Music in the Park Series garners award


Music in the Park Series’ (MPS) new season, a welcome event for local chamber music lovers, will have an added twist this year.

During the inaugural concert of the 2007-08 season, Julie Himmelstrup, MPS artistic director, will accept the 2007 CMAcclaim Award from Chamber Music America (CMA).

The award recognizes “individuals or organizations whose achievements in the ensemble music field have had a significant and lasting impact on their community or region.” Also being recognized by CMA this year is Da Camera of Houston.

Himmelstrup started MPS in 1979. The series has grown from five concerts that first season to eight chamber music concerts a year, plus three family concerts that incorporate a variety of musical styles and audience-participation activities.

“Some people think that classical music is on the decline,” said Himmelstrup, “but from all indications, chamber music is stronger than ever. The award from CMA is an honor for the entire community. I feel like St. Anthony Park as a whole will be receiving this award.”

The 29th season of MPS gets underway on September 23 with a concert by David Finckel (cello) and Wu Han (piano). Partners in music and marriage, Finckel and Han will be making their third MPS appearance. They will play works by Strauss, Grieg and Franck.

Subsequent concerts will feature the Parker String Quartet with Soyeon Lee, piano (October 21); Kim Kashkashian, viola, and Lydia Artymiw, piano (November 11); Philharmonia Quartett Berlin (January 20); the Brentano String Quartet (February 24); the Skampa Quartet (April 6); and the Claremont Trio (April 27).

The annual Gus Donhowe Memorial Concert will take place December 2, at 4 p.m. Pianist Butch Thompson will be joined by cellist Laura Sewell in a program of jazz classics, as well as a jazz version of Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Suite.”

All MPS concerts are held at St. Anthony Park United Church of Christ. Individual concert and season tickets are available

(, 645-5699). For more information about the series, visit