Virtuoso violinists to perform at Carnegie Hall

September 20, 2015
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Andres Cardenes
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Monique Mead

Renowned violinist Monique Mead knows how to put together a concert that will captivate, thrill and entertain an audience.

And on Oct. 2, she won’t have to stray very far from home to do so.

Mead, who serves as director of music entrepreneurship at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Music and director and founder of the university’s Center for Arts Innovation, will be joined in concert by her husband, internationally acclaimed violinist Andres Cardenes, and their two children, Isabel, 12, on harp and Tino, 10, on piano.

“Menard Presents: Carnegies in Concert” will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall. Faculty, alumni and students from Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Music also will perform.

The program includes Franz Schubert’s “Fantasie for Violin and Piano in C Major,” a musical tour de force for Cardenes and Venezuelan-born pianist Rodrigo Ojeda. C Street Brass, which is composed of recent CMU graduates, describe themselves as being “equally at home with the baroque sound as with ‘dubstep,’” otherwise known as electronic dance music. C Street Brass will infuse the concert with some high-spirited Americana, selections from “West Side Story” and some virtuosic collaborations with the evening’s other performers.

Caitlin Quinlan, a cello major at CMU, is an up-and-coming singer/songwriter who will perform three songs from her new album. Isabel and Tino will perform with their parents and each other, with Tino doing a solo of Chopin’s “Polonaise in D Minor,” and Isabel singing back-up vocals with Quinlan.

Mead’s positions at CMU allow her to combine her ardor for classical music with preparing students for a shifting landscape of challenges confronting today’s musicians, artists and nonprofit arts organizations.

When Mead met with Maggie Forbes, ACFL&MH executive director, and Geoff Zak, music hall manager, in January, Mead “was absolutely charmed by the library, thrilled with the acoustics in the hall and enthusiastic about the potential for musical experiences in those spaces.” Forbes sensed a gala concert in the making, and fully expects that Carnegies in Concert will open the door for future collaborations.

Carnegies in Concert benefits the campaign to restore and revitalize the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall.

“It is always a fabulous evening of entertainment, chosen to spotlight the music hall as an outstanding regional venue,” Forbes said. The concert will be followed by an after-concert supper, with food provided by Michael Lench Catering, in the new Lincoln Gallery and in the library itself, giving concertgoers a sneak preview of the library’s interior restoration.

The library has been transformed by new lighting, restored plaster, new paint and carpeting and some new furnishings, including computer stations. The shabbiness is gone – gentile or otherwise – but its historic character remains intact.

On-site and street parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis. A shuttle will provide two-way transportation for the overflow from the free parking lot on Main Street.

Tickets are $125 – $90 is tax deductible – for reserved orchestra seats and $75 – $40 is tax deductible – for open balcony seating. For tickets or more information, visit www.carnegiecarnegie.org/ticketing/ or call 412-276-3456, ext. 8.

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