Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival Spotlights 'Winds Of Change'

Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival Spotlights 'Winds Of Change'

Music for wind instruments and music by women are the through-lines that combine in "Winds of Change," the theme for Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival 2019, the 36th season of what Newsday has dubbed "the crown jewel of chamber music festivals on Long Island - arguably anywhere on the East Coast." The festival's 12 concerts, running from July 21 through August 18, play this theme out with in BCMF trademark fashion, with a wide range of enticing music performed by some of the best musicians in the country.

"I'm particularly thrilled to present this summer's season," said BCMF Founder and Artistic Director Marya Martin. "In this uneasy moment in history, we have focused our energies on creating a dynamic summer of programming that reminds us both of the capacity for artists to create works of incredible beauty, and also how music and beliefs change over time. We express this through a focus on the evolution of wind music, with a snapshot of Mozart's gorgeous chamber works for wind instruments, and by highlighting the contributions of women composers."

The works by women composers on the festival schedule range from Louise Farrenc's Sextet for Wind Quintet and Piano (1851-2), Amy Beach's Dreaming for solo piano (1892), and two works by Lili Boulanger for flute and piano written in 1911 and 1918, to music written since the turn of this century, including Missy Mazzoli's Death Valley Junction (2010) for string quartet, Victoria Kelly's Good Night Kiwi (2004) for solo piano, and Reena Esmail's Saans (Breath) (2010) for piano trio. (See complete program listings below.)

Also on the festival schedule are Sofia Gubaidulina's Sounds of the Forest for flute and piano (1978); Anna Clyne's Rest These Hands for solo violin (2009), and works by Elizabeth Brown, Vivian Fung, Helen Grime, Jennifer Higdon, and Clare Shore. The BCMF's annual concert at the Parrish Art Museum this year is inspired by a concurrent exhibition devoted to painter Helen Frankenthaler and features a program of music by six women.

The "winds" theme is kicked off at the festival's annual Free Outdoor Concert with a program by the Project Fusion Saxophone Quartet, and runs throughout the concerts with all of Mozart's quartets and quintets for solo wind instrument - oboe, clarinet, French horn, and flute - with strings; as well as the Quintet for Piano and Winds. Other wind music includes Prokofiev's Overture on Hebrew Themes for piano, clarinet, and string quartet; Nino Rota's Piccola Offerta Musical for wind quintet; Eric Ewazen's Eternal Spring for flute, violin, and piano (which was written for Marya Martin); Ennio Morricone's "Gabriel's Oboe" for oboe and strings from his score for the film The Mission; and George Crumb's Vox Balaenae (Voice of the Whale) for flute, cello, and piano.

The festival programs also offer some of the chamber music masterpieces that audiences love, including Schubert's "Trout" Quintet; Brahms's Piano Quintet in F Minor; and piano quartets by Brahms, Schumann and Mendelssohn. The festival's annual "Composer Portrait" concert, "Dvo?ák in the New World," features the composer's "American" string quartet and an arrangement for cello and piano of his tune that became the song "Goin' Home."

The festival's home is the beautiful 1842 Bridgehampton Presbyterian Church, which boasts admirable acoustics, and whose grounds are also the site of the festival's Free Outdoor Concert, on July 24. Special events taking place in other Hamptons locations include the BCMF Annual Benefit, a one-hour program followed by dinner, at the Atlantic Golf Club on July 27, and the Festival's annual Wm. Brian Little Concert (named after the late BCMF board member) on August 9: "Music from the Movies" under a tent on the stunning grounds of the Channing Sculpture Garden adjacent to the Channing Daughters Winery; wine and hors d'oeuvres are served before the hour-long program. And this year's BCMF concert at the Parrish Art Museum,"BCMF @ the Parrish" on August 5 is the festival's sixth event there.

The festival's roster of artists comprises one of the best multi-generational groups of chamber musicians to be found anywhere. Led by flutist and festival founder Marya Martin, they include violinist Ani Kavafian, who has played in the festival since its first year; newcomers including 2016 Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient Tessa Lark, violin, New York Philharmonic Assistant Principal Viola Cong Wu, and Ensemble MidtVest member Tommaso Lonquich, clarinet; celebrated pianists Gloria Chien and Juho Pohjonen, as well as longtime festival artists Stewart Rose, horn; Peter Kolkay, bassoon; Anthony Marwood, violin, current Principal Artistic Partner of Canada's Les Violons du Roy; and New York Philharmonic Principal Viola Cynthia Phelps.

Tickets may be purchased on the festival's website,, or by calling 212-741-9403. A student ticket price of $10 will be available for most concerts.

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