This Weekend At Music Mountain to Feature Helen Sung Quartet & Cramer Quartet

Many patrons come early and enjoy a picnic with friends on the 10 picnic tables at the Great Lawn prior to the concert.

By: Aug. 04, 2022
This Weekend At Music Mountain to Feature Helen Sung Quartet & Cramer Quartet

Music Mountain will present Helen Sung Quartet on Saturday and Cramer Quartet on Sunday Saturday August 13th, 7:00pm - Gordon Hall.


Helen Sung is an acclaimed jazz pianist and composer, and a 2021 Guggenheim Fellow. A native of Houston, Texas, and graduate of its High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA), she eschewed her classical piano upbringing after a jazz epiphany during undergraduate studies at UT Austin. Helen went on to become part of the inaugural class of the Thelonious Monk Institute (now the Herbie Hancock Institute) at the New England Conservatory of Music.

Her recent releases Sung With Words (Stricker Street), a collaborative project with renowned poet Dana Gioia, and Anthem For A New Day (Concord Jazz) topped the jazz charts. Quartet+ (Sunnyside Records), her latest release, followed suit, garnering a 4.5 star DownBeat review and inclusion in its "Best of 2021 Albums" list and a JazzTimes cover story (January 2022 issue). Helen and her band have performed at major American festivals and venues including Newport, Monterey, Disney Hall, SFJAZZ, and Carnegie Hall.

Internationally, her "NuGenerations" Project toured southern Africa as a U.S. State Department Jazz Ambassador, and recent engagements include debuts at the London Jazz Festival, Jazz at Lincoln Center Shanghai, Blue Note Beijing, and the Sydney International Women's Jazz Festival. She has performed with such luminaries as the late Clark Terry, Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter, Wynton Marsalis (who named her as one of his "Who's Got Next: Jazz Musicians to Watch!"), MacArthur Fellow Regina Carter, and Grammy-winning artists including Terri Lyne Carrington, Cecile McLorin Salvant, and the Mingus Big Band. Helen is a Steinway Artist and has served on the jazz faculties at Berklee College of Music, the Juilliard School, and Columbia University, where she also was the inaugural jazz artist-in-residence at Columbia's prestigious Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute.

They encourage everyone to arrive early. They will be serving fine wines from 6 pm (at $5/glass), including: Manoir old vine Muscadet Isle St. Pierre Rose Le malbec d'Herve You may also purchase snacks, pastries, ice cream, coffee and other concessions. Bring your own picnic! Many patrons come early and enjoy a picnic with friends on the 10 picnic tables at the Great Lawn prior to the concert. Sunday August 14th at 3:00pm - Gordon Hall


Jessica Park and Chiara Fasani Stauffer, violins; Keats Dieffenbach, viola; Shirley Hunt, cello. (Sun Quartets Concert #3/6) + 1:30 pm: Pre-Concert Talk with Cramer Quartet and composer Alexandra Du Bois HAYDN String Quartet in C Major, Op. 20 #2 DU BOIS String Quartet #6 (in response to Haydn's Opus 20 quartets) HAYDN String Quartet in G Major, Op. 76 #1

This ongoing project brings together their passion for historical performance with their commitment to rebalancing the string quartet canon by centering the voices of women, non-(cis)males, BIPOC, LGBTQ+ folx and other communities historically underrepresented in classical music. - Chloe Rabinowitz, Broadway World DWith period instruments and an invigorating historically informed approach, the Cramer Quartet brings uncommon warmth, transparency, and texture to Classical and early Romantic repertoire as well as commissioned works that explore and expand the sound world of gut strings.

The quartet's stylish, nuanced interpretations and visionary approach to programming stimulate dialogue around old and new works, inviting audiences to listen with fresh ears. Based in New York City, members of the Cramer Quartet are persons of color, women, non-binary/transmasc and LGBTQ+ individuals committed to advancing cultural equity in classical music.

Highlights of the 2021-22 season include performances of The Seven Last Words Project- an immersive multimedia journey through Haydn's Seven Last Words of Christ as reflected upon by seven diverse contemporary composers- at Five Boroughs Music Festival; as well as appearances at Music Mountain Summer Chamber Music Festival, GEMS Midtown Concerts, and a residency at Festival de Música de Santa Catarina in Jaraguá do Sul, Brazil. Recent appearances include Boston's Society for Historically Informed Performance and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston's "Art in Tune" event- a multidisciplinary site-specific collaboration in which the CQ paired artwork from the museum's galleries with a series of rarely heard works performed on a set of 18th-Century musical instruments from the MFA's collection.

This past spring the Cramer Quartet launched Haydn: Dialogues, an ambitious multi-year cycle combining Haydn's 68 string quartets with sixteen new commissions by composers of marginalized identities. Each of Haydn's 16 opuses becomes an invitation for a composer to create a response for historical instruments in their own unique musical voice. The inaugural concert will feature the world premiere of a new work by American composer Alexandra du Bois to be performed alongside Haydn's Op. 20 quartets. With this project the quartet marries its passion for historical performance with a commitment to rebalancing the string quartet canon by centering the voices of women, non-(cis)males, BIPOC, LGBTQ+ folx and other communities historically underrepresented in classical music.

The Cramer Quartet is the recipient of a Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Creative Engagement grant as well as Chamber Music America's Ensemble Forward professional development grant. The ensemble has been awarded multiple residencies at Avaloch Farm Music Institute and takes its name from Wilhelm Cramer, a brilliant violinist who enjoyed a multifaceted career as London's first major string quartet leader. Cramer is credited with popularizing a late 18th century violin bow which became the inspiration for the style of historical bows used by the Cramer Quartet.

Tickets and Location To buy tickets, please visit or call the box office at (860) 824-7126. Tickets for Five Play are $35. Tickets for the Arianna String Quartet range from $45-55, with General Admission Lawn Tickets (Audio Only) available for $15. No fees will be charged. Student Tickets are $15; free for ages 18 and under. Ticket Packages are available.

Saturday evening Jazz concerts start at 7 PM and Sunday afternoon Chamber Music concerts start at 3 PM. Each concert lasts approximately 2 hours, with a 20-minute intermission. 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 available for General Admission on Sunday concerts. Patrons will be able to purchase specific seats from a seating map when buying tickets. Every seat will be a bit larger, too. 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.

Nicholas Gordon, the son of Jacques Gordon, was president of Music Mountain from 1974 until his death in 2017. With an encyclopedic knowledge of chamber music and performing quartets, he expanded the teaching programs, and arranged for broadcasts of Music Mountain concerts that reach over one million listeners nationwide and in 45 countries. As artistic and executive director, as well as principal fundraiser, Nick's guidance included not only traditional chamber music classics, but also the introduction of Twilight Jazz Concerts on Saturday nights. Nick believed Music Mountain's longevity is due to the fact it has been faithful to its mission and is supported by a dedicated community sharing a passion and love of music--traditions that are alive and well today.

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.