Savannah Music Festival

Airs Thursday, May 7, at 8 p.m. Every spring, sixteen talented young string players, all under the age of 22, travel to Savannah for a groundbreaking mentorship program called the Acoustic Music Seminar. Led by acclaimed mandolinist Mike Marshall, the participants receive six days of hands-on instruction in playing, songwriting and ensemble work. Past instructors have included Julian Lage, Casey Driessen, Avi Avital, Bela Fleck, Chris Thile, Abigail Washburn, Zakir Hussain, Bruce Molsky, Mike Block, David Finckel, David Grisman, Tony Trischka and many others.

Airs Thursday, April 30, at 8 p.m. While Beethoven is generally acknowledged as the first great composer of cello sonatas, there have been numerous outstanding works written for the cello as a solo instrument over the last three centuries. Composers such as Boccherini, Grieg, Brahms, Rachmaninoff, Debussy, Shostakovich and Britten all wrote compositions that every cellist must come to terms with at some point in their career. In this episode we listen to a cello recital featuring Eric Kim, a veteran of the SMF chamber music series, former principal cellist of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and current professor of cello at the Indiana University School of Music.

Airs Thursday, April 23, at 8 p.m. For lovers of the mandolin, an instrument that first came about nearly 400 years ago, it's hard not to appreciate the many virtuosos that have emerged in the past half century and blended extensive musical styles. Two of the most unique and extraordinary mandolinists in our time are Mike Marshall and Chris Thile, who have been working on and off over the past ten years to create a duo program like no other. In this episode, we listen to a 2014 performance by this duo at the Savannah Music Festival.

Airs Thursday, April 16, at 8 p.m. One of the annual highlights of the Savannah Music Festival is a concert we produce called "Piano Showdown". It brings together four jazz pianists and allows them to display their original interpretation of songs in both solo and duo settings, with the only requirement being that every pianist has to play at least two songs together. This episode features part two of Piano Showdown 2014, with pianists Aaron Diehl, Christian Sands, Cyrus Chestnut and Marcus Roberts.

Airs Thursday, April 2, at 8 p.m. Nearly every year since 2004, the Savannah Music Festival has lined up four different jazz pianists in a concert that showcases not only their individual talent, but also their ability to perform duets with each of the other pianists on the bill. This episode features highlights from Piano Showdown 2014 with Christian Sands, Aaron Diehl, Marcus Roberts, and Cyrus Chestnut. Part one of two.

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