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SAXTONS RIVER, Vt. – Hugh Keelan on the piano and Joe Jewett on the violin face off Sunday, May 12 at 3 p.m. in a Classic(al) Saxtons River Spectacular as Main Street Arts continues its Hands On! concert series.
Concertgoers are invited to see all the action up close as Keelan interprets the music of Johannes Brahms on the MSA piano and Jewett matches him on his own instrument with works by Lou Harrison.
While Brahms is a familiar name to classical music fans, Lou Silver Harrison’s may not be.
Growing up in California, Harrison (1917-2003) was exposed to Chinese, Mexican, Native American and Indonesian music, as well as jazz and classical. He later incorporated elements of the music of these cultures into his work, including a number of pieces written for Javanese-style gamelan instruments.
A versatile composer, Harrison wrote suites, concerti, symphonies, piano pieces, operas, choral works and songs.
Jewett is an active soloist, conductor and orchestral musician based in the western Massachusetts. He has conducted the MIT and Cambridge symphonies, the Mozart Society Orchestra at Harvard and the Waltham Philharmonic. In Montana, he conducted the Great Falls and Butte symphonies, the Glacier Orchestra and the String Orchestra of the Rockies. He also conducted the Spoleto Festival Orchestra in Italy. He has performed regularly as an orchestral musician with the Arcadia Baroque and Boston Landmarks orchestras, Boston Lyric Opera and the Berkshire Symphony.
He was inspired to begin violin studies by his parents’ love of music and the gift of his grandfather’s violin. He attended high school at Interlochen and earned a master’s degree in music from the New England Conservatory. He studied conducting at the Pierre Montreux School and Boston University.
Keelan has conducted orchestras throughout the world, including the Residentie Orchestra in The Hague, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and the St. Louis Symphony and is currently the conductor of the Windham Orchestra. He has collaborated with the great artists of our times, including Solti, Haitink, Sir Colin Davis, Shura Cherkassky, Maurice Sendak and Tom Stoppard. He is planning a work based on Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde, the Ring Cycle and Boudica, composed and co-written with Jenna Rae.
Tickets for the concert are $17 and include a post-concert reception with the performers. Tickets are available online at or by contacting MSA at (802) 869-2960.
Now in its 31st year, Main Street Arts is a catalyst for arts and community, fostering creative expression through artistic experiences that are accessible to all. Its Main Street building is fully handicapped accessible.