If Festival Mozaic is a feast for classical music lovers, WinterMezzo represents the appetizer course.
The three-day concert series, which runs Friday through Sunday, will feature performances by three guest artists — violist Hari Bernstein, cellist Michelle Djokic and violinist Kathryn Eberle — conducted by festival Music Director Scott Yoo.
On the program are pieces by three musical greats: “Cello Suite No. 6 in D” by Johann Sebastian Bach, “String Quartet in F Major” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and “String Quartet No. 3 in B-flat Major” by Johannes Brahms.
“They all share a common thread of being the composer’s last piece in that particular genre,” explained Bettina Swigger, Festival Mozaic’s executive director. She compared the works to “famous last words.”
WinterMezzo kicks off at 6 p.m. Friday with a one-hour presentation at King David’s Masonic Lodge in downtown San Luis Obispo. Yoo will lead a discussion of the classical and baroque works; dominating the musical portion of the evening will be Eberle, associate concertmaster of the Salt Lake Symphony Orchestra in Utah.
Swigger said the Masonic lodge makes for an intriguing event setting. “One of the things we try to do is present sensational music in places that are unexpected and off the beaten path,” she said.
Saturday’s festivities, which start at 6 p.m., center on a dinner at the Pavilion of the San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden. The event will feature music, wine from Saucelito Canyon and food by Jeffrey Scott, former chef de cuisine at Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Mansion.
Djokic, artistic director of the Concordia Chamber Players of New Hope, Penn., will perform Bach’s “Cello Suite No. 6 in D,” Swigger said, noting that the solo piece is considered an essential part of cello repertoire. “This is to the cello what the Chopin Études are to the piano,” she said.
At 3 p.m. Sunday, all three works will be performed at a sold-out concert at the San Luis Obispo United Methodist Church.
Swigger said the three events can be enjoyed individually or as “part of a series — a sequential learning experience, if you will.”
Although Swigger wouldn’t divulge the full Festival Mozaic schedule, she confirmed that the festival, which runs July 17-27, will feature music by Bach, Brahms and Mozart.
According to Swigger, the summer festival will feature performances by oboe/English horn player Robert Walter; pianist Orion Weiss, who will play Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Piano Concerto No. 4”; and pianist John Novacek, who will help Festival Mozart’s principal bass player, Susan Cahill, curate the festival’s popular “Classical Musicians Doing Un-Classical Things” concert. (The latter will feature arrangements of works by The Beatles, the Grateful Dead and Frank Zappa, Swigger said.)
Also appearing as part of Festival Mozaic’s Fringe concert series will be the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet and Portland-based world music chamber ensemble 3 Leg Torso.
IF YOU GO
Various times, Friday through Sunday
Various locations, San Luis Obispo
$25 to $125
781-3009 or www.festivalmozaic.com