Castleton’s homegrown chamber duo: Saturday
Serendipity plays a large role in general at the Maazels’ annual summer music and opera festival at their Castleton Farm (as anyone knows who’s left a performance feeling incredibly lucky, if not also momentarily lost on an unfamiliar, unpaved lane). It also played a role in the birth of the Castleton Festival Chamber Players, who make their official debut at 8 p.m. this Saturday (Feb. 23) at Castleton’s Theatre House, as part of the Castleton in Performance fall-winter concert series.
“We started chatting one day, and, as musicians do, you say, ‘Hey, do you want to play something together sometime?’ So during an orchestra rehearsal break, he came and sat next to me with his violin,” says Daniel Lelchuk, the 23-year-old lead cellist with the Castleton Festival Orchestra the past two summers (and this summer), speaking of Eric Silberger, the 24-year-old violinist who came to play with the company for the first time last year.
The two sat and played Beethoven’s C Major Duo, which both happened to know by heart. “It’s an overused word, but there was a chemistry,” Lelchuk says by phone from his home in New Hampshire. “It was just easy to play with each other.”
Then, when last summer’s derecho winds killed the power at Castleton (and across much of the region), serendipity again put Lelchuk and Silberger on a makeshift stage in the lobby to entertain the 250 folks who’d shown up for a cancelled “Carmen.” Maestro Lorin Maazel, having had his opera postponed by power problems, was among the crowd and liked what he heard.
The rest is history – or so hope rising soloist Silberger and Lelchuk, who’s hoping eventually to sign on with an orchestra or opera company – and you can hear it in the making by calling Castleton’s box office at 866-974-0767 and getting your tickets ($35 to $50). At this July’s festival, the Castleton Festival Chamber Players – with Silberger and Lelchuk at its core, and others joining for various numbers, as at this Saturday’s concert – are already on the schedule for several performances.