Bainbridge Island Review


Renowned musician celebrates joining Music Guild faculty with free concert

Bainbridge Island Review Staff Writer
September 1, 2013 · 2:43 PM

Renowned classical violin soloist Lenore Vardi will celebrate joining the Island Music Guild staff with a free concert Sunday, Sept. 15, at the newly renovated guild performance hall. She will perform a variety of classic duets with Bainbridge violist Gwen Franz. / Mary Miller photo

Strike up the band.

Island music students and aficionados are all the better for the most recent addition to the faculty at the Island Music Guild. Renowned classical violin soloist Lenore Vardi will celebrate joining the Guild staff with a free concert Sunday, Sept. 15. Her arrival has already garnered much applause from music lovers.

“We are thrilled to have Lenore joining our faculty and her concert is a special gift,” said Keely Sawyer, the guild’s board president. “We are looking forward to it.”

The violinist is excited about the new teaching position and contributing to the island’s vibrant musical culture.

“I’ve always loved teaching and I look forward to becoming part of the artistic community on Bainbridge,” Vardi said.

“I feel that it’s important to pass on the valuable legacy of knowledge I’ve gained through many years as a student and colleague of some of the greatest string players in the world, and I love doing it,” she said.

Vardi, who worked extensively in New York before moving to the Seattle area in 2007, has had a successful and distinguished career as a professional musician, including many noteworthy collaborations. She has performed with some of music’s most legendary names including Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Dionne Warwick, Diana Ross and Sarah Vaughan.  She has also worked on several film projects including “Pocahontas,” “Aladdin,” “The Untouchables” and “Sleepless in Seattle,” among others.

More recently, Vardi worked as a musical director and has performed at music festivals and as part of a nationally acclaimed chamber series, frequently performing with her late husband, famed violinist Emanuel Vardi.

“We had a tradition of using our art as a way to meet people and connect with each new community,” Vardi said. “I want to continue that tradition here.”

Vardi is especially excited about the venue of the upcoming concert, which will be in the Music Guild’s newly remodeled performance hall, and the chance to collaborate with Bainbridge violist Gwen Franz.

“Community performance halls are a wonderful way to share the beauty of live music,” Vardi explained. “You are close enough to the audience that they hear every nuance. I can see people’s faces and see them connecting to the music.  Chamber music and recital performances are a true joy for me and I hope to do many more here.”

On the combination of violin and viola, Vardi explains that there is much more to the duet performance than just a pleasant harmony.

“We want to showcase how composers have used the combination in different ways and the interesting stories behind how those works have evolved over time,” she said.

To that end, Vardi and Franz will perform duets for violin and viola from various musical periods. Some of the pieces featured include Wolfgang Mozart’s “String Duet No. 2 in B-flat major for Violin and Viola, K. 424,” Bohuslav Martinu’s “Three Madrigals for Violin and Viola, H 313” and Johan Halvorsen’s 1897 “Passacaglia in G minor on a Theme by George Frideric Handel” (also known as “The Impossible Duet”).

Founded in 1999 by a group of Bainbridge Island music teachers, the Island Music Guild is a thriving community music school with individual and group lessons, classes and camps.

In addition, the group sponsors at least one music event a week and provides an informational resource center, recording facility and community gathering spaces.

For more information about Lenore Vardi, visit her website at www.lenorevardi.com or contact her at vardiart@vardiart.com.


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