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Masterclasses offer the audience a behind-the-scenes look at the art and craft of classical music performance. Over the course of a two-hour session, student groups perform a movement of a piece they are preparing for an upcoming performance and receive advice on how to improve it, focusing on the finer details of ensemble, phrasing, style, and overall shape. Master teachers often include anecdotes about the composer and demonstrate how to play certain passages, pointing out and offering solutions to common technical issues. The group will play the movement again, repeating some passages to attain perfection.
A dedicated chamber musician and current member of the Manhattan String Quartet, violist Marka Gustavsson enjoys a rich and varied performance life both in the US and abroad. She has been a guest artist at festivals including Bard Music Festival, Mostly Mozart, Vancouver’s Music in the Morning, the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society, WQXR’s Showcase Concerts, and Yale Faculty Artists’ Series. She has premiered and recorded solo works and chamber music of numerous contemporary composers. From 1999 through 2014, Marka belonged to the Colorado Quartet, with whom she performed cycles of Beethoven, Bartok and Schubert. As a teacher, Marka holds a faculty position at Bard College and Conservatory, and serves as Associate Director and Coordinator of Chamber Music. In the summer, she coaches chamber music for the Young Artists’ Program of Yellow Barn in Putney, Vermont.