Music Mountain Opens Innovative Concert Season on June 5th
Live music is back at Music Mountain (https://www.musicmountain.org) from June 5 through September 18, with a much expanded and innovative concert season that includes something for everyone. This summer Music Mountain is celebrating the 250th anniversary of Haydn’s “Sun” Quartets, which are credited to have given birth to the string quartet medium as we know it today. Pre-concert talks and many new events have been carefully designed around the concerts to make every scenic trip to Music Mountain an unforgettable experience.
Take Music Mountain’s 93rd Season Opening Benefit Concert on June 5 as an example, featuring the Rolston String Quartet and violist-super-star, Paul Neubauer: this year you can order a picnic for two from Le Gamin, in Sharon, CT, and have it delivered by 1 PM to Music Mountain to enjoy chef Robert Arbor’s casual French creations under the shadow of a willow tree, prior to the concert. Then, come into Gordon Hall, the violin-shaped, air-conditioned acoustical gem at Music Mountain, to enjoy “an electrifying performance” (Strings Magazine) by the Rolston String Quartet and “master musician” (The New York Times), Paul Neubauer. Their collaboration in the Brahms String Quintet in G Major is the highlight, in a program that includes a Haydn quartet, alluding to the season theme, and a riveting new work by German composer Jörg Widmann, his “Hunting Quartet.” Immediately following the concert, join the artists under the large tent on the Great Lawn for a German and Austrian-themed reception catered by Theresa Freund. And you”ll still have time to go out for dinner at one of the many new restaurants that have recently opened in the area. If you wish to make a whole weekend out of it, the Interlaken Inn Music Mountain Weekend Package is the way to go for a peaceful stay at a breathtaking lakefront resort.
Labor Day Weekend features a festival within a festival, including five new events around the season concerts: On Saturday, September 3, Merz Trio will capture the imagination of the younger ones at the 11 AM Family Concert. Stay at Music Mountain for a fun lunch with Crêpe Royale and other food trucks. The evening session starts at 5 PM with presentations by author Barbara V. Bechtolsheim and CT Poet Laureate, Margaret Gibson. The concert at 7 PM features Merz Trio’s “Ink Spills” album program, including readings and the performance of Ravel”s iconic Piano Trio, together with works by Rameau, Boulanger and others. A stargazing event completes the day’s programming at 8:30 PM.
On Sunday, September 4, the day starts with a Pre-Concert Birdsong Walk, before entering Gordon Hall to experience the landmark chamber music work of the 20th century, written by ornithologist-composer Olivier Messiaen at a concentration camp during WWII: Quartet for the End of Time.
On August 14, the program features the Cramer Quartet performing two Haydn quartets and Alexandra DuBois’ response to the Haydn “Sun” Quartets, her String Quartet No. 6. The Cramer Quartet is currently recording all six Haydn “Sun” Quartets, and will perform on period instruments and gut strings. A Pre-Concert Talk with Cramer Quartet and composer Alexandra Du Bois will give concertgoers the opportunity to ask questions and learn about the program and the artists’ trajectory.
The seventeen Chamber Music Concerts in Music Mountain’s 93rd Season offer something for everyone: from Misha and Cipa Dichter’s piano-four-hands program; a recorder and lute program by the prize-winning English recorder soloist, Tabea Debus; or the Cassatt String Quartet’s program with guitarist Eliot Fisk; to Cuarteto Latinoamericano’s eclectic program with oboist Thomas Gallant; the Harlem Quartet’s program with pianist Fei-Fei; or the American String Quartet’s two-work program featuring Beethoven”s Op. 131 and Octavio Vázquez’s new Piano Quintet with the composer at the keyboard. Returning string quartets include the Balourdet Quartet, which subbed brilliantly for the Juilliard String Quartet at Music Mountain last season, and the Arianna, Penderecki, Ulysses, Ariel, Daedalus, and Jupiter String Quartets. Pianists Benjamin Hochman, Judith Gordon, Victoria Schwartzman, Tanya Bannister, Soyeon Kate Lee, and Todd Crow, luteninst Adam Cockerham, and clarinetist Oskar Espina Ruiz, Music Mountain’s artistic director, round out the roster.
Music Mountain Twilight Jazz Concerts
While the chamber music concert series takes place on 16 consecutive Sundays at 3 PM starting June 5, Music Mountain’s Twilight Jazz Concerts are on 10 consecutive Saturdays at 7 PM starting June 25.
Bill Charlap, the Grammy Award winning pianist, opens Music Mountain’s Twilight Jazz Concerts on June 25. Charlap is the artistic director of New York City’s Jazz in July Festival at the 92nd Street Y, and has produced concerts for Jazz at Lincoln Center, the JVC Jazz Festival, and the Hollywood Bowl. The Music Mountain jazz series kicks off with the Bill Charlap Trio, which features Bill Charlap and is recognized as one of the leading groups in jazz today.
The jazz series continues on July 2 with Five Play, the sister group of the world-renowned Diva Jazz Orchestra. Other highlights include Barbara Fasano Trio with Eric Comstock, and Helen Sung Quartet. Music Mountain favorites returning this summer include Swingtime Big Band, Galvanized Jazz Band, New Black Eagle Jazz Band, Bob Parker’s Jive by Five, and Riverboat Stompers Jazz Band. New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players round out the series.
Saturday Dinner & Concert Packages are available from June 25 through August 27, including 5:30 PM dinner at the Falls Village Inn, a Litchfield County landmark—prix fixe Classic American comfort fare, seasonal—and 7 PM Twilight Concert at Music Mountain.
Audience Safety First
To keep patrons safe during concerts, Music Mountain will continue to follow state health and federal CDC guidelines. There are currently no masking requirements for indoor gatherings in Connecticut, but masks are highly encouraged at Music Mountain.
Tickets and Location
Music Mountain is located at 225 Music Mountain Road, in Falls Village, Connecticut, where a short scenic drive will bring you to Gordon Hall atop Music Mountain. Free parking and picnic facilities are available.
This year all seats in Gordon Hall are reserved, and front seats sell at a premium. Lawn Tickets are General Admission. Patrons will be able to purchase specific seats from a seating map when buying tickets. Every seat will be a bit larger, too.
Regularly scheduled Chamber Music Concerts are $30-$55. Specially Priced Concerts are as follows: tickets for the Season Opening Benefit Concert on June 5 are $40-$85, and for the Labor Day Benefit Concert on September 4 are $30-$70. No fees will be charged. Student Tickets are $15; free for ages 18 and under. Ticket Packages are available, including the Season Pass; the Haydn Sun Quartets Pass (6 concerts); the 6-Concert Pass; and the 3-Concert Pass.
Please call the Music Mountain box office at (860) 824-7126 for more details or to purchase tickets. Sunday afternoon Chamber Music concerts start at 3 PM and last approximately 2 hours, with a 20-minute intermission.
For more information, please visit musicmountain.org or call the box office at (860) 824-7126.
About Music Mountain
Since 1930, generations of music lovers have come to Music Mountain for an exceptional concert experience and, today, audiences continue to praise the outstanding quality and consistency of the events at Music Mountain, the exceptional acoustics of air-conditioned Gordon Hall, and the beauty and peaceful serenity of Music Mountain’s mountaintop grounds. Recent concertgoers see Music Mountain as “a peaceful green oasis” and highlight its “amazing venue, ambience, and experience.”
Music Mountain, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, began as the unique vision of Jacques Gordon, Chicago Symphony concertmaster from 1921 to 1930 and the founding first violinist of the Gordon String Quartet, one of the leading quartets of its time. The buildings at Music Mountain form a well-designed campus in the Colonial Revival style. They were built by Sears, Roebuck & Company’s prefabricated housing division and are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Today, artistic director Oskar Espina-Ruiz and Music Mountain’s dedicated board of directors steer Music Mountain through a period of continued growth.
Music Mountain is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts; Connecticut State Department of Economic and Community Development Office of the Arts; Connecticut Humanities; the Peter N. Krysa Designated Fund and the Kahn Moller Family Fund from the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, and the Khurshed Bhumgara Fund and the Lucia Tuttle Fritz Fund from the Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation.