Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival presents its season-opening concert in New Bern

Ara Gregorian
Ara Gregorian, Artistic Director

The Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival presents it’s season-opening concert in New Bern on Saturday November 15 at 7:00 p.m. at Christ Church Parish House.  This Four Seasons in New Bern concert will feature internationally-renowned musicians Hagai Shaham, violin, Xiao-Dong Wang, violin, Ida Kavafian, viola, Colin Carr, cello, and Zvi Plesser, cello, alongside Four Seasons Artistic Director Ara Gregorian (viola). The performance will include both Brahms Sextets and Elgar’s Serenade for Strings arranged for sextet.

This is the third season of Four Seasons in New Bern.

The Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival brings internationally-renowned musicians to eastern North Carolina and beyond for concerts, master classes and interactive community outreach. In residence at the East Carolina University School of Music, the festival is celebrating its 15th Anniversary Season. Highlights of past seasons include more than 150 public concerts, 300 master classes, two performances at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall and a six-concert tour of Israel.

This season features 15 concerts at East Carolina University, 35 master classes and open rehearsals, Children’s Residency VIII, Four Seasons Family Night, two Next Generation concerts, two Next Gen on the Road tours, two Chamber Music Dressed Down concerts, two concerts in New Bern, four concerts in the Triangle Area, a concert in Southern Pines and a series of interactive outreach events.

“I look forward to returning to the beautiful, intimate space at Christ Church for this unique program featuring both Brahms Sextets,” said Ara Gregorian, festival founder and artistic director.  “The combination of our world-renowned guest artists and the breathtaking, thrilling music of Brahms make this an event that is not-to-be-missed.”

Artistic director and founding member of Concertante, Xiao-Dong Wang entered the Shanghai Conservatory of Music at the age of ten and won the Menuhin International Violin Competition and the Wieniawski-Lipinski International Violin Competition by the age of fifteen. He has performed as soloist with the Royal Philharmonic, the Sydney Opera and the Shanghai Symphony orchestras, and has appeared at Lincoln Center and the Kennedy Center.

First-prize winner of the 1990 Munich ARD International Music Competition, Hagai Shaham has performed as soloist with the English Chamber Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic and the Israel Philharmonic. He has appeared at Carnegie Hall and the Royal Festival Hall, and has performed at the Schleswig-Holstein, Montpellier, Kuhmo, Pablo-Casals and Israel festivals. Shaham is a member of the faculty at the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music at Tel Aviv University and is Artist-in-Residence at Stony Brook University.

Founder and Artistic Director of the Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival, Ara Gregorian made his New York recital debut at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall and his debut as soloist with the Boston Pops Orchestra. He has appeared in cities throughout the world including Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Vancouver, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tel Aviv and Helsinki, and performed at the Casals, Storioni, Bard and Vail festivals. He has recorded for the Bridge and Kleos labels and performed as a member of the Daedalus Quartet and Concertante. Gregorian is Distinguished Professor of Violin at East Carolina University.

The versatile violinist/violist Ida Kavafian has performed extensively as a soloist, as Artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and as co-founder of Tashi, OPUS ONE and Trio Valtorna. Former member of the renowned Beaux Arts Trio, she is a faculty member at The Curtis Institute, The Juilliard School and Bard College. She has also found great success with her hobby, raising prize winning purebred Vizsla dogs.

Winner of the Naumburg International Competition, Colin Carr has appeared as soloist with orchestras worldwide including the Royal Concertgebouw, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Chicago Symphony and the Philadelphia Orchestra. He was a member of the Golub-Kaplan-Carr trio, has performed with the Guarneri and Emerson quartets, and has appeared at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Carr is on the cello faculty at Stony Brook University.

Zvi Plesser has performed to critical acclaim throughout North and Central America, Europe and Israel. He has performed with the Israel Philharmonic, the National Symphony Orchestra and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, and has participated at the Marlboro, Cervantino (Mexico), Lapland (Sweden), and the Montpellier (France) festivals. Plesser is on the cello faculty at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance.

The Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival is in residence at East Carolina University.

Ticket prices are $30 for the public and $10 for students. Tickets can be purchased at, by calling 1-800-ECU-ARTS, or by visiting the Bank of the Arts in New Bern.

For information on how to support Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival programs and outreach, call 252-328-6019.

Submitted by: John Holloway, Managing Director, Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival