Creating music at the crossroads of life

LONG LAKE For anyone following cultural events in the Adirondacks, two talented young women have emerged as one of this years most popular classical music performances. From the Hyde Collection in Glens Falls, to Tannery Pond in North Creek, and the Methodist Church in Saranac Lake the Elegua Duo, named after the African deity of opportunity, has inspired audiences across the region. Since their official debut as the Duo in 2004, cellist Ginevra Ventre, and pianist Claire Black, have committed themselves to bringing classical chamber music to nontraditional venues within the Adirondacks. After meeting at Baldwin-Wallace College in Ohio, Ventre, originally from Maryland, and Black, a Long Lake native, performed in the Cleveland Ohio area for the last few years. But it was the lure of Blacks hometown, and the prospect of introducing a new experience to the region, that convinced the pair to explore the possibility of establishing a musical following in upstate New York. We just love being up here and playing for people, Black said. We want to share this music because we feel its very valuable and we want to share our interpretation of it. This commitment, and the desire to explore classical music with an audience that is far removed from the formality and staunch appreciation of more urban settings, has inspired the duo from the beginning. A lot of the people in this region arent even aware that music like this exists and we want to introduce them to it, she added. Were trying to get some interest and get some people involved. It really brings people together. With a performance commonly described as lyrical and intense, future plans call for an expansion of their concert offerings through small venues and word of mouth referrals. I think the music has a lot of integrity and its very important, Black concluded. The pieces we play are such great works. This music needs to be shared and people need to hear it - its essential to my being, I dont know what I would do without it. Cellist Ginevra Ventre shares her partners perspective and looks forward to further promoting themselves in the region. Were very interested in bringing our music to culturally under-served areas, Ventre said. We have played all over but its a completely different feeling when you play for a more intimate audience. We hope to take that to the next level eventually. Its all very new and we are very excited. As the summer season draws to a close, the pair will resume college studies while continuing to perform for special events and regional concerts. While their options multiply on a seemingly daily basis, together they hope that honest effort and their obvious love of music will continue to strike a chord with local audiences.

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