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Grammy-winning cellist to record in Harmony

Eugene Friesen, a Grammy Award-winning cellist, will record in the wine cellar of the Harmony Museum later this month.SUBMITTED PHOTO

HARMONY — Four-time Grammy Award-winning cellist Eugene Friesen will be returning to the Harmony Museum, 218 Mercer St., later this month to record in the building's wine cellar.

Gwen Lutz, the museum's vice president, said Friesen will return the week of Aug. 22 to Aug. 29 to record an album of Harmonist music.

Lutz said Friesen was in Harmony in 2019 to conduct a series of workshops for local high school music students and conduct concerts in the museum's barn and cellar.

“This was his suggestion,” Lutz said. “He said the wine cellar acoustics were unique.”

She said the museum had started a Kickstarter campaign to raise $2,000 to pay to produce the compact disc of Harmonist music, created by the Germany religious group that bought land in what is now Harmony in 1805.

“The Harmonists were very musical. They had orchestras,” said Lutz, adding the music has a classical feel to it.

Friesen was invited to come to Harmony and visit Seneca Valley School District schools in 2019 by his friend, saxophonist

Andrew Orient of Harmony.Orient said he's known Friesen for more than 20 years.“I met him in Vermont at a country church, where he was playing cello as background for a radio personality from Boston who was reciting Robert Frost poems,” said Orient, who has family in Vermont. “We were able to keep a connection.”Orient is also on the board of the Harmony Museum.The schedule calls for Friesen to record the album during the week and then give a concert in the wine cellar on Aug. 27. Lutz said people should contact the museum at 724-452-7341 to make reservations for the concert, whose seating is limited to around 50.She added the Kickstarter campaign had raised the $2,000 goal, but people were welcome to continue to contribute to help defray costs by calling the museum to make a donation.Friesen has five solo albums of original music, more than 30 CDs with the Paul Winter Consort and has been featured on movie and television soundtracks.In addition to being a cellist, Friesen is known as a composer, conductor and teacher. He is the artist in residence at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City and is on the faculty of the Berklee College of Music in Boston. 

Eugene Friesen, a Grammy Award-winning cellist, will record in the wine cellar of the Harmony Museum later this month.SUBMITTED PHOTO
Eugene Friesen, a Grammy Award-winning cellist, will record in the wine cellar of the Harmony Museum later this month.SUBMITTED PHOTO

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