Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival 2021 Returns Live August 4 - 22

The festival opens with “Composer Portrait: Bach's Chaconne” featuring Jennifer Koh, violin, and Alan Alda.

Photos: First Look At The Cast of FOOTLOOSE At Fort Salem Theater

After a "year of quiet stages" and online programs, the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, Long Island's longest-running classical music festival, is back in business for live, in-person performances this summer. BCMF 2021 presents a total of 13 concerts August 4-22, most at its home venue of the Bridgehampton Presbyterian Church, with returns to the Parrish Art Museum and Channing Sculpture Garden.

Bridgehampton Chamber Music's 38th annual season is not a complete return to its pre-pandemic configuration: the festival is comprised of eight hour-long programs performed without intermission, five of which have repeat performances. Seating and capacity will be set, and updated if need be, to comply with state and local guidelines.

"We are so happy we can once again open our doors and share the joy of live music-making after a long year of quiet stages," said BCM Founder and Artistic Director Marya Martin. "It's been a difficult year for so many, so this summer we are presenting some of chamber music's most beloved and life-affirming works."

The festival opens with "Composer Portrait: Bach's Chaconne," a program devoted to this single movement of J.S. Bach's Partita No. 2 for Solo Violin that is one of the most cherished works in the classical canon. Celebrated violinist Jennifer Koh performs the entire Partita, and renowned author and actor - and longtime friend to BCM - Alan Alda tells the work's story. Other program highlights include an arrangement by Marya Martin of Mozart's A Little Night Music for winds and strings; Beethoven's arrangements of traditional folk songs; excerpts from Vivaldi's The Four Seasons and Astor Piazzolla's The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires; Tchaikovsky's Souvenir de Florence; Schubert's Cello Quintet; and Brahms's Piano Quartet No. 1. The season also includes the world premiere of a BCM commission: Seasons of Our Time, a work for flute, violins, viola, cello, bass, and harpsichord by Eric Ewazen. (See the full schedule below.)

The festival's annual benefit, a concert with cocktails and dinner, and the annual Wm. Brian Little Concert, an event held at the Channing Sculpture Garden with wine and hors d'oeuvres, will go on as well - both events abiding by the health guidelines of their respective venues.

As always, 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, this summer's BCM musicians are James Austin Smith, oboe; Yasmina Spiegelberg, clarinet; Peter Kolkay, bassoon; Stewart Rose, horn; Benjamin Beilman, Stella Chen, Frank Huang, Ani Kavafian, Jennifer Koh, Tessa Lark, Kristin Lee, Amy Schwartz Moretti, and Tien-Hsin Cindy Wu, violin; Ettore Causa, Haesue Lee, Matthew Lipman, Cynthia Phelps, and Cong Wu, viola; Carter Brey, Clive Greensmith, Mihai Marica, Peter Stumpf, and Paul Watkins, cello; Xavier Foley and Donald Palma, bass; Michael Brown, Henry Kramer, and Gilles Vonsattel, piano; Kenneth Weiss, harpsichord; Gregory Feldmann, baritone; and Alan Alda, narrator.

Before the pandemic, Bridgehampton Chamber Music had plans in place to inaugurate a new mini-series, BCM Autumn, in the fall of 2020. When the three concerts of the annual BCM Spring series could not take place last year, they were rescheduled as the fall series - and then were replaced by online events. This year, Bridgehampton Chamber Music will launch BCM Autumn as a three-concert series. "It is particularly gratifying to expand our activities - to grow! - after the year we've all had," said Marya Martin.

"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 37 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: Usually comprising more than a dozen events over four weeks, the summer festival has developed a loyal core audience among local residents and summer visitors since it began 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, BCM 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.

BCM Autumn: A new three-concert series was to have taken place in the fall of 2020, but it was moved online due to the pandemic. BCM will launch this series in person in the fall of 2021.

Bridgehampton Chamber Music has a wide variety of performance videos from past seasons posted on its website, and its YouTube channel features the online programs created during the past year.

Learn more at

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