Summer concerts under way at Monteux School

Harpist at Monteux School

Low brass boomed to the mint green-painted rafters and strings unfurled rapid technique to open the Pierre Monteux School’s second concert of the season last Sunday.

The Overture to “Euryanthe,” by Carl Maria von Weber, is just one of the 60 pieces students will perform and conduct during the school’s six-week program.

“It’s enormous, the workload,” said Gerard Monteux, a trustee and the grandson of the school’s founder. “They really earn their keep.”

The intensive summer program trains instrumentalists and conductors from around the United States and the world. This year is the school’s 71st season.

Musicians from Chile, Hong Kong, Germany, the Bahamas and Denmark bunk wherever they can fit — some in a secluded cluster of cabins near the concert hall, others in a school-owned barn or spread out among host families in the area.

The students get one week to prepare the pieces they will perform at concerts on Wednesday and Sunday nights.

“You have to be such a good sight-reader,” said Kristina Ruis, an oboe and English horn player from Grand Rapids, Mich. “It can be hard, but it’s a good challenge.”

For the ensemble members, who are both instrumentalists and conductors, this means learning the majority of the concert’s music on an instrument in addition to conducting a movement or full piece.

In the next month, students will perform twice weekly in addition to a special children’s concert July 7. Kids will get to try out instruments during the free event.

2014 Concert Season

Symphony concerts: 5 p.m. Sundays: July 6, July 13, July 20, July 27

Wednesdays at Monteux: 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays: July 9, July 16, July 23

Children’s concert: Monday, July 7, at 10 a.m.

Location: All concerts are held at the school’s Forest Studio, 42 Melody Lane, Hancock.

Contact: 460-0313,