(January 2023)—Caramoor’s longstanding tradition of adventurous programming continues indoors all year round amid the authentic Renaissance furniture, paintings dating from the 16th century, and terra cotta reliefs of the historic Rosen House Music Room. Designed by the Rosens for chamber music concerts, the Music Room remains an ideal venue for the expansive range of genres and outstanding artists for which Caramoor is celebrated. Programs in the Spring 23 season include chamber music from the Takács Quartet; Baroque violinist Rachel Podger; guitarist Yasmin Williams; the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain; jazz from the Sean Mason Quintet; and performances by young artists from Caramoor’s Schwab Vocal Rising Stars programs, as well as the Ivalas Quartet, this season’s Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence.
Recitals and Chamber Music
Rachel Podger, called “the unsurpassed British glory of the baroque violin” (The Times), was the first woman to be awarded the prestigious Royal Academy of Music/Kohn Foundation Bach Prize in October 2015, Gramophone Artist of the Year 2018, and Ambassador for REMA’s Early Music Day 2020. She is also the founder and Artistic Director of Brecon Baroque Festival and her ensemble Brecon Baroque. In the spring, she performs an all-Bach solo program at Caramoor (April 30).
Caramoor’s chamber music offerings this spring are anchored by the Takács Quartet, who mentored the Ivalas Quartet during the latter’s residency from 2019-2022 at the University of Colorado-Boulder. Now entering its forty-eighth season, the Takács Quartet comprises violinists Edward Dusinberre and Harumi Rhodes, violist Richard O’Neill and cellist András Fejér. Like Jeremy Denk, Dusinberre has literary leanings as well as musical, and his book Distant Melodies: Music in Search of Home will be published by Faber and the University of Chicago Press in the fall. At Caramoor the quartet plays music of Haydn, Fanny Mendelssohn and Schubert (April 23).
Jazz in Collaboration with Jazz at Lincoln Center
Born and raised in Charlotte, NC, Sean Mason taught himself the piano by ear at the age of 13. Despite musical roots in gospel, hip-hop, and R&B, it was jazz that inspired his career. He has performed and toured with jazz legends including Branford Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, and Herlin Riley, among many others, and is noted for his ability to switch fluently between many different styles of music. He was the pianist for Netflix’s production of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and the History Channel’s Tulsa Burning: The 1921 Race Massacre, worked on both Hadestown and The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, and off-Broadway has been a composer, orchestrator, and music director. His quintet performance at Caramoor will feature Mason’s original music (March 24).
American Roots Music in collaboration with City Winery
Based in Alexandria, Virginia, acoustic fingerstyle guitarist Yasmin Williams has an unorthodox, modern style of playing. Using various techniques including alternate tunings, percussive hits, and lap tapping, her “radiant sound and adventitious origins have made her a key figure in a diverse dawn for the solo guitar” (New York Times). She plays a solo show in the Music Room in the spring (May 12).
The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain “believes that all genres of music are available for reinterpretation, as long as they are played on the ukulele.” Performing on small and large instruments in high and low registers, as well as singing, the eight-person ensemble sits in a chamber group format dressed in formal evening wear and presents programs of “the pompous and the trivial, the moving and the amusing.” The Guardian declared that “the ukulele has found its avant-garde,” while the Financial Times raved: “The sophisticated sound they make – both percussive and melodic – is at once hilarious and heartfelt” (May 6).
Caramoor presents a voyage to East Asia and around the globe as multi-instrumentalist Elena Moon Park and guests perform reimagined children’s music, folk songs, and original tunes in a variety of languages. Expect to sing, dance, and clap along to northern Japanese sea shanties, Tibetan jump rope rhymes, Taiwanese train songs, lullabies in English, and many other unique songs. (May 21).
The Ivalas Quartet formed at the University of Michigan in 2017 and serves as the 2022-23 Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence. Comprising violinists Reuben Kebede and Tiani Butts, violist Aimée McAnulty and cellist Pedro Sánchez, the quartet is dedicated to the celebration of BIPOC voices. Ivalas seeks to disrupt the classical music world by continuously spotlighting BIPOC composers such as Jessie Montgomery, Daniel Bernard Roumain, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, and Eleanor Alberga. Following a performance of George Walker’s Lyric for Strings at Carnegie Hall in January of 2020, they worked in collaboration with Walker’s son to program his String Quartet No. 1, which is included in their April Caramoor performance. The program is completed by pairings of traditional and contemporary repertoire: quartets from Brahms and Webern (April 16).
Artistic Director Steven Blier, the singers of Caramoor’s Schwab Vocal Rising Stars program take part in a creatively curated concert in the spring. In this mentoring program, Artistic Director Steven Blier selects four young singers and a pianist for a week-long residency at Caramoor. The week includes daily coaching, rehearsals, and workshops, culminating in this performance entitled Mediterranean — a musical voyage around the Mediterranean Sea, with stops in Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Israel, Lebanon, Egypt, and Tunisia. The 2023 Schwab Vocal Rising Stars are: Shelén Hughes, soprano; Maggie Reneé, mezzo-soprano; Colin Aikins, tenor; Joseph Parrish, baritone (March 12).
Getting to Caramoor
Getting to Caramoor is simple by car 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. The 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.
Caramoor is a cultural arts destination located on a unique 80-plus-acre campus with Italianate architecture and gardens in Northern Westchester County, NY. Its beautiful grounds include the historic Rosen House, a stunning mansion listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Besides enriching the lives of its audiences through innovative and diverse musical performances of the highest quality, Caramoor mentors young professional musicians and provides music-centered educational programs for young children.
Caramoor Spring 23 Season
All concerts in Rosen House Music Room unless otherwise specified
Sun, March 12 at 3:00pm
Schwab Vocal Rising Stars
Steven Blier, Artistic Director
Bénédicte Jourdois, Associate Director
Artists to be announced
Fri, March 24 at 8:00pm
Sean Mason Quintet
Presented in collaboration with Jazz at Lincoln Center
Sun, April 16 at 3:00pm
Ivalas Quartet (22-23 Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence)
GEORGE WALKER: String Quartet No. 1 (In Memory of My Grandmother M.K.)
ANTON WEBERN: String Quartet
JOHANNES BRAHMS: String Quartet in C minor, Op. 51, No. 1
Sun, April 23 at 3:00pm
JOSEPH HAYDN: String Quartet in F, H.III:82
FANNY MENDELSSOHN: String Quartet in E-flat
FRANZ SCHUBERT: String Quartet in G, D. 887
Sun, April 30 at 3:00pm
Rachel Podger, violin
Sonata No. 1 in G minor, BWV 1001
Cello Suite No. 3 in G (orig in C), BWV 1009
Partita No. 1 in B minor, BWV 1002
Sat, May 6 at 8:00pm
Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain
Fri, May 12 at 8:00pm
Yasmin Williams, guitar
Presented in collaboration with City Winery
Sun, May 21 at 2:00pm
Family Concert: Elena Moon Park and Friends
(outdoors, on Friends Field)