July 5, 2012 —
SULLIVAN COUNTY — For a couple of weeks every summer, the hills of the Upper Delaware Valley ring with world-class classical music brought here by the Weekend of Chamber Music. In its 19th outing, the group will hold “The Great Conversation.” A new twist for this festival will be classical improvisation sprinkled into the concerts under the leadership of guest co-directors composer/violinist Andrew Waggoner and cellist Caroline Stinson, who have a reputation for cutting-edge performances in this genre, in which they have forged new ground with their chamber music quartet Open End.
“The Great Conversation” opens with a concert for winds Sunday, July 15 on the Presbyterian Church lawn in Jeffersonville at 3 p.m. There will be MusicTalks! Thursdays on July 19 in Kauneonga Lake at the Beekman Pavilion and July 26 at the Old North Branch Inn in North Branch at 7:30 p.m. The festival will enliven the Callicoon Farmer’s Market on Sunday, July 22, at 11:30 a.m., and will hold a free open rehearsal at its home base, the Eddie Adams Farm, on July 27 at 7 p.m. The main Saturday concerts on July 21 and 28 will also be held at the barn at 8 p.m. Waggoner will offer pre-concert talks, and meet-the-artist receptions are on the covered barn deck after the Saturday concerts.
In addition to the avant-garde classical improv, special highlights of this festival are the tour-de-force chamber works of Robert Schumann’s Piano Quartet in E-flat and George Crumb’s Voice of the Whale, both part of the Saturday main event programs. Joining WCM’s roster for the first time are two artists from the renowned Corigliano Quartet, violist Melia Watras and violinist Michael Jinsoo Lim, as well as violist Max Mandel of the Flux Quartet and Yo Yo Ma’s famous Silk Road Ensemble.
At the core of WCM is a flexible company of superb musicians led by artistic director and flutist Judith Pearce, who plans every season drawing on a long career of performing and teaching in Europe and America.