About the Festival

Chamber music concerts and events in Newburyport, Massachusetts

Newburyport Chamber Music Festival is a community-based series of chamber music concerts and events in Newburyport, Massachusetts. The summer Festival format has evolved to a two-week series that takes place each year in August. Additional events are programmed throughout the year.

Backstage access, front-row experience

The Newburyport Chamber Music Festival fosters an interactive partnership between residents and visiting artists by engaging the community in the process of creating and presenting chamber music in Newburyport’s unique architectural spaces.


From 3 artists and concerts in 2002 to 12 artists and 20 events in 2019!

Founded in 2002 by Artistic Director David Yang and Newburyport resident Jane Niebling, this August weeklong series of classical chamber music events has grown from three musicians and three concerts to, this summer, twelve artists, thirteen events and six venues. Originally sponsored by St. Paul’s Church in Newburyport. 

The festival now functions as an independent not-for-profit organization.

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Backstage access, front-row seats

Transforming little black marks on a page into a work of art

I have a friend who is a pastry chef. She takes flour, water, sugar, and a whole lot of butter, and from these simple ingredients conjures up magnificent desserts. Come to an open rehearsal and you'll see what goes into transforming little black marks on a page into a work of art. The process may seem unremarkable for its attention to things technical - working out dynamics, ensemble, intonation, articulation - yet somewhere along the way something precious and fleeting is created: real music.

Bringing the music of Beethoven, Brahms, and Bartók to life

People wonder sometimes what musicians do during the day. There is a romantic notion of the solitary artist in some dusty loft full of scurrying rats and bat guano. The fact is that we do laundry, pay bills, and answer emails like everyone else. In addition to all that banality we also spend hours every day bringing the music of Beethoven, Brahms, and Bartok to life.

In-the-moment experiences

Why go to a concert when you can listen to music at home while doing the dishes? There's the obvious stuff: live sound, live performers, no distractions and the joy of a shared experience. But add to that the fact that it is an in-the-moment experience. That's why you can be overwhelmed at a concert one night but listen to a recording of the same concert weeks later and wonder why you can't hear what you heard the first time. Music doesn't even exist until you perform it. A concert is something made fresh in front of you: electric, live, and raw.

David Yang, Artist Director

Violist David Yang was the recent recipient of a coveted Independence Foundation Fellowship awarded to exceptional artists. He has been heard throughout North America and Europe in collaboration with members of the Borromeo, Brentano, Lark, Miro and Tokyo string quartets.

more about David

Members of the Board

Newburyport Chamber Music is a community-based series of chamber music concerts and events in Newburyport, Massachusetts. The summer Festival format has evolved to a two-week series that takes place each year in August. Additional events are programmed throughout the year.

  • Anne Verret-Speck, President/Executive Director
  • Susan Swan, Secretary
  • John Moreland, Treasurer
  • Beth Clary
  • Gage Cogswell
  • Sherry Rogers
  • Anna Moreland, Intern
  • Mia Yim, Student Intern

Where you can find us

Our first venue was the 1863 granite Neo-Gothic St. Anna’s Chapel on the campus of St. Paul’s church. With no stage and with seating in the round the 90-seat chapel provides the degree of intimacy for which chamber music was originally intended. Since then we have added the larger St. Paul’s Church as our principal venue, and we continue to take advantage of an eclectic collection of spaces, both public and private, indoors and out, historic and modern, which are available in the greater Newburport community.

Brown Chapel at Oak Hill Cemetery
Chococoa Café
Custom House Maritime Museum

Designed by Robert Mills, architect of the Washington Monument, the all-granite Custom House was built in 1835.

Emma Andrews Library & Community Center
First Religious Society of Newburyport (Unitarian Universalist)

Rain location for Music, Storytelling & Puppetry, as well as for Family Concert.

We'll be in the Lower Level Meetinghouse, accessed from the municipal parking lot (Prince Street section).

The lower level is accessible through the church sanctuary. Please ask someone to let one of us know to go upstairs and let you in to use the elevator.


Hausmusik is held at a private residence and the address will be printed on the tickets.

Inn Street Pedestrian Mall (Byron's Court)

"Byron's Court" is within the Inn Street Pedestrian Mall, across from the Splash Fountain and adjacent to the parking lot.

Jabberwocky Bookshop
Mass Audubon Joppa Flats Education Center
Newburyport Art Association
Newburyport Public Library

Multipurpose Room, First Floor

Patrick Tracy Square

Located on Pleasant Street, Patrick Tracy Square is one of the locations of our free outdoor concerts.

Paula Estey Gallery

The mission of PAULA ESTEY GALLERY is to provide clients and visitors with the transcendent beauty of contemporary art. In doing so, our homes, commercial spaces and communities are elevated and the quality of our lives improves. We embrace a global range of participation for our art and artists.

Contact Info:
Twitter: follow@paulaegallery
Pinterest: pinterest.com/paulaestey

Private Home (Spring Piano Recital)

The Spring Piano Recital is held at a private residence and the address will be printed on the tickets.

St. Anna's Chapel

Commissioned and donated in 1863 by the Rev. William Horton, the chapel was designed by architect Rufus Sargent in the High Gothic Style, and built of Rockport granite. In 2014 the chapel was awarded recognition by the Newburyport Preservation Trust for both exterior and interior historic restoration.

St. Paul’s Church

Founded in 1711 as a mission parish of the Anglican Church in British American during the reign of Queen Anne of Great Britain, St. Paul’s is the oldest continuous Episcopal Parish in Massachusetts and one of the oldest in America. The current building is the fourth, the third on this site at 166 High Street.

Theater in the Open

From our origins as a children’s theater to the dynamic, multi-faceted organization you see today, Theater in the Open continually evolves to meet the community’s needs. Under its current leadership, Theater in the Open is delivering on all aspects of its mission — as a professional theater company, as a center for youth arts education and as a community partner with the vision to create art that is accessible to all.

In 2017, Theater in the Open was named the curator for the Gatekeeper's House by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, which officially grants Theater in the Open the ability to restore this historic building that has been our headquarters since 1987. As Historic Curators of the property, Theater in the Open is committed to making lasting, historically conscious improvements to the Gatekeeper's House, to preserve it for generations to come.

The Gatekeeper's House, originally known as the Forester's House, was constructed in 1903 at the southwest corner of the Maudsleigh Estate and served as a welcoming location and landmark to its visitors. The house was designed by William Gibbons Rantoul of the Boston firm, Jacques & Rantoul and is a classic example of American Shingle style. Rantoul’s distinctive use of Shingle style can be seen throughout the remaining estate buildings.


Our major corporate sponsors

We are grateful to our corporate sponsors for their support.

Help ensure our continued success

NCMF relies on the assistance of corporations, foundations, and most importantly, you.

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