Co-Artistic Directors: Andrew Waggoner (composer and violinist) and Caroline Stinson (cellist)

Artistic Directors’ Message

This year’s festival, Free Variations, explores variation as form; as creative process; as life itself. The storytelling current that runs through all of this season’s music, the variation idea takes us through cycles of evolving repetition, widening gyres of feeling and imagination that mirror our own life passages. Coming aboard for this odyssey will be Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Joan Tower. Known internationally for music that is wildly colorful and rhythmically propulsive, Ms. Tower is one of the most important and widely-performed composers of her generation. Joan’s music will form the core around which the rest of the program takes shape, with works that are constantly transforming, running through the ancient and archetypal process of variation, in conversation with music of Bach, Haydn, Marin Marais, Schumann, Steve Reich, and featuring the Clarinet Quintet of Mozart, one of the greatest and most-beloved works in the classical tradition. As always we’ll welcome old friends and new, with violinists Nurit Pacht, Mari Sato and Susan Waterbury; violists Tawnya Popoff and Lois Martin; pianist Sarah Ho; and very special guests, flutist Carol Wincenc and clarinetist Alex Fiterstein. Please join us for a set of variations on your summer with WCM!

Love,
Andy & Carrie

Our Mission

We engage the public of the Catskills and the Upper Delaware region directly by bringing transformative performances of, and discussion around, chamber music to a wide variety of venues across the region. With events each season in a converted barn (our main concert home); a distillery; a country inn; a farmer’s market; a church lawn; a repurposed school; and an old mill-turned-gallery, we bring our work straight to the people wherever they are.  Our commitment to what we see as an essential mix of standard repertoire, new music, encounters with living composers, and improvisation, ensures that our audiences come to see chamber music as a vital, contemporary, evolving art form, one that speaks directly to them, of their lives and their shared humanity.

THE CONCERTS

...breathtaking elan and finess -Times Herald Record

2018 VENUES

Steve Reich’s entire oeuvre could be understood as comprised of sets of variations. The essential quality of constant, slow, perceptible change is what came to be called “minimalism.” Fascinated from very early on with musical processes, Reich, in collaboration with his ground-breaking ensemble Steve Reich and Musicians, began to develop ways of treating material in which the components slowly drifted apart and re-combined, forming canons and resultant melodic patterns. The basic idea always present in its original form, but surrounded by increasingly distant and rhythmically varied versions of itself. The process continues until a maximum density of counterpoint is reached, at which point it stops and the piece ends, just like that. The relationship Reich seeks with the listener is active, engaged, and exhilarated. Clapping Music makes this possible by the simplest of means: two performers clapping their hands, covering a huge amount of developmental ground over the course of a roughly 4-minute journey. ... See MoreSee Less

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"Here, in the last pages of the "Abegg" Variations, Schumann plays the motto theme A-B-E-G-G (B in German notation is the English Bb) not by sounding the last four notes but by taking them away, one by one, from, the chord of Bb-E-G. This is the first time in history that a melody is signified not by the attack but by the release of a series of notes. The motto, however, ends with a repeated final G. If the motto is played by releasing each successive note, we are faced with a paradox: when the G is released once on the piano, it is no longer there to be released again-the motto is not only unplayable as conceived but unimaginable. Schumann signifies as much by another paradox: he adds accents to the sustained notes." -Charles Rosen ... See MoreSee Less

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Meet the Artists

WATCH + LISTEN

MICHAEL SMALL Trio for violin and 2 cellos

BACH Gamba Sonata I

BEETHOVEN String Quartet Op. 18.6 Adagio ma non troppo

SHULAMIT RAN Lyre of Orpheus for string sextet

RAVEL Sonate Posthume

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GENERAL INFORMATION

Weekend of Chamber Music, Inc.
330 Haven Avenue, 2N
New York, N.Y. 10033

Summer Festival Information Hotline
(646) 861-0378


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