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Tessa Lark and Michael Thurber

July 16, 2021 | 7:00 pm


Sponsored by McDonald’s of Boone

This year’s series is dedicated to the memory of Larry Freiman, a generous and devoted supporter of An Appalachian Summer Festival’s classical music programming.

Award-winning violinist Tessa Lark and virtuoso composer/bassist Michael Thurber have come together to create a duo unlike any other. By fusing their classical and American music influences, they have created a wholly original sound, which they bring to audiences around the country in a charismatic live show. Highlights of their 2019-20 season include a headlining debut performance at Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival; a debut at Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center in collaboration with legendary flautist Marina Piccinini; the guest-hosting of a live broadcast of NPR’s From the Top; and engagements with Palm Arts (Telluride, CO), Musical Masterworks (Old Lyme, CT), Joye in Aiken (Aiken, SC), the Fine Arts Society of Southeastern Kentucky (Corbin, KY), and Coastal Concerts (Lewes, DE).

Musical Program:
Wooden Soldier*                                                        Tessa Lark and Michael Thurber
Bach C Major – Tumble Time*                                    Johann Sebastian Bach / Lark and Thurber
Bach c minor – d minor – F Major                             Johann Sebastian Bach
Cedar and Sage*                                                        Lark and Thurber
Bach b minor – Weather Vane* – Bach G Major        Johann Sebastian Bach / Lark and Thurber
Appalachian Fantasy (violin solo)                              Tessa Lark
Beatles “Blackbird” (bass and vox)                           Paul McCartney, arr. Thurber
Sweet Georgia Brown                                                Ben Bernie and Maceo Pinkard
Autumn Leaves                                                           Joseph Kosma
Tom and Nancied*                                                      Lark and Thurber
Until We Meet Again*                                                 Lark and Thurber

*originals by Lark and Thurber

Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts – Limited in-person seating available for live indoor performance. Due to social distancing requirements, seats are grouped primarily in groups of two to six. Please call the box office for special seating requests.
Livestream – A partnership with The Violin Channel allows this event to be livestreamed free of charge.
Where to Watch: Facebook Live at @anappalachiansummerfestival or @theviolinchannel, or via Appalachian Summer Festival YouTube Live.

Following the concert, the recording will be available to view for a period of 7 days at theviolinchannel.com.

ESTIMATED SHOW LENGTH: 75 minutes; no intermission

FOR INFORMATION OR TO PURCHASE TICKETS: Contact theschaefercenter@appstate.edu, call 800-841-2787 or 828-262-4046, visit in person the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts, 733 Rivers Street, Boone, NC, or purchase online.

View here

ACCOMMODATION STATEMENT: Appalachian is committed to providing an inclusive experience for individuals with disabilities. If accommodations are needed in order to fully participate on the basis of a disability contact the Office of Disability Resources (828.262.3056). It is recommended that accommodation requests be made two weeks prior to the event.

The Violin Channel

In-person: $35 per person


Friday, July 16, 2021 | 7pm (in-person); doors open at 6:30pm
Friday, July 16, 2021 | 7pm ET (livestream)


Lark and Thurber met years ago as alumni of From the Top. They began developing their duo collaboration in 2016 after a one-off performance at an event for WQXR in New York City. The two quickly realized how much they had in common musically.

“This duo is a place for us to explore our varied musical influences,” says Lark. “I grew up in Kentucky playing bluegrass long before I started my career as a classical musician, so I’ve always longed for an outlet to integrate my American music roots into my performances.” Thurber adds, “Our diverse musical appetite is what has always drawn Tessa and me together. The fiddle and bass are both such versatile instruments and have played vital roles in so many different musical traditions around the world. It feels very natural to explore the full range of our musical heritage and not be bound by genre.”

Outside of their duo, Lark and Thurber have enjoyed successful careers of their own. In the classical music world, Tessa has earned many of the top honors available to young artists, including a GRAMMY nomination for her 2019 recording of Michael Torke’s Sky: Concerto for Violin with the Albany (NY) Symphony Orchestra; a 2018 Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship; a 2016 Avery Fisher Career Grant; Silver Medal in the 2014 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis; and a First-Place finish in the 2012 Naumburg International Violin Competition. Michael has a reputation as one of the most versatile musical talents of his generation. Whether he’s playing bass on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, composing music for the Royal Shakespeare Company, co-founding the smash YouTube channel CDZA, or hosting his Thurber Theater variety show at Joe’s Pub in New York City, Thurber’s musical voice defies genre and category.

In their respective careers thus far, Tessa and Michael have had the privilege of collaborating with some of the world’s leading musicians in a wide variety of genres, among them Mitsuko Uchida, Edgar Meyer, Itzhak Perlman, and Mark O’Connor (Tessa), and Yo-Yo Ma, James Taylor, Vulfpeck, Jon Batiste, and CeeLo Green (Michael).

The duo’s debut album, Invention, which intersperses arrangements of J.S. Bach’s Two-Part Inventions with original compositions by Lark, Thurber, and Eddie Barbash, was released on August 8, 2019.

The duo Tessa Lark & Michael Thurber is represented worldwide by New York-based Sciolino Artist Management.

For more information, visit Larkandthurber.com.


Canadian Brass

Photo by Lauren Desberg


“With exhilarating teamwork, humor and educational instincts, the two musicians charmed an eager crowd in their first appearance at The Mostly Mozart Festival.” —Strad Magazine


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McDonald’s of Boone


July 16, 2021
7:00 pm
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Schaefer Center
733 Rivers Street
Boone, NC 28608 United States