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Summer Delights Begin in Western Mass, Eastern New York, and Coastal Maine


The end of June brings on three summer music Festivals: the Kneisel in coastal Maine, Tanglewood in the Berkshires, and Maverick in nearby eastern New York State. Our esteemed publisher, F. Lee Eiseman, assisted by this editor, recruited reviewers from these respective neighborhoods to complement our own fine roster. BMInt urges our readers to find any excuse to make their way to these festivals; each offers at least one or two irresistible concerts.

The Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival, for those lucky enough to find themselves near Blue Hill, Maine, begins on June 25. It is a 10-week series of public concerts presented on Friday evenings at 7:30 and Sunday afternoons at 4:00 in the historic Franz Kneisel Concert Hall. (The Kneisel also includes a Summer School.) The season starts predictably with an all-Chopin concert with Seymour Lipkin, piano, and Jerry Grossman, cello; the two will participate in subsequent concerts with the other faculty members, an estimable lineup that includes violinists Lucy Chapman, Ronald Copes, Laurie Smukler, Mark Sokol, and Roman Totenberg; viola players Doris Lederer, Katherine Murdock, and Ira Weller; cellists Joel Krosnick and Barbara Stein Mallow; and pianists Jane Coop and Gilbert Kalish.

Tanglewood hardly needs promotion. Regardless of the scheduling problems it has encountered as Maestro James Levine recuperates, the lure of its prestige has ensured fine substitute conductors, and the varied repertoire he put in place still holds, for the most part. What we urge on our readers is attendance as well at the less-well-known concerts in Ozawa Music Hall. They begin with a two-day String Quartet Marathon on June 27 and 28, with two performances in the evening with the Mark Morris Dance Group. Other Ozawa Hall concerts feature more chamber music, including vocal. The Contemporary Music festival in mid-August is already attracting interest among our readers. One irresistible two-day event is Benjamin Bagley’s Beowulf on July 21 and Peter Wispelwey performing Bach on July 22.

Maverick Concerts, in Woodstock, New York, is in about as bucolic setting as imaginable. (Click on the site and you hear a Wood Thrush.) Its season of weekend concerts under the rubric, “The Romantic Generations,” also gets underway on June 27, with the Tokyo String Quartet. On July 24, pianist Pedja Musijevic will offer a particularly ambitious program, from Scarlatti to Morton Feldman and John Cage. BMInt readers who were disappointed not to be able to get tickets to the Rockport Music’s concert with Imani Winds can hear them at Maverick, on July 18. August 4 offers a chance to hear Frank Bridge’s Novelleten with the Shanghai Quartet (with Schuman and Dvorak); but August holds much more, with less-often-heard pieces by fine instrumentalists.

The trick, of course, is to plan a trip around the Berkshire and Hudson River Valley to take in several of the summer offerings. And another to coastal Maine, and one to Lake Winnepesaukee… Beats staying in Boston. The complete schedules may be found in our “Upcoming Events.”

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