Music in the Mountains’ SummerFest a hit

Music in the Mountains wraps up its SummerFest series this week, and it has been one of the best seasons in years.

“The diversity of the program this year has been fantastic,” as Lowell Robertson, a longtime MIM fan and arts patron told us last night during intermission at the Cirque de la Symphonie at the Nevada County Fairgrounds. (We promoted the SummerFest in our spring issue, observing MIM’s imaginative events, including the “scoop” on a Pink Floyd tribute show).

The SummerFest has included 10 concerts in two weeks. There’s been a Verdi Requiem but also MIM and The Center for the Arts presented the Pink Floyd show.

On Sunday Maestro Gregory Vajda and the Festival Orchestra present a Tchaikovsky piano concerto, featuring virtuoso Xiayin Wang. The series ends with an annual “Picnic and Pops” concert at the Fairgrounds.


We’ve enjoyed the SummerFest too. Last night our family attended Cirque de la Symphonie, where the MIM orchestra teamed up with acrobats, aerialists and clowns. The troupe performed feats to the music of Dvorak, Bizet, Tchaikovsky and others.

We had a picnic at the Fairgrounds and visited with Lowell and others. (We enjoyed the Old 5 Mile House’s Berliner grilled brats and a glass of white wine from Nevada City Winery, a European-like picnic experience ). Our 10-year-old son, who is starting to embrace the performances of InConcert Sierra and MIM, also enjoyed the program.

The acts were spellbinding: a “quick” change, where a woman magically changed her dresses to the music of Brazilian composer Zequinha de Abreu’s “Tico-Tico no Fubá.” There also was ring juggling, an aerial duo, an electric juggler, a ribbon dance and aerial rope performance.

The performance ended with “strongmen” Jarek & Darek (Jaroslaw Marciniak and Dariusz Wronski) balancing on top of each other to the music of Antonín Leopold Dvořák. The two are former Polish national hand-balancing champions.

The crowd stood up and clapped loudly. On the way out, we ran into a grandmother, who saw last year’s show and was thrilled to bring her granddaughter this year. Like our son, she loved the show.

“The Cirque de Symphonie show was wonderful,” observed local poet Molly Fisk. “There is nothing so much fun as being fooled by people who are good at fooling you (the woman whose dresses kept changing in too short a time for them to have changed…).”

The SummerFest is a tangible sign that MIM has reinvigorated itself (“content is king,” as they say). We’d like to congratulate the new executive director of MIM, Cristine Kelly, Vajda and the MIM board are to be congratulated for expanding the group’s offerings, celebrating a tradition in classical music. We look forward to the WinterFest program.

(photo credit: Cirque de la Symphonie and MIM)

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