Caramoor’s Extensive Summer Chamber Lineup Highlights Success of Young Artist Mentorship Programs (June 19–Aug 5)
Caramoor’s extensive summer chamber lineup reflects its characteristic commitment to musical diversity, from a focus on Beethoven to Scandinavian folk and new music from Ton ter Doest, Pierre Jalbert, John Steinmetz, and Paul Wiancko. Boasting a who’s who of classical luminaries, these chamber offerings also highlight the success of Evnin Rising Stars, one of the intensive mentorship programs through which Caramoor serves as an incubator for exceptional young talent. Current participants will be presented in a special showcase, and returning alumni include members of the Aizuri Quartet, the 2015-16 Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence, which caps its tenure with the world premiere of a new Caramoor commission; 2016 Artist-in-Residence Jonathan Biss; Program Alumni Artistic Director Edward Arron and the five musical friends with whom he collaborates this summer; and three of the artists presented by Program Artistic Director Pamela Frank. Other returning Caramoor favorites include David Finckel and Wu Han, Co-Artistic Directors of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center; the Emerson String Quartet’s Philip Setzer; former Guarneri Quartet cellist Peter Wiley; powerhouse guitarist Meng Su; and the Grammy Award-winning Pacifica Quartet, a former Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence itself. This extended musical family also takes on new members this season, which brings festival debuts from the celebrated Danish String Quartet and MacArthur “genius grant”-winning pianist Jeremy Denk. All 14 chamber events take place during the 71st summer season (June 18–Aug 7) on Caramoor’s historic Westchester estate, which offers 90 acres of picturesque Italianate architecture and gardens just one hour’s drive from Manhattan.
The 2015-16 Ernst Stiefel Quartet-in-Residence is the Aizuri Quartet, which includes two Evnin Rising Stars alumnae: violist Ayane Kozasa and cellist Karen Ouzounian. As the 16th incumbent of the yearlong residency, the group gives classroom-based instruction and performance clinics in Caramoor’s educational outreach program, as well as regular recitals throughout the season. A top prizewinner at the 2015 Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition, since forming four years ago at the Curtis Institute of Music, the Aizuri has proven itself to be “in full possession of that most elusive of string quartet qualities: the balance between charisma of the individual and cohesion of the collective” (Philadelphia Inquirer).
Each year, in its ongoing “String Quartet Library for the 21st Century” project, Caramoor commissions a new work for the resident group. This season the Aizuri collaborated with Paul Wiancko to develop a new multi-movement piece titled LIFT. An emerging Brooklyn-based composer whose work has been described as “surprising, fun, fresh, and innovative” (Sequenza21), Wiancko has composed for artists as diverse as Metropolitan Opera soprano Susanna Phillips, the Grammy-winning Parker Quartet, and yMusic, the six-piece alt-chamber outfit appearing at Caramoor on July 15. LIFT receives its world premiere performance during the Aizuri Quartet’s summer recital, when it will be juxtaposed with Beethoven’s profound Op. 130 quartet and Grosse Fuge (July 8). Click here to see the Aizuri Quartet play Beethoven, and here for an audio clip from Wiancko’s LIFT.
It is not only the Aizuris who address the music of Beethoven; his works play a major part in Caramoor’s chamber programming throughout the summer. The Danish String Quartet, recognized as “one of the best quartets before the public today” (Washington Post), makes its hotly anticipated Caramoor debut with a program that juxtaposes Beethoven’s Op. 127 and Janáček’s Quartet No. 2, “Intimate Letters,” with original arrangements of traditional Scandinavian folk music (July 29). These arrangements may also be heard on the group’s 2014 album Wood Works, which Sinfini Music, in a five-star review, calls “a quietly innovative and unexpected delight, whose charms only grow as the music unfolds.” Click here to see the Danish String Quartet play traditional Nordic wedding tunes from Wood Works.
Cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han, husband-and-wife Co-Artistic Directors of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, join Philip Setzer, a founding member of the nine-time Grammy Award-winning Emerson String Quartet, for an all-Beethoven program featuring the incomparable “Archduke” Piano Trio (June 26). It was with a similar program of Beethoven trios in San Jose that, as the Mercury News reported, the three “gave their sold-out audience an exuberant, eddying account of the B-flat, then turned the screws tighter for the E-flat, grabbing listeners, as it were, by the throats.” Click here to see Setzer, Finckel and Han play Mendelssohn.
Praised for its “remarkable expressive range and tonal beauty” (New York Times), the Grammy Award-winning Pacifica Quartet – Caramoor’s 2001-02 Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence and Musical America’s 2009 Ensemble of the Year – returns with a pairing of music by Beethoven and Pulitzer Prize-winner Shulamit Ran (July 17). Bookended by the German master’s fourth Op. 18 quartet and his first “Razumovsky,” Ran’s third, titled Glitter, Shards, Doom, Memory, draws inspiration from the life and work of German-Jewish painter Felix Nussbaum, and was written expressly for the Pacifica. Click here to see the Pacifica Quartet play Beethoven’s String Quartet in B-flat, Op. 18, No. 6.
2016 Artist-in-Residence Jonathan Biss, a 1998 Evnin Rising Stars alumnus, is “the most consistently interesting Beethovenist of his 30-something generation” (The Independent, UK). Following his first acclaimed all-Beethoven solo recital at Caramoor in 2013, the young American pianist returns for a second one this season, with a program featuring the “Appassionata” and “Tempest” Sonatas (Aug 5). A dedicated chamber artist who represents the third generation in a family of professional musicians, Biss also joins his mother, violinist Miriam Fried, for Janáček’s Sonata for Violin and Piano and Brahms’s Piano Quartet in A. In this, the composer’s longest chamber work, they will be joined by violist Hsin-Yun Huang and cellist Marcy Rosen (Aug 4). Click here to see Biss play Beethoven.
Beyond Beethoven, the summer’s chamber programming embraces a broad scope. Marking the second solo piano recital of the season, Caramoor is thrilled to present Jeremy Denk in his festival debut (July 24). The winner of a 2013 MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, the 2014 Avery Fisher Prize, and Musical America’s 2014 Instrumentalist of the Year award, Denk is one of America’s foremost pianists, and has been described by the New York Times as “one of his generation’s most eloquent and thoughtful interpreters.” Click here to see Denk play Brahms.
Also a winner of the prestigious Avery Fisher Prize is violinist Pamela Frank, Artistic Director of Caramoor’s Evnin Rising Stars program. With cellist Peter Wiley, a former member of both the Guarneri Quartet and Beaux Arts Trio, she welcomes returning alums Ayane Kozasa, violist of the resident Aizuri Quartet, violinist and 2014 Avery Fisher Prize winner Benjamin Beilman, and pianist Andrew Tyson, hailed as “a real poet of the piano” (BBC Radio 3), in Mozart, Schubert and Schumann. Their program represents a moving Father’s Day tribute to honor the life and legacy of Frank’s late father, eminent pianist Claude Frank (June 19). Click here to see Frank, Wiley and others play Dvořák, Schoenberg and Brahms.
Musical mavericks who have been praised for their “imagination, infallible musicality, and huge vitality” (Fanfare), the five members of the Akropolis Reed Quintet pioneer innovative repertoire for saxophone, clarinet, oboe, bassoon, and bass clarinet. Their program combines arrangements of classics by Gershwin and Debussy with Ton ter Doest’s Circusmuziek and John Steinmetz’s Sorrow and Celebration, a 2015 Akropolis commission (June 23). Written in response to the police killings of African-Americans Michael Brown and Eric Garner, Steinmetz’s work “seeks to blur the line between quintet and listener, honoring a nation’s sorrow” (New Haven Independent). Click here to see the Akropolis Reed Quintet’s world premiere performance of Sorrow and Celebration.
Evnin Rising Stars Alumni Artistic Director Edward Arron – “one of New York’s most exciting young cellists” (New Yorker) – makes his annual summer appearance with a host of Caramoor regulars, all of whom, like the cellist himself, are alumni of the program. Joining him in works by Jean-Baptiste Barrière, Mozart and Korngold are violinists Tessa Lark, winner of the Naumburg International Violin Award, and two-time Grammy nominee Jesse Mills; violists Mark Holloway, a Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center artist, and Max Mandel, of the FLUX Quartet and The Knights orchestral collective; and cellist Alice Yoo, a former member of Carnegie Hall’s Ensemble ACJW (June 24). Click here to see Edward Arron play.
Caramoor also offers the chance to hear some of today’s participants in the celebrated chamber mentorship program, when the Evnin Rising Stars Showcase presents violinist Paul Huang, and violist Matthew Lipman along with pianist Michael Brown – all three of whom are recent recipients of Avery Fisher Career Grants – in works by Mozart, Brahms, and Beethoven (June 30). The Washington Post calls Huang “an artist with the goods for a significant career”; the Chicago Tribune advises: “Mark well Matthew Lipman’s name: You’ll be hearing a lot more of him in the years to come”; and the New York Times describes Brown as “one of the leading figures in the current renaissance of performer-composers.” Click here to see Brown play Beethoven.
Caramoor celebrates Bastille Day with French fare by Fauré, Ravel, and Lili Boulanger from the Stamford Piano Trio (July 14). The trio comprises violinist Erica Kiesewetter, concertmaster and frequent concerto soloist with the American Symphony Orchestra, Opera Orchestra of New York, NY Pops, and Stamford Symphony; “outstanding” (Boston Globe) pianist Molly Morkoski; and Caroline Stinson, principal cellist of the Stamford Symphony, of whom Fanfare writes: “She has it all, fabulous tone, great technique, innate musicality, and a real sense of how to project a wide variety of contemporary music” (Fanfare). Click here to see Stinson play Fauré.
As the ensemble-in-residence at the late composer’s Westchester home, Music from Copland House is “our paramount keeper of Copland’s flame” (American Record Guide). Following its success at last year’s festival, the group returns with a vibrant, wide-ranging program of concert works inspired by the New World sounds of country, jazz, folk, ragtime, tango, and spirituals. Besides Copland himself, featured composers include Pulitzer Prize-winner John Harbison, Mark O’Connor, John Mackey, Hale Smith, Florence Price, Scott Joplin, W. C. Handy, and Pierre Jalbert, whose Crossings is a Copland House commission (July 22). Click here to see Music from Copland House.
Powerhouse guitarist Meng Su, who previously wowed audiences as half of the Beijing Guitar Duo, returns for a “Guitar in the Garden” solo recital of canonical and contemporary works by Bach, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, John Williams, and Sérgio Assad, in the magical outdoor setting of Caramoor’s Sunken Garden (July 28). Click here to see Meng Su’s gold medal-winning performance in the 2015 Parkening International Guitar Competition Final.
For more than 70 years, Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts has been a leading destination for music lovers. Comprising a Mediterranean revival villa on 90 acres of gardens and serene woodlands in Westchester County, NY, the estate is just 40 miles north of Manhattan. 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 – as well as in the picturesque gardens, which include a Sense Circle for the visually impaired, Sunken Garden, Butterfly Garden, Tapestry Hedge, and Iris and Peony Garden. Audiences are invited to come early to explore the grounds, tour the historic Rosen House, enjoy a relaxing Sunday afternoon tea, or unwind with a pre-concert picnic. In addition to the summer season, Caramoor presents concerts all year round in the magnificent Rosen House Music Room. Through an impressive range of education programs, Caramoor serves more than 6,000 students in the New York metropolitan area, besides boasting an array of highly successful mentorship programs designed for young professionals who have completed their conservatory training. Over the past 20 years, alumni from these programs have become leaders of the next classical generation, whose accomplishments include winning a MacArthur Fellowship, becoming first violinist of the Juilliard String Quartet, and appointment as the Concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic.
Getting to Caramoor
Getting to Caramoor is simple by car, train or public transportation. All parking is free and close to the performance areas. Handicapped parking is also free and readily available.
By car from New York City, take the Henry Hudson Parkway north to the Saw Mill River Parkway north to I-684 north to Exit 6. Go east on Route 35 to the traffic light (0.3 miles). Turn right onto Route 22 south, and travel 1.9 miles to the junction of Girdle Ridge Road where there is a green Caramoor sign. At the junction, veer left and make a quick right onto Girdle Ridge Road. Continue on Girdle Ridge Road 0.5 miles to the Caramoor gates on the right. Approximate drive time is one hour.
By train from Grand Central Station, take the Harlem Division Line of the Metro North Railroad heading to Southeast, and exit at Katonah. Caramoor is a 3.5-mile drive from the Katonah station, where taxi service is always available and free shuttle service is available for every event Thursdays through Sundays. For current information, check the Metro North schedule.
For the opera performances, Caramoor offers ticketed, round-trip transportation from NYC on the Caramoor Coach, a luxury air-conditioned coach traveling from Grand Central/Lexington Ave to Caramoor’s front door and back. To learn more, contact the Box Office.
Chamber music in Caramoor’s 2016 summer season
For My Father / Dedicated to Claude Frank
Schubert: Trio in B-flat major for violin, viola and cello, D. 471
Mozart: Piano Quartet in G minor, K. 478
Schumann: Piano Quartet in E-flat major, Op. 47
(Pamela Frank, host; Benjamin Beilman, violin; Ayane Kozasa, viola; Peter Wiley, cello; Andrew Tyson, piano)
Akropolis Reed Quintet
(Matt Landry, saxophone; Kari Dion, clarinet; Tim Gocklin, oboe; Ryan Reynolds, bassoon; Andrew Koeppe, bass clarinet)
Edward Arron & Friends
Barrière: Sonata in G major for Two Cellos
Korngold: String Sextet in D major, Op. 10
Mozart: Grande Sestetto Concertante (arrangement of Sinfonia Concertante, K. 364)
(Tessa Lark, violin; Jesse Mills, violin; Mark Holloway, viola; Max Mandel, viola; Alice Yoo, cello; Edward Arron, cello)
Wu Han, piano; Philip Setzer, violin; David Finckel, cello
Beethoven: Trio in G major, Op. 1, No. 2
Beethoven: Trio in E-flat major, Op. 70, No. 2
Beethoven: Trio in B-flat major, Op. 97 (“Archduke”)
Evnin Rising Stars Showcase
Ravel: Violin Sonata in A minor
Brahms: Viola Sonata, Op. 120, No. 1
Mozart: Kegelstatt Trio, K. 498 (arr. for violin, viola and piano)
(Paul Huang, violin; Matthew Lipman, viola; Michael Brown, piano)
Aizuri Quartet (2015-16 Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence)
Paul Wiancko: LIFT for String Quartet (world premiere)
Beethoven: String Quartet Op. 130 & Grosse Fuge
Stamford Piano Trio
Celebrating Bastille Day
Lili Boulanger: “D’un matin de printemps”
Fauré: Piano Trio in D minor, Op. 120
Ravel: Piano Trio in A minor (1914)
(Erica Kiesewetter, violin; Caroline Stinson, cello; Molly Morkoski, piano)
Beethoven: String Quartet in C minor, Op. 18, No. 4
Shulamit Ran: Glitter, Shards, Doom, Memory
Beethoven: String Quartet in F major, Op. 59, No. 1
Songs America Loves to Sing
Music from Copland House
Jeremy Denk, piano
Guitar in the Garden: Meng Su, guitar
Bach: Lute Suite No. 4 in E major, BWV1006a
Castelnuovo-Tedesco: Sonata “Omaggio a Boccherini,” Op. 77
John Williams: Rounds
Sérgio Assad: Aquarelle
Danish String Quartet
Janáček: String Quartet No. 2, “Intimate Letters”
Folk music from the Nordic countries
Beethoven: String Quartet No. 12, Op. 127
Artist-in-Residence Jonathan Biss, piano, with Miriam Fried, violin; Hsin-Yun Huang, viola; Marcy Rosen, cello
Janáček: Sonata for violin and piano
Brahms: Piano Quartet in A major, Op. 26
Artist-in-Residence Jonathan Biss, piano
Beethoven: Sonata in E-flat major, Op. 7
Beethoven: Sonata in D minor, Op. 31, No. 2 (“Tempest”)
Beethoven: Sonata in G major, Op. 79
Beethoven: Sonata in F minor, Op. 57 (“Appassionata”)
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