2017 Season Preview


Each concert performance is preceded by live brass music al fresco, as seen here at the Sherman Library & Gardens, where concert-goers enjoy strolling through the grounds.


Continuing the tradition established by maestro Burton Karson in 1981, the Festival’s 37th annual season (June 18–25, 2017) will offer five concerts over an eight-day period, presented in intimate settings. We will be privileged to enjoy the talents of extraordinary musicians playing instruments that are either period antiques or modern reproductions, along with singers who are sensitive to historical styles. The first four concerts will be preceded by al fresco brass music; prior to the June 25 Festival Finale, we will hear playful and popular 16th-century Italian folk music on the hurdy-gurdy.

The eminent violinist Elizabeth Blumenstock is now in her seventh year as our Artistic Director, a role to which she brings a wealth of experience and an infectious enthusiasm. She is programming this year’s Festival — subtitled “A Festival of Novelties” — to offer delightfully new ways audiences can experience music of the Baroque period and its influence beyond.

In the customary Sunday-afternoon performance that begins our Festival week, Blumenstock leads the Festival Orchestra in “All a Bout,” a program of Baroque string concertos highlighted by J.S. Bach’s Brandenburg No. 6 and a fencing demonstration set to music. Monday night we move to St. Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church for “Four Viols at Play,” music from the British Isles and elsewhere presented by a rare quartet of viola da gamba players.

Wednesday evening we gather in the lovely Sherman Gardens for “Music from Monticello,” an evening of songs and chamber music taken from Thomas Jefferson’s library, accompanied by illustrative readings. We return to the Sherman Gardens on Friday night for “Beyond Baroque,” a program of chamber works by J.C. Bach, Mozart, Haydn and others performed by several long-time Festival favorites.

Our 37th season concludes on Sunday afternoon with our Festival Finale, “A Quire of Choirs,” in which the Festival Orchestra and vocalists join with Baroque specialists from Tesserae to present soaring works by Gabrieli and Monteverdi.

Click here for the program schedule, and buy your tickets now so that you can join us for an exciting week of inspiring music, presented in local venues and featuring a wide variety of orchestral, instrumental and vocal works.

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