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June 06, 2003 - Image 94

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-06-06

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Festival participants often choose to
stay with volunteers from the three
different religious institutions. "That
enables us to build strong relationships
in the community, both the Detroit
community and the musical commu-
nity," Okun says.

any in 1994, a few music-
loving members of three
Oakland County religious
institutions hired Maury
Okun, a vivacious, curly-haired trom-
bone player, to put together a handful
Benefactors And Performers
of summer chamber music recitals.
indication of how far the series
Now the series, known as the Great
has come in 10 years is the world-class
Lakes Chamber Music Festival
reputation of its new lead sponsor —
(GLCMF), is about to begin its 10th
General Motors. Another indication is
season of concerts. And Okun — still
the status of the performers the
a trombone player, still vivacious and
GLCMF has been able to attract.
with most of his hair intact — has
The 2003 series begins Saturday, June
become the impresario of a nationally
known chamber series.
"We've grown tremendously,"
Okun says. "We've gone from six to
25 concerts, from three venues to
concerts in East Lansing, Ann Arbor,
Grosse Pointe, the Detroit Institute
of Arts and the Detroit Zoo.
`Above all, with the tremendous
support we've had from the commu-
nity, we've been able to carve a rec-
ognizable niche in the music world."
The 2003 series takes place nearly
every evening — and a few week-
end afternoons — for two weeks,
from June 14 through June 29.
Works performed span some 500
The Aviv Quartet: Shuli Waterman, viola;
years of chamber music literature.
Evgenia Epstein, violin; Sergey Ostrovsky,
Throughout its history, the
violin; Rachel Mercer, cello.
GLCMF has benefited from
strong support from the Jewish
14, with a performance by the presti-
Emerson String Quartet.
Temple Beth El was — and remains
Comprised of violinists Philip Selmer and
— one of the three religious institu-
tions sponsoring the festival, along with Eugene Drucker, violist Lawrence
Dutton and cellist David Finckel, the
St. Hugo of the Hills Catholic Church
Emerson has won numerous awards both
and Kirk In The Hills. Numerous
for live performance and recordings, and
members of the Bloomfield Township
is a favorite of Detroit audiences.
synagogue, and of other Detroit-area
The June 14 concert, to take place
synagogues, have served on the festival's
at Detroit Country Day School's
operating and advisory boards and as
Seligman Performing Arts Center in
major financial contributors.
Beverly Hills, honors the memory of
"The partnership between the three
Detroit-area composer Elaine
religions has been a powerful engine
Lebenbom, who died in November at
for our organization," Okun says.
the age of 69. Pianist James Tocco, the
"They see it as an opportunity to con-
festival's artistic director, will open the
tribute to the community, and it has
concert with a,performance of
opened up many doors for us.
Lebenbom's award-winning Sonata for
"We add to our audiences members
Piano, written in 1957.
of the three congregations who might
Two members of the Emerson
not otherwise come to chamber music
Quartet, Setzer and Dutton, will
concerts. And they've contributed key
return June 17 and 18 as soloists in
members to our board."

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