Last updateMon, 23 Oct 2017 3pm


Inaugural French festival features local musicians

Photos Courtesy of Mark Starr
Stephen Waarts is among the local residents slated to perform at the Festival of French Classical Music.

Alliance Francaise of Silicon Valley has scheduled its first Festival of French Classical Music June 20 and 21 in Mountain View.

More than two dozen Bay Area musicians will present musical works by Maurice Ravel, Ernest Chausson, Gabriel Fauré, André Jolivet, Darius Milhaud, Francis Poulenc and Charles-Valentin Alkan, in addition to songs made famous by chanteuse Edith Piaf.

Two concerts will open the festival:

• 8 p.m. June 20: Ensemble San Francisco, a group of Bay Area musicians founded by clarinetist Roman Fukshansky and pianist Christine McLeavey Payne, will perform “Une Soirée Parisienne,” a wide variety of works in an all-French program.

• 8 p.m. June 21: Twenty instrumentalists and singers will present four French works in “Musique de Chambre Virtuose.”

The venue for both concerts is the Community School of Music and Arts’ Tateuchi Hall, 230 San Antonio Circle.

The festival has Los Altos ties. Virtuoso violinist and Los Altos resident Stephen Waarts, 17, will play at the June 21 concert, performing Chausson’s “Concert pour violon, piano et quatuor a cordes.” Waarts recently won first prize in the Yehudi Menuhin International Competition.

At the same concert, Los Altos resident and co-musical director Mark Starr will lead a quartet of Bay Area flutists with piano, performing Alkan’s “Comme le vent.” Originally composed in 1857 for piano solo, “Comme le vent” will feature an arrangement by Starr for four flutes and piano. Starr is co-musical director of the festival with his wife, French flutist Isabelle Chapuis.

Tickets are $20-$50.

For tickets and more information, visit frenchmusicfestival.org.

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