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Mozart festival being resurrected in Woodstock as summer concert series

Midwest Mozart Festival community also planning concert in Barrington Hills

Photo provided by Robin F. Pendergrast
Violinist Vesna Gruppman and conductor and violinist Igor Gruppman performed at Place de la Musique in Barrington Hills as part of the 2014 Woodstock Mozart Festival.
Photo provided by Robin F. Pendergrast Violinist Vesna Gruppman and conductor and violinist Igor Gruppman performed at Place de la Musique in Barrington Hills as part of the 2014 Woodstock Mozart Festival.

WOODSTOCK – After the Woodstock Mozart Festival announced it was permanently closing because of a lack of funds, a new nonprofit has formed and is bringing back the event this summer.

The Midwest Mozart Festival officially started in April, but the group had talked about bringing the classical music event back right after the previous festival decided to end in December after nearly 30 years in the city, Zachary Dylan said.

Dylan, the president of the board of directors for the Midwest Mozart Festival, said talk between musicians, music educators and others in the community led to the creation of the new group and board.

“Leaving it end at the 29th season, it just didn’t seem like it was right,” Dylan said.

The name of this summer’s concert series will be called “Woodstock Celebrates Mozart,” Dylan said.

The first concert will be 3 p.m. July 31 at the Sanfilippo Estate, 789 Plumtree Road, Barrington Hills. Tickets can be purchased for $55 at sanfilippofoundation.org.

The second and third concerts will be at 3 p.m. Aug. 7 and Aug. 14 at the Woodstock Opera House, 121 Van Buren St., Woodstock.

Tickets can be purchased for $43 for A seating, $28 for B seating and $10 for students at woodstockoperahouse.com.

The 35-person orchestra has musicians from the Midwest to Maine, most of whom have played together for the past 20 years and are like a family, board member and musician Michael Beert said.

Beert played in the Woodstock Mozart Festival in its first two seasons, and again for the past 15 years.

This year he will be back on stage as a second chair cellist for the orchestra.

He said the musicians mostly will play music from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

“Mozart’s music can reach an individual on so many different levels,” Beert said. “On a physical level, or intellectual level or emotional level. Or it can just be wonderful background music.”

Part of the group’s mission, which focuses on concerts, culture and community, is to reach music students, Dylan said.

People can sponsor a student ticket and donate money to help promote music education by visiting midwestmozart.org.

“We don’t want to be considered elitists,” Beert said. “We are offering great music at a great price for accessible to everybody.”

And in future years, Beert and Dylan said they hope the festival will eventually expand to include more cities in the Midwest.

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