Welcome to our 48th season! A heartfelt thanks to our loyal audience members, devoted sponsors, donors, advertisers, Trustees, and volunteers who made last season so memorable and successful. The process of putting together a season of magnificent music for you has been a real joy and challenge for me, but it has been particularly joyful as we celebrate classical music’s most towering figure Ludwig van Beethoven for his 250th anniversary. I am also delighted to present masterworks by other composers who have influenced and have been influenced by Beethoven, such as Haydn, Mozart, Brahms, Prokofiev, Saint-Saens, and Franck, combined with many superb works by Koechlin, Beach, Piazzolla, Bizet, and Rolla. But seriously, do you know anyone who has not been influenced by Beethoven?
Still, there is so much more to celebrate in this summer. The state of Maine celebrates its 200th anniversary, and we will partner with the Bridgton Historical Society at the historic farmstead Temperance Barn at Narramissic in South Bridgton. American women gained the right to vote 100 years ago with the passage of the 19th Amendment in August 1920. We will celebrate this milestone with American female composer Amy Beach, performing her epic Piano Quintet.
I am happy to announce that we will honor the legacy of our beloved violist and Music Director Emeritus, Laurie Kennedy, during the second concert. In addition, most of our artists will be returning, along with several fantastic performers making their first appearances with the Festival – oboist Noah Kay, clarinetist Benjamin Fingland, violinist Emilie-Anne Gendron, violist Cong Wu, cellist Felix Umansky, and bassist Jered Egan. All of our artists love coming to the Festival surrounded by the natural beauty of Maine and performing for our loyal audience.
This summer we will continue to expand our community outreach programs: Healing through Music (designed to bring beautiful music to patients, staff and volunteers in nearby medical and senior facilities in Bridgton, South Paris, Norway, and Falmouth) and The Joy of Classical Music (an hour-long free concert for families held in intimate venues in Bridgton, Waterford, and Falmouth). We also look forward to our repeat performance in Chebeague Island and Mountain Top Music Center in Conway, NH, as well as continuing our partnership with Electric Earth Concerts in Peterborough, New Hampshire and Chestnut Hill Concerts in Old Saybrook, Connecticut.
In addition to bringing world-class concerts to our audience, we are committed to enriching the lives of everyone within our community with the vitality of live music. For the artists who have performed at the Festival, a crucial part of their experience has been the chance to share their talent and commitment with our devoted audience and with this wonderful musical community.
We urge you to continue to check our website for more details, such as information about the community concerts, full bios of the artists, and information on how to donate to the Festival. We invite you to “like” us on Facebook and ask you to spread the word about the Festival to your friends. Please note that by purchasing a season ticket (for all five concerts), you will receive many benefits, including a savings on tickets, invitations to open rehearsals, post-concert receptions to meet-and-greet the musicians, and a vintage CD from past concert performances.
Please join us this summer; I look forward to seeing you!