The Christ Church Concert Series will open its 2018-19 concert season this Sunday, September 23, at 4 pm. With a host of artists ranging from chamber ensembles and choral masterworks to concert organists, handbells, and other features, this year’s series has something for everyone!
To open the season, Christ Church welcomes a unique duo and two superb, world-class musicians known as Duo Transatlantique. Fresh from critically acclaimed concerts in southern France in 2016 and the United States in 2017, harpists Isabelle Frouvelle and Rebecca Anstine Smith have delighted audiences on both sides of the Atlantic.
Harpist Rebecca Anstine Smith enjoys combining her passion for the French language with her musical performances, which began at Dickinson College, where she received a double degree in French and music, magna cum laude, Departmental Honors in Music. More recently, she traveled to southern France where she performed harp duo recitals with renowned French harpist, Isabelle Frouvelle, as The Duo Transatlantique. In her capacity as guest artist faculty for The Greenspring International Summer Harp Institute, she has accompanied them to Canada, England, Wales and the Coast of New England. As an orchestral musician, Smith has performed with the National Symphony Orchestra, and performs often with The National Philharmonic, The Washington Ballet Orchestra and The Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra. She recorded a CD of Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols at the Washington National Cathedral with Canon Michael McCarthy.
Now also a resident of the United States, French harpist Isabelle Frouvelle, has performed several times as soloist with the Virginia Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of David Grandis, and in recital with organist Sonya Subbayya Sutton with the Concerto in Bb by Handel. In demand as an adjudicator and clinician, Ms. Frouvelle’s most recent travels include competitions and seminars in Mexico, Atlanta, Richmond, Virginia and Philadelphia. Prior to coming to the United States, Ms. Frouvelle performed with numerous major orchestras in France including Orchestre Colonne, Opéra en Plein Air, and Orchestre du Capitole. She has also played at many prestigious venues across Paris including Château de Versailles, Sainte Chapelle, Hôtel des Invalides, Sacré Chœur de Montmartre, Musée de Louvre, as well as events in Les Bateaux Mouches, Le Ritz place Vendôme, and at private venues. Additionally, she performed for a number of years weekly concerts at the Cercle de l’Union Interalliée in Paris. She is recognized among harpists in Europe and USA, especially as an author of innovative harp instruction methods, publications of solo harp compositions for young harpists as well as a series of duets for harp and other instruments.
After a chance meeting of the harpists, Smith and Frouvelle, an almost immediate bond developed from their mutual admiration and appreciation for their respective cultures, languages, and music. Their program at Christ Church this Sunday will celebrate their French-American friendship with 20th century works by both American and French composers: Debussy, Faure, Gershwin, and Joplin. A refreshing and light sound of two harps performed by two artists and friends.
The Christ Church Concert Series is supported in part by a grant from the Talbot County Arts Council with funds provided by the Maryland State Arts Council. Doors open on Sunday at 3:30 pm, and the public is invited. There is no admission charge for the concert, but a freewill offering will be received. For more information, call 410-822-2677.