Caramoor Fest Marks Opening With Mitsuko Uchida & The Orchestra of St. Luke's 6/26

Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts launches its 65th Caramoor International Music Festival on Saturday, June 26 at 8:30pm with dynamic pianist Mitsuko Uchida, considered by many to be the premiere performer of the works of Mozart, conducting the Orchestra of St. Luke's from the piano in a performance of the composer's last piano concerto, No. 27 in B flat Major, K. 595. The New York Times has raved that "when [Uchida] plays Mozart, elegance and abandon come as close to each other as they ever will." The all-Mozart evening of collaborative music-making will open with Michael Barrett, CEO and General Director of Caramoor, leading St. Luke's in Mozart Symphonies Nos. 25 and 34.

"It is both a thrill and an honor to bring this remarkable pianist - renowned for her profound and passionate interpretations of the works of Mozart - back to Caramoor, where she concluded our 2007 summer with two sold-out recitals," said Mr. Barrett. "Hearing her play, and seeing her conduct from the piano, will be a rare treat for our audiences."

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Mitsuko Uchida
Mitsuko Uchida is renowned for her interpretations of Mozart and Schubert, both in the concert hall and on CD, but she has also illuminated the music of Berg, Schoenberg, Webern, and Boulez for a new generation of listeners; her recording of the Schoenberg Piano Concerto with Pierre Boulez and the Cleveland Orchestra won four awards, including The Gramophone Award for Best Concerto. During recent seasons she has been giving performances of Beethoven's last three piano sonatas and Opus 101 and 106 (Hammerklavier). Her Royal Festival Hall performance of Op. 109, 110, and 111 was described by John Allison, The London Times critic, as "one of the most transporting concerts London has heard all year." Her recording of Beethoven's Op. 101 and Op. 106 was described by BBC Music Magazine as "Beethoven in all his grandeur and with all his capacity to express spiritual agony (the slow movement) and heroic struggle and triumph (the first and last movement) revealed with shattering directness ...This disc is of a calibre that I count myself lucky to encounter once in a decade." Ms. Uchida recently won BBC Music Magazine's award for Instrumentalist of the Year and Disc of the Year for this recording.

Mitsuko Uchida records exclusively for Decca and her recordings include the complete Mozart piano sonatas and piano concerti; the complete Schubert piano sonatas; Debussy's Etudes; the five Beethoven piano concerti with Kurt Sanderling; Mozart Sonatas for Violin and Piano with Mark Steinberg; Die Schöne Müllerin with Ian Bostridge for EMI; the final five Beethoven piano sonatas; and Berg's Chamber Concerto with the Ensemble Intercontemporain, Pierre Boulez, and Christian Tetzlaff. A recording of Mozart's concertos No. 23, in A Major (K.488) and No. 24, in C minor (K.491), with Ms. Uchida directing the Cleveland Orchestra from the piano, was released last autumn.

Michael Barrett
Michael Barrett, known as a champion of imaginative programming, is in his seventh season as Chief Executive and General Director of Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, where he has programmed numerous new works, premieres and Caramoor commissions. Mr. Barrett assumed this position in 2003, building on a reputation established following more than twenty-five years of programming and performing experience in the arts. He is responsible for the administration and year-round programming at Caramoor, including the world-renowned Caramoor International Music Festival and acclaimed programs known for breaking down barriers between musical genres, reflecting today's musical currents, and attracting the greatest musical talents from the U.S. and abroad.

In 1988, he co-founded with Steven Blier the New York Festival of Song (NYFOS), which presents thematic song recitals in New York City and beyond. In 1992, he co-founded the Moab Music Festival (MMF) in Utah with his wife, violist Leslie Tomkins. He is also an Artistic Advisor for the Estate of Leonard Bernstein. From 1994 to 1997, he was the Director of the Tisch Center for the Arts at the 92nd Street Y in New York, where, among other things, he created the widely-acclaimed "Today's Composers" series.

A protégé of Leonard Bernstein, Michael Barrett began his long association with the renowned conductor and composer as a student in 1982. From 1985 to 1990, he served as an assistant conductor to the Maestro. Mr. Barrett has been a guest conductor with the Orchestra of St. Luke's, New York Philharmonic, London Symphony, Israel Philharmonic and the Orchestre National de France among others. He also has served variously as conductor, producer, and music director of numerous special projects, including Later the Same Evening by John Musto and Mark Campbell, the world premiere of Volpone by Musto/Campbell; Hopper's Wife by Stewart Wallace and Michael Korie at the Long Beach Opera, and most recently Lucrezia and Bastianello - a double bill of one-act comic operas by William Bolcom and John Musto.

Orchestra of St. Luke's
The 2009-2010 season marks the 35th year of America's foremost chamber orchestra, the Orchestra of St. Luke's, which formed at the Caramoor International Music Festival in 1979 from the existing St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble (founded in 1974). This unique musical organization comprises three divisions: the Orchestra of St. Luke's, St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble, and St. Luke's Arts Education Program. St. Luke's currently performs approximately 100 orchestral, chamber, and educational concerts throughout New York each year, all showcasing the hallmark collaborative spirit that has garnered consistent critical acclaim for vibrant music-making of the highest order. This summer will mark its 31st consecutive year as orchestra-in-residence at Caramoor.

In addition to being presented by Carnegie Hall in an annual series, the Orchestra continues a 20-year collaborative relationship with that institution that currently includes participation in such Carnegie events as annual holiday concerts, Family Concerts, concert presentations of musical theater, and such special events as the recent festival Honor! A Celebration of the African American Cultural Legacy. The Orchestra is also engaged throughout the year in a number of artistic collaborations, which have recently included performances with the Paul Taylor, Mark Morris, Michael Clark, and Morphoses dance companies.

ABOUT CARAMOOR

Caramoor is the legacy of Walter and Lucie Rosen, who built their summer home - now known as the historic Rosen House at Caramoor - and filled it with their treasures. Walter Rosen was the master planner for the Caramoor estate, bringing to reality his dream of creating a place to entertain friends from around the world. Their musical evenings were the seeds of today's Caramoor International Music Festival. Realizing the pleasure their friends took in the beauty of Caramoor - the house with its art collection, the gardens, and the musical programs on summer evenings - in 1946 the Rosens established a public charity to open Caramoor to the community. Lucie Rosen survived her husband by seventeen years. During those years, she expanded the Music Festival: the Spanish Courtyard was used as a setting for musical events, as it is today, and, under her direction, the great stage of the Venetian Theater was built.

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 around music. It is often described as "a Garden of Great Music" where audiences are invited to come early, explore the beautiful grounds, enjoy 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.

With its unique heritage, Caramoor remains a place where magical summer days and nights are shared and enjoyed by thousands. "Caramoor is the loveliest Festival of them all." - The New York Times

GETTING TO CARAMOOR

By car from the West Side of Manhattan and New Jersey, take the Saw Mill River Parkway north to Katonah. Exit at Route 35/Cross River. Turn right and, at the first traffic light, make a right turn onto Route 22 south. Travel 1.9 miles to the junction of Girdle Ridge Road. Follow the signs to Caramoor. (For detailed directions call 914.232.5035 and press 2, or online at www.caramoor.org). Parking at Caramoor is free.

By train, take the Harlem Division of the Metro-North Railroad to Katonah, New York. Taxi service from the station to Caramoor (5 minutes away) is available.

TICKETS
Tickets for Caramoor's Opening Night concert are $15.00, $22.50, $37.50, $50.00, $65.00, and $80.00 and may be purchased at the Caramoor Box Office, 914.232.1252 or ordered online at www.caramoor.org. Groups of 16 or more may purchase discounted tickets by contacting Matthew Scarella at 914.232.5035 ext. 252 or matthew@caramoor.org.

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