In a city where every other person seems to be a lawyer, it's only fitting that a music festival's name sound like a law firm. The Schubert, Schubert and Schubert Festival was such a success last year that the Arts Connection of Washington decided to make it an annual event.
The festival is a three-night affair (April 29, 30 and May 1) of chamber music, lieder and piano music by Schubert and other composers of the Biedermeir period. Coming all the way from Vienna is the Melkus, Koller and Schuster Trio, which performs traditional chamber music characteristic of Schubert's era. On the last evening of the festival the trio will be joined by various American musicians in a Schubertiad, which refers to a sort of jam session, Schubert-style. Schubert is remembered as a friendly fellow, one who enjoyed getting together with friends, usually painters and poets, whose words he would set to music. He even earned the endearment schwammerl, or "little mushroom."
The festival is under the patronage of the Austrian Ambassador Thomas Klestil and his wife, Edith; they will host a reception at the Embassy Row Hotel after the opening concert. Another Schubert enthusiast in high places is former U.N. secretary general Kurt Waldheim: The festival, he said, "is an excellent way of bringing Austrian and American musicians together. It will help both sides to get to know each other better and hopefully lead to an increased exchange of Austrian and American artists."