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Saturday, August 1, 2009

Violinist Ilya Kaler to Substitute for Valentin Zhuk

July 30, 2009 920-854-4060

Violinist Ilya Kaler to Substitute for Valentin Zhuk

Violinist Ilya Kaler has agreed on short notice to substitute for Peninsula Music Festival concertmaster Valentin Zhuk. Mr. Zhuk was to have performed the Khatchatourian Violin Concerto as the featured soloist on Tuesday, August 18 during the Festival’s 57th Season. The Peninsula Music Festival has been unable to secure the proper visa for Mr. Zhuk’s appearance with the Festival as concertmaster and soloist, a visa that has been approved fifteen times prior to this year.
“We are so grateful that Mr. Kaler could be reached, was available and was willing to come to Door County for this important concert,” commented PMF Executive Director Sharon Grutzmacher. “This is not a concerto that many violinist have in their repertoire. We are very lucky.”
Problems began in early July when the Festival became worried that an approved visa had not arrived for Valentin Zhuk. With all previous applications having been approved, there was no inclination that there would be a problem this year. After it became apparent that the approval would not happen in time for the start of the August 2009 Peninsula Music Festival, Music Director Victor Yampolsky and Mrs. Grutzmacher began plans to cover the Festival.
Frank Almond, concertmaster of the Milwaukee Symphony and past concertmaster of the Festival was available to take Mr. Zhuk’s position as concertmaster of the PMF for week one. MingHuan Xu, an accomplished violinist who concertizes throughout the world, was available to sit concertmaster for weeks two and three. With the concertmaster position solved, the search for a violinist who could perform the Khatchatourian Violin Concerto began. While Maestro Yampolsky traveled back from a vacation in Canada, he contacted Mr. Kaler who has soloed with the Festival three previous times. After he agreed to come, Mrs. Grutzmacher began the job of arranging for flights, securing housing and arranging for an airport pick up. “Everything fell into place. Considering the circumstances, it couldn’t have gone smoother. I appreciate how willing everyone was to help us out!” Mrs. Grutzmacher said.
Ilya Kaler was born in Moscow, Russia into a family of musicians. Major teachers at the Moscow Central Music School and the Moscow Conservatory include Zinaida Gilels, Leonid Kogan and Victor Tretyakov. Ilya Kaler later continued his studies under the guidance of Abram Stern. Mr. Kaler has earned rave reviews for solo appearances with distinguished orchestras throughout the world, which include the Leningrad, Moscow and Dresden Philharmonic Orchestras, Montreal Symphony, Danish and Berlin Radio Orchestras, Detroit Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Seattle Symphony, New Japan Philharmonic and Moscow and Zurich Chamber Orchestras, among others. His solo recitals have taken him throughout the former Soviet Union, United States, East Asia, Europe, Latin America, South Africa and Israel.
An active chamber musician, Mr. Kaler has appeared at many major music festivals throughout the US and Europe with many of the most prominent musicians of our time. One of the most sought-after teachers in the world, Ilya Kaler has served as a Distinguished Professor at Indiana University School of Music in Bloomington, IN, Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, and is currently a Professor of Violin at DePaul University School of Music in Chicago.
Ilya Kaler has many awards to his credit and is the only violinist to have won Gold Medals at the Tchaikovsky, Sibelius and Paganini Competitions.
Tickets for the Tuesday, August 18 concert are available and range in price from $30 to $61 with discounts available for children and students. The 57th season of the Peninsula Music Festival opens on Tuesday, August 4 and runs through Saturday, August 22 with concerts every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. All concerts are at 8:00 p.m. and are held in the Door Community Auditorium in Fish Creek. For information on concerts and to purchase tickets call 920-854-4060 or

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Sharon Grutzmacher
Executive Director
Peninsula Music Festival
P.O. Box 340
3045 Cedar St.
Ephraim, WI 54211
Phone: 920-854-4060
Fax: 920-854-1950
57th Season August 4 - 22, 2009

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