Violin, cello duo will present a concert at Ripon College March 1

A violin/cello duo featuring a blend of Baroque and bluegrass selections will perform at Ripon College Friday, March, 1, as part of the Chamber Music and Jazz at Ripon series. The concert will begin at 7 p.m. in Demmer Recital Hall, C.J. Rodman Center for the Arts. It is free and open to the public.

Baroque violinist and bluegrass fiddler Brandi Berry Benson’s “four-string acrobatics” and “indispensable skill” (TimeOut Chicago) have been praised as “bright,” “lively,” “pleasing” (Hyde Park Herald) “alert [and] outstanding” (Chicago Classical Review).

She will be joined by Stephanie Hunt on cello, continuing the glow from the duo’s recently released “Silver Linings,” an album which features their unique blend of selections in the form of suites, preludes and new fiddle tunes. Their recent work has also included a Chickasaw suite based on the melodies of the Chickasaw Nation, of which Berry Benson is a member.

They have performed concerts at Seman Violins (Illinois), the BBE (Bach & Beethoven Experience) (Chicago), Nederlandse Orkesten Ensemble-Academie, Royaumont Formations Professionnelles (France), the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme, and two summers as a Tanglewood Music Center Fellow (Massachusetts).

Berry Benson, a violinist and 3Arts awardee, is artistic director of the Bach & Beethoven Experience (BBE), soloist/concertmaster of the Chicago Arts Orchestra, Soli Deo Gloria Orchestra (viola d’amore), Mountainside Baroque, Bloomington Early Music Festival Opera Orchestra and St. Louis’s Kingsbury Ensemble. She has released three albums with the BBE in addition to “Silver Linings.”

Hunt studied and performed in the Netherlands for five years, then returned to the United States and is based in the St. Louis area. She performs on both modern and baroque cello and appears with the Persied String Quartet, Chamber Project St. Louis and Coromell Ensæmble, a Mexican Early Music ensemble.

She teaches cello in the Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville Suzuki program, is the cello instructor at Lindenwood University, and maintains a private studio in St. Louis.

(Photo: Brandi Berry Benson, left, and Stephanie Hunt)

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