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Emily Dickinson in Music
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The first outcome of the collaboration between Sheva and the American string quartet Carpe Diem. Two splendid quintets for mandolin and strings composed by Jeff Midkiff. A composer, mandolinist, and clarinetist, Jeff Midkiff is a musician who feels comfortable in more than one musical setting. Jeff grew up in Roanoke, Virginia, where bluegrass music thrived. Given his first mandolin at the age of 7, he moved quickly into the world of fiddlers’ conventions and contests. Midkiff earned a degree in music education from Virginia Tech. While studying classical repertoire, he continued to gain attention as a mandolin and fiddle player. In 1983 he joined the Lonesome River Band, which would eventually become one of bluegrass’s most acclaimed groups. After performing, touring, and recording two albums, he left the band to earn a Master of Music degree in Clarinet Performance from Northern Illinois University. Jeff has spent the last thirty years balancing both musical loves. He has played clarinet in numerous orchestras and has also performed mandolin with the Milwaukee Symphony. His solo CD, Partners In Time, has gained international acclaim. He is an orchestra director in the Roanoke City Schools and received the 2017 Yale Distinguished Music Educator award. Midkiff’s Mandolin Concerto, “From the Blue Ridge,” was composed in 2011 for the Roanoke Symphony and their Music Director David Stewart Wiley.

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