Make a night of it as the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute offers an experience of art, food, and music on Tuesday evenings in August. The series begins on August 5 with the Amelia Piano Trio, one of the world’s most sought-after ensembles.
Concerts begin at 8 pm and a prix-fixe dinner at the Clark Café will be offered prior to each performance. Concert tickets are $18 ($15 for Clark members) and can be purchased online at www.clarkart.edu, at the Clark’s museum shop, or by calling 413-458-0524. Cost for dinner is $23 per person (does not include beverage, tax, or gratuity). The Clark’s galleries will remain open until 6 pm on concert evenings providing a chance to view the exhibition Like Breath on Glass: Whistler, Inness, and the Art of Painting Softly.
The Amelia Piano Trio begins the series on August 5. This remarkable group of musicians has toured extensively throughout North and South America, Europe, and Asia and has released several critically acclaimed CDs. A Washington Post music critic raved, “The Amelias make chamber music the way I like to hear it made-big, bold, direct, and un-self-conscious” and the San Diego Reader stated, “You just don’t hear better chamber music playing than this.” The Trio won the grand prize at the Yellow Springs national competition and was the recipient of the prestigious ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming. In 2003, the Trio was asked by National Public Radio to be the Young Ensemble in Residence for an exciting week of live concerts. They have continued their relationship with NPR, having performed the complete Beethoven Trios in October 2006.
The Amelia members, Anthea Kreston on violin, Jason Duckles on cello, and Rieko Aizawa on piano, have made their mark not only as first-rate performers of traditional repertoire but as commissioners of new music. Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Harbison has written his first piano trio for the Amelia, and other commissions include Augusta Read Thomas’s “A Circle Around the Sun” and Adam Silverman’s “Sturm.” They have toured North America and Central Asia with Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project. Actively involved in arts education, members of the Trio are professors at the Hartt School of Music in Hartford, CT, and at Connecticut College in New London, CT.
The program at the Clark features the Grieg Trio in C minor, “Andante con moto;” the Beethoven Trio in G Major, Opus 1, No.2; and the Dvorák Trio in E Minor, Opus 90, “Dumky.”
Israeli cellist Matt Haimovitz and pianist Geoffrey Burleson are featured on August 12. On August 19, Manchester Music Festival artists Joana Genova, Ariel Rudiakov, Maxine Neuman, and Elizabeth Wright will perform. The series concludes on August 26 with the Julliard-trained Amernet String Quartet.
Clark chef Steve Wilkinson has designed a series of three-course, prix-fixe dinners served prior to the concerts. Each course will offer three choices, with the menu changing each week. Appetizer selections include: Tuscan tomato soup with fresh basil; mesclun greens with avocado, grapefruit, and crab, with lime-mint dressing; and native tomato salad with feta cheese and olives. Entrée choices may include: sautéed tilapia with lemon, capers, butter, and parsley; roast rosemary chicken with roasted vegetables and corn spoon bread; or penne with broccoli rabe, cannellini beans, garlic, and asiago cheese. For dessert, choices include: chocolate mousse, strawberry-rhubarb tart, and crème brûlée. Wilkinson has been chef/manager of the Clark’s Café for two years, and prior to that, he owned and was chef at three restaurants in Connecticut: Fine Bouche, Steve’s Centerbrook Cafe, and Esteva, all of which were rated 3 stars by the New York Times and held Wine Spectator Awards of Excellence. Reservations are required and can be made at 413-458-0524. Seating begins at 6 pm.
The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, MA. The galleries are open daily in July and August, 10 am to 5 pm (closed Mondays, September through June). Admission June 1 through October 31 is $12.50 for adults, free for children 18 and under, members, and students with valid ID. Admission is free November through May. For more information, call 413-458-2303 or visit www.clarkart.edu.