Caramoor Presents Outstanding and Eclectic Summer Chamber Lineup, from Bach & Brahms to Beatboxing & Gabriel Kahane and Bon Iver’s Rob Moose (June 21–July 31)
Now celebrating its 70th anniversary season, Caramoor presents outstanding chamber music of all varieties this summer. On July 17, the Calidore String Quartet – this year’s Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence – premieres a new Caramoor commission from award-winning composer and soundscape ecologist Patrick Harlin. Testifying to the long-term loyalties Caramoor inspires, three previous resident ensembles return: the Ariel and Dover Quartets joining forces on July 5, and the Jasper String Quartet premiering a new piece by Pulitzer Prize-winner Aaron Jay Kernis on June 28. Caramoor’s 2015 Artist-in-Residence, Hélène Grimaud, plays a solo recital pairing water-themed works with Brahms’s Second Piano Sonata (July 31). The Grammy-nominated Eroica Trio takes listeners on a trip from the classics to café music (July 26); theremin virtuoso Carolina Eyck collaborates with Music from Copland House (July 12); and guitarists Ana Vidovic (June 21) and Lukasz Kuropaczewski (July 23) give al fresco solo recitals in Caramoor’s Guitar in the Garden series. Cellist Edward Arron reunites with fellow alumni from Caramoor’s celebrated mentorship program, the Evnin Rising Stars (June 26), and Evnin Rising Stars alum Alexi Kenney returns for a duo recital with Renana Gutman (July 9). Finally, in a pair of boundary-defying performances, PROJECT Trio offers a no-holds-barred mash-up of classical, jazz, rock, hip-hop, beatboxing, and salsa (July 2) while festival favorite Gabriel Kahane teams up with Bon Iver’s Rob Moose for a uniquely 21st-century take on the vocal recital (July 30).
These chamber events take place on Caramoor’s historic estate, located on 90 acres of picturesque Italianate architecture and gardens in Katonah, Westchester. Offering a perfect pastoral oasis just an hour’s drive from Manhattan, the summer season reliably draws artists of the highest caliber. Recent chamber highlights have featured Brooklyn Rider, the Brentano Quartet, and the Emerson String Quartet, winner of nine Grammy Awards and the Avery Fisher Prize. As Peter Oundjian, former artistic director of Caramoor, explains, “Its beauty unites us all in our passion for creativity.”
Resident Calidore String Quartet premieres new Caramoor commission (July 17)
As the 2014-15 Ernst Stiefel Quartet-in-Residence, the Calidore String Quartet is the 15th incumbent of the yearlong residency, which sees the group give regular performances and take part in Caramoor’s Student Strings educational outreach program. Since forming in 2010 at the Colburn Conservatory of Music, the Calidore has graced such prestigious international festivals as Verbier and Ravinia, and been featured as “Young Artist-in-Residence” on American Public Media’s national “Performance Today” program. Arnold Steinhardt, former leader of the venerated Guarneri String Quartet, remarks: “[The Calidores] are individually terrific players; they’re hard working – and they have a personality when they play. They have a musical point of view. What more could you ask?”
Each year, Caramoor commissions a new work for the resident group; this season the Calidore gives the world premiere of a new composition by Patrick Harlin (b.1984). The recipient of a 2013 Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Harlin is a young composer with a passion for ecology, whose work explores the intersection between sound and the natural world. Drawing inspiration from River of Doubt, the bestselling portrait of Theodore Roosevelt’s harrowing Amazon expedition, Harlin’s new quartet will be bookended by two classics of the chamber repertory: Mozart’s Divertimento in F and Mendelssohn’s elegiac Sixth String Quartet. For more information and video clips, click here.
Jasper String Quartet premieres new quartet by Aaron Jay Kernis (June 28)
The only quartet to have been in residence at Caramoor two seasons in a row, the Cleveland Award-winning Jasper String Quartet was Caramoor’s Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence in both 2009-10 and 2010-11. Like the Calidore, the Jasper’s upcoming program showcases the world premiere of a new addition to the quartet literature: String Quartet No. 3 (“River”) by Grawemeyer Award-winner Aaron Jay Kernis (b.1960). A Caramoor co-commission, Kernis’s new work plays a central part in the Jasper’s 2015-17 programming, highlighted by dates at Carnegie Hall and London’s Wigmore Hall. The group also looks forward to recording the new quartet on the Sono Luminus Label, as the third installment of its Kernis Project series. The first volume, which features Kernis’s String Quartet No. 2 – winner of the 1998 Pulitzer Prize – prompted Fanfare magazine to conclude: “There’s more to the Jasper than beauty of surface execution. There’s real musical intelligence and depth to reading. … My strongest recommendation.” The Jasper’s Caramoor program opens with Beethoven’s Quartet Op. 18, No. 2, and concludes with the sole string quartet of Debussy. For more information, click here.
Ariel and Dover Quartets join forces for Mendelssohn and more (July 5)
Two more alumni of Caramoor’s Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence program – the Ariel Quartet, whose tenure was in 2008-09, and the Dover Quartet, last season’s incumbent – return together. The Ariel plays Schubert’s Quartettsatz, the Dover undertakes Schumann’s First String Quartet, and the two join forces for Two Pieces for String Octet by Shostakovich and the seminal Mendelssohn Octet. Both ensembles have made their mark on the chamber scene since their Caramoor residencies, the Ariel Quartet – like the Jasper – winning the Cleveland Quartet Award, and the Dover Quartet sweeping the 2013 Banff International String Quartet Competition. For more information and video clips, click here.
Eroica Trio plays Bach, Brahms, Suk and Café Music (July 26)
Also returning to Caramoor is the Grammy-nominated Eroica Trio, of which the New York Times declares: “There is an edge of the seat intensity to every note they produce.” The group’s wide-ranging program encompasses Bach’s transcendent Chaconne, in an arrangement made especially for the Eroica; Paul Schoenfield’s Café Music (1986), which embraces popular American genres from spirituals to Broadway showtunes; the seldom-performed Elegie of legendary violinist Josef Suk; and Brahms’s profoundly romantic Second Piano Trio. The Eroica has made acclaimed EMI recordings of both the Bach and Schoenfield, while of the Brahms, the trio’s pianist Erika Nickrenz explains: “You can hear Brahms‘ (unrequited) love for Clara Schumann in his music. It’s an incredible experience to perform – I feel like I’m not even playing the piano. I feel like I’m an entire orchestra.” For more information and audio and video clips, click here.
Theremin virtuoso Carolina Eyck collaborates with Music from Copland House (July 12)
Hailed as “our paramount keeper of Copland’s flame” (American Record Guide), Music from Copland House is the ensemble-in-residence at the late composer’s Westchester home, and specializes in American repertory. At Caramoor the group joins German theremin virtuoso Carolina Eyck – “the finest such performer you will likely ever run into” (ArtsSF) – for Out of Thin Air, a concert featuring works for theremin and chamber ensemble by Miklós Rósza and Bohuslav Martinu, alongside chamber music by Copland and Shostakovich. The collaboration has particular resonance for Caramoor, as founder Lucie Bigelow Rosen was a student and patron of Leon Theremin, the inventor of the unique and ethereal-sounding electronic instrument that bears his name. For more information and a video clip, click here.
Guitar in the Garden: Ana Vidovic (June 21) & Lukasz Kuropaczewski (July 23)
Caramoor’s picturesque Sunken Garden provides the perfect setting for the Guitar in the Garden series, which returns this season with recitals by two of the instrument’s most respected exponents. Following her first appearance in the series two years ago, Ana Vidovic takes listeners on a journey from Bach to Takemitsu by way of such masters of the guitar literature as Spain’s Albéniz and Torroba, Catalan’s Sor, Paraguay’s Mangoré, and Venzuela’s Lauro. As the Washington Post notes, “Vidovic’s playing is nuanced and intensely personal, both deeply felt and deeply thought.” For more information, click here.
Also making his second Guitar in the Garden appearance is Lukasz Kuropaczewski, Artistic Director of the Polish Guitar Academy Festival. Kuropaczewski plays favorites of the classical guitar repertoire, including a transcription of Bach’s beloved first cello suite and two Spanish gems of the flamenco and parlor music traditions. He also pays homage to his heritage with pieces by three great Polish composers, Alexandre Tansman, Krzysztof Penderecki, and Krzysztof Meyer, who dedicated his sonata to Kuropaczewski himself. For more information, click here.
Evnin Rising Stars alums return for “Edward Arron & Friends” (June 26) & duo recital (July 9)
Illustrating the spirit of collaboration between distinguished and emerging performers that is so characteristic of Caramoor, Edward Arron – “not only one of New York’s most exciting young cellists but also an inventive impresario” (New Yorker) – curates and takes part in an intimate evening of Hummel, Strauss, and Beethoven alongside violinists Arnaud Sussmann and Tessa Lark, violists Nicholas Cords and Mark Holloway, cellist Alice Yoo, bassist Leigh Mesh, and pianist Jeewon Park. Like Arron, many of the musicians are alumni of Caramoor’s Evnin Rising Stars program, which offers intensive chamber music mentorship, nurtures young talent, and offers sterling follow-up support. All of them are making their mark in the music world, for example Cords, a founding member of Brooklyn Rider and an original member of the Silk Road Ensemble; Sussmann, who regularly appears with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center; and Lark, who won the 2012 Naumburg International Violin Award. For more information, click here.
Another Evnin Rising Stars success story is violinist Alexi Kenney, who was the winner of the 2012 Menuhin Competition. He joins pianist Renana Gutman, who took top prizes at the Los Angeles Liszt Competition and the International Keyboard Festival in New York, for an open-air recital of duo sonatas by Bach and Enescu; Westhoff’s Second Suite for solo violin; and Kenney’s original transcription of “C,” the first of Poulenc’s Deux Poèmes de Louis Aragon. For more information, click here.
Beethoven meets beatboxing with PROJECT Trio (July 2)
Fusing classical artistry with rock-star energy, PROJECT Trio is breaking down traditional ideas of chamber music. “We all have eclectic tastes in music,” the group’s bassist, Peter Seymour, explains. “We’re all classically trained, but jazz, rock, hip-hop, these are all part of who we are as musicians.” With more than 80 million views on YouTube and appearances on Nickelodeon and MTV shows, the Trio boasts an unusually wide and youthful following. Playing flute, cello, and bass, its members are as comfortable in the music of Bach, Beethoven, Rossini, and Prokofiev as that of Charles Mingus and Jethro Tull. In their upcoming Caramoor program, they improvise freely upon it all in an exhilarating stylistic mix of jazz, rock, hip-hop, and salsa, crowned by an original, Brooklyn-based reimagining of Peter and the Wolf. The Wall Street Journal praises PROJECT Trio’s “wide appeal, subversive humor and first-rate playing,” while the New York Times calls beatboxing flutist Greg Pattillo “the best in the world at what he does.” For more information and a video clip, click here.
Gabriel Kahane & Bon Iver’s Rob Moose offer new take on vocal recital (July 30)
Composer, singer-songwriter, and 2012 festival favorite Gabriel Kahane teams up with his longtime collaborator Rob Moose, best known as a member of two-time Grammy Award-winning indie-folk outfit Bon Iver, who has emerged as one of the most sought after instrumentalists, arrangers, and producers of his generation. Together they reprise The Ambassador, Kahane’s hauntingly original song cycle that captures the soul and atmosphere of Los Angeles, the city where he was born. A recent Sony Masterworks release, The Ambassador was pronounced “one of the year’s very best albums” (Rolling Stone), and the cycle proved a triumph when it premiered live at BAM last year, impressing the New Yorker with “the sense that a solitary voice had fostered an original world.” At Caramoor, The Ambassador forms the centerpiece of a tender and intimate program that – by way of songs by Schubert, Britten, Jerome Kern, and John Adams – offers a new blueprint for the 21st-century recital. For more information and an audio clip, click here.
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Caramoor is a performing arts center located on a unique 90-acre setting of Italianate architecture and gardens in Westchester County, NY. It enriches the lives of its audiences through innovative and diverse musical performances of the highest quality. Its mission also includes mentoring young professional musicians and providing educational programs for young children centered on music. Audiences are invited to come early to explore the beautiful grounds, tour the historic Rosen House, and, on special Sundays, enjoy a delicious Afternoon Tea or unwind with a pre-concert picnic, and discover beautiful music in the relaxed settings of the Venetian Theater, Spanish Courtyard, Music Room of the Rosen House, and the magnificent gardens. Summer concerts take place in two outdoor theaters: the 1,508-seat, acoustically superb Venetian Theater and the more intimate, romantic 470-seat Spanish Courtyard. In the fall and winter all concerts are presented in the magnificent Music Room in the Rosen House. Caramoor’s gardens, also used for concerts and the Garden of Sonic Delights, are well worth the visit and include nine unique perennial gardens. Among them are a Sense Circle for the visually impaired, the Sunken Garden, a Butterfly Garden, the Tapestry Hedge, and the Iris and Peony Garden.
Chamber music at Caramoor 2015
Ana Vidovic, guitar
Guitar in the Garden
Sor: Introduction and Variations on a Theme by Mozart, Op. 9
Mangoré: Una Limosna por el Amor de Dios
Albéniz: Granada, Asturias
Bach (arr. for guitar by Frank Koonce): Prelude, Fugue and Allegro, BWV 998
Takemitsu: “Yesterday,” from 12 Songs for Guitar
Mangoré: La Catedral
Lauro: El Marabino, Vals Venezolano No. 2, Vals Venezolano No. 3
Edward Arron & Friends
Edward Arron, Artistic Director, cello
With Jeewon Park, piano; Arnaud Sussmann & Tessa Lark, violin; Nicholas Cords & Mark Holloway, viola;
Alice Yoo, cello; Leigh Mesh, bass
Hummel: Piano Quintet in E-flat major, Op. 87
Strauss: Metamorphosen (version for String Septet)
Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major, Op. 55 “Eroica,” arranged for Piano Quartet by Ferdinand Ries
Beethoven: Quartet Op. 18, No. 2
Aaron Jay Kernis: String Quartet No. 3 (“River”) (world premiere of new Caramoor co-commission)
Debussy: String Quartet
Rossini: William Tell
Mingus: Fables of Faubus
J.S. Bach / Jethro Tull: Bouree
Beethoven (arr. PROJECT Trio): Fifth Symphony Jam
Prokofiev (arr. PROJECT Trio): Peter and the Wolf … now set in Brooklyn!
Also originals, encompassing classical, jazz, rock, hip-hop, salsa, and everything in between
Ariel Quartet and Dover Quartet
Shostakovich: Two Pieces for String Octet, Op. 11
Schumann: Quartet No. 1 in A minor, Op. 41, No. 1
Mendelssohn: Octet in E-flat major, Op. 20
Alexi Kenney, violin
Renana Gutman, piano
Westhoff: Suite No. 2 in A major for solo violin
Bach: Sonata for violin and keyboard No. 3 in E major, BWV 1016
Poulenc: “C” (transcribed for violin and piano by Alexi Kenney)
Enescu: Sonata No. 3, Op. 25
Carolina Eyck, theremin
Tarnow: Sonata for Theremin and Piano
“Out of Thin Air”
Music from Copland House with Carolina Eyck, theremin
Copland: Sextet for clarinet, piano and string quartet
Martinu: Fantasia for theremin, oboe, piano and string quartet, H. 301
Rózsa: Spellbound Concerto
Shostakovich: Piano Trio No. 2
Calidore String Quartet
(2014–15 Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence)
Mozart: Divertimento in F, K. 138/125c
Harlin: TBA (world premiere of new Caramoor commission)
Mendelssohn: String Quartet No. 6, Op. 80
Guitar in the Garden
- S. Bach: Cello Suite No. 1
- Tansman: Prelude et Interlude
- Penderecki: Aria and Cadenza
- Meyer: Sonata (dedicated to L. Kuropaczewski)
Bach (arr. for Eroica Trio by Anne Dudley): Chaconne
Schoenfield: Café Music
Brahms: Trio in C, Op. 87
Gabriel Kahane + Rob Moose: The Ambassador and more
Gabriel Kahane, piano, guitars, banjo, and vocals
Rob Moose, violin and guitars
Songs by Gabriel Kahane, Schubert, Britten, Kern, and John Adams
Hélène Grimaud (2015 Artist-in-Residence)
Takemitsu: Rain Tree Sketch II
Fauré: Barcarolle 5
Ravel: Jeux d’eau
Liszt: Les jeux d’eaux à la Villa d’Este
Janácek: In the mists I
Debussy: La cathédrale engloutie
Brahms: Piano Sonata No. 2
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All concerts made possible, in part, by ArtsWestchester with funds from the Westchester County Government.
All concerts made possible, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature
© 21C Media Group, May 2015