The Sembrich
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Simon Mulligan at The Sembrich. Photo credit: YM Photography

A Gershwin Gala at The Sembrich


—A Benefit Featuring Music, Delicacies and Wine—

BOLTON LANDING, NY —  Sounds of the Jazz Age come alive at The Sembrich on Saturday, August 27th at 6:30 pm with A GERSHWIN GALA as acclaimed violinist Emil Altschuler and virtuoso pianist Thomas Pandolfi perform the timeless classics of American master, George Gershwin.

The hour-long performance is bookended by a pair of elegant lakeside receptions featuring select delicacies and wines.  The Doc Scanlon Trio will provide music to evoke the era: a mellow duo of guitar and bass providing a concert prelude—and a hot jazz clarinet added to the mix for the post-concert party.

Tickets, for the benefit of The Sembrich’s summer performance series, are $150.

The program for the sophisticated evening features some of George Gershwin’s most unforgettable melodies as arranged for violin and piano by Jascha Heifetz.  This virtuoso showcase for violinist Altschuler includes “An American in Paris,” “Three Preludes,” “Embraceable You” and selections from “Porgy and Bess.”

Thomas Pandolfi takes his solo turn in Gershwin’s all-time classic opus, “Rhapsody in Blue” as arranged for solo piano by the composer himself.

The performing pair tops off the evening with a special musical treat:  a performance of Robert Russell Bennett’s  “Hexapoda:  Five Studies in Jitteroptera,” “a jazzy work,” quips Pandolfi, “guaranteed to bring down the house!”

Altschuler, acclaimed as “a truly outstanding violinist of his generation,” received his Bachelor of Music degree from the Juilliard School and his Master’s from the Yale School of Music.  His brilliant technique and vigorous performances have garnered energetic ovations in venues such as Lincoln Center, San Francisco’s Helen Von Ammon’s Emerging Artist Series, The Aspen Music Festival and Italy’s Castello di Galeazza.

“The Heifetz transcriptions of Gershwin have always been great favorites of mine,” says Altschuler.  “But at the conservatory, these pieces, with their popular and pleasurable melodies, were never regarded as ‘contemporary’ enough!”

“Now, at last, at The Sembrich, I have an opportunity to perform these gems,” he adds, “with a great interpreter of Gershwin, pianist Thomas Pandolfi.”

Pandolfi, like Altschuler, is a graduate of the Juilliard School where he earned both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees.  Praised for “his passionate artistry and amazing technique,” Pandolfi is an exciting virtuoso who is becoming increasingly sought after by audiences worldwide.

His orchestral appearances often feature not only the beloved concerto masterpieces by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff and Liszt but also the equally brilliant ones by Paderewski, Rubinstein and Moszkowski. Additionally, in the “Pops” genre, Pandolfi is considered the leading interpreter of the works of George Gershwin.

“Nobody blended popular melodies and classical forms more brilliantly than George Gershwin,” states Pandolfi of the American master.  “He was, quite simply put, one of the most innovative and original composers in all of music history.”

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