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The romantic Janoska Ensemble—right here in Cedar City!
by Mary Anne Andersen Cedar City Music Arts
Mar 30, 2017 | 859 views | 0 0 comments | 101 101 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The picture of the Janoska Ensemble shows four gentlemen sitting around a table under a huge crystal chandelier in a room of classical European style: high, carved ceilings, tall windows with velvet draperies, candle sconces, beautiful rug over parquet floor. They are in suits and ties, holding their instruments, and they look amazingly alike. That is because three of them are brothers (the fourth, a brother-in-law) of a musical Slovakian family that began the training of their sons in the classical musical tradition at young ages. Their very names are romantic and exotic.

Ondrej got his first violin when he was only four. Roman began his violin studies when five years old. At five, brother Frantisek began to play the piano. All the brothers received classical musical training from esteemed teachers and were soon performing in concert halls all over Europe. Brother-in-law Julius Darvas was introduced to the family art of playing double bass at the age of nine. (I’m assuming you have to be a certain size before you can begin playing the stand-up bass. Picture a five-year-old hidden behind one!) He married into the family and became a member of the ensemble.

Now if all this sounds rather stuffy, consider this: Roman is considered one of the greatest jazz violinists of his generation and is especially known for his resourceful and spontaneous improvisations on stage. The double bass player, Julius, was the winner of the first International Jazz Double Bass Competition in Budapest. Pianist Frantisek has a festival project called Gypsytime and has accompanied artists of all genres, including Al Jarreau and Jose Carreras. In 2002, he won first prize in the International Franz Liszt Piano Competition in Hungary.

The above information explains why this group is renowned not only for its virtuosity but for the wide diversity of its repertoire. They play classical, gypsy, pop as well as original compositions. And they are going to be here, in our own Heritage Theatre, on March 31. These musicians, who have travelled world-wide and performed in great concert halls everywhere, will make a stop in Cedar City and we get to see them.

Now here is the magical thing: if my husband and I weren’t season ticket holders for the Cedar City Music Arts series, we might never even hear about these gentlemen, let alone see them perform. We actually hold season tickets for four different musical series, which gives us fabulous opportunities to see performances that we might never enjoy without the impetus of pre-purchased tickets. The factors of curiosity and frugality—not wanting to waste something we’ve already paid for—have enabled us to see an amazing variety of performances we would probably have missed had we not already been ticket holders. A Broadway theater series, for example, has presented us with first-class shows that we otherwise would not have had access to.

It is not too late for you to buy a ticket to see these renowned artists, but next year, buy the season!

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