Continuing its commitment to presenting music in a wide range of genres, Caramoor is proud to announce a full slate of virtual programs this spring. Highlights include original Roomful of Teeth member Dashon Burton showing off his versatility with a program ranging from Schumann to spirituals; the Thalea String Quartet performing works by Daniel Bernard Roumain, Jessie Montgomery, Tanya Tagaq, and a world premiere Caramoor commission from Paola Prestini; R&B star Son Little; and jazz diva Catherine Russell. Other programs in the series of livestreams from the Music Room that the New York Times calls “adventurous and excellent” include the Callisto Quartet completing its survey of the six Bartók String Quartets; the next-generation visionaries of the Junction Trio playing Beethoven and Shostakovich; the continuo band Ruckus with baroque flutist Emi Ferguson; and Caramoor’s own Schwab Vocal Rising Stars. Five of the eight concerts will include artist Q&As, moderated by Caramoor’s Artistic Director Kathy Schuman, that offer the home audience an opportunity to ask questions. In addition, two dedicated “Caramoor Conversations” will offer in-depth discussions with the artists and/or composers of works to be heard in upcoming programs.
As Schuman explains about the spring offerings:
“I’m so glad we’ve been able to continue our programming through this difficult year, albeit in a virtual format. The fact that we’ve been able to bring artists to Caramoor to perform together on our Music Room stage (keeping everyone’s health and safety as a top priority) has kept us all inspired and motivated to continue to create special experiences for musicians and audiences. In all our livestreams, we’ve tried to convey our unique setting and maintain the Caramoor ‘vibe,’ as well as hear from artists directly in our post-concert Q&As and other digital segments added to the programs.”
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Livestreams from the Music Room (March 21–May 23)
Known for its historic furnishings and superior acoustics, the “intimate, elegant Music Room” (New York Times) of the Rosen House makes an ideal setting for Caramoor’s livestream series.
Dashon Burton and David Fung (March 21)
An original member of the innovative Grammy-winning vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth, bass-baritone Dashon Burton is known for his “nobility and rich tone” (New York Times). His wide-ranging program with pianist David Fung combines Schumann’s complete Dichterliebe with works by John Dowland, Charles Brown, Florence Price, Margaret Bonds, Ernest Charles and William Bolcom, as well as a set of spirituals. Following the concert there will be a Q&A with Burton and Fung, including an opportunity for the audience at home to ask questions, moderated by Caramoor’s Artistic Director, Kathy Schuman.
Schwab Vocal Rising Stars (April 1)
With music by Claude Debussy, Francis Poulenc, Serge Gainsbourg, Joseph Canteloube, Michel Legrand and many others, this “Tour de France” program will feature soprano Nicoletta Berry, mezzo-soprano Erin Wagner, tenor Aaron Crouch, baritone Samuel Kidd, and pianist Gracie Francis, who have been selected by program Artistic Director Steven Blier for a weeklong residency at Caramoor. Developed in collaboration with the New York Festival of Song (NYFOS), and led by Blier with the assistance of coach Bénédicte Jourdois, the week will include daily coaching, rehearsals and workshops, and will culminate in this livestreamed performance from the Music Room exploring French song repertoire from the concert hall to the nightclub.
Presented in collaboration with City Winery
R&B master Son Little – praised by NPR for “impeccably crafted songs” that are “honest and unpretentious” – released his self-titled debut album in 2015 after a long period developing his sound in collaboration with bands like The Roots and RJD2. He earned a Grammy Award for his work as producer on Mavis Staples’s See That My Grave is Kept Clean, and his newest album, aloha, blends classic soul, old-school R&B, and adventurous indie sensibilities with gritty instrumental virtuosity and raw, raspy vocals.
Thalea String Quartet (April 11)
Formed in 2014 at the Zephyr International Chamber Music Festival in Courmayeur, Italy, the Thalea String Quartet has been celebrated for its “vibrant performance” and “sincere expressivity” (SF Classical Voice). After serving as Caramoor’s Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence during the 2019-20 season, the quartet returns to present a program of contemporary music, including Paola Prestini’s The Red Book, a Caramoor-commissioned world premiere. Following the concert there will be a Q&A with the Thalea Quartet and Prestini, including an opportunity for the audience at home to ask questions, moderated by Caramoor’s Artistic Director, Kathy Schuman.
Preceding the concert, Prestini joins renowned London-based author Sonu Shamdasani in a virtual “Caramoor Conversation,” available on-demand from March 28, about the inspirations behind Prestini’s new work. Shamdasani edited the first publication of Carl Jung’s major work The Red Book: Liber Novus, for which the composition is named.
Emi Ferguson and Ruckus (April 25)
Ruckus’s core members form the Baroque equivalent of a rhythm section: guitars, keyboards, cello, bassoon, and bass. This “continuo band” has earned widespread critical acclaim for a fresh, visceral approach to early music that aims to fuse its questing, creative spirit with the grit, groove, and jangle of American Roots music, giving the ensemble a unique “rough-edged intensity” (New Yorker). Flutist Emi Ferguson, a frequent collaborator called “wonderful” by the New York Times and “irresistibly vital” by the Portland Press Herald, joins the ensemble for some of Bach’s most playful and transcendent works, as heard on their 2019 album Fly the Coop on the Arezzo label. Following the concert there will be a Q&A with members of Ruckus and Ferguson, including an opportunity for the audience at home to ask questions, moderated by Caramoor’s Artistic Director, Kathy Schuman.
2020-21 Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence
Lauded for its “intensity and bravado” and the “cohesion and intonation one might expect from an ensemble twice their age” (Third Coast Review), the Callisto Quartet was formed in 2016 at the Cleveland Institute of Music, and has since garnered top prizes in the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and the Banff International String Quartet Competition, as well as several others. For its second performance as Caramoor’s 2020–21 Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence, the quartet completes its survey of Bartók’s six string quartets with Nos. 2, 3 and 5. Following the concert there will be a Q&A with the quartet, including an opportunity for the audience at home to ask questions, moderated by Caramoor’s Artistic Director, Kathy Schuman.
Preceding the concert, the quartet joins the second of two virtual “Caramoor Conversations” about the Bartók quartets, available on-demand from April 18, with special guest Ara Guzelimian, Artistic Director of the Ojai Music Festival and former Dean and Provost of the Juilliard School.
Presented in Collaboration with Jazz at Lincoln Center
Catherine Russell released her debut solo album in 2006 after touring and recording as a backup singer and multi-instrumentalist with a stellar range of artists including David Bowie, Steely Dan, Cyndi Lauper, and Paul Simon. She won a Grammy Award in 2012 as a featured artist on the soundtrack album for the HBO series Boardwalk Empire, and her seventh album, Alone Together, was released in 2019 and earned a Grammy nomination for Best Jazz Vocal Album. NPR describes her as having “a voice that wails like a horn and whispers like a snake in the Garden of Eden.”
This supergroup of next generation visionaries combines violinist Stefan Jackiw, a 2007 graduate of Caramoor’s Evnin Rising Stars program who is credited by the Washington Post with “talent that’s off the scale”; pianist Conrad Tao, a musician of “probing intellect and open-hearted vision” (New York Times); and “electrifying” (New York Times) cellist Jay Campbell of the trail-blazing JACK Quartet. Their program juxtaposes a staple of the Romantic repertoire, Beethoven’s “Archduke” Trio, with Shostakovich’s virtuosic and haunting Piano Trio in E minor, written during World War II just after the end of the two-and-a-half-year siege of Leningrad. Following the concert there will be a Q&A with Junction Trio, including an opportunity for the audience at home to ask questions, moderated by Caramoor’s Artistic Director, Kathy Schuman.
Caramoor Conversations (March 28 & April 18)
Caramoor Conversations is a free series offering a deep dive into the pieces being performed in an upcoming concert. Designed to increase the audience’s understanding of and connection to the music, the conversations feature in-depth discussions with the performers and/or composers. After its initial presentation, each conversations will continue to be available for viewing on-demand throughout the current season.
Two Caramoor Conversations will be presented this spring. The first, on March 28, is about The Red Book, Paola Prestini’s Caramoor-commissioned string quartet that receives its livestreamed world premiere two weeks later. The piece was inspired by Carl Jung’s The Red Book: Liber Novus, which, despite its centrality to the psychiatrist’s work, remained unpublished until 2009. Prestini will be joined by renowned London-based author Sonu Shamdasani, the editor of that 2009 edition, for a discussion about finding musical inspiration in non-musical materials. The Thalea Quartet will perform the world premiere of Prestini’s The Red Book on April 11.
On April 18, the Callisto Quartet is joined by Ara Guzelimian, Artistic Director of the Ojai Music Festival and former Dean and Provost of the Juilliard School, for a conversation about Bartók’s six string quartets, one of the pinnacles of the chamber music repertoire. The 2020-21 Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence explores the trajectory of the entire cycle with Guzelimian, as well as taking a closer look at Quartets Nos. 2, 3, and 5, which they will perform on May 2.
Pricing for Caramoor’s spring livestreams will be flexible, with suggested “choose your own” levels of $15, $30 or $45 for single events. An $80 subscription provides access to all eight of the spring streams, and Caramoor members will be able to access all streams for free. All concert livestreams except for Caramoor Conversations will have live chat enabled, and will now be available for 48 hours after the initial presentation.
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