Kindred Spirit Arts Launches Summer Music Series with ‘Frisson Winds’ Woodwind Quartet at Grey Towers

by Madonna

Grey Towers was filled with joy as Kindred Spirit Arts kicked off their summer music series with an engaging woodwind quartet named “Frisson Winds.” The group, inspired by the French term for a sudden rush of excitement, certainly lived up to their name, captivating the audience with their performance. Despite woodwind quartets being a rarity, the musicians’ friendly rapport and interaction delighted everyone present. Bixby Kennedy, the clarinetist, particularly connected with the audience, providing insightful commentary on each piece throughout their concert titled “A Musical Journey.”

Kennedy and his fellow musicians brought their extensive experience from renowned venues like the Verbier Festival and Carnegie Hall to Grey Towers, delivering a diverse repertoire spanning composers from Poulenc to Debussy. The performance included unique arrangements, such as Kennedy’s adaptation of Mozart for woodwinds, and highlighted the influences of Bach on Brazilian music in Villa-Lobos’s work.


The quartet’s dynamic was enhanced by performances featuring clarinet and bassoon, as well as solo pieces by flutist Anna Urrey and oboist Tom Gallant. The concert concluded with a lively rendition of “Cuban Dances,” evoking the essence of “Carmen” and leaving some in the audience softly humming the familiar melodies.


Reflecting on the event, board member Lisa Winkler expressed delight at the turnout, emphasizing the importance of engaging young audiences in classical music’s future. Co-founder Nancy Pinchot echoed this sentiment, noting the evolution of Kindred Spirit Arts towards a more inclusive and educational musical environment.


The audience responded with a standing ovation, underscoring their appreciation for the quartet’s performance. As they departed the tent pavilion, the lingering hums of “Habanera” echoed softly. Looking ahead, Kindred Spirit Arts will continue their series on July 20 with “Across the Atlantic — Freelance Nun and Weird Uncle,” promising a blend of medieval, Celtic, and African influences in a unique exploration of troubadour songs and texts from English and American traditions.


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