The 33rd Annual Raritan Valley Music Festival (RVMF) will be presented on Saturday, May 21 at 7:30 pm at the Old Greenwich Presbyterian Church, 17 Greenwich Church Rd, Stewartsville, NJ. Featured artists for this year’s concert, “Guitar Extravaganza from Mannes” include Mannes alumni and faculty, including RVMF Artistic Directors and Founders, Michael Newman and Laura Oltman of the acclaimed Newman and Oltman Guitar duo, and rising star guitarists, Yenne Lee, Hannah Murphy and Phil Goldenberg. In person tickets are $20 in advance, or $25 at the door. Online family viewing tickets will also be available at $20 through a YouTube Live link, available to view Sunday through Wednesday following the concert. To purchase tickets and for more information, visit, www.RaritanRiverMusic.org
The program is highlighted by a new Raritan River Music commission by famed Cuban composer Leo Brouwer, “Through the Looking Glass” and new music by Ukranian composer Georgii Grydkovets, performed by Newman and Oltman, as well as an arrangement by Yenne Lee of her 19,000,000-view YouTube sensation “Autumn Leaves” and performances by Instagram influencer Hannah Murphy and international prizewinner Phil Goldenberg of music from their groundbreaking project “Changing the Canon,” featuring eminent Black American composers Mason Bynes and Thomas Flippin. Lee, Murphy and Goldenberg will join Newman and Oltman for “Dusty Grooves” for guitar quintet by Brazilian composer Clarice Assad.
Hailed as a “revelation to hear” by The Washington Post and praised by legendary Cuban composer Leo Brouwer as “one of the great duos in the world,”, the Newman & Oltman Guitar Duo is recognized for their matchless technique, ensemble precision, and innovative programming, combined with their commitment to expanding the repertoire for guitar duo. Widely recognized as an influential ensemble both in the US and abroad, they perform a broad range of repertoire that spans baroque and classical works to Spanish and Latin American rhythms that showcases their diversity. The Duo’s discography of over 10 titles, including their most recent, The Book of Imaginary Beings (Music Masters Classics 1001) includes the world premiere recording of the Brouwer works commissioned by the RVMF. Acoustic Guitar Magazine praised the Duo saying, “Newman & Oltman haven’t lost a beat after four decades together. This vinyl audiophile LP is yet another high-water mark for the outstanding New York–based duo.” In addition to their phenomenal musicianship, they are dedicated to inspiring the next generation of guitar players through their many educational endeavors and are Directors of the New York Guitar Seminar at Mannes. They are founders and Artistic Directors of Raritan River Music, which has commissioned works for them from Lowell Liebermann, Pulitzer Prize winner Paul Moravec and Augusta Read Thomas among others.
IMPORTANT COVID SAFETY INFORMATION: To protect the health and safety of performers and audience members, all concert attendees above the age of 5 will be required to show proof of vaccination against Covid-19 (booster proof not required). In addition, all audience members attending Festival concerts are encouraged to maintain appropriate face coverings in accordance with current CDC guidelines. If audience members purchase a ticket for the venue and decide for any reason to stay home, the festival will exchange that ticket for the link to the online stream for that concert. Please visit the Covid page at www.RaritanRiverMusic.org for up-to-date details.