two music students playing violin
Jun 15, 2023
Daily Inter Lake

Three-Day Classical Music Festival Planned

By Daily Inter Lake Staff

Mozart at McClaren, formerly known as Festival Amadeus, will offer audiences three days of classical music June 23-25.

Outside of the name change, the annual classical music festival, presented by Glacier Symphony, will be filled with the same classical repertoire and pre-concert talks prepared by Maestro John Zoltek that fans have come to enjoy.

The festival will feature guest soloists — pianist Anna Polonsky and violinist Yevgeny Kutik.

Glacier Symphony Concertmaster Ali Schultz Levesque and Associate Concertmaster Sara Schultz Levesque are excited to take on the challenge of performing pieces by Beethoven, Haydn, Mendelssohn, Mozart, and more, in a condensed period of time, as opposed to the former week-long format.

“Putting all of that together is constant mental pivoting when going across the genres, to working with soloists and then solely as the core orchestra. It’s eat, sleep, rehearse, perform repeat,” Ali Schultz Levesque said.

“It’s a fun orchestra marathon,” Sara Schultz Levesque added.

Mozart at McClaren opens June 23 with a full-scale duo recital for violin and piano with pieces by Mozart and an assortment of French composers including Cesar Frank, Darius Milhaud and Maurice Ravel. Zoltek is looking forward to performing the rhythmically dynamic “Le Boeuf sur le Toit (The Ox on the Roof)” by Milhaud.

“And, per my request, Yevgeny and Anna will also offer a very beautiful encore written by a famous Russian composer,” Zoltek said.

Polonsky will take the stage June 24 to play one of Mozart’s great piano concertos nicknamed “The Coronation” as it was originally composed to celebrate the crowning of Leopold II as Holy Roman Emperor in 1790.

“The Coronation Concerto is a popular work with dynamic outer movements framing a simple themed slow movement that allows pianists to add ornamentations and improvised passages to the solo piano part,” Zoltek said. “Anna Polonsky is a brilliant pianist and a recognized practitioner of the music of Mozart.”

On June 25, the final concert of the festival will feature violinist Kutik, marking his fourth appearance with Glacier Symphony. He will play Mendelssohn’s “Violin Concerto in E minor,” one of the most beloved concertos in the repertoire. The orchestra will also present Mozart’s “Paris Symphony” and Beethoven’s exciting “Symphony No. 7 in A,” once called the “apotheosis of the dance,” which is sure to shine as the concert finale.

THIS YEAR’S acclaimed guest soloists have spent the majority of their lives honing their talents.

Polonsky made her solo piano debut as a 7-year-old at the Special Central Music School in Moscow, Russia. In 1990, she immigrated to the U.S. where she attended high school at the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan. She received a bachelor’s degree in music from the Curtis Institute of Music under the instruction of renowned pianist Peter Serkin, continuing her studies with Jerome Lowenthal and earning a master’s degree from Juilliard School, according to her biography.

Polonsky has appeared with the Moscow Virtuosi, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Columbus Symphony Orchestra, Memphis Symphony, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia and St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble, among others. She has collaborated with the Guarneri, Orion, Daedalus and Shanghai Quartets, and with such musicians as Mitsuko Uchida, Yo-Yo Ma, David Shifrin, Richard Goode, Emanuel Ax, Arnold Steinhardt, Peter Wiley, and Jaime Laredo. She is a recipient of a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship and the Andrew Wolf Chamber Music Award. In addition to performing as a soloist and chamber musician, she is part of the Vassar College piano faculty.

At 5 years old, Kutik and his family emigrated from Minsk, Belarus, to the U.S. He began violin studies with his mother, Alla Zernitskaya, and went on to study with Zinaida Gilels, Shirley Givens, Roman Totenberg, and Donald Weilerstein. Kutik holds a bachelor’s degree from Boston University and a master’s degree from the New England Conservatory.

Kutik, whom The New York Times praised for his “dark-hued tone and razor-sharp technique” made his major orchestral debut in 2003, with Keith Lockhart and The Boston Pops as the first prize winner of the Boston Symphony Orchestra Young Artists Competition. In 2006, he was awarded the Salon de Virtuosi grant and Tanglewood Music Center Jules Reiner Violin Prize. His 2014 album, “Music from the Suitcase: A Collection of Russian Miniatures,” features music he found in his family’s suitcase after immigrating to the U.S. in 1990 and debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard Classical chart. The album garnered critical acclaim and was featured on NPR’s All Things Considered and in The New York Times. Kutik’s violin was crafted in Italy in 1915 by Stefano Scarampella.

Each night’s performance begins at 7:30 p.m. at McClaren Hall located in the Wachholz College Center at Flathead Valley Community College. Ticket prices start at $40 for adults, $20 for children and $25 for students, which includes processing fees. Three-day passes start at $138.

Tickets may be purchased online at

For more information, call 407-7000 or email