Lively music for violin and piano

Saturday concert added to Performing Arts Society schedule

Posted: Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Performing Arts Society has added a concert to its 2007-08 season that harkens back to its inception. On Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Christ Lutheran Church in Soldotna, local pianist Maria Allison and violinist Linda Rosenthal will come together in a concert. Their collaboration also is the first concert the Performing Arts Society produced in 1999.

The concert will include George Friedrich Handel's sonata, Beethoven's spring sonata, and a number of works from Bela Bartok, George Perlman, Pablo Serasate and Vittorio Monti. According to Allison, the program includes work that both highlights Rosenthal's virtuosity and her training.

"George Perlman has composed quite a bit of music for violin, but he is mostly known as a teacher. He was Linda Rosenthal's teacher," Allison said.

"When you listen to Linda play, since she has been trained by George Perlman and also she was in the master class of a really, really famous violinist, Jascha Heifitz you're listening to someone who has been trained by some of the great violinists of the past. She's sort of bringing all that virtuosity and skill from that time, to our time. It's sort of like touching 100 years ago, of violin playing," she said.

Linda Rosenthal and her husband, Paul Rosenthal, studied with Heifitz, which is where they met and began their own, more personal, collaboration. The Rosenthals, who play all over the world and work with the Sitka Music Festival, have become peninsula favorites over the years. The couple love to share their passion with audiences of all shapes and sizes.

"She performs all over the world. She plays lots and lots of small venues. She plays in all kinds of small towns. She plays concerts for children all the time the 'Strings and Stories' that they've done here. She plays for everybody. She plays with the National Symphony in Washington, D.C., and then she plays in small towns like Kenai and Soldotna. She just likes to play for everybody," Allison said of Linda Rosenthal.

"We have worked together a number of times, and to me it's kind of a special thing when she asks me to play, because I like her so much personally. She's such a wonderful violinist and it's really a challenge to play with someone like her. It's really a nice, I don't know, incentive for me to be practicing and keeping my chops in shape."

Tickets for Saturday's performance are $15 for general admission, and $10 for students at the door. Advance tickets are available at Northcountry Fair, Sweeney's and River City Books in Soldotna, and at Already Read Books and Old Town Music in Kenai.

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