A harmonious friendship

Kingston’s Church of the Holy Cross hosts Les Amies in Ulster Chamber Music Series concert this Sunday

by Ann Hutton
March 10, 2011 12:33 PM | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Les Amies
Les Amies
“Back by Popular Demand” is the theme for this season’s Ulster Chamber Music Series (UCMS), indicating that Kingston audiences can’t get enough of a good thing – or three good things, as it so happens. The series was kicked off with the Chatham Baroque in February, and has two more world-renowned chamber groups lined up with return performances in this, its 43rd season. As Ulster County’s oldest wintertime music series (juxtaposed with Maverick’s summer series), UCMS offers listeners an intimate musical experience in a venue with wonderful acoustics, plus the opportunity for performers and audience members to get up close and personal after each concert.

Les Amies is considered one of the most exciting new ensembles to emerge on the scene. Three longtime colleagues who, it’s said, “revel in the glory of their blossoming relationship as artists,” bring to their audiences the color and beauty of this unusual combination of flute, viola and harp. New York Philharmonic principal players Nancy Allen, harpist, and Cynthia Phelps on viola join with internationally renowned flautist Carol Wincenc to form a dynamic instrumental combo, merging their individual skills and exploring a vast range of repertoire that’s rich in color, texture and imagination.

Artists who stand alone at the top of their fields as soloists, recording artists, competitors and touring musicians, the members of Les Amies have commissioned works from composers like Lukas Foss, Joan Tower, Christopher Rouse, Peter Schickele, George Rochberg, Stephen Paulus and Sofia Guibaidulina, among many others. Their innovative style has taken them to top music festivals in the country including Aspen, Marlboro, Santa Fe, La Jolla, Mostly Mozart, Vail, Portland, Seattle and Music from Menlo. This Sunday, March 13, the trio will play music by J. S. Bach, Ibert, Fauré, Ravel and Saint-Saëns, among others, at the Church of the Holy Cross in Kingston.

“We’re excited to have such an outstanding roster of performers return to Kingston this season,” says UCMS board president Thomas Keehn. “The response to these three groups in previous seasons made it clear that area audiences wanted to hear them again.”

Mark your calendars for the Manhattan String Quartet (MSQ) performing on Sunday, April 3. A favorite group for Hudson Valley concertgoers, MSQ has received rave reviews worldwide since its inception 41 years ago. This concluding program will feature Beethoven and Mozart quartets and a newly commissioned work.

Concerts begin at 3 p.m. A “Meet the Artists” reception with complimentary refreshments follows each performance. Tickets for the concerts are priced at $20 general admission, $15 for seniors, and students age 18 and under are free. Tickets can be purchased at the door or reserved in advance by phoning the above number. The Church of the Holy Cross is located at 30 Pine Grove Avenue in Kingston. For more information call (845) 340-9434 or visit

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