wednesday concert will feature a number of local musicians, including pianist Shijun Wang, soprano Jennifer Erickson, trumpet/flugelhorn player Daniel Jonas, and cellists Rachel Olney, Austin Packer, Daniel Pack, Ciera Rasmussen, Maggie White, Yi-An Chi, Ben Huang, and Uzur.

That concert will include a performance by the Bonneville Winds, with Jeannine Goeckeritz on flute, Karen Hasting on oboe, Cindy Child on clarinet, Thomas Priest on bassoon and Steve Park on french horn.

Wednesday’s program will include a pair of Villa-Lobos pieces — “Pequena Suite for Cello and Piano” and “Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5” — as well as “Black is the Color of My true Love’s Hair” by Niles, the traditional tune “Shenendoah,” “Three Shanties for Wind Quintet” by Arnold, and “Summer Music for Wind Quintet” by Barber.

Uzur said it’s fitting to honor Heitor Villa-Lobos at this year’s festival, as 2019 marks the 60th anniversary of the composer’s death.

“To go to a Utah Symphony concert, or to see Ricardo Castro or any of these artists in New York, it would be $40 or $50, minimum,” Uzur said. “But students pay only $4.50 to see each concert, and the regular adult price is $7. So you could afford to go to both of the concerts at this year’s festival.”

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