by Samuel Anderson
Nyack, June 22 — ‘€œGood music and good performance will bring enjoyment to people. It will elevate them,’€ says Isaac Malkin, the Artistic Director and Founder of the Academy of Music Festival. The Festival, which celebrates its sixth year in Nyack, began in 1999 at Ramapo College. Each year musicians with international renown from all over the world come to Nyack to rehearse, teach and perform in the two week music festival which takes place at the Grace Church in Nyack.
This week’s two performances wrap up the five show schedule. On Wednesday, Alan R. Kay is featured in ‘€œClarinet and Strings.’€ Kay, a former member of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and a current professor at the Julliard School of the Music, will perform pieces by Bruch, Beethoven and Brahms. On Sunday, five artists, including three local musicians, will perform pieces in honor of Chopin’s 200th birthday as well as work by Liszt and Dvorak.
However the concerts are not the main focus of the festival. Each year children from around the world come to Nyack to be a part of the Festival’s Academy Program. These children live with volunteer host families in Nyack with support from the Mary Dell Faith and Life Center in Upper Nyack. While here they attend classes taught by Mr. Malkin as well as Master Classes taught by the guest artists before or after their rehearsals. The students also have the chance to sit in on rehearsals and watch how these professional musicians prepared for a concert. The students perform in concerts of their own at Grace Church. The next student concert is Saturday June 26th at 7:00 PM.
The Academy for Music is a great place to hear beautiful chamber music. For children it is a chance to be exposed to and appreciate a piece of culture found rarely and at great expense. And if they are moved by it, transformed by it, they may have a chance to become a part of it themselves.
‘€œClarinet and Strings’€ takes place on Wednesday June 23rd at 7:30 PM at Grace Church. The Gala Concert takes place on Sunday June 27th at 7:30 PM at Grace Church. Admission for these events is $25 and $20 for students and seniors.
Admission to the Student Concert on Saturday June 26th at 7:00 PM at Grace Church is free.