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Bonneville Chamber Music Festival: Modern chamber music

[media-credit name=”Janet Tarango” align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]
Viktor Uzur (far right, with cello), a professor of music at Weber State University, coordinated the Bonneville Chamber Music Festival.
The second night of the Bonneville Chamber Music Festival kicked off on Friday night at Weber State University’s Allred Theater with performances of modern chamber music.

Chamber music is a type of classical music that had its beginnings during the Renaissance. It is music designed for a small group of instruments and performed by a small number of performers. Because it was performed by a few musicians, it was usually performed in small rooms such as palace chambers, thus the name chamber music.

Friday night’s performance featured music from modern chamber music composers Ersnt von Dohnanyi and Alfred Schnittke. Viktor Uzur, the artistic director of the Bonneville Chamber Music Festival, had the opportunity to attend a Schnittke premiere and was also able to meet and shake the late composer’s hand.

Uzur said that “Quintet for Piano and Strings,” the Schnittke piece that was performed, was an “extremely avant-garde and poly-stylistic piece.”

Even though it is not what a typical audience is accustomed to, Uzur said the piece can be appreciated by everyone.

“What is really amazing is that it is extremely atonal, but it all leads to a conclusion,” Uzur said. “The power that it produces is amazing.”

A main draw of the festival are the musicians that are invited to perform. Uzur was joined on stage by four other guest performers: Carmelo de los Santos, a violinist from Brazil; Spencer Martin on viola from Luther College in Iowa; Guigla Katsarava, a professor from Paris, France, on the piano; and Monte Belknap, a professor from BYU who performed on the violin.

The performance brought out many Ogden residents. Carole Wilcox Astle, a WSU alumna, has a special tie to the Browning Center for the Performing Arts. Her father was the architect for the Austad Auditorium, and she said she enjoys frequenting performances on campus. This is the second year she has attended the festival.

“I was blown away with how beautiful it was,” Astle said of last year’s festival, “so I’ve just come to all the concerts again this year.”

Astle said she plans on going to the rest of the concerts this year, as well as in the upcoming years. She also said that what  she is most impressed by is the talent that is on display.

“They work so well together, and they can just feed off each other and feel each other,” Astle said. “It’s just amazing to have such world class talent here.”

Mike Jacobazzi also enjoys the yearly festival. Along with his wife Laurie, he has attended every festival concert for the past six years. He enjoys the performances because they are smaller in nature.

“I like the chamber music because it’s small and intimate,” Jacobazzi said.

The Bonneville Chamber Music Festival was started by WSU professor Uzur. The festival is in its sixth year and brings in musicians from across the country as well as international performers. Uzur has performed as a soloist as well as chamber musician in countries in Europe, North and South America and Asia. Uzur is a cello professor at WSU.

The Bonneville Chamber Music Festival runs through March 30 with a performance on Monday night by the Richter Uzur Duo at the Allred Theater and the last performance on Friday at the Holy Family Catholic Church in Ogden. More information can be found at

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