Smithsonian at the Theatre on May 8

Violinist Ian Swenson

From contributed reports
The final performance in the 2009-2010 season of the Smithsonian at Little Washington concert series will take place on Saturday, May 8 at 8 p.m. The concert is a joint presentation by the Smithsonian Chamber Players and the Theatre at Washington, and will be held at the Theatre. The program consists of sonatas for violin and fortepiano by Franz Schubert, Ludwig van Beethoven (including his much-loved Spring sonata) and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, all written toward the end of the eighteenth and at the beginning of the nineteenth centuries. Ian Swensen is the violinist and Kenneth Slowik will play a fortepiano brought in to the Theatre especially for this concert.

A native of New York, violinist Ian Swensen came from a musically gifted family of Norwegian and Japanese-Hawaiian descent. He received his training at the Juilliard School and at the Eastman School of Music. In recent years he has appeared with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, at venues across the United States and Canada, and in Switzerland, Australia, Ireland and Korea. Since 1997, he has been a member of the Smithsonian Chamber Music Society and plays with the Axelrod Quartet and the Smithsonian Chamber Players. Swensen has performed with members of the Juilliard, Cleveland, Emerson, Takacs, Concord and Tokyo String Quartets as well as Menahem Pressler and YoYo Ma, among many others.

Artistic Director of the Smithsonian Chamber Music Society, Kenneth Slowik first established his international reputation primarily as a cellist and viola da gamba player through his work with the Smithsonian Chamber Players, Castle Trio, Smithson String Quartet, Axelrod Quartet, and with Anner Bylsma’s L’Archibudelli. Conductor of the Smithsonian Chamber Orchestra since 1988, he became conductor of the Santa Fe Bach Festival in 1998 and led the Santa Fe Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra from 1999 to 2004. Slowik’s impressive discography comprises over sixty recordings featuring him as conductor, cellist, gambist, and keyboard player. Many of his recordings have won prestigious international awards. They have received two Grammy nominations and numerous “Record of the Month” and “Record of the Year” prizes.

Tickets are $20 for adults, $5 under 18. To make reservations for May 8, call 540-675-1253 or email

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