“Bridge, Brahms and Beyond” at Jamestown Arts Center presented by Kingston Chamber Music Festival

Two award-winning classical musicians will present a seldom-performed repertoire for viola and piano in “Bridge, Brahms and Beyond” presented by the Kingston Chamber Music Festival on Friday, March 17, 7-9pm at the Jamestown Arts Center.

Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt and Natalie Zhu will perform a “kaleidoscope of sound” through dynamic pieces curated to highlight the unique viola sound: Brahms Sonata in F minor, Two Pieces by Frank Bridge, Morpheus by Rebecca Clarke and selections from the beloved Romeo and Juliet by Prokofiev (a rarely played piece which reimagines Shakespeare’s masterpiece from a composer’s perspective). 

Beth Etter, executive director of the Kingston Chamber Music Festival offers, “Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt is one of the most distinguished violists of her generation. She and Natalie Zhu met through last year’s KCMF’s summer performances. Inspired to collaborate, they will share a stage for the first time to deliver a rarely performed repertoire. Based on the positive initial audience reaction, we anticipate a sold out show.”

“The range of the viola is on average the most similar to the human voice. I love how soulful the timbre is,” Pajaro-van de Stadt states. 

Zhu adds, “So rich and warm, it’s a sound you cannot find with other instruments.”

“There’s nothing like listening to beautiful music while surrounded by beautiful art,” states Maureen Coleman, the Jamestown Arts Center’s executive director. “The Jamestown Arts Center’s high-ceilinged, spacious art gallery adds to the artful experience – classical music sounds incredible in the space!”

Both musicians are graduates of the Curtis Institute of Music. Pajaro-van de Stadt was the founding violist of the award-winning Dover Quartet from 2008-2022. Her Wigmore Hall recital was hailed as being “fleet and energetic…powerful and focused” by Strad Magazine. In addition to appearances as soloist with the Tokyo Philharmonic, Jacksonville Symphony, and Sphinx Chamber Orchestra, she has performed throughout the U.S., Latin America, Europe and Asia. Zhu is the recipient of numerous awards, and has performed throughout North America, Europe, and Asia as a soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. The Philadelphia Inquirer described her playing as “deeply emotional and pianistic pyrotechnics.” She is known for captivating interpretations of a wide repertoire and has served as the artistic director of KCMF since 2009. 

The Kingston Chamber Music Festival will celebrate its 35th season next summer. The two-week Festival brings renowned musicians together with young, rising artists to perform six concerts in the Fine Arts Center Concert Hall at the University of Rhode Island. The Kingston Chamber Music Festival also presents special concerts and events in varied settings throughout the year.

Tickets are $35 general admission and available here. JAC facilities are accessible.




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