At Caramoor, Takács Quartet, Richard Goode, TENET, Wycliffe Gordon, and Richard Thompson Highlight 2017-18 Fall – Spring Offerings in Historic Music Room
Best known and loved as a summer destination, Caramoor also remains a hub for musical and artistic exploration all year round. From October to May, concerts are held indoors in the Rosen House Music Room, among its authentic Renaissance furniture, paintings dating from the 16th century (including Sibylla by Lucas Cranach), and tin-enameled terra cotta reliefs from the workshop of Andrea della Robbia. Originally designed and built to host private chamber evenings for the Rosen family and guests, this “grandly appointed music room of the treasure-filled home” (New York Times) makes for an intimate and uniquely appealing performance space.
Caramoor’s 2017-18 Fall–Spring season offers a wealth of the diverse and imaginative programming with which the Westchester estate – 90 acres of picturesque Italianate architecture and gardens, just one hour’s drive from Manhattan – has long been synonymous. Upcoming presentations span the musical spectrum from classical chamber recitals to roots, and from early vocal music to jazz, with a stellar array of artists that embraces both established stars, such as Richard Goode, Richard Thompson, Wycliffe Gordon, and the Takács Quartet, and those of a younger generation, such as Noam Pikelny, Bria Skonberg, Anthony Roth Costanzo, and Mandy Gonzalez. Representing all three of the mentorship programs through which Caramoor serves as an incubator for exceptional young talent, the 2017-18 lineup also showcases members of the Evnin Rising Stars and Schwab Vocal Rising Stars, and the Verona Quartet, incoming Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence.
Chamber music: Takács Quartet, Richard Goode, Verona Quartet, Colin Jacobsen/Nicholas Cords/Edward Arron, and Evnin Rising Stars
To launch the fall-spring season, the celebrated Takács Quartet makes its Caramoor debut with a program of Haydn, Shostakovich and Brahms (Oct 15). “Arguably the world’s most versatile string quartet” (Sunday Times, UK), the Takács is the first string quartet to win the prestigious Wigmore Hall Medal and the only one inducted into Gramophone’s first Hall of Fame. The group’s discography has been recognized with a Grammy, three Gramophone Awards, three Japanese Record Academy Awards, “Disc of the Year” at the inaugural BBC Music Magazine Awards, and “Ensemble Album of the Year” at the Classical Brits.
No less distinguished is Richard Goode, former co-Artistic Director of the Marlboro Music School and Festival and widely recognized as “one of the finest pianists in the world” (Washington Post). Goode returns to Caramoor for an intimate solo recital of Byrd, Bach, Beethoven, and Debussy. The New York Times observes, “It is virtually impossible to walk away from one of Mr. Goode’s recitals without the sense of having gained some new insight, subtle or otherwise, into the works he played or about pianism itself” (April 15).
The 2017-18 Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence is the Verona Quartet. Hailed by the New York Times as an “outstanding ensemble of young musicians,” in the three years since its founding, the group has already taken a top prize at the 2015 Concert Artists Guild Competition and appeared at venues including Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. For their Caramoor debut, the Veronas give a fall concert juxtaposing Beethoven and Ravel with Etude 2: Interactions and Lullaby 1: Pulsing, works written for them by Grawemeyer Award-winning composer Sebastian Currier (Nov 5). They recently premiered Currier’s quartets at New York’s Chelsea Music Festival, where their performance was selected as one of the week’s “eight best classical music moments” (New York Times). The Verona Quartet returns to the Music Room next spring for a program of Beethoven, Brahms, and Shostakovich (April 29), highlighting a yearlong residency that, in addition to multiple performances, sees them provide classroom-based instruction and clinics in Caramoor’s outstanding educational outreach program.
Violinist Colin Jacobsen and violist Nicholas Cords, two of the founding members of Brooklyn Rider, the genre-defying, game-changing group that has been credited with “recreating the 300-year-old form of string quartet as a vital and creative 21st-century ensemble” (NPR) join cellist Edward Arron in the spring for an all-Baroque program. Jacobsen – “one of the most interesting figures on the classical music scene” (Washington Post) – plays Biber’s Passacaglia for solo violin, before joining Cords and Caramoor favorite Arron for Bach’s Goldberg Variations, as transcribed for string trio by violinist Dmitry Sitkovetsky (March 29).
Arron and Cords are both alumni of Caramoor’s chamber mentorship program, Evnin Rising Stars, whose current young artists give a performance rounding out the fall/spring chamber offerings. The program’s Artistic Director, Avery Fisher Prize-winning violinist Pamela Frank, joins fellow distinguished artists, violist Atar Arad and cellist Gary Hoffman, along with young artists Ben Baker, Eunice Kim, and In Mo Yang on violin; Sung Jin Lee and Zhanbo Zhang on viola; and Alexander Hersh and Coleman Itzkoff on cello for a pair of chamber concerts on October 28 and 29. The first concert pairs classics by Haydn and Mozart with 20th-century masterpieces by Prokofiev and Schoenberg (8pm) and the second comprises favorites by Haydn, Mendelssohn and Brahms (3pm).
Vocal music: TENET, Anthony Roth Costanzo, and the Schwab Vocal Rising Stars
Caramoor kicks off a trio of vocal events with the relaunch of its holiday concert tradition, when TENET – the “adventurous and excellent early music vocal ensemble” (New York Times) – makes its Caramoor debut with a program of traditional European Christmas music under the leadership of Artistic Director Jolle Greenleaf. Self-guided tours of the Rosen House will be available before the concert, along with seasonal treats (Dec 16).
Spring highlights include countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo, already a “bona-fide star” (New Yorker) of leading opera houses on both sides of the Atlantic, joining new-minted period ensemble Ruckus for Baroque cantatas by Scarlatti, Handel and Vivaldi. Composed of Baroque specialists, the ensemble completes the program with instrumental works by Couperin, St. Colombe, and Marais (April 22).
Finally, in a creatively curated showcase for the emerging young singers of Caramoor’s Schwab Vocal Rising Stars young artist program, led by Artistic Director Steven Blier, “From Lute Songs to the Beatles: Songs of the British Isles” will take the audience on a time-traveling tour of British song (March 11).
Jazz: Bria Skonberg and Wycliffe Gordon
Now entering the fourth season of their partnership, Caramoor presents two Fall–Spring events in collaboration with the world-renowned Jazz at Lincoln Center. Fall brings the return of Canadian singer, trumpeter, and songwriter Bria Skonberg, following her appearance at Caramoor’s all-day 2016 summer Jazz Festival. Skonberg recently made her album debut with BRIA, winning JUNO’s 2017 “Vocal Jazz Album of the Year.” As the New York Times notes, she “has become the shining hope of hot jazz, on the strength of a clarion trumpet style indebted to Louis Armstrong, a smooth purr of a singing voice inspired by Anita O’Day and the wholesome glow of youth” (Nov 4).
Spring marks the return of the legendary Wycliffe Gordon and His International All-Stars (April 14). Not only “one of music’s great trombonists” (New York Times), but a highly respected composer, conductor, arranger, and educator as well, Gordon is a four-time DownBeat Critics’ Poll “Best Trombone” winner, nine-time Jazz Journalists Association “Trombonist of the Year,” and a former veteran member of the Wynton Marsalis Septet and Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. Indeed, Marsalis says, “just his presence is a creative experience.”
Roots: Noam Pikelny and Richard Thompson
The first of two fall roots events at Caramoor brings the return of banjoist Noam Pikelny (Oct 21), last seen at Caramoor in company with Chris Thile and the other Punch Brothers, the celebrated bluegrass outfit of which Pikelny is a founding member. In this concert, Pikelny plays solo banjo and guitar, and will perform in many styles and musical genres. A three-time Grammy nominee and winner of the first annual Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass, even “in a genre filled with top-notch pickers, Pikelny is a truly stunning instrumentalist, mixing the three-fingered attack of Earl Scruggs with the rule-breaking, all-genres-welcome attitude of Bela Fleck” (Rolling Stone magazine).
Folk legend Richard Thompson returns to Caramoor for a special solo Roots Benefit this fall (Dec 2). Named one of the top 20 guitarists of all time by Rolling Stone, and the recipient of Lifetime Achievement Awards for Songwriting on both sides of the Atlantic, Thompson is one of the world’s most acclaimed and prolific songwriters. An early pioneer of British folk rock, his prodigious body of work includes more than 40 albums, myriad Grammy nominations, and an impressive touring history that features collaborations with Emmylou Harris and Bob Dylan. The Los Angeles Times calls him “the finest rock songwriter after Dylan and the best electric guitarist since Hendrix,” while WFUV explains:
“As an artist, Richard Thompson is a triple threat: an accomplished lyricist, composer, and guitarist. Add his singularly distinctive singing voice and it’s clear that over a 48-year career, Thompson has created a totally unique sound that sets him apart from his peers.”
Cabaret: Mandy Gonzalez
In cabaret, Caramoor presents Obie Award-winner Mandy Gonzalez (May 5), best known for her starring roles in two Tony Award-winning hit Broadway shows by Lin-Manuel Miranda: In the Heights and, most recently, Hamilton. Besides additional Broadway roles in Wicked, Aida, and Lennon, Gonzalez is also familiar from TV’s Quantico (ABC) and Madam Secretary (CBS), and her feature film appearances in After, Man on a Ledge, and Julie Taymor’s Across the Universe.
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. In the fall and winter, concerts are presented in the magnificent Music Room in the Rosen House, an intimate setting with a maximum capacity of 160. Tours of the Rosen House are available by appointment Monday to Friday. In summer, concerts take place in two outdoor theaters: the acoustically superb Venetian Theater, which seats approximately 1,500, and the romantic Spanish Courtyard, which seats around 470. Caramoor’s gardens, also used for concerts and sound art exhibitions, are well worth the visit and include nine unique perennial gardens. Among them are a Sense Circle for the visually impaired, the Sunken Garden, a Butterfly Garden, the Tapestry Hedge, and the Iris and Peony Garden.
Getting to Caramoor
Getting to Caramoor is simple by car, train or public transportation. All parking is free and close to the performance areas. Handicapped parking is also free and readily available.
By car from New York City, take the Henry Hudson Parkway north to the Saw Mill River Parkway north to I-684 north to Exit 6. Go east on Route 35 to the traffic light (0.3 miles). Turn right onto Route 22 south, and travel 1.9 miles to the junction of Girdle Ridge Road where there is a green Caramoor sign. At the junction, veer left and make a quick right onto Girdle Ridge Road. Continue on Girdle Ridge Road 0.5 miles to the Caramoor gates on the right. Approximate drive time is one hour.
By train from Grand Central Station, take the Harlem Division Line of the Metro-North Railroad heading to Southeast, and exit at Katonah. Caramoor is a 3.5-mile drive from the Katonah station, where taxi service is always available. For current information, check the Metro-North schedule.
Caramoor: 2017-18 fall-spring season in the Rosen House Music Room
Sep 6, 13, 20
Wednesday Morning ConcertOct 15
HAYDN: String Quartet Op. 76, No. 5 [or No. 2, TBA]
SHOSTAKOVICH: String Quartet No. 11 in F minor, Op. 122
BRAHMS: String Quartet in B-flat, Op. 67
Noam Pikelny, banjo
Roots Music in the Music RoomOct 28 & Oct 29
Evnin Rising Stars
(Distinguished Artists: Pamela Frank, violin; Atar Arad, viola; Gary Hoffman, cello
Evnin Rising Stars: Ben Baker, Eunice Kim, and In Mo Yang, violins; Sung Jin Lee and Zhanbo Zhang, violas; Alexander Hersh and Coleman Itzkoff, cellos)
Chamber recital (8pm):
HAYDN: String Quartet TBA
MOZART: String Quartet No. 20 in D, K. 499
PROKOFIEV: Toccata (arrangement by Atar Arad)
SCHOENBERG: Verklärte Nacht
Chamber recital (3pm):
HAYDN: String Quartet TBA
MENDELSSOHHN: String Quartet in E minor, Op. 44, No. 2
BRAHMS: Viola Quintet in F, Op. 88
RAVEL: String Quartet in F
SEBASTIAN CURRIER: Etude 2: Interactions and Lullaby 1: Pulsing (2017)
BEETHOVEN: String Quartet in E minor, Op. 59, No. 2, “Razumovsky”
Dec 6-10, 13, 14
Holiday Tea MusicalesDec 16
TENET / Jolle Greenleaf, artistic director
TRADITIONAL FRENCH: Veni, veni Emmanuel
TRADITIONAL ENGLISH: Angelus ad Virginem
PARRY: Welcome Yule
TRADITIONAL ENGLISH: Sussex Carol
WARLOCK: Bethlehem Down
Arr. DAVIES: The holly and the ivy
DERING: Ave Virgo Gloriosa
LAURENCINI OF ROME: A fantasy
HASSLER: Cantate Domino
Arr. WILLCOCKS: The Infant King
LAWSON: Lullay my liking
TRADITINAL FRENCH: Un flambeau, Jeannette, Isabelle
TRADITIONAL ITALIAN: Tu scendi dalle stelle
ANONYMOUS: A Toye
TRADITIONAL IRISH: Irish Carol
HOWELLS: Here is the little door
Arr. STAINER: What child is this
TRADITIONAL ENGLISH: The old year now has fled awayDec 17
Santa Visits the Rosen HouseMarch 11
Schwab Vocal Rising Stars / Steven Blier, Artistic Director
“From Lute Songs to the Beatles: Songs of the British Isles”
Colin Jacobsen, violin; Nicholas Cords, viola; Edward Arron, cello
BIBER: Passacaglia in G minor for Solo Violin, C. 105
BACH: Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 (transcribed for string trio by Dmitry Sitkovetsky)
Richard Goode, piano
BYRD: 2 Pavians and Galliardes from My Ladye Nevells Booke
BACH: English Suite No. 6 in D minor
BEETHOVEN: Piano Sonata No. 28 in A, Op. 101
DEBUSSY: Préludes, Book II
Anthony Roth Costanzo, countertenor; Ruckus
Cantatas by SCARLATTI, HANDEL and VIVALDI
Instrumental works by COUPERIN, ST. COLOMBE and MARAIS
BEETHOVEN: String Quartet, Op. 18, No. 4
SHOSTAKOVICH: String Quartet No. 3
BRAHMS: String Quartet in A minor [or C minor, TBA]
“The Mind and Music of Leonard Bernstein”
Lecture & Concert by Richard Kogan, MD