2018 Chesapeake Chamber Music Festival Brings Some Surprises
CONTACT: Don Buxton 410 819-0380
or Amy Steward 410-829-0436
This year’s 2018 Chesapeake Chamber Music Festival promises to deliver on its promise of an extremely varied program, appealing to the tastes of a wide range of audiences. One of this year’s special offerings will be a crossover concert, paring classical violin with bluegrass music. Marcy Rosen, who is the Festival’s Artistic Director with J. Lawrie Bloom, comments, “Playing bluegrass music on a Stradivarius should be something to see! It is our first time to do this crossover type music at the Festival. We thought it would be fun and a little different.”
Tessa Lark, a violinist from Kentucky who will be playing at this year’s Festival, also plays bluegrass music for fun. She has been playing for years with her family in a family band. Her father, Bob Frederick, who plays the banjo, is coming this year to with her in the Festival’s “Stradgrass!” concert – classical music with a bluegrass twist. Lark’s partner Michael Thurber, a bass player in the house band for Steven Colbert and a musician very adept at contemporary music, will also perform in the concert.
Rosen adds, “I invite partners and family members to come so that they can spend time together at the Festival. What is satisfying is that no one ever says they don’t want to come. It’s our wonderful time together as artists. We love making music and we love hanging out. I go away exhausted but happy I have been here. It’s the only time so many of us are in the same place at the same time.”
Highlights of the first week of this year’s Festival include two concerts on June 5 and June 7 which feature woodwinds. The June 5 concert combines woodwinds and strings in unusual combinations. The June 7 concert focuses on a woodwind quintet, which features a French horn, flute, bassoon, oboe and clarinet. The concert of Friday, June 8 will feature world-renowned flutist Tara Helen O’Connor in the first half and accomplished pianist Robert McDonald with strings in the second half. On Saturday, June 9, the Schubert Octet in F Major will feature both strings and winds.
Artistic Director J. Lawrie Bloom states, “When selecting the music and musicians who will play at the Festival, we are often faced with the decision of whether the music is selected first or the musicians are selected first. It’s a little of both. The availability of the musicians can dictate the music. The first thing we do usually is to determine musician availability. That is also what makes the Festival work – the combination of players.”
Both Rosen and Bloom also ask the musicians what they would like to do, giving artists free range for input into the pieces they have selected. Bloom adds, “In inviting flutist Tara Helen O’Connor and bassoonist Adrian Morejon, we realized we had woodwind quintets which would be an incredible resource to the repertoire for this year’s Festival. From individual concerts, we have been able to develop themes for each year’s Festival.”
Bloom states, “Over the years, we consistently have presented music we feel is worthy of presenting. We prepare for it and we present it well. Musicians have the music way ahead of time to practice as these are extremely busy and accomplished artists.”
In recent years, musicians have educated audiences more on the pieces they are playing before they play. Bloom adds, “It has been gratifying that people have been receptive to this approach.”
Highlights of week two of this year’s Festival include Soprano Kendra Colton, who will perform at the Handel and Bach concert. She most recently recorded with Festival oboist Peggy Pearson. On June 13, the Mozart Sandwich concert will feature pianist Diane Walsh. Rosen comments, “The substance of this program is so flavorful with Strauss and Mahler sandwiched with Mozart. It will be an exciting concert.”
On June 15, The Merz Trio, winner of the recent 2018 Chesapeake Chamber Music Competition, will return to Easton to perform in a Celebration of Youth concert at the Avalon Theatre, which will also feature the music of Franz Schubert.
Rosen concludes, “You don’t want to miss one concert of this year’s Festival as each program will give you a different experience – there is something for everyone this year!”
Sponsors of this year’s Festival include the Talbot County Arts Council and the Maryland State Arts Council. Additional generous financial support from corporate, public and private benefactors enables Chesapeake Music to offer affordable tickets for Festival concerts and recitals; open rehearsals are free to the general public. For additional information, visit www.ChesapeakeMusic.org or call 410 819-0380. Experience the Extraordinary at Chesapeake Music’s 2018 Chamber Music Festival.
#1: Pictured is Marcy Rosen, Artistic Director for the Chesapeake Chamber Music Festival.
#2: Pictured is J. Lawrie Bloom, Artistic Director for the Chesapeake Chamber Music Festival.