Bridgehampton Chamber Music’s Summer Festival at Home
Rolls Out Five Programs, One Each Sunday at 6:30 pm
Beginning July 26 on YouTube
BCM Artistic Director Marya Martin introduces each hour-long program
of recent festival highlights and artist interviews
Orion Weiss and Marya Martin
The Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, which for 36 years has presented summer chamber music concerts on Long Island’s East End, will this year present Summer Festival at Home: five hour-long programs premiering on consecutive Sundays at 6:30 pm beginning July 26 on the BCMF YouTube channel and remaining available for one week. Each program, which opens with an introduction from BCM Artistic Director Marya Martin, who will also interview featured performers and composers, will present favorite performances from recent festivals, including those of BCM-commissioned works by Kenji Bunch and Paul Moravec, recent works by Victoria Clark and Reena Esmail, and music of Mozart, Dvořák, Mendelssohn, and more.
In late May, Marya Martin announced that BCMF 2020, the 37th year of Long Island’s longest-running classical music festival, would not take placed as planned, joining the ranks of those around the world who had to cancel this summer’s events as the Covid-19 pandemic brought concert life to a standstill. She was determined, however, to be there for the festival’s two communities: the loyal East End audience and the family of BCM artists, some of the best chamber musicians in the world, many of whom have seen their livelihoods evaporate since the pandemic took hold.
Martin and BCM Executive Director Michael Lawrence resolved to create online programs that would allow the BCM audience to gather online on an early Sunday evening when many would be on their way to the Bridgehampton Presbyterian Church, the festival’s main venue. And they made a commitment to paying the musicians half of their fees for the canceled concerts, and established a BCM Musician Fund, for which they are soliciting donations. “The pandemic has had a profound impact on the lives of musicians, and we feel we must support them in these difficult times,” Marya Martin said. We are like a family in that way, and we count on family when we need them.”
Many of those on what would have been this summer’s artist roster are represented in the five programs of the Summer Festival at Home. “All About Mozart” kicks off the series on July 26 with performances of two of the composer’s chamber masterpieces, the Horn Quintet and Clarinet Quintet, along with Alfred Schnittke’s 1976 work Moz-Art for two violins. “Dvořák/Moravec – A New Country” on August 2, takes its name from the 2018 work by Paul Moravec, a BCMF commission, for mezzo-soprano, flute, violin, viola, cello, and piano to texts by Walt Whitman, Emma Lazarus, and others; it is joined on the program by two works of Dvořák, including an arrangement of “Goin’Home” for cello and piano (Marya talks with Paul Moravec and cellist Nicholas Canellakis).
“Shifting Winds,” on August 9, features two works spotlighting wind instruments: Kenji Bunch’s 2018 Summer Hours for wind quintet and piano, a BCM commission, alongside that wind music classic, Rheinberger’s Nonet for winds and strings (Marya talks with Kenji Bunch). “Travel the World at Home,” on August 16, brings the world to you, with Gaubert’s Three Watercolors evoking the French countryside, Reena Esmail’s 2017 work Saans (Breath) summoning India, and Victoria Clark’s Goodnight Kiwi recalling an old New Zealand television signoff, wrapping up with a chamber arrangement of Haydn’s “Surprise” Symphony (Marya talks with Reena Esmail and pianist Gilles Vonsattel). The series comes to a close on August 23 with “Boccherini & Mendelssohn: Virtuosity,” with two virtuoso works, Boccherini’s Flute Quintet in G Major and Mendelssohn’s Piano Quartet No. 3 (Marya talks with pianist Orion Weiss). (Full programs are below.)
The artists who will be heard in these performances are Jennifer Johnson Cano, mezzo-soprano; Marya Martin, flute; Romie de Guise-Langlois and Tommaso Lonquich, clarinet; James Austin Smith and John Snow, oboe; Peter Kolkay, bassoon; Stewart Rose, horn; Jonathan Crow, Frank Huang, Stefan Jackiw, Ani Kavafian, Erin Keefe, Tessa Lark, Kirsten Lee, and Anthony Marwood, violin; Tien-Hsin Cindy Wu and Yura Lee, violin and viola; Ettore Causa, Richard O’Neill, Cynthia Phelps, and Cong Wu, viola; Nicholas Canellakis, Clive Greensmith, Jakob Koranyi, Peter Stumpf, and Paul Watkins, cello; Donald Palma, bass; and Ran Dank, Jon Kimura Parker, Juho Pohjonen, Gilles Vonsattel, and Orion Weiss, piano.
The BCM Spring series, three concerts that were to take place in March, April, and May of this year, have been moved to three Saturdays in the fall, and are still on the schedule: “Mozart Portrait, narrated by Alan Alda” on October 10; “Colorful Winds: Beethoven and More” on November 7; and the Calidore Quartet on December 5. More information: www.bcmf.org/autumn-series
Bridgehampton Chamber Music
“This longtime East End festival, directed by the flutist Marya Martin,” said The New Yorker, “has flourished by offering concerts both effervescent and distinguished.” In the 36 years since its founding, Bridgehampton Chamber Music has become known for presenting a broad range of music performed by some of the best musicians in the world in one of the most beautiful seaside settings on the East Coast.
BCM Festival: Currently comprising more than a dozen events over four weeks, the summer festival has developed a loyal core audience among the local residents and summer visitors to this East End town since the festival debuted with four artists in two concerts in the intimate setting of the Bridgehampton Presbyterian Church. The festival is still based in the graceful 1842 church—which boasts glowing acoustics—and has gradually expanded to include other special event venues, including the Channing Sculpture Garden and Atlantic Golf Club in Bridgehampton and the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill.
BCM Records: In 2012, BCMF launched its own record label, BCMF Records. Signifying the festival’s commitment to American composers, the label’s first recording was BCMF Premieres, a disc of contemporary American music. The label’s current discography of 12 releases includes music by Bruce Adolphe, Robert Beaser, Leon Kirchner, Howard Shore, Paul Moravec, Kevin Puts, and Elizabeth Brown, as well as Haydn, Beethoven, Brahms, and more.
BCM Spring: Convinced that there were music lovers looking for more opportunities to hear excellent chamber music year-round, BCM introduced its Spring series in 2015, and expanded it from two concerts to three two years later.
Internationally acclaimed flutist Marya Martin enjoys a musical career of remarkable breadth and achievement. Gracefully balancing the roles of chamber musician, festival director, soloist, teacher, and supporter of musical institutions, she has performed throughout the world in such halls as London’s Royal Albert Hall and Wigmore Hall, Sydney Opera House, Casals Hall in Tokyo, and other international venues.
A native of New Zealand, Ms. Martin studied at Yale University, and shortly thereafter moved to Paris to study with flutist Jean-Pierre Rampal. After winning top prizes in the Naumburg, Munich International, and Jean-Pierre Rampal International competitions, and the Concert Artists Guild and Young Concert Artists International Auditions—all within a two-year period—she returned to the U.S. and has since appeared as a soloist with major orchestras and at leading festivals and chamber music series throughout the country.
In 2006 she received a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Auckland, and in 2011 received the Ian Mininberg Distinguished Service Award from Yale University. Committed to expanding the flute repertoire, she has commissioned more than 20 new works. She most recently commissioned eight works for flute and piano comprising Eight Visions, an anthology published by Theodore Presser, and recorded them for the Naxos label. In 2011, Albany Records released Marya Martin Plays Eric Ewazen. Ms. Martin has been a faculty member of the Manhattan School of Music since 1996.
Bridgehampton Chamber Music Presents
BCM Summer Festival at Home
BCM Summer Festival at Home: “All About Mozart”
Premieres Sunday, July 26, 6:30 pm, available until August 2 on BCMF YouTube channel
We kick off our 2020 Virtual Festival at Home with a concert dedicated to Mozart, perhaps classical music’s best-known composer. Mozart was a conundrum – he wrote music of exacting elegance and refinement, but personally was drawn to bawdy humor and absurdity. In this program, we feature two gorgeously composed works for winds and strings and intersperse them with contemporary Russian composer Alfred Schnittke’s tongue-in-cheek ode to the Austrian master.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Horn Quintet in E-flat major, K. 407
Alfred Schnittke Moz-Art for Two Violins
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Clarinet Quintet in A major, K. 581
Marya Martin, flute; Tommaso Lonquich, clarinet; Stewart Rose, horn; Jonathan Crow, Stefan Jackiw, Tessa Lark, Anthony Marwood, Tien-Hsin Cindy Wu, violin; Yura Lee, violin/viola; Cynthia Phelps, Cong Wu, viola; Paul Watkins, cello
BCM Summer Festival at Home: “Dvořák/Moravec – A New Country”
Premieres Sunday, August 2, 6:30 pm, available until August 9 on BCMF YouTube channel
Towards the end of the 19th Century, Antonín Dvořák sailed to America to lead the newly formed National Conservatory of Music in New York. Fascinated by the music he found in America, especially in spirituals and the music of Native Americans, he wrote some of his most famous music here, including his New World Symphony, from which the gorgeous “Goin’ Home” was drawn. The Sonatina that opens the program includes a reference to the Minihaha from Longfellow’s Hiawatha, which Dvořák knew from reading it in his homeland many years earlier. In 2018, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Paul Moravec wrote A New Country (a BCMF commission) based on immigration to the United States in that same period. As we all reflect on what America is and what it could be, there is hope and wonder in these beautiful and moving pieces, and we are proud to share them with you. Interviews with cellist Nicholas Canellakis and composer Paul Moravec provide greater insight into the program.
Antonin Dvořák Sonatina for Flute and Piano, Op. 100
Antonin Dvořák (arr. Fischer) “Goin Home” for Cello and Piano
Paul Moravec A New Country for Mezzo-soprano, Flute, Violin, Viola, Cello, and Piano
Jennifer Johnson Cano, mezzo-soprano; Marya Martin, flute; Frank Huang, violin; Richard O’Neill, viola;
Nicholas Canellakis, Peter Stumpf, cello; Jon Kimura Parker, Gilles Vonsattel, piano
BCM Summer Festival at Home: “Shifting Winds”
Premieres Sunday, August 9, 6:30 pm, available until August 16 on BCMF YouTube channel
Commissioned by BCMF for its 35th Anniversary, Kenji Bunch’s Summer Hours, with its breezy, easy-going melodies and high-spirited antics, is the perfect antidote to summertime blues. Rheinberger’s Nonet, on the other hand, is a Romantic masterpiece that carries one away in its soaring lines and orchestral texture. Both come together for a delightful evening of music. Kenji Bunch joins Artistic Director Marya Martin to discuss his piece written specifically for Marya and our BCMF musicians.
Kenji Bunch Summer Hours for Wind Quintet and Piano
Joseph Rheinberger Nonet for Winds and Strings in E-flat Major, Op. 139
Marya Martin, flute; James Austin Smith, John Snow, oboe; Romie de Guise-Langlois, clarinet; Peter Kolkay, bassoon; Stewart Rose, horn; Kirstin Lee, violin; Tien-Hsin Cindy Wu, viola; Jakob Koranyi, cello; Donald Palma, bass; Ran Dank, piano
BCM Summer Festival at Home: “Travel the World at Home”
Premieres Sunday, August 16, 6:30 pm, available until August 23 on BCMF YouTube channel
Since none of us are doing much travelling these days, we thought we would bring the world to you. Philippe Gaubert’s impressionistic Three Watercolors capture the French countryside, while Victoria Clark’s evocative Goodnight Kiwi refers to an old New Zealand television signoff. Reena Esmail’s Saans (Breath) for Piano Trio brims with exotic flourishes from India, and Haydn’s “Surprise” Symphony was written by a German for clamoring London audiences back in 1791. Composer Reena Esmail joins Artistic Director Marya Martin in a discussion of her work, and Gilles Vonsattel discusses Gaubert and the influence of the sea on his performances in Bridgehampton.
Philippe Gaubert Trois Aquarelles (Three Watercolors) for Flute, Cello, and Piano
Victoria Clark Goodnight Kiwi for Piano
Reena Esmail Saans (Breath) for Piano Trio
Haydn/arr. Salomon Symphony No. 94 in G major, “Surprise” for Flute, String Quartet, and Piano
Marya Martin, flute; Ani Kavafian, Erin Keefe, violin; Ettore Causa, viola; Clive Greensmith, Paul Watkins, cello; Juho Pohjonen, Gilles Vonsattel, Orion Weiss, piano
BCM Summer Festival at Home: “Boccherini & Mendelssohn: Virtuosity”
Premieres Sunday, August 23, 6:30 pm, available until August 30 on BCMF YouTube channel
We end our 2020 virtual season with two virtuoso works: Boccherini’s Flute Quintet in G major and Mendelssohn’s phenomenal Piano Quartet No. 3 in B minor, written when the composer was just 15 years old. Boccherini (1743-1805) was a musical prodigy and an amazing cellist. He wrote more than a hundred quintets for two cellos and strings, but this unique and beautiful combination of flute and strings has very few peers. Marya Martin speaks with Orion Weiss about the Mendelssohn Piano Quartet, and the challenges of the current moment.
Together, these works demonstrate the beauty and ingenuity of the human spirit. We hope that this, and all of our programs this summer, will buoy you as we look forward to a time when we can all gather together once again!
Luigi Boccherini Flute Quintet in G major, G. 438
Felix Mendelssohn Piano Quartet No. 3 in B minor, Op. 3
Marya Martin, flute; Frank Huang, violin; Richard O’Neill, viola; Paul Watkins, Peter Stumpf, cello; Orion Weiss, piano