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KCF plans first summer symphony to premiere in June

Pilot program aims to bring world-class classical music to the Kentlands Mansion lawn

An outdoor concert like this youth orchestra performance in Italy, led by Kentlands resident Maestro Simeone Tartaglione, is being planned for the Mansion lawn in June.

Thanks to some neighborhood talent and legwork by a dedicated group of classical music aficionados, Kentlands may be treated to a free orchestra concert performed in an informal setting on the lawn of the Kentlands Mansion in June. The newest program of the Kentlands Community Foundation (KCF) is planned for June 2018 as a pilot to help gauge and stimulate interest in classical music in the Kentlands/Lakelands. 

At the core of the planning and idea is Maestro Simeone Tartaglione, who now lives in the Kentlands with his family, including his wife, Alessandra Cuffaro who is a world-renowned violinist. The Tartagliones have been developing the symphony initiative along with Kentlands residents Pompiliu Verzariu and Reynaldo Rojas. Their vision is to promote the Kentlands and City of Gaithersburg as an emerging center of diverse arts and culture through classical music concerts.

“It is a joy to see a vision on the path to being realized,” affirmed Tartaglione, “Living in the Kentlands inspired this idea. Its beauty of nature and architecture, united with the lovely people living here is the perfect foundation to build something unique for the whole area.”

Maestro Tartaglione leads a rehearsal of Carmina Burana for the Kennedy Center’s sold out performance.

Why Classical Music?

Kentlands and the City of Gaithersburg offer many cultural, social, and recreational opportunities, but classical music events are infrequent. Concert-goers must travel to Strathmore in Rockville, the Kennedy Center downtown, Baltimore, or one of the many farther-flung performance centers such as Wolf Trap to see classical performances, often at prohibitive pricing for many who would like to attend.

“We’re also looking at longer term benefits,” explained Verzariu. “We envision the emergence of the Kentlands as a regional destination for the arts and culture, but we will start with this first program as a pilot to gauge community interest.” The event planners hope to eventually produce a series of classical music concerts. Future concerts would need to be self-sustaining, either through sponsorships, reasonably-priced tickets, a subscription series, donations, or a combination of strategies.

The Maestro

Maestro Tartaglione leads a performance of Tchaikovsky’s 4th Symphony.

“To see this conductor perform,” shared Rojas, “is exciting. He is so passionate.” Tartaglione is originally from Agrigento, Italy. He studied at the University of Palermo in Palermo, Italy, at the Santa Cecilia Conservatory in Rome, at the University of Denver and at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. He is currently the director and conductor of the Catholic University of America orchestra. He also serves in varied roles as artistic director and conductor at the Newark Symphony Orchestra, the Delaware Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Italian Festival in Delaware and the Maryland Classical Youth Orchestra at Strathmore, as well as music director for the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra in Reston, Virginia.

The Violinist

Cuffaro, who now serves on violin faculty at Catholic University and is known worldwide as a violin virtuoso, will be a core part of the performance as a soloist. According to the Catholic University faculty website, she is the first woman in the history of Italian violinists to perform the most difficult virtuoso pieces ever written for violin, Nicolo’ Paganini’s 24 Capricci Op.1 in one concert.

Still in the planning stages

KCF Executive Committee member Ailene Renzi is providing guidance to the concert planners and sharing experiences about other KCF events such as Kentlands Under the Lights and the Kentlands 25th Anniversary events. The concert planners and KCF are currently identifying stakeholders in the community to serve as sponsors of the event, arranging for food vendors, coordinating logistics with the Kentlands Mansion and planning marketing strategies. They are also working with the City of Gaithersburg to provide the outdoor stage, similar to the mobile platform used for Oktoberfest. Tartaglione will provide the program and the orchestra. Additional details will be forthcoming as planning continues.

For More Information

To reach the concert planners, please contact Pili Verzariu at 240-505-9770 or, and Reynaldo Rojas at 949-351-8895 or


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