But this particular concert, on the evening of Sat., March 15, was extremely personal for the musicians and whole community as it was in honor of Harry Stucke, who founded the Musica Reginae Productions (MRP) and was a longtime board member.
“Tonight we are celebrating the life of Harry Stucke,” said Church in the Gardens director Dan Olson. “Harry along with a number of other people who were very active in music and were also very active in the Oratorio Society of Queens, wanted to do smaller and more instrumental music so thirteen years ago they developed the Music Reginae.”
From there, this music group has expanded to variety of other genres like jazz and opera and continues to thrive.
The concert was held in his honor with classical pieces such as Brahms Sonata No. 1 for Violin and Piano, op. 78; Brahms Piano Quartet in C Minor, op. 60; and Schumann Piano Quartet in E flat Major, op. 47.
On the piano was MRP artistic director Barbara Podgurski, on the violin was former MRP artistic director Caroline Chin, on the cello was founding MRP Chamber Player Robert Burkhart and Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center member, Artie Dibble, played the viola.
Dibble spoke about his various performances at the Church-in-the Gardens following Friday’s event.
“The acoustics are great here. It’s really nice, it’s a really intimate setting, and 80 people feels like a full house, so it’s really fun.” Dibble said. “The audience was very receptive and we have a very dedicated and loyal following here.”
The concert began at 7:30 p.m. and was followed by an intimate reception where guests could socialize, meet the musicians, have some wine and find out information about upcoming concerts.
“I think there’s something really special about Forest Hills” Olson said. “People come out, they like being together, and we’ve started doing these receptions in the last couple of years. It builds a connection that is strong and helps people come back because it was a nice time. I like the idea of developing that kind of community”.