‘Ear-Opening!’ Marimba Festival Comes to HSU

Boston-based marimba master Nancy Zeltsman, founder of the international Zeltsman Marimba Festival, promises that Humboldt State and Arcata Playhouse audiences will hear “absolutely ear-opening percussion” at her concert series June 30-July 13.

“This festival will present an enormous range of styles, introducing people to the astounding expressiveness and eclecticism of marimba music,” says Zeltsman. “Our faculty are leading players from all over the world and 13 states. This will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for many people in the Pacific northwest to hear the best marimba performers present so much interesting music on an instrument that is very fun, visually as well as aurally.”

2013-06-10-Marimba.jpg
Ron Samuels of Arcata’s Marimba One and Nancy Zeltsman, founder and artistic director of the Zeltsman Marimba Festival, which is coming to Arcata June 30-July 13.

Humboldt State and Arcata Playhouse are co-sponsors of the annual Zeltsman Marimba Festival, making its first visit to the Pacific Northwest. HSU’s Department of Music, Music Professor Eugene Novotney and Arcata Playhouse will host the evening concerts. All of them will be open to the public.

Performances will be presented in solos and chamber ensembles, featuring not only Zeltsman, but also expert faculty from Europe, North America, Asia and the U.S.

Across the two weeks, 60 musicians will present eight concerts, spanning classical music to contemporary works, including jazz, blues, Latin, Mexican and other international compositions. Music-making will center on the marimba, including Marimba One instruments, and on the vibraphone and other percussion instruments.

Concerts will take place at two venues: the Native Forum adjoining Humboldt State’s Behavioral and Social Sciences Building and at the Arcata Playhouse.

“Arcata is one of the prettiest places I’ve ever visited in the U.S., and of course it’s a highly interesting draw for the festival participants because while they’re in town, they get to visit one of the top marimba manufacturers in the world, the Marimba One factory,” Zeltsman notes. She is a long-time customer and colleague of Marimba One founder and owner Ron Samuels. Marimba One owners include nearly a score of California State University and University of California campuses, as well as the Boston Conservatory of Music, Berlin Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Harvard, Ithaca College and Vanderbilt, plus dozens of others, statewide and worldwide, as distant as Asia.

The Zeltsman concerts begin Sunday, June 30, at 8 p.m. at the Arcata Playhouse, featuring a “Marimba Mix” of Bach, Faure and many more. The venue will shift to HSU’s Native Forum on Wednesday, July 3, again at 8 p.m. with a presentation of ‘Expressive Complexity’and the music of Toru Takemitsu and Philippe Manoury, among others.

No advance reservations will be available; tickets will go on sale at the door at 7:15 p.m. prior to each evening’s performance and at 12:15 p.m. on July 13. Prices are $10 for adults, $7 for students and seniors.

The full concert schedule and other details are posted at zmf.us/concerts_opento.