Gleb Ibanov, Solisti Ensemble Headline Thursday Night “Summer Stars” Classical Concert Series at Ocean Grove’s Great Auditorium!

(OCEAN GROVE, NJ) — The countdown to culture starts now with the The Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association’s announcement of its 148th summer season of Grove Camp Meeting Association’s “Summer Stars Classical Series,” a selection of five Thursday night shows at affordable prices in the Great Auditorium.

Concert tickets are $16 and $10 for students or $75 (plus applicable fees) for the entire series of five concerts

According to the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, this summer’s line-up of classical concerts includes the following Thursday evening dates, times, and shows:

Thursday, July 6, 7:30pm — Imperial Brass will offer a program of classical and contemporary works especially arranged for this ensemble. Guest soloists include PHILIP SMITH (former principal trumpet, New York Philharmonic), and jazz great cornetist WARREN VACHÉ. Conductor RONALD WAIKSNORIS ranks among the very best conductors and musicians on the worldwide brass band scene, achieving international acclaim as a cornet soloist. Founded in 1991 by Rutgers University alumni, Imperial Brass was designed to afford a unique opportunity for NJ-area musicians to play a challenging repertoire of diverse styles, often with world-class soloists. The ensemble has won numerous awards; performed in many top concert venues, festivals, competitions, schools, and churches; and has a distinguished history with Ocean Grove, having performed on several occasions over the years, including a collaboration with organist Gordon Turk to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Great Auditorium’s world-famous organ.

Thursday, July 13, 7:30 pm — Solisti Ensemble returns to Ocean Grove by popular demand, having garnered a devoted following after performances over the past several summers. Directed by BYUNG-KOOK KWAK, Solisti will perform a program featuring works by Prokofiev, Handel, Mozart, and Tchaikovsky, among others. Kwak enjoys a versatile career as a soloist, chamber musician, and educator. He is also very active as a concertmaster and appears in that capacity with virtually every major symphony orchestra around the Metropolitan New York area. He has previously conducted or performed with countless orchestras worldwide. A special treat during this concert will be a performance by JIANBING HU on the sheng, an ancient Chinese mouth-blown free reed instrument. Based in New York, Solisti is dedicated to reviving the traditions of small-ensemble chamber music as well as arrangements of pop, tango, and jazz.

Thursday, July 20, 7:30 pm — Gleb Ivanov, a brilliant pianist, has been recognized as an important presence in the music world and has been thrilling audiences in recital and orchestra engagements ever since his auspicious New York debut. He is a sought-after soloist and has performed a wide repertoire with numerous orchestras. At a young age in Russia, Ivanov was a protégé of Mstislav Rostropovich. Mr. Ivanov comes from a family of musicians, and began to accompany his father’s vocal recitals at the age of eight. He graduated from the Moscow Conservatory and earned his Master’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music. For this year’s OGCMA concert, his program will include pieces by Haydn, Brahms, Schubert, and Mussorgsky.

Thursday, July 27, 7:30 pm — Chaconne Klaverenga, at just 25 years old, is already an international classical guitar champion. She was named for J.S. Bach’s Chaconne BWV 1004, which is one of her favorite pieces to play. She began studying piano at age 2 and guitar at age 6 with her parents, both professional musicians. She began competing internationally in classical guitar and performing solo concerts at age 14. To date, she holds 13 national and international championship titles in junior, senior and collegiate divisions, seven of which are first place finishes. Ms. Klaverenga lives in Lafayette, Indiana and studied privately with Denis Azabagic in Chicago from age 13 to 18. She is now continuing her studies in Classical Guitar Performance at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Ms. Klaverenga’s guitars include a 2011 Steve Connor and the 2004 Thomas Humphrey Millenium Thunderbolt. Her program for this concert TBA.

Thursday, August 3, 7:30 pm — Orchestral Legends and Romance will offer a wonderful showcase of Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association’s own esteemed organist GORDON TURK, conductor JASON TRAMM, and special guests violinist CHRISTINE KWAK, and THE MID-ATLANTIC OPERA ORCHESTRA. Gordon Turk is OGCMA’s Organist-In-Residence and Artistic Director of the “Summer Stars” series. He is a devoted champion of the pipe organ, a consultant for the building of new pipe organs and the restoration of historic ones, and is a frequent adjudicator of organ competitions. He is also the organist and choirmaster at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Wayne, Pennsylvania. Turk has performed throughout the U.S., Europe, Russia, Ukraine, and Japan in concert halls, cathedrals, and universities in both solo performances and with many of the world’s most prestigious orchestras. Dr. Jason C. Tramm is OGCMA’s Director of Music Ministries and is recognized as one of today’s most dynamic young conductors. He has been hailed by critics and audiences alike for his work in the operatic, symphonic, and sacred music realms. He also serves as Director of Choral Activities at Seton Hall University and is the Artistic Director of the Mid-Atlantic Opera Company, where he made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2015. Christine Kwak is a celebrated violinist as a solo artist and in concert with many orchestras. She is a member of the Solisti Ensemble. The program for this concert will feature Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto.

Tickets for all 7:30 pm shows are on sale and available at www.oceangrove.org or by calling 800–590–4064.

Concerts will take place at the Great Auditorium, which is located at Pilgrim and Ocean Pathways in Ocean Grove, New Jersey. All facilities are handicapped accessible.

Photo: Christian Steiner