Eroica Trio to join Eureka music festival

Thursday, December 8, 2011

EUREKA SPRINGS -- "This is the most exciting thing that has come across my desk as an opportunity to promote Eureka Springs," C.D. White said. White was speaking to the City Advertising and Promotion Commission about bringing the Eroica Trio, world-renowned classical musicians, to perform as part of next summer's Chen International Cultural and Music Arts Festial.

She spoke on behalf of Thomas Chun-yu Chen, promoter and organizer of the month-long music festival, at a recent CAPC meeting.

White said Chen wants to eventually build a permanent year-round music conservatory in Eureka Springs if the festival continues to be successful. He has expanded the music festival to four weeks, June 11 to July 7.

CAPC Executive Director Mike Maloney distributed Chen's detailed day-by-day plan which involves teachers and students from all over the world. Chen's reputation, and that of the teachers, will bring international attention to this event, he said.

White said the Eroica Trio is interested in being involved with CICA because it is a new festival. Other long-established festivals often have noted performers associated with them, and this is an opportunity for Eroica, all of whom are interested in music education.

While in town, the trio will perform a chamber concert, symphony concert and a mini-concert at a meet-and-greet event during the festival.

Chen did not ask the CAPC for support last year, Maloney said. The festival expects to bring 400 students to town, along with family members who will be free during the day to explore. Maloney said there will be a faculty full of Ph.D. musicians and a performance every night during the festival at the auditorium.

Regarding the request for $16,000 to help pay for getting the Eroica Trio to Eureka Springs, commissioner James DeVito said, "We can't hesitate on something like this. To bring a month-long festival to Eureka Springs is what we need. I'm tickled to death to see an application like this."

Maloney said based on his research, he feels the CAPC will break even at worst. Regardless, national press will cover the event and the Eroica Trio fan base will also pay attention, so for a month next year, the classical music world will hear about Eureka Springs.

Chen also plans to bring world-class violin makers here for a violin maker's workshop and contest. Maloney said there will also be Stradivarius violins on display. "These are the best of the best," he commented.

Commissioner Charles Ragsdell said the CAPC should figure out ways to better publicize the event, and Maloney responded he is already working to identify corporate partners who can help with promotions and scholarships.

DeVito moved to fund the request, and the vote was unanimous. Chair Rick Bright suggested that during budget discussions they could put in a line item to plan for future support.

There will be a town meeting to get word out about the event on Monday, Dec. 5, at 6:30 p.m. at the auditorium. Hoteliers and business people were encouraged to attend.

A workshop will be held Dec. 14 at 4 p.m. at the CAPC office. Next regular meeting will be Dec. 28 at 6 p.m. at city hall.

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