10th annual Mayfest features music, wine, yoga, poetry

Under the artistic direction of pianists Miri Yampolsky and Xak Bjerken, Cornell University’s Department of Music celebrates the 10th anniversary of Mayfest, its annual springtime festival of chamber music, May 19-23. It will offer chamber concerts, music with poetry, a “Tasting Notes” event pairing music with wine, and yoga with Bach cello suites.

Concerts feature Rachmaninoff, Schubert, Schumann, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and other old masters, as well as contemporary composers including Cornell alumni Zachary Wadsworth and Jesse Jones and Ithacans Dana Wilson and Nicholas Walker. The Sunday afternoon Sage Chapel concert features works with animal themes, showcasing the Ithaca High School Choir, Cornell Chamber Singers and the Carnival of the Animals with narration by Tish Pearlman.

Mayfest will feature Zvi Plesser (cello), Xiao-Dong Wang (violin) and Daniel Anastasio (piano). The Formosa Quartet are joined in their Mayfest debut by Sejong Soloist Paul Laraia (viola) and Mike Lee (fortepiano).

On Saturday afternoon, Red Newt Winery in Hector, New York, hosts Tasting Notes, led by sommelier Thomas Pastuszak featuring wines by Red Newt, Keuka Lake Vineyards and Weimer Winery with Schumann Piano Quintet, first movement, and two folk selections from Hungary and Taiwan for string quartet.

On Saturday and Sunday, yoga instructor Steven Valloney will lead classes at the Community School of Music and Arts featuring live Bach cello suites during savasana.

Tickets can be purchased online or at the door: $20 for adults, $10 for students, free below the age of 18 with an accompanying adult. Buy tickets and get more details.

This story also appeared in the Cornell Chronicle.

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 Miri Yampolsky and Xak Bjerken posing after performance