Sophie Shao has been noted to have “eloquent, powerful” (New York Times) interpretations of repertoire ranging from Bach and Beethoven to Crumb. She began playing the cello at the age of six, in her hometown of Houston, Texas, where she learned from musician Shirley Trepel – the former principal cellist of the Houston Symphony. By age 11, Sophie left Texas to go to Philadelphia and study at the Curtis Institute of Music. She then moved farther north to study at Yale University, graduated with both a B.S. in Religious Studies and an M.M. from the Yale School of Music. Presently, she is on the faculty at Vassar College and Bard Conservatory of Music, but still makes time to travel up the east coast and perform her powerful interpretations. Sophie has been a part of the Caramoor family since 1992, beginning as a Rising Star and then joining the Virtuosi. We are always honored to welcome her back to our stage and are looking forward to her performance on June 28!
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Canadian violist Max Mandel really knows how to keep himself busy. In addition to being a dedicated member of the Caramoor Virtuosi, he is a member of a number of chamber groups including the Silk Road Project, the FLUX Quartet, the Knights and many more. He is a graduate from the University of Toronto and the Julliard School. As one of the most acclaimed and active chamber musicians of his generation, Mandel is comfortable playing many styles and genres of music, stemming from his passion of listening to a broad spectrum of music – You can find Mandel listening to anything from Mozart to Feldman to Ghostface! We can’t wait to hear him as part of the Caramoor Virtuosi on June 28.
In 1983 Carole Demas and Stuart Allyn approached the Caramoor administration with a unique request: could they get married on the Caramoor grounds? Thirty years later what once was out of the ordinary and a do-it-yourself adventure is now an endearing off-season tradition and a smooth as silk operation, with a catering company and other vendors available to help occasions run effortlessly.
Ms. Demas and Mr. Allyn met on the set of The Magic Garden, a children’s show broadcast on WPIX from 1972 to 1984. Ms. Demas hosted the show along with Paula Janis and a few puppet friends, while Mr. Allyn, a Broadway sound designer, worked behind the scenes. Because they met in one “magic garden,” they wanted to celebrate their wedding in a real-life magic garden – the flowers and greenery of Caramoor’s enchanted landscape. Read more
Using a Venn diagram may seem like a strange way to plan the Evnin Rising Stars mentoring program, but it’s exactly what Pamela Frank relies on each summer to guide her through the planning process.
As artistic director, its Ms. Frank’s job to select the repertoire, mentors, and students for the annual program, which began as a series of master classes with André Previn in 1992. Over the years, the program’s structure evolved into its current format – six to eight young musicians come to Caramoor each fall for a weeklong residency led by Ms. Frank and two distinguished artists. After spending the week Read more
Violist Nicholas Cords has performed with the Caramoor Virtuosi nearly every year for the past fifteen years or so. Beyond his remarkable performances with the Virtuosi, Nicholas Cords is known for having an open mind with a unique appreciation for the music of non-Western cultures. In order to maintain his exposure to worldwide music, Cords is a member of Yo Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble, a musical collective that metaphorically uses the historic Silk Road trading route to demonstrate musical exchange and creativity in the present. In addition to performing with the ensemble, he has taken a role in the organization and development of new creative projects, programming for concerts and museum residencies and as an active part of two long-term residencies with the group. His worldly musical experience and extensive travels with Silk Road have made him “a more empathetic and flexible musician,” he self-claims. Cords’ ability to admire and respect the works of other musicians has also helped him develop as a solo artist. He is a founding member of Brooklyn Rider, an innovative string quartet that is making their encore performance at Caramoor this summer – you may remember their impressive performance at last year’s summer festival! According to NPR, the quartet is “recreating the 300-year-old form of string quartet as a vital and creative 21st century ensemble.” This summer, we will be lucky enough to hear Nicholas Cords with the Caramoor Virtuosi on June 27 and 28 and on July 7 with Brooklyn Rider!
By William Robin
First rule of Art of the Duo: You do talk about it, but make sure you don’t call it an accompaniment. It’s what every violinist learns in the first week of Juilliard, or any other conservatory for that matter. The pianist is not your backup. The pianist is an equal partner. Each of Beethoven’s 10 sonatas – half of which were performed last summer and the remaining five will be featured June 30 – is, in fact, titled “Sonata for Piano and Violin.” These are no virtuoso-laden concertos, but instead a dialogue where the violin is allowed to gracefully share the stage with the piano.
Before Beethoven’s time, the violin was a mere addition to the piano sonata, an optional part doubling the pianist’s right hand. Building on concepts Mozart developed, Beethoven brought new force to the violin’s role. What’s remarkable about Beethoven’s music is his care for balance; the way he created a powerful drama from the interaction Read more
The Bel Canto Young Artists are in for a special treat this year. As Caramoor embarks on its most ambitious opera season in history, opera director Will Crutchfield plans to make use of the mentoring program’s artists by expanding their performance opportunities as Caramoor celebrates Verdi’s bicentennial.
About a dozen young singers visit Caramoor every year for six weeks of intensive training in vocal technique, stage movement, and specialized study of the ornamentation that characterizes bel canto singing. In addition to participating in full-scale rehearsals of the summer operas, these emerging artists act as understudies Read more
Lists, lists, lists! Magazines, radio stations and websites love to list their “best of” and “worst of” at the end of the year. It’s fun to see the top ten when it pertains to something relevant and interesting to us. Then there are those of us who tire of the lists. If you fall under this category, I recommend a blog I recently came across entitled “Top 10 Steps to a Top 10 List.” When confronted with a plethora of lists, can you possibly extract the events and places that meant most to you in 2012? What would be on your list?
I cannot help but smile as I attempt Read more
Although we are technically right in the middle of autumn, the recent blast of wintry weather is causing many of us to usher in the holiday season a bit earlier than usual. We at Caramoor think that is fabulous! Our Holiday Teas may be all sold out, but there are still plenty of seats available for the joyous Holiday Musicale concerts. The Music Room will bring the baroque era to life in an unparalleled atmosphere of authenticity. Read more
The notion of “family” has changed over the years, and continues to evolve as our lifestyles and circumstances present us with new opportunities. Parents work longer hours and children get involved in more activities, making the 6pm family dinner a thing of the past. It’s nice when we can all eat together, but for many families, it’s not practical anymore. Baby boomers are now known as the “sandwich generation,” caring for children and aging parents simultaneously. The economy has forced many twenty- and even thirty-somethings back to their parents’ homes. The definition of family varies considerably, depending on whom you talk to.
Many of us strive to find some common ground, to pin down Read more