The 2019 Halcyon Music Festival returns to Portsmouth June 20 through 29 and subscriptions and individual tickets are now on sale. Now in its sixth year, the festival brings 24 world-class musicians together to live, rehearse and perform a series of seven chamber music concerts over the span of just 10 days on the New Hampshire Seacoast.
Each concert features a unique program and no two pieces of music are repeated across seven performances. Of particular note this year is Olivier Messiaen’s eight-movement masterpiece,Quartet for the End of Time, which was written while he was a prisoner of war in Germany during World War II and was first performed by his fellow prisoners. The concluding piece of the final concert on Saturday, June 29 will be the transformative yet rarely heard septet version of Richard Strauss’ pinnacle achievement for string orchestra, Metamorphosen.
New this year, a special free Children’s Concert will be held on Wednesday, June 19 at 2 p.m. at the Portsmouth Public Library. The festival musicians, from institutions like New England Conservatory and New York Philharmonic, will also explain the history of the quartet genre and answer questions. The free educational opportunity is a preview of Halcyon Music Festival’s sixth season.
“Each year our roster of world-class musicians evolves and this year we’re particularly excited to welcome back recent Naumburg International Violin Competition winner, Grace Park, who is a major celebrity in the classical music world right now,” noted Heng-Jin Park, pianist and the Festival’s Artistic Director. “We’re also thrilled to be able to steal extraordinary Boston Symphony cellist Oliver Aldort for a week and to have violist and Portland Chamber Music Festival Artistic Director Melissa Reardon join us for the first time.”
The full list of participating international virtuosos includes bassist Karl Doty; cellists Oliver Aldort, Alexei Gonzales, David Hardy, Thomas Kraines, Loewi Lin, Peter Stumpf; clarinetist Paul Cigan; pianists Lolita Lisovskaya-Sayevich and Heng-Jin Park; violinists Robyn Bollinger, Gabriela Diaz, Emma Frucht, Zenas Hsu, Irina Muresanu, Grace Park, Monica Pegis and Ben Sayevich; and violists Tim Deighton, Robert Meyer, Melissa Reardon, Lauren Siess, Jessica Thompson and Marcus Thompson.
The complete 2019 Halcyon Music Festival schedule includes:
Wednesday, June 19: Preview Children’s Concert featuring quartets by Beethovan and Janáček.
Thursday, June 20: “Manifesto on Love” featuring works by Mozart, Janáček and Brahms.
Friday, June 21: “The Colors of Spain” featuring works by de Falla, Turina and Sarasate.
Saturday, June 22: “Tempest and Serenity” featuring works by Beethoven, Fauré and Elgar.
Wednesday June 26: “Fairy Tales” featuring works by Lutosławski , Schumann, Ravel and Franck.
Thursday, June 27: “Vienna in Portsmouth” featuring works by Mozart, Korngold and Schubert.
Friday, June 28: “The End of Time—And Back Again” featuring works by Wolf, Mozart and Messiaen.
Saturday June 29: “Transformations” featuring works by Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Schoenfield and Strauss.
All performances will be held at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Portsmouth, NH at 7:30 p.m.
There is a suggested $25 donation for individual concerts. Audience members interested in attending more than one performance are encouraged to purchase one of the discounted subscription options: $150 for the full festival; $130 for six concerts; $110 for five concerts; $88 for four concerts; $65 for three concerts.
For full program details or to purchase advance subscriptions and ticket, visit www.halcyonmusicfestival.org.
About the Halcyon Music Festival
The mission of the Halcyon Music Festival is to create a community where chamber music will be explored and presented at the highest artistic level; and to make chamber music accessible to everyone, in particular those who might not otherwise experience it in a concert hall. Each year, the Halcyon Music Festival presents two weeks of passionate, compelling performances, with a focus on providing opportunities for enrichment to people of all ages and musical backgrounds. Halcyon Music Festival is committed to supporting the arts in the greater Portsmouth, New Hampshire area, and seeks to enhance the growth of chamber music on a local and national level by bringing world-class musicians and talented young professionals to live, work, and perform together. For more information, please visit www.halcyonmusicfestival.org.
Photo credit: Raya on Assignment
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