Cellist Matt Haimovitz to open Gesher Music Festival

Matt Haimovitz

 Internationally renowned cellist Matt Haimovitz will officially kick off the fourth annual Gesher Music Festival of Emerging Artists as this year’s guest artist at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, June 22 in the Centene Auditorium, 7700 Forsyth Boulevard. Renowned as a musical pioneer, Haimovitz has inspired classical music lovers by bringing his artistry to concert halls and clubs, outdoor festivals and intimate coffee houses — anywhere passionate music can be heard. He brings a fresh ear to familiar repertoire, champions new music and initiates groundbreaking collaborations as well as creating innovative recording projects. He also mentors an award-winning studio of young cellists at McGill University’s Schulich School of Music in Montreal. 

In 2000, Haimovitz made waves with his Bach “Listening-Room” Tour, for which, to great acclaim, Haimovitz took Bach’s beloved cello suites out into the clubs across the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. In St. Louis, Haimovitz will perform his solo recital “Beyond Back” including works by Bach, Ligeti, Golijov and others as well as his own arrangement of Jimi Hendrix’s “Star-Spangled Banner.” 

Haimovitz will also teach a master class to advanced students from the Community Music School’s Preparatory Program. The master class is free and open to the public. He will also do a “flash” performance the day of the recital (watch for information on the festival’s Facebook page).

The festival, presented by the Silk Foundation, brings the intimate form of chamber music to the community in a weeklong program featuring young professional musicians at the beginnings of their careers. 

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This year’s brings concerts to new venues including the St. Louis Ethical Society, Kranzberg Arts Center in Grand Center, a house concert in Clayton and the Tavern of Fine Arts in Midtown. As in past years, festival musicians will be part of a Shabbat service at Central Reform Congregation. Also, in addition to scheduled outreach events at locations such as the Juvenile Detention Center, Covenant Place and Siteman Cancer Center, there will be unannounced “pop-up” concerts at venues such as grocery stores, health centers, banks and other venues. 

Gesher is the Hebrew word for “bridge, or connection,” and festival organizers hope to build multicultural bridges by exposing audiences to music that has a connection to the Jewish experience. The musicians also hope to build bridges to younger and new audiences through their outreach programs. For more information on the festival, visit geshermusicfestival.org. Tickets are $20 or $40 depending on event and may be purchased online or by calling the NJT box office, 314-442-3283.