There’s a wonderful story about Warwick native, violinist Deborah Tien Price, who grew up in a family of chemists and was expected to follow the tradition until her teacher, Carol Pellegrino, convinced her parents that her destiny was in music.
Deborah joined her husband, violinist Evan Price, last week in a magnificent rendition of Bach’s “Concerto for two violins in d minor,” backed by ensemble members Anton Miller, Kristen Pellegrino, Rita Porfiris, Elisa Kohanski and Artistic Director John Pellegrino.
Music on the Hill, now in its 40th season, is a return of native Rhode Island sons and daughters and their friends to the state where they first learned their craft, later going on to play in some of the most prestigious ensembles and orchestras in the country.
Last week, they performed in their traditional locations at two Warwick churches, St. Gregory the Great and Ss. Rose and Clement, delighting large audiences with their talents. We enjoyed the atmosphere and acoustics, and the variety of selections, in the beautiful modern Catholic churches.
The extensive program provides interesting information on the composers and the artists playing their music. Pellegrino does something I’ve never seen in a music program: He tells you the length of each piece.
The festival moves to Warwick’s Ocean State Theatre at 1245 Jefferson Blvd for three performances. The first was held Tuesday, with concerts scheduled for this Thursday, and Saturday, June 26 and 28 at 7:30 p.m.
Thursday’s concert features the music of Mendelssohn, with a special performance by the acclaimed Miami String Quartet, in addition to many returning Rhode Island musicians.
Saturday evening features the cello, with music by more modern composers Popper, Bliss, Didkovsky and Francois. While Music on the Hill usually chooses shorter pieces, the Miami String Quartet will close the evening, and the festival, with Franz Schubert’s “String Quartet in C, D.956, Op. posth. 163,” which Pellegrino describes as “gorgeous and serene.”
The entire Music on the Hill Festival has been nothing but “gorgeous and serene,” and seats for the remaining concerts are still available. Tickets are a most reasonable $30 and may be ordered by visiting www.musiconthehill.com or emailing 1MOTH@gmail.com. They are also available at the door.