Summer Music Festival returns to Cooperstown

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Cooperstown Summer Music Festival returns for 24th season

Internationally renowned artists perform throughout August

Imani Winds performs on August 2

The Cooperstown Summer Music Festival returns this year with a bang with a series of five concerts in August that cover musical and creative diversity, energy and spirit and feature performances by ensembles known around the world for their prowess. virtuoso artists.

In a conversation with The Freeman’s Journal / Oneonta HometownFestival Founder and Artistic Director Linda Chesis spoke enthusiastically about the festival’s return for its 24e season – one interrupted for the two-year pandemic break, but one that she says offers “a collection of performances spanning an exceptionally wide range of musical styles and traditions”.

The description is accurate, but the static words on paper hardly reflect the originality and vigor of the music.

“This year’s Festival music isn’t about your old band practice,” Ms. Chesis said. “It’s joyful, energetic, fiery. These bands are the hottest things happening anywhere in the world and they are superstars in their fields.

With four of the five shows at the Otesaga Hotel’s intimate ballroom and the fifth at the Farmers’ Museum, Ms. Chesis said the series gives local audiences a chance to see rising stars in a rare, up-close and personal setting. . setting.

“You heard them for the first time in Cooperstown!” she laughed as she discussed the lineup. “We had Simone Dinnerstein here a few years ago playing Bach’s Goldberg Variations, and soon after she was playing to full houses in concert halls around the world. But we got it here first!

The Grammy nominee Imani winds opens the festival on Tuesday August 2 with a program of music for wind quintet, Ms Chesis says audiences “can expect a concert filled with their fresh energy and technical expertise”.

“It’s virtually impossible to engage them,” she said. “They have a busy schedule and they sell out everywhere they go. I’ve followed them since they were students in the wind instrument lab at the Manhattan School of Music (where she’s flute, head of the department). They are amazing and I am thrilled to bring them to Cooperstown.

“It’s such a different experience to be in a room watching these brilliant musicians communicate with each other,” she said. “There is no conductor between them and the audience. They signal with the movement of their arches or with the way they breathe.

“The live experience, for the audience, is such a vibrant and exciting moment,” she said. “When you watch them play, when you hear the music, you can see that you experience the best of those who play these tracks. Even if you’re not a fan of classical music or the classical style, you come alive when you’re in the room with these musicians.

Because the series has been a hit for nearly 25 years, the artists have the opportunity to perform for audiences in Cooperstown.

“They know Cooperstown is warm and welcoming,” she said. “Even though we’re playing in a beautiful and elegant space, it’s not formal or fancy. It’s not stuffy. It’s an audience that appreciates the best in music and enjoys an evening in a relaxed atmosphere.

The Verona Quartet returns to the Cooperstown Summer Music Festival on Monday, August 8 for a 7 p.m. performance that will feature a program by Puccini, Beethoven and Dvorak’s “American” Quartet. Their career skyrocketed after a 2018 Cooperstown Festival performance of Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons.”

The Verona Quartet, August 10

The Festival continues on Wednesday, August 10 with a 7 p.m. performance of “Musical Kaleidocope” by the Caroga Arts Ensemble. Cellist Kyle Price leads the ensemble, which will present a program ranging from bluegrass and classical to jazz and pop. The show is a gift to Cooperstown and tickets will be offered by a suggested donation of $15.

The set was en route from Caroga Lake, New York, to Cooperstown for a performance last summer when they had to make a last minute cancellation due to COVID.

“Caroga does amazing things and brings a whole range of musicians and styles to their performance,” she said. “They select the crème de la crème of players for each show; many of them are musicians vacationing in Caroga Lake and are so happy to play in such a relaxing atmosphere. I’m so excited that they’re coming here to perform as a gift to our community. They are so down to earth.

Violinist Danbi Um and guitarist Jiji will present a duo performance on Monday, August 22 at 7 p.m.; young virtuosos join forces for a program spanning all genres, including works by Corelli, Paganini, Piazzolla and Ella Fitzgerald.

Trio da Paz, August 29

Closing the season on Monday, August 29 at 7 p.m. — this time at the Farmers’ Museum — is Brazilian jazz supergroup “Trio da Paz.”

“Have you ever heard them? Mrs. Chesis asked in our conversation. “They are beautiful and I promise you will love them!”

“There’s something for everyone this year,” she says. “Because we’ve been doing this for 24 seasons, I hope people trust my tastes enough to try something they may not have heard before. I’m so excited to bring our festival back to life and to bring him back to Cooperstown!”

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