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For further information: Glenn Petry, 21C Media Group
For the final weekend of its 70th anniversary summer season, Caramoor presents two events featuring its 2015 Artist-in-Residence, incomparable French pianist Hélène Grimaud. A passionate Brahms interpreter known for her “fearless originality” (Los Angeles Times), Grimaud showcases music by the great German Romantic in a pair of summer performances at Caramoor’s historic Westchester estate. In a solo recital, she pairs Brahms’s Second Piano Sonata with her “inspired” (New York Times) program of water-themed music (July 31), and for the Festival Finale, she gives her signature account of his First Piano Concerto with Pablo Heras-Casado and the resident Orchestra of St. Luke’s, alongside their rendition of Tchaikovsky’s First Symphony, “Winter Dreams” (Aug 2).
“A fearless musician who inhabits even the most familiar repertoire with an unapologetically personal, deeply intuitive, sometimes impulsive presence” (San Francisco Classical Voice), Grimaud possesses a highly distinctive musical voice. Although the upcoming residency marks her first Caramoor appearance in a decade, her long association with the festival dates back to 1998, when she made her debut with a solo recital program that, like this summer’s, included the second Brahms piano sonata. She has moreover developed close ties with Caramoor’s Westchester neighborhood: an artist for whom conservation, like music, is one of the hallmarks of civilization, in 1999 she founded the Wolf Conservation Center (WCC) in South Salem, NY, just ten minutes’ drive from Caramoor.
Grimaud in solo recital
For her solo recital, Grimaud complements Brahms’s second sonata –with which she made her Caramoor debut 17 years ago – with an evocative collection of water-themed works that she recently toured to New York’s Park Avenue Armory and Europe. These range from Berio’s Wasserklavier and Takemitsu’s Rain Tree Sketch II to Albéniz’s Almeria and Debussy’s La cathédrale engloutie.
Described by the New Yorker as “a rubato artist, a reinventor of phrasings, a taker of chances,” Grimaud looks to transcend the conventions of the traditional recital, drawing on the unique setting of each performance to enhance her audience’s experience. In the superb acoustics of Caramoor’s picturesque open-air Venetian Theater, audience members will be provided with eye masks, which they are invited to use to deepen their listening experience. The performance will begin and end at the sound of a gong, and the stage will be lit in dark blue with a dim yellow light on Grimaud, as she seeks through music to evoke our essential elemental, liquid connection with life.
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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. Audiences are invited to come early to explore the beautiful grounds, tour the historic Rosen House and on special Sundays enjoy a delicious Afternoon Tea or unwind with a pre-concert picnic, and discover beautiful music in the relaxed settings of the Venetian Theater, Spanish Courtyard, Music Room of the Rosen House, and the magnificent gardens. Summer concerts take place in two outdoor theaters: the 1,508-seat, acoustically superb Venetian Theater and the more intimate, romantic 470-seat Spanish Courtyard. In the fall and winter all concerts are presented in the magnificent Music Room in the Rosen House. Caramoor’s gardens, also used for concerts and the Garden of Sonic Delights, 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
By car from the West Side of Manhattan and New Jersey, take the Saw Mill River Parkway north to Katonah. Exit at Route 35/Cross River. Turn right and, at the first traffic light, make a right turn onto Route 22 south. Travel 1.9 miles to the junction of Girdle Ridge Road. Follow the signs to Caramoor. (For detailed directions call 914-232-5035 and press 4, or visit www.caramoor.org.) Parking at Caramoor is free. By train, take the Harlem Division of the Metro-North Railroad to Katonah, New York. Taxi service from the station to Caramoor (just five minutes away) is available.
Caramoor presents Hélène Grimaud, 2015 Artist-in-Residence
Takemitsu: Rain Tree Sketch II
Fauré: Barcarolle No. 5, Op. 66
Ravel: Jeux d’eau
Liszt: Les jeux d’eaux à la Villa d’Este
Janácek: In the mists I
Debussy: La cathédrale engloutie
Brahms: Piano Sonata No. 2
With Orchestra of St. Luke’s / Pablo Heras-Casado
Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 1 in G minor, Op. 13, “Winter Dreams”
For high-resolution photos, click here.
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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
© 21C Media Group, July 2015