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Second venue adds grandeur to Woodstock Mozart Festival

A second venue for the Woodstock Mozart Festival amps up the sights to go along with the world-class sounds visitors will experience throughout the three-weekend event.

Under the banner “Mozart ... and More!,” the festival begins July 24 and runs three consecutive weekends with concerts scheduled both at the Woodstock Opera House, 121 E. Van Buren, St., Woodstock, and a new location, the Sanfilippo Estate’s Place de la Musique, 789 Plum Tree Road, Barrington Hills.

The estate is known worldwide for its collections of restored antique music machines, phonographs, arcade and gambling machines, chandeliers, art glass, the world’s largest restored theater pipe organ, a European salon carousel, street and tower clocks, steam engines and other functional mechanical antiques, displayed within a French Second Empire setting.

The mansion is not open to the public, but those who attend the Mozart Festival will be given tours as part of the ticket price.

“People can come see this magnificent decor of the mansion all decorated in art deco and grand epic style,” said Anita Whalen, the artistic and general director of the Woodstock Mozart Festival. “It’s a gorgeous space.”

The Sanfilippo Foundation invited festival organizers to host part of the event at the estate, she said.

The festival will start July 24 at Place de la Musique with an all-Mozart chamber music performance by clarinetist Alexander Fiterstein and pianist Igor Lipinski. The two will perform Mozart’s Quartet in G Minor for Piano and Strings. A master class by Fiterstein will follow the performance.

The following weekend – July 26-27 – the festival will take place at the Woodstock Opera House with artists such as Fiterstein and conductor Istvan Jaray.

“[Fiterstein] actually came to the festival seven or eight years ago and was very well received and is excited to return,” Whalen said. “The conductor [Jaray] is one of the orchestra’s favorite conductors.”

The concert will include performances of Rossini’s Overture from “L’Italiana in Algeri” and Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto in A Major, among other pieces.

The following weekend, performances featuring Igor Gruppman and his violinist wife, Vesna, will be Aug. 9 at the Opera House and Aug. 10 at Place de la Musique.

“It should be a stunning season,” Whalen said. “I encourage people to come out to hear these world-class people right in Woodstock or in Barrington Hills close by.”

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