Caramoor announces seven weeks of music and more this summer

Summer Season Announcement


Caramoor Logo

For further information: Glenn Petry, 21C Media Group

Complementary Mix of Adventurous and Traditional Programming Animates Caramoor’s Revitalized 73rd Summer Season (June 16-July 29)

February 5, 2018

Spring is already in the air at Caramoor, as Westchester’s bucolic cultural mecca looks forward to its 73rd summer season (June 16-July 29), laying the groundwork for a revitalized future in 2018 even while continuing to present many audience favorites. Seven weeks of summer programming for all ages, presented in an idyllic pastoral setting made for musical performance, comprise Baroque and Classical opera, new music from 22 living composers including two world premieres, orchestral concerts, chamber music, day-long Jazz and American Roots festivals, world music, increased family programming, and an ongoing commitment to sound artwork dispersed throughout Caramoor’s 90-acre estate. The resident Orchestra of St. Luke’s opens and closes the festival with concerts featuring superstar vocalists Audra McDonald and Susan Graham, plus a mid-summer performance of Tchaikovsky, Smetana, and a New York premiere by Matthew Aucoin. Metropolitan Opera star Isabel Leonard gives an intimate recital with guitarist Sharon Isbin, both of them in their Caramoor debuts, and San Francisco’s peerless vocal ensemble Chanticleer sings a centuries-spanning performance in celebration of its 40th anniversary season. New music abounds at Caramoor all summer: iconic new-music ensembles Kronos Quartet, Sō Percussion, and The Knights will all be on hand, and John Luther Adams‘s monumental out-of-doors percussion piece Inuksuit, featuring 60+ musicians, will be the highlight of a free day of events taking place throughout the grounds. Operatic offerings this summer include a production of Handel’s Atalanta featuring San Francisco’s Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, and a special Sunken Garden production of Mozart’s The Secret Gardener. Susan Graham’s closing program with OSL also features Handel and Mozart arias, and Cleveland Baroque orchestra Apollo’s Fire completes the early music roster. The Verona Quartet serves as the 2017-18 Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence, premiering a Caramoor commission from composer Julia Adolphe; the Jasper and Brentano Quartets, Caramoor’s second annual Chamber Feast, and solo piano recitals from Marc-André Hamelin and Michael Brown round out the chamber offerings. Broadway music director Ted Sperling leads an all-Bernstein program called “Bernstein’s Broadway” to celebrate the composer’s centennial, featuring Broadway stars Alysha Umphress, Mikaela Bennett, Bryce Pinkham, and Ben Davis. Preeminent jazz vocalist Dianne Reeves headlines the annual Caramoor Jazz Festival, with an additional performance by the Joey Alexander Trio. Singer/songwriter Aimee Mann, in her Caramoor debut, headlines the annual American Roots Music Festival, and another Roots concert features the return to Caramoor of Americana supergroup I’m With Her, with Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz, and Aoife O’Donovan. Beninese singer-songwriter and activist Angélique Kidjo and South African guitarist Derek Gripper bring a touch of world music to the summer lineup.

Family-friendly Dancing at Dusk celebrates its tenth anniversary this summer with the return of three audience favorites from past programs, while Caramoor’s expanded family offerings also include a family concert with The Knights on June 17; an interactive children’s percussion activity during the free day of events on July 1 that culminates with Inuksuit; the “Pops, Patriots, and Fireworks” concert on July 4; and a “Bridge to Broadway” family concert on July 14. Caramoor’s 90-acre estate in Katonah, Westchester, filled with sound art, picturesque Italianate architecture, and gardens, all just one hour’s drive from Manhattan, gives day-trippers the perfect pastoral escape from the city, in what the New York Times dubs “bucolic, picnic-friendly settings with a programming philosophy that balances hedonism and exploration.

Discussing the approach to her first summer at the helm of programming, Kathy Schuman, Vice President, Artistic Programming & Executive Producer says,

“What really made an impression on me at Caramoor is how live music and our very special setting come together in such a unique way and elevate the concert experience beyond what is expected. In planning this summer, I wanted to take full advantage of our beautiful gardens by including more site-specific outdoor work and very special one-off events like the free Inuksuit, which I hope will attract some curious audiences who may never have ventured onto our grounds. I also wanted to expand our already broad offerings to include more new music, early music, and world music, and invite some fantastic artists who have never performed here. While we always love to welcome back favorites, I want to make sure we’re staying current and keeping up with today’s most exciting musicians and composers. It’s my fervent hope that everyone will find something to enjoy at Caramoor this summer.”

Caramoor CEO Jeffrey Haydon remarks:

“As our new Vice President of Programming, Kathy Schuman has perfectly captured the artistic soul of Caramoor with her first summer program in 2018. Opera, jazz, orchestral, American Roots, chamber music, Broadway and the great American Songbook, sound art, and now world music all have a home at Caramoor. I am thrilled that we are offering even more music programs for the community and families to explore Caramoor’s magical gardens. Caramoor’s founders, Lucie and Walter Rosen, built their creative oasis over 75 years ago to give the public a place to pause, dream, and be inspired. This summer’s program realizes their vision that Caramoor would continue to grow and evolve beyond their lifetimes.”


A Season of Exceptional Women

Of special note this summer is the outstanding list of exceptional women from every corner of the musical landscape. Appropriate to a season bookended by artists of the caliber of Audra McDonald and Susan Graham, towering jazz vocalist and five-time Grammy winner Dianne Reeves headlines the annual Caramoor Jazz Festival, while Aimee Mann, one of NPR’s “10 Greatest Living Songwriters” for 2017, and recent Grammy winner, is the featured evening performer in the annual American Roots Music Festival. Three young women who can already be described as veterans of the Americana scene, Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz, and Aoife O’Donovan, return to Caramoor, playing together as I’m With Her. Lauded mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard joins guitarist Sharon Isbin — “the pre-eminent guitarist of our time” (Boston Magazine) — for an intimate duo performance, and Angélique Kidjo, named one of The Guardian‘s “Top 100 Most Inspiring Women in the World” in 2011, represents the world music corner of the lineup. And among many other outstanding female performers and composers represented in this season’s programming, Julia Adolphe — “a gifted American composer whose artistry is turning heads around the country” (Cincinnati Enquirer) — will have the world premiere of her Caramoor-commissioned string quartet played by the Verona Quartet, this season’s Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence.


Handel’s Atalanta & Mozart’s The Secret Gardener; Leonard/Isbin recital; McDonald, Graham, and Beilman with OSL

Caramoor has a distinguished history of opera programming stretching back to the 1950s. Many 20th-century works, as well as Baroque and Classical rarities including Mozart’s The Abduction from the Seraglio, Monteverdi’s Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda, and Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, were presented in early seasons, while the tenure of conductor Julius Rudel, Caramoor’s Music Director from 1962 to 1976, was highlighted by the American premieres of two Britten masterpieces — Curlew River and The Burning Fiery Furnace — and the New York area premieres of Orff’s Die Kluge and Henze’s El Cimarrón. Caramoor remains dedicated to continuing that proud legacy this season as it transitions from the “Bel Canto at Caramoor” series that ended last summer. On July 22, San Francisco’s period instrument Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra led by conductor Nicholas McGegan present a concert performance of Handel’s Atalanta in the Venetian Theater. McGegan, now in his 32nd year as Music Director of the Orchestra, is renowned for his expertise in this repertoire, having conducted a dozen Handel oratorios and close to twenty of his operas. Cast members for Atalanta include “luminous soprano” Sherezade Panthaki (New York Times); soprano Amy Freston, who sings on the Philharmonia Baroque recording of Handel’s Teseo; “rich chocolate” mezzo-soprano Cécile van de Sant (San Francisco Chronicle); tenor Isaiah Bell, featured in Mark Morris’s recent Curlew River/Dido and Aeneas at BAM; baritone Philip Cutlip, who appears on Philharmonia Baroque’s 2016 recording of Atalanta; and bass-baritone Davóne Tines, who recently appeared in the premiere of John Adams’s Girls of the Golden West. New York City-based early music ensemble TENET rounds out the forces, and the concert will be preceded by a lecture by noted Handel scholar Ellen T. Harris. Prior to that, on July 13, New York’s On Site Opera performs an adaptation of Mozart’s The Secret Gardener (La finta giardiniera), first presented in a community garden on the Upper West Side of Manhattan last spring. Period instrument ensemble Grand Harmonie under the direction of Geoffrey McDonald joins a stellar cast of vocalists for the fully-staged production, including Bel Canto Young Artist alums Ashley Kerr, Kristin Gornstein, and Jorell Williams. Sung in English in a translation by Kelley Rourke, and directed by Eric Einhorn, the opera will be performed in the Sunken Garden.

Caramoor also presents two other outstanding operatic voices this summer. Metropolitan Opera regular mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard — whose maternal heritage is Argentinean — sings an intimate recital on June 28 in the Spanish Courtyard with guitarist Sharon Isbin, featuring music of Lorca, Granados, Rodrigo, Montsalvatge, Tarrega, and de Falla. Both are making their Caramoor debuts. The duo scored a 2018 Grammy nomination for their recent album Alma Española, from which the program is drawn, and which the Philadelphia Enquirer praised as containing “feasts of beautifully sculpted phrases … glimpses of heaven.” And beloved mezzo-soprano Susan Graham closes the season with the OSL in a program of Mozart and Handel arias (July 29). Long noted as stellar Handel interpreter, Graham’s “warm, seductive sound” earned her high praise from San Francisco Classical Voice after a 2011 performance of Xerxes; likewise, when she sang an all-Handel concert under Nicholas McGegan at the Hollywood Bowl in 2016, the conductor was quoted in the program notes as saying: “We settled on Handel for this summer once we confirmed that Susan Graham was available.” This final program of Caramoor’s season is led by Bernard Labadie, Principal Conductor Designate of Orchestra of St Luke’s and a specialist in this repertoire.

The Orchestra of St. Luke’s — “one of the most versatile and galvanic ensembles in the U.S.” (WQXR) — opens the season as well, joining Broadway star Audra McDonald for an eclectic mix of standards and songs by contemporary songwriters. A versatile vocalist and actor whose every role leaves critics grasping for new superlatives, McDonald is the winner of an unprecedented six Tony Awards, two Grammys, and an Emmy. Conducting the opening concert is Andy Einhorn, who is currently the Music Supervisor and Music Director for the Broadway production of Hello Dolly!, and who has been McDonald’s music director and pianist since 2011. For the fifth consecutive year, Caramoor partners with WQXR, New York City’s only all-classical music station, to broadcast its opening-night gala, live on Classical 105.9 WQXR, Classical 90.3 FM Ossining, and streamed at

The OSL performs one more concert on June 30. French conductor Ludovic Morlot, who has been Music Director of the Seattle Symphony since 2011, makes his debut with the orchestra in a program of Tchaikovsky, Smetana, and the New York premiere of Matthew Aucoin’s Evidence, the composer’s only purely orchestral composition to date. Violinist Benjamin Beilman — “a prodigious artist, who combines the gift of utmost sound perfection and a deep, delicate, intense, simmering sensitivity” (Le Monde), and an alumnus of Caramoor’s Evnin Rising Stars program — joins Morlot and the orchestra for Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D.


New Music: Sō Percussion, John Luther Adams’s Inuksuit, Kronos Quartet, The Knights, Chanticleer

Caramoor weaves a substantial amount of new music into the festival this season. The four-man percussion band Sō Percussion, lauded by the New Yorker for its “exhilarating blend of precision and anarchy, rigor and bedlam,” performs in the Venetian Theater on June 22, presenting a world premiere by Vijay Iyer, music by ensemble member Jason Treuting, a composition from Pulitzer Prize-winner Caroline Shaw the group premiered in 2012, and works by John Cage, Steve Reich, and Paul Lansky. John Luther Adams‘s monumental Inuksuit — called by the New Yorker‘s Alex Ross “one of the most rapturous experiences of my listening life” — will also be performed this summer, as the centerpiece of a special day of free events at Caramoor featuring a sound art panel discussion, an interactive children’s percussion activity, and more throughout the grounds. Scored for 9 to 99 percussionists widely dispersed in an outdoor area, Inuksuit will be performed on this occasion by 60+ musicians. They will be led by Doug Perkins, who produced the Cantaloupe Records CD of the work with a group of 32 in a forest in Guilford, Vermont, and who has directed numerous other performances of the piece around the world.

The pioneering Kronos Quartet makes its long-overdue Caramoor debut June 29, combining music by minimalist pioneers Steve Reich and Terry Riley with arrangements of songs ranging from George Gershwin and Charles Mingus to Laurie Anderson and Rhiannon Giddens, who co-headlined last season’s American Roots Music Festival. On June 17, groundbreaking orchestral collective The Knights, following a family concert that same afternoon, also features a prominent compositional voice in contemporary percussion music as lauded steel pan player Andy Akiho performs his own Fantasy for Steel Pans and Orchestra. The Knights’ program also includes Late Romantic and Impressionist French music by Fauré and Ravel, Bernstein‘s Three Dance Episodes from On the Town, and Judd Greenstein‘s Flute Concerto, written for and performed by Knights member Alex Sopp. Further new music this summer includes a Caramoor-commissioned world premiere by Julia Adolphe performed by the Verona Quartet, Caramoor’s 2017-18 Ernst Stiefel Quartet-in-Residence; the New York premiere of Matthew Aucoin‘s Evidence played by the OSL, and string quartets by Missy Mazzoli and Ted Hearne, performed by the Jasper String Quartet.

Three-time Grammy-winning vocal group Chanticleer — “the world’s reigning male chorus” (New Yorker) — celebrates its 40th anniversary with a Spanish Courtyard performance this summer, singing works that range from Palestrina to the present. Another New York premiere by Matthew Aucoin is on the program, along with contemporary works including Steven Stucky’s Whispers, Chen Yi’s Excerpt from the Path of Beauty, and Jackson Hill’s In Winter’s Keeping, and a selection of traditional, standard, and jazz works drawn from the group’s extensive and eclectic repertoire.


Early Music: Apollo’s Fire, Philharmonia Baroque, Susan Graham

Cleveland Baroque orchestra Apollo’s Fire makes its Caramoor debut June 24, with a program of J.S. Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, and Uccellini. Founded and led by harpsichordist and Cleveland Arts Prize-winner Jeannette Sorrell, the group played to sold-out houses last summer at both the Tanglewood and Ravinia festivals. The Boston Globe described the ensemble’s enduringly appealing sound as “early-music straight-tone point-polished to a ravishing, satiny gloss.”

The music of George Frideric Handel is especially prominent in this season’s programming, not only in the Philharmonia Baroque performance of Atalanta conducted by Nicholas McGegan, “a consummate master of this style” (San Francisco Chronicle), but also in Susan Graham‘s season-ending concert with the OSL. On a program that also includes arias from Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro and La clemenza di Tito, she performs the Handel arias “Dopo notte” and “Scherza infida” from Ariodante, and “Stà nell’ircana pietrosa tana” from Alcina, an opera she recorded with William Christie in 2000, earning high marks from Gramophone for her “exquisitely silky, almost sultry phrasing.”


Brentano, Jasper and Verona Quartets; Second Annual Chamber Feast; Pianists Marc-André Hamelin and Michael Brown

In the lovely acoustics and intimate setting of Caramoor’s Spanish Courtyard, the Brentano Quartet is joined by clarinetist Todd Palmer on July 20 for the Brahms Clarinet Quintet in B minor, on a program that also includes selected arrangements of madrigals by Renaissance experimental harmonist Gesualdo, and Beethoven’s Quartet No. 4 in C minor, Op. 18, No. 4.

Caramoor is justly celebrated for nurturing young talent and offering sterling follow-up support, through young artist programs that include the Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence, Evnin Rising Stars, and Schwab Vocal Rising Stars. On July 6 the Jasper String Quartet, formerly incumbent as the Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence (2009-11), performs Mendelssohn and Beethoven to bookend works by two contemporary composers: Missy Mazzoli, best known for the recent triumphant debut of her opera Breaking the Waves at Philadelphia Opera, and Ted Hearne, also known for theatrical vocal compositions as well as instrumental music and characterized as a “panstylistic provocateur” by Opera News. This year’s Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence is the Verona Quartet. Praised by the New York Times as “cohesive yet full of temperament … vibrant, intelligent,” the quartet will give a concert on June 21 that includes a Caramoor-commissioned world premiere by Julia Adolphe. Testifying to a deep-seated commitment to the creation of new work, in 2000 Caramoor inaugurated “String Quartet Library for the 21st Century,” an initiative for which it has commissioned 19 new compositions to date, Adolphe’s being the 19th. The performance caps a yearlong residency that also sees the Verona Quartet give classroom-based instruction and performance clinics in Caramoor’s educational outreach program, as well as recitals in Caramoor’s fall and spring seasons.

A host of alumni from Caramoor’s young artist programs also perform throughout the season. In addition to the Tchaikovsky violin concerto performance by Evnin Rising Stars alum Benjamin Beilman, Bel Canto Young Artist alums Ashley Kerr, Kristin Gornstein, and Jorrell Williams are all performing in On Site Opera’s production of Mozart’s The Secret Gardener. Soprano Meredith Lustig and tenor Miles Mykkanen, both alumni of the Schwab Vocal Rising Stars program, are the guest soloists for the July 4 “Pops, Patriots, and Fireworks” concert, and Caramoor’s 2nd Annual Chamber Feast on July 15 features an entire roster of string players who are Evnin Rising Stars alums. Led by Caramoor favorite Pamela Frank on violin, they are violinists Alexi Kenney and Jesse Mills; violists Ayane Kozasa and Vicki Powell; and cellists Oliver Herbert and Karen Ouzounian. They are joined by Moran Katz on clarinet and Israeli pianist Roman Rabinovich for works by Mozart, Bartók, and Dvořák. This last concert is by way of a follow-up to last season’s “A Chamber Feast in Three Courses,” which paid tribute to the 25-year tenure of Caramoor’s then-retiring Managing Director Paul Rosenblum. Prior to the 4pm Chamber Feast performance, at 2pm that same afternoon musicians from the National Youth Orchestra of the USA and NYO2 will be performing free chamber music around the Caramoor grounds.

Other chamber music offerings this season include solo piano recitals by Marc-André Hamelin, “an ideal interpreter” with “preternatural clarity and control” (New York Times), making his Caramoor debut with a program of Schubert and Schumann (July 8); and Michael Brown, who leads with a Haydn Fantasia before performing a work by twentieth-century composer Nicolai Medtner, Bernstein’s Four Movements from West Side Story, Copland’s El salón México as arranged by Bernstein, and his own Bernstein tribute 100 Chords for Leonard Bernstein (July 12).


Jazz: Dianne Reeves headlines all-day Jazz Festival; Joey Alexander Trio

The annual Caramoor Jazz Festival is now in the fourth year of its groundbreaking partnership with Jazz at Lincoln Center, and this year’s headliner is the inimitable vocalist Dianne Reeves, who made Grammy history by receiving the “Best Jazz Vocal Performance” award for three consecutive recordings. Her most recent album, Beautiful Life, won the 2015 Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album, melding R&B, Latin and pop elements within the framework of 21st-century jazz. Joining Reeves at Caramoor are pianist Peter Martin, who performed on and arranged Reeves’s Grammy-winning album A Little Moonlight; double bassist Reginald Veal, a protégé of famed jazz patriarch Ellis Marsalis, collaborator with his sons Wynton and Branford, and veteran of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra; drummer Terri Lyne Carrington, who has collaborated with bassist Christian McBride and the Latin fusion band Yerba Buena, among others; and Brazilian jazz guitarist Romero Lubambo, who in his long career has worked with a roster of jazz celebrities from Herbie Mann to Michael Brecker to Flora Purim.

Daytime Jazz Festival artists announced so far include the Benny Green Trio with special guest Veronica Swift, Jane Bunnett and Maqueque, Shenel Johns and Vuyo Sotashe, Ulysses Owens, Jr., Leonardo Sandoval and Eduardo Belo, Paul Nedzela Quartet, Patrick Bartley, Mariel Bildsten Septet, and Joel Ross and Immanuel Wilkins.

An additional collaboration with Jazz at Lincoln Center this season features the Joey Alexander Trio on July 27; Alexander first appeared at Caramoor in 2015, the year after his first appearance with Jazz at Lincoln Center, and his debut album that same year earned two Grammy nominations. Reviewing a performance in Houston last year, the Houston Chronicle declared that hearing Alexander perform was “like being in the same room as history.”


American Roots and World Music: Aimee Mann headlines all-day American Roots Music Festival; I’m With Her; Vocalist Angélique Kidjo; Guitarist Derek Gripper

Caramoor’s American Roots Music Festival returns with a full day of music spanning the spectrum of bluegrass, blues, country, and folk and taking place throughout the idyllic 90-acre Caramoor estate. Headlining this summer’s festival is singer/songwriter Aimee Mann, one of NPR’s “10 Greatest Living Songwriters” for 2017. Britain’s Independent characterized her 2012 album Charmer as “another sweet viper’s bite of post-Freudian dyspepsia from the singer-songwriter who loves to mistrust,” and of her recent 2017 release Mental Illness, Mann half-jokes about writing “the saddest, slowest, most acoustic, if-they’re-all-waltzes-so-be-it record I could.” But Pitchfork, in line with her cross-generational fan base, has no reservations, lauding the new album as “Aimee Mann’s quintessential statement, tempering the discord of life with elegant chamber folk.”

Opening for Aimee Mann’s evening performance is Valerie June, said by the Los Angeles Times to be “armed with a voice that can slip into the drawling, sandy-edged tributaries of Southern R&B or the creaky folk-blues of Karen Dalton, and her music defies easy categorization.” Halfway through last year, Rolling Stone declared her album The Order of Time to be among the best 50 albums of the year thus far, calling it “near perfect front to back.” Daytime artists announced so far include champions of blues and soul the Alexis P. Suter Band, Seattle folk/blues duo en Hunter and Joe Seamons, and diverse acoustic sextet Night Tree.

Returning to Caramoor for a rare appearance in the intimate Spanish Courtyard is Americana supergroup, I’m With Her, featuring Sara Watkins, a multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter who got her start at 17 playing with her brother Sean and mandolinist Chris Thile in the progressive bluegrass band Nickel Creek; 2016 two-time Grammy winner Sarah Jarosz, who co-headlined last year’s American Roots Festival, and Aoife O’Donovan, a founding member of the bluegrass band Crooked Still who is also the featured singer on 2013’s Grammy-winning The Goat Rodeo Sessions, recorded by Yo-Yo Ma and Chris Thile with bassist Edgar Meyer and fiddler Stuart Duncan. I’m With Her’s debut album, See You Around, will be released February 18. Formed after an impromptu show in 2014 at the Sheridan Opera House in Telluride, CO, the trio toured the world together — including a stop at Caramoor — the following year, garnering acclaim for their unique blend of instrumental interplay combined with their indelible harmonies, as the New York Times describes, “… that could be sweetly ethereal, or as tightly in tandem as country sibling teams like the Everly Brothers, or as hearty as mountain gospel.”

Grammy-winning Beninese singer-songwriter and activist Angélique Kidjo, who toured in recent years with Dianne Reeves in a celebration of the music of Nina Simone called “Sing the Truth,” gives a performance in the Venetian Theater July 28. Named one of The Guardian‘s “Top 100 Most Inspiring Women in the World” in 2011, Kidjo has also collaborated with a roster of musicians that run the gamut from pop to jazz to contemporary classical including Dave Matthews, Peter Gabriel, Herbie Hancock, and Philip Glass. Finally, South African guitarist Derek Gripper plays this summer’s Guitar in the Garden recital on July 19. Gripper’s ninth album consists of transcriptions for guitar of West African kora compositions by Toumani Diabaté, the improbability of which caused the composer himself to question whether it was just one person playing one guitar, and his latest, tenth release, due out in February, is of transcribed Bach violin concertos. Both Diabaté and Bach are on the program, along with works by kora master Ballaké Sissoko, South African composer and traditional instrument expert Madosini, and Brazilian composer Egberto Gismonti.


Family programming: Pops, Patriots, and Fireworks; Bridge to Broadway; Dancing at Dusk 10th Anniversary Season

A highlight of Caramoor’s family-friendly offerings, Dancing at Dusk turns 10 this summer, celebrating the milestone with the return of past favorites Reena Shah, exploring Indian dance traditions; Hammerstep, an Irish/hip-hop hybrid; and the Afro-Brazilian company Grupo Ribeiro. Dancing at Dusk takes place on the spacious lawn of Friends Field, where guests are treated to music forms from around the globe and invited to watch and learn the distinctive dance traditions that accompany them (June 27; July 18 & 25).

Celebrating Independence Day in style, audience favorites Curt Ebersole and his 60-piece Westchester Symphonic Winds offer a family-friendly event steeped in American heritage, with guest vocalists-and Schwab Vocal Rising Stars alums — soprano Meredith Lustig and tenor Miles Mykkanen. A medley from Bernstein’s West Side Story, commissioned from arranger Matt Podd, who has arranged medleys for this event for four seasons, will be on the program to celebrate the composer’s centennial. The evening’s festivities conclude with fireworks to celebrate the patriotic holiday (July 4).

Other family programming this summer includes an afternoon concert by The Knights on June 17, a special interactive children’s activity on the day of the Inuksuit performance July 1, and the “Bridge to Broadway” family concert on July 14 in the Spanish Courtyard. Hosted by violinist and teaching artist Katie Kresek, with soprano Natalie Bergeron and baritone Steven Herring accompanied by Beata Moon on the piano, the program allows families to experience the evolution of musical story-telling with colorful characters and interactive musical games.


Pre-Concert Talks Expanded This Season

One of Caramoor’s efforts this season is to expand the number of pre-concert talks given in conjunction with a wide variety of performances. Taking place an hour before the performance, talks will precede the Sō Percussion performance on June 22, Apollo’s Fire on June 24, Kronos Quartet on June 29, the OSL concerts on June 30 and July 29, Inuksuit on July 1, and Atalanta on July 22.


Sonic Innovations

Building on the success of Caramoor’s sound-art exhibition In the Garden of Sonic Delights, last season’s summer festival continued with Sonic Innovations, featuring three new site-specific sound installation commissions. This year, again under the curatorship of Chicago-based sound artist and former Merce Cunningham sound engineer Stephan Moore, Sonic Innovations will continue to expand, with an eye toward establishing a permanent collection of outdoor sound art. This season’s exhibition includes Nafasi Yako Ni Ya Kijani (Your Place is Green) by 2008 MacArthur Fellow, instrument builder and graphic artist Walter Kitundu, and a new work by Paula Matthusen, who composes acoustic and electro-acoustic music in addition to her sound installations, and won the Elliott Carter Rome Prize in 2014. Ranjit Bhatnagar‘s Stone Song, a sound installation that came to Caramoor in 2014, will also continue its residency this summer. The three artists will participate in a sound art panel discussion moderated by Moore on July 1 in conjunction with the free performance of Inuksuit. Caramoor’s vision as a sound art destination dates from a specialized grant dedicated to that purpose in 2014, but it also makes for a fitting tribute to Lucie Rosen, who with her husband Walter shaped the Caramoor estate into a place for exploring sound, music, and art. Lucie was an enthusiast of the theremin and a patron of the Soviet scientist Leon Theremin who invented it; still considered an oddity in performance, the instrument is in perfect context as a premonition of contemporary sound sculpture. Sonic Innovations will be open to visitors all summer long.


Food + Drink Offerings

On performance days during the summer, spread a blanket on the lawn, reminisce with family and friends over a glass of wine at a picnic table, or set up your own table and chairs for the day – Caramoor has plenty of space. The Food + Drink Offerings during the Summer Season feature a variety of delicious, organic, and locally-sourced snacks and beverages provided by Great Performances catering and events company. The Katchkie Food Truck offers the mouth-watering Caramoor Burger and Treble Dog, and the Tap Tent has a wide range of snacks, water, soda, local wine and beer, coffee and tea, not to mention Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Caramoor Members enjoy 10% off at the Food + Drink selections and certain events like festival days feature special menus. For maximum convenience and to avoid the lines, Great Performances also offers pre-ordered picnic boxes in a variety of menus. Additionally, on July 22 and 29, a relaxed Symphony Court dining experience with seats under a tented pavilion is offered. Each buffet menu includes unlimited wine, beer, and soda, or you are welcome to bring your own. Menus for the picnics and Symphony Court are available online, and you can either order online or call the Box Office at 914.232.1252. Order by Tuesday at 4:00pm for the upcoming week’s performance.


About Caramoor

Caramoor believes that music opens hearts and minds, igniting curiosity and joy within ourselves and each other. Founded in 1945 by Walter and Lucie Rosen, Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts is a destination in the New York metro area for outstanding music, captivating educational programs, spectacular gardens and grounds, and valuable memories with friends and family … Audiences are invited to come early to explore the beautiful grounds; tour the historic Rosen House, a stunning mansion listed on the National Register of Historic Places; unwind with a pre-concert picnic or concessions with beer and wine; enjoy a delicious Afternoon Tea on Wednesdays and Sundays; and discover beautiful music in the relaxed settings of the Venetian Theater, Spanish Courtyard, Music Room of the Rosen House, and magnificent gardens. Summer concerts take place in two outdoor theaters: the acoustically superb Venetian Theater, which seats approximately 1,500, and the more intimate, romantic Spanish Courtyard, which seats around 470. In the fall and winter, concerts are presented in the splendid Music Room in the Rosen House. Caramoor’s gardens, also used for concerts and the sound exhibition Sonic Innovations, 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 and free shuttle service is available for most performances. For current information, check the Metro-North schedule.


Caramoor: 73rd summer music season

Week 1

June 16
Audra McDonald: Opening Night Concert

Venetian Theater
Audra McDonald, vocalist
Andy Einhorn, music director
Orchestra of St. Luke’s

June 17
Family Concert: The Knights

Venetian Theater

June 17
The Knights

Venetian Theater
The Knights
Eric Jacobsen, conductor
Andy Akiho, steel pans
Alex Sopp, flute
Ravel: Le tombeau de Couperin
Andy Akiho: Fantasy for Steel Pans and Orchestra
Fauré: Pavane, Op. 50
Judd Greenstein: Flute Concerto
Bernstein: Three Dance Episodes from On the Town

Week 2

June 21
Verona Quartet

Venetian Theater
Dvořák: Cypresses (selections)
Julia Adolphe: New work – world premiere (commissioned by Caramoor)
Janacek: String Quartet No. 2 “Intimate Letters”

June 22
Sō Percussion*

8pm, pre-concert talk at 7pm
Venetian Theater
Sō Percussion
Reich: Mallet Quartet
Paul Lansky: Springs
Jason Treuting: Mallet Quartet
Caroline Shaw: Taxidermy
Vijay Iyer: Mallet Quartet – world premiere
Cage: Third Construction

June 23
American Roots Music Festival

Various venues
The Alexis P. Suter Band
Ben Hunter and Joe Seamons
Night Tree
Other acts TBD

Evening performers: Aimee Mann*
With opening act Valerie June
Venetian Theater

June 24
Apollo’s Fire*

4pm, pre-concert talk at 3pm
Venetian Theater
Apollo’s Fire
Jeannette Sorrell, Artistic Director and harpsichord
Uccellini (Arr. Sorrell): Aria sopra “La Bergamasca”
Handel: Selections from Water Music
Bach: Concerto for Oboe and Violin in C minor, BWV 1060
Vivaldi: Concerto for Two Cellos in G minor, RV 531
Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D, BWV 1050
Handel: Il pastor fido: Terpsicore, HWV 8b: Chaconne
Vivaldi (Arr. Sorrell): Trio Sonata in D minor, RV 63 (Variations on La Folia)

Week 3

June 27
Dancing at Dusk: Reena Shah

Friends’ Field
Reena Shah
Dances from Bhangra to Bollywood, accompanied by Dhol, Indian flutes, and more

June 28
Isabel Leonard, mezzo-soprano* & Sharon Isbin, guitar*

Spanish Courtyard
Lorca (Trans. Isbin): “El café de Chinitas,” “Romance de Don Boyso,” and “Sevillanas del siglo XVIII” from Canciones españolas antiguas
Granados: Danza española No. 5 in E Minor, “Andaluza”
Rodrigo: Aranjuez ma pensée
Montsalvatge (Trans. Isbin): “Canción de cuña para dormir a un negrito” from Cinco canciones negras
Lorca (Arr. Torre/Trans. Isbin): “La tarara” from Canciones españolas antiguas
Tarrega: Capricho árabe
de Falla: Siete canciones populares españolas

June 29
Kronos Quartet*

8pm, pre-concert talk at 7pm
Spanish Courtyard
Traditional (Arr. Jacob Garchik, after Everly Brothers): The House of the Rising Sun
Gershwin (Arr. Jacob Garchik, after Janis Joplin): Summertime
Meeropol (Arr. Jacob Garchik, after Billie Holiday): Strange Fruit
Mingus (Arr. Sy Johnson): Children’s Hour of Dream
Wiley (Arr. Jacob Garchik): Last Kind Words
Terry Riley: Salome Dances for Peace: Good Medicine
Aleksandra Vrebalov: My Desert, My Rose
Rhiannon Giddens (Arr. Jacob Garchik): At the Purchaser’s Option with Variations
Laurie Anderson (Arr. Jacob Garchik): Flow
Steve Reich: Triple Quartet

June 30
Orchestra of St. Luke’s

8pm, pre-concert talk 7pm
Venetian Theater
Ludovic Morlot, conductor*
Benjamin Beilman, violin (ERS alum)
Smetana: Dance of the Comedians
Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto in D, Op. 35
Matthew Aucoin: Evidence — New York premiere
Tchaikovsky: Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture

July 1

4pm, free concert plus an afternoon of activities
Caramoor grounds
Directed by Doug Perkins
John Luther Adams: Inuksuit
1 pm sound art panel
2 pm Rhythm Rumpus (children’s activity)
3 pm pre-concert talk
4 pm Inuksuit

Week 4

July 4
Pops, Patriots, and Fireworks

Venetian Theater
Westchester Symphonic Winds/Curt Ebersole
Smith: The Star Spangled Banner (arr. Damrosch and Sousa)
Bernstein: Candide Overture (arr. Clare Grundman)
Willson: Selections from The Music Man (arr. Barton Green)
Markowski: Famishius Fantasticus
Fillmore: Americans We March (arr. Fennell)
Sheldon: Metroplex: Three Postcards from Manhattan
Bernstein: Selections from West Side Story (arr. Matt Podd; with VRS alums Meredith Lustig, soprano and Miles Mykkanen, tenor)
Ward: America the Beautiful (arr. Phillip Rothman)
Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture, Op. 49 (arr. Mayhew L. Lake)
Sousa: Stars and Stripes Forever (arr. Brion and Schissel)

July 6
Jasper String Quartet

Spanish Courtyard
Jasper String Quartet
Beethoven: String Quartet No 2 in G, Op. 18, No. 2
Ted Hearne: Law of Mosaics: 1. Excerpts from the middle of something
Missy Mazzoli: Death Valley Junction
Mendelssohn: String Quartet No. 4 in E minor, Op. 44, No. 2

July 7
I’m With Her

Spanish Courtyard
I’m With Her:
Sara Watkins
Sarah Jarosz
Aoife O’Donovan

July 8
Marc-André Hamelin, piano*

Venetian Theater
Schumann: Fantasy in C, Op. 17
Schubert: Piano Sonata in B-flat, D. 960

Week 5

July 12
Michael Brown, piano

Spanish Courtyard
Michael Brown, piano
Haydn: Fantasia in C, H.XVII:4, “Capriccio”
Medtner: Second Improvisation for Piano, Op. 47
Michael Brown: 100 Chords for Bernstein
Bernstein (Arr. Leo Smit): Four Movements from West Side Story
Copland (Arr. Bernstein): El salón México

July 13
Mozart’s The Secret Gardener

Sunken Garden
On Site Opera
Ashley Kerr, soprano (Sandrina)
Emalie Savoy, soprano (Arminda)
Katrina Galka (Serpetta)
Kristin Gornstein, mezzo-soprano (Ramiro)
Chad Johnson (Belfiore)
Michael Kuhn, tenor (Podesta)
Jorell Williams, baritone (Nardo)
Grand Harmonie
Geoffrey McDonald, conductor
Eric Einhorn, director
English translation & dialogue by Kelley Rourke
Beth Goldenberg, costume designer
Chamber Orchestration by Yoni Kahn & Thomas Carroll

July 14
Family Concert: Bridge to Broadway

Spanish Courtyard
Natalie Bergeron, soprano
Steven Herring, baritone
Beata Moon, piano
Katie Kresek, host

July 14
Bernstein’s Broadway

Venetian Theater
Ted Sperling, piano and host
Mikaela Bennett, vocalist
Alysha Umphress, vocalist
Bryce Pinkham, vocalist
Ben Davis, vocalist
Instrumentalists TBA
Bernstein: Songs from West Side Story, Candide, Wonderful Town, On the Town, Peter Pan and 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

July 15
Caramoor’s 2nd Annual Chamber Feast

Musicians from NYO-USA/NYO2 play chamber music throughout the grounds
Pamela Frank, violin
Alexi Kenney, violin (ERS alum)
Jesse Mills, violin (ERS alum)
Ayane Kozasa, viola (ERS alum)
Vicki Powell, viola (ERS alum)
Oliver Herbert, cello (ERS alum)
Karen Ouzounian, cello (ERS alum)
Moran Katz, clarinet
Roman Rabinovich, piano
Mozart: String Quintet in D, K. 593
Bartók: Contrasts, BB 116
Dvořák: String Sextet in A, Op. 48

Week 6

July 18
Dancing at Dusk: Hammerstep

Friends Field
Hammerstep with musical guest Deoro
Irish step, tap, hip-hop, break dance, African stepping, and martial arts

July 19
Derek Gripper, guitar*

Sunken Garden
Derek Gripper, guitar
Works by Toumani Diabaté, Ballaké Sissoko, Madosini, J.S. Bach and Egberto Gismonti

July 20
Brentano Quartet with Todd Palmer, Clarinet

Spanish Courtyard
Brentano Quartet
Todd Palmer, clarinet
Gesualdo: Madrigals (Selections TBD)
Beethoven: String Quartet No. 4 in C minor, Op. 18, No. 4
Brahms: Quintet for Clarinet and Strings in B minor, Op. 115

July 21
Jazz Festival Day
Presented in collaboration with Jazz at Lincoln Center

Various venues
Benny Green Trio with special guest Veronica Swift
Jane Bunnett and Maqueque
Shenel Johns and Vuyo Sotashe-A Revolutionary Friendship: The Music of Miriam Makeba and Nina Simone
Ulysses Owens, Jr. THREE
Leonardo Sandoval and Eduardo Belo
Paul Nedzela Quartet
Patrick Bartley Presents The Mighty Cannonball Adderley
Mariel Bildsten Septet
Joel Ross and Immanuel Wilkins.

Evening headliner: Dianne Reeves
Venetian Theater
Dianne Reeves, vocalist
Peter Martin, piano
Reginald Veal, double bass
Terri Lyne Carrington, drum set
Romero Lubambo, guitar

July 22
Handel’s Atalanta

4pm, pre-concert lecture at 3pm
Venetian Theater
Sherezade Panthaki, soprano (Atalanta)
Amy Freston, soprano (Meleagro)
Cécile van de Sant, mezzo soprano (Irene)
Isaiah Bell, tenor (Aminta)
Philip Cutlip, baritone (Nicandro)
Davóne Tines, bass-baritone (Mercurio)
Philharmonia Baroque
Nicholas McGegan, conductor

Week 7

July 25
Dancing at Dusk

Friends Field
Grupo Ribeiro
Brazilian dances from the Samba to the Capoeira and Maculele

July 26

Spanish Courtyard
40th Anniversary program.
Salazar: Magnificat a 6
Palestrina: Gaude gloriosa
Lassus: Surrexit pastor bonus
Gibbons: O clap your hands
Byrd: Ave verum corpus
Stucky: Whispers
Aucoin: Commission TBD (NY premiere)
Yi: Excerpt from The Path of Beauty
Hill: In Winter’s Keeping
Traditional Irish: Dúlamán
Ellington: Creole Love Call
Rodgers: My Romance
Berlin: Blue Skies
Spiritual: There is a Balm in Gilead
Alexander: Straight Street

July 27
Joey Alexander Trio
Presented in Collaboration with Jazz at Lincoln Center

Spanish Courtyard

July 28
Angélique Kidjo*

Venetian Theater
Angelique Kidjo, vocalist

July 29
Orchestra of St. Luke’s

4pm, pre-concert talk at 3pm
Venetian Theater
Orchestra of St. Luke’s
Bernard Labadie, Principal Conductor Designate
Susan Graham, mezzo soprano
Handel: Overture from Ariodante
Handel: “Dopo notte” from Ariodante
Handel: “Scherza infida” from Ariodante
Handel: Overture from Alcina
Handel: “Stà nell’ircana pietrosa tana” from Alcina
Mozart: Overture from Le nozze di Figaro
Mozart: “Non so più cosa son” from Le nozze di Figaro
Mozart: “Voi che sapete” from Le nozze di Figaro
Mozart: Symphony No. 36 in C, K. 425, “Linz”
Mozart: “Deh per questo istante” from La clemenza di Tito

* Caramoor debut

Arts Westchester

All concerts made possible, in part, by ArtsWestchester with funds from the Westchester County Government.



All concerts made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.


The 2018 Summer Music Festival is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

© 21C Media Group, February 2018


Your email address will not be published.