Violinist Arnaud Sussmann, already a favorite of Maui audiences, is winning new raves for his "spellbinding" playing. The verdict on the Boston Trio is, "Drop everything and go hear them." With the playing of Nancy Ambrose King, "all oboists have a new level to which to strive," said Double Reed magazine.
These are among the many performers in the 33rd Annual Maui Classical Music Festival. Concerts are scheduled on May 3 at Makawao Union Church, May 5 and 9 at Keawala'i Congregational Church in Makena and May 7 at Wananalua Church in Hana.
The sites have been chosen for their scenic and historical aspects as well as their excellent acoustics.
Violinist Arnaud Sussmann is a featured artist of the 2014 Maui Classical Music Festival.
Festival musicians also include Jacob Braun, a cellist "with a distinctly warm, clear sound," and violist Yizhak Schotten and his wife, pianist Katherine Collier. Schotten and Collier, both University of Michigan faculty members, have been the festival's music directors since its beginning.
New this year is a concert on Lana'i on May 10 at Koele Lodge, featuring Braun, Schotten and Collier.
"We are excited to introduce to Maui some great new musicians who have never performed at the festival," said Collier. "It is also wonderful to welcome back some of our favorite musicians who have performed in past years at the festival."
Sussmann also played at the 2009 and 2011 festivals. A recent review in the Pioneer Press in Minnesota said he has "an old-school sound reminiscent of what you'll hear on vintage recordings by Jascha Heifetz or Fritz Kreisler--a rare combination of sweet and smooth that can hypnotize a listener."
The protege of Itzhak Perlman has won international competitions, including the Hudson Valley Philharmonic String Competition, the Andrea Postacchini Competition and the Vatelot/Rampal Competition.
The Boston Trio--violinist Irina Muresanu, pianist Heng-Jin Park and cellist Astrid Schween--"is an incredible group, and we think the music this year will be especially appealing to everyone," added Collier.
It was the Boston Globe that gave the "drop everything" assessment of the Boston Trio, a group praised as "virtuosic and profound musicians."
Muresanu, who also has appeared previously at the Maui festival, has received top prizes at the Montreal International Competition and the Queen Elizabeth Violin Competition. Park, who made her solo debut with the Boston Pops at the age of 15, is a founding member of the trio.
They will be joined for the Maui concerts by cellist Jennifer Culp, formerly with the award-winning Kronos Quartet and other prominent groups, and now a professor of cello and chamber music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Of oboist King, Double Reed magazine said her "fluid technique makes the most complex passages flow and sounds effortless. Combine these aspects with a beautiful tone and a sensitive touch in the lyrical passages, all oboists have a new level to which to strive."
The festival's history began in 1982, when the Kapalua Music Festival was founded by Colin and Margaret Cameron. More recently, it has reorganized as the Maui Classical Music Festival and become a nonprofit organization.
The suggested donation for the concerts is $25 ($10 for students).
For more about the Maui Classical Music Festival, visit www.mauiclassicalmusicfestival.org.