CARAMOOR LAUNCHES INITIATIVE TO ENHANCE VISITOR EXPERIENCE AT ITS HISTORIC ROSEN HOUSE
Marking Caramoor’s 70th Anniversary: Rosen House Strategic Planning Initiative will Enrich Public Programming and Support Conservation of the Home and the Objects it Houses
Katonah, NY, March 5, 2016 – In its 70th Anniversary year, Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts announces a strategic planning initiative that will enhance the visitors’ experience to its Rosen House and strengthen its diverse and innovative programming. This plan is comprised of several projects including a stewardship project, improvements to the House, and introduction of new programming.
The Stewardship Project supports the continued conservation of the Rosen House and the objects within it. Over the last few years, Caramoor has worked with experts in the field to review the objects collected by its founders, Walter and Lucie Rosen. Objects were reviewed based on provenance, condition, and contribution to the Rosen House narrative. Based on the evaluation process, some objects have been slated for sale. Caramoor is working with Sotheby’s in New York City on two upcoming sales this spring. The proceeds from the sales will exclusively be used to support the care of the Rosen House and its holdings for future generations.
In addition to the Stewardship Project, Caramoor’s Board of Trustees has raised $1.1 million to support improvements to the Rosen House. These improvements, which began in January and continue through 2016, include enhancements to the home’s Music Room seating to improve the guests’ experience and flexibility in presenting programs, expanding its bathrooms to more comfortably accommodate all guests for events in the House, enclosing part of the cloisters in the Spanish Courtyard in the winter to enable year-round use of the space and to support conservation of the cloisters, and upgrading visitor amenities.
Known for its diverse musical performances, support for young professional musicians, and educational programming, Caramoor has expanded its programs in the Rosen House to include the launch of Jazz in the Rosen House in collaboration with Jazz at Lincoln Center, Holiday Tea Musicales (a dining and concert experience inside the Music Room), continuation of the newly launched Roots in the Music Room series, and newly formatted concerts.
On March 13th, Caramoor’s spring season opens with the Vocal Rising Stars concert in collaboration with NYFOS entitled “At Home.” This performance features five emerging artists using the floor of the Music Room to take audiences on a mini song cycle of every room in the house. For more information about spring concerts, visit www.caramoor.org.
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 opera, orchestra, chamber, jazz, and American Roots music. Its mission also includes mentoring emerging professional musicians and providing music-based education programs for young children. The relaxed settings of the Venetian Theater, Spanish Courtyard, Music Room of the Rosen House, and magnificent gardens provide the perfect setting to discover beautiful music. The Rosen House features entire rooms originally from European villas and palaces in Italy, France, and England and objects they purchased from Europe and Asia. Audiences are invited to come early to explore the idyllic grounds, tour the Rosen House, and, on special Sundays, enjoy a delicious afternoon tea, or unwind with a pre-concert picnic. Summer concerts take place in two outdoor theaters: the 1,546-seat, acoustically superb Venetian Theater and the more intimate, romantic 500-seat Spanish Courtyard. In fall and winter, all concerts are presented in the magnificent Music Room in the Rosen House. Caramoor’s grounds include nine unique perennial gardens and are used for concerts in the summer. Among the gardens are a Sense Circle for the visually impaired, the Sunken Garden, a Butterfly Garden, the Tapestry Hedge, and the Iris and Peony Garden. To learn more, visit www.caramoor.org.
About the Rosen House
Caramoor was born of great love – the love shared by founders Walter and Lucie Rosen, both for one another and for music and the arts. Walter Rosen was a New York banker and amateur pianist, and Lucie Bigelow Dodge an accomplished musician from a prominent New York family. They met and fell in love at first sight in 1914, and were married six weeks later. In 1928 they bought the Katonah estate, but it was not until 1945, following the death of their only son, Walter, in the Royal Canadian Air Force, that they bequeathed it in his memory, to serve as a center for music and the arts after their own deaths.
At the center of the Caramoor campus is the couple’s former country home, the Rosen House. A Mediterranean-style villa that was completed in 1939, this includes complete 17th, 18th, and 19th century rooms originally from Italy, France and England, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Music Room at the Rosen House, with its Renaissance furniture and the beautifully carved Italian ceiling from the same period, an extraordinary Franco-Flemish tapestry and works by old Masters, offers the perfect atmosphere for a concert. In 1946, the Rosens hosted the first public concert in the Music Room. Today, more than 200 performances, events and tours take place on the estate each year.
Caramoor’s summer season, which recently celebrated its 70th, grew out of the public concerts that the Rosens held in their home. The Rosen House is the crown jewel of their bucolic grounds, where music can be heard in a variety of locales, including the Sunken Garden and Friends’ Field, which is the ideal spot for family-friendly programs. Summer concerts also take place in the partially covered Spanish Courtyard, and the festival’s biggest venue, its Venetian Theater.
Today, nearly 15,000 visitors come to the Rosen House annually, including more than 5,000 school-aged children who learn about the House, arts, and culture through Caramoor’s Schools & Kids programs. Portions of the House are also used for public and private events, concerts, lectures, tours, and film shoots.