The Block

Internationally acclaimed violinist Tessa Lark performs Michigan premiere of new bluegrass crossover work

Virtual concerts offered Friday with WMS at the Frauenthal and Saturday solo at The Block

Muskegon, March 31, 2021—One of the country’s most dynamic young violinists will take the Frauenthal stage with Music Director Scott Speck and the West Michigan Symphony for a virtual concert to premiere at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 23.  A budding superstar in the classical realm, Tessa Lark is also a highly acclaimed fiddler in the tradition of her native Kentucky.  She will perform the bluegrass-infused Sky for violin and orchestra written especially for her by Michael Torke. Also on the program of American music will be William Grant Still’s Out of the Silence, Aaron Copland’s John Henry and his famous Appalachian Spring. The concert is sponsored by the Howmet Fund at the Community Foundation for Muskegon County.  The 2020-2021 Season is sponsored by Nichols. To order online, visit westmichigansymphony.org or call 231/726-3231.

In addition, Tessa Lark will provide a solo performance on violin virtually from The Block at 7:30pm Saturday, April 24. It is rare nowadays to find a violinist who can confidently carry an entire performance solo, without even piano accompaniment. Tessa Lark is such an artist. Order online at theblockwestmichigan.org or call 231/726-3231.

Tessa Lark is one of the most captivating artistic voices of our time who has appeared with dozens of orchestras, festivals, and venues including Carnegie Hall, Ravinia, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, the Buffalo Philharmonic, and Marlboro Music. The Sky concerto was premiered and recorded in 2018-2019 with the Albany (NY) Symphony Orchestra.  West Michigan Symphony’s performance will be the Michigan Premiere of this exciting new work. Ms. Lark continually looks for opportunities to cross over between classical violin and other forms of music. Other recent projects include her own work, Appalachian Fantasy; the album Invention, introducing the new duo of Ms. Lark & bassist Michael Thurber; and a genre-bending disc in collaboration with multi-instrumentalist/composer Jon Batiste and American fiddling legend Michael Cleveland.

WMS has been a pioneer in developing its online concert series. Audience members have consistently hailed the high quality videography and rich sound, which one patron declared as “like being onstage with the performers.” WMS continues to provide virtual concerts as an option for those who prefer it, while re-introducing live attendance as it becomes possible under state regulations and Frauenthal Center safety protocols.

Tickets range from $10 (student pricing, available by phone only) to $50.  Symphony ticket purchasers who buy before 5pm on April 21 may add on The Block performance at no additional charge using the code “TESSA.”

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