Musings

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Notes from David Yang

Pianist Ilya Poletaev, a musician’s musician

This summer, we’ll be performing piano quintets by Schumann (happy!) and Schnittke (maybe not so happy…).

Notes from David Yang

Summer 2024: July 29th to August 11th - an overview

Brahms, Schumann, Kurtag, Schnittke, Ligeti, Liszt, a world premiere by Castillo with theremin, puppet shows, oh my!

Notes from David Yang

Joseph Haydn and the art of happiness

Haydn's music reflects a time of great political and social upheaval.

Notes from David Yang

Alfred Schnittke and the art of grief

This summer we’ll feature two piano quintets that are a study in contrast.

Notes from David Yang

Festival artists, summer 2024

Our roster of artists for this summer along with some of their favorite meals. Is there a better way to get to know someone?

Notes from Alessandra

Reflections of a music student

Some of you may know that I took a gap year after graduating from high school in 2022.

Notes from David Yang

Don't take my word for it

I’ve said about all I can about the Mozart and Schoenberg trios and how great they are.

Notes from David Yang

How can Schoenberg be easier than Mozart?

A thoughtful reader challenged my observation that the Mozart is more difficult than the Schoenberg.

Notes from David Yang

A tribute to the music teacher

Most of us have had kind and generous teachers that left a lasting impression.

Notes from David Yang

A Conversation with Lawrence Schoenberg about his father, Arnold

On Tuesday, I had the privilege to discuss the composer Arnold Schoenberg with his son, Larry.

Notes from David Yang

Mozart’s Divertimento, Figaro, and the Don

Buckle your seat belts! The program consists of the Schoenberg String Trio and Mozart’s Divertimento in Eb.

Notes from David Yang

Louis Kahn, the architecture of music, and the Cret String Trio, Part II

Sometimes the process of figuring out the right question is as important as the answer. 

Notes from David Yang

The maiden voyage of the Cret String Trio, Part I

The spring recital is back! Please set aside Saturday, March 9th.

Notes from David Yang

Jon Deak and “The Jury” flies again

For composers, it is often easier to get a first performance of a new piece than a second.

Notes from David Yang

Saul Steinberg, the evolution of notation, and the musical line

It is a weird thing, writing down music, if you think about it.

Notes from David Yang

Cellist Eliana Razzino Yang in conversation with Beth Clary

A peek into the mind of a musician embarking upon her career.

Notes from David Yang

Baroque violinist Cynthia Roberts

Cynthia and I overlapped in New York in the 90s and she came to NCMF in the early years

Notes from David Yang

Everything is cool when you're part of a team

Recently I’ve been chewing over the joy I take in this profession due to my love of music vs. the satisfaction I take in the process

Notes from David Yang

“The score stops here.” Viola martyrs - correlation or causation?

Thank you so much for all your emails flagellating my beloved instrument.

Notes from David Yang

What's the difference between a viola and a trampoline?

Art expresses our deepest emotions. Ecstasy and grief, tranquility, bustle, anger, even frustration

Notes from David Yang

John McKean and falling in love with the harpsichord

When you were thirteen, what did you dream about doing when you grew up?

Notes from David Yang

Baroque trumpet player Perry Sutton and "closeted optimism"

Life is like that sometimes – everything can be fine one minute and then suddenly go all topsy-turvy.

Notes from David Yang

Klezmer and the Art of Imitation (chopsticks provided)

I enjoy when instruments employ artifice to imitate non-instruments:

Notes from David Yang

Lessons for musicians from actors

Musicians strive to play expressively, whereas actors can communicate directly with expression.

Notes from David Yang

A conversation with Solenne Païdassi

I’m still coming down from the summer– Schoenberg, Shostakovich, “The Jury,” everything and everyone who turned up

Notes from David Yang

Summer 2023 - a gallery

By all accounts, I think I can report that summer 2023, our twenty-second season, was a smashing success.

Notes from David Yang

Second Sighting of "The Jury"

It was as if I were witnessing the birth of a new composition in real time, not unlike a musical version of watching Harry Potter step out from behind the Cloak of Invisibility. 

Notes from David Yang

Pay-What-You-Can

For the final concert of Summer 2023 with the world premiere based on Rhina's poem you can pay what you want - one dollar, one hundred dollars.

Notes from David Yang

Schoenberg’s String Quartet No. 2

Arnold Schoenberg’s Second String Quartet is widely considered to be a visionary work.

Notes from David Yang

Shostakovich String Quartet No. 13

Shostakovich’s late quartets provide one of the most intimate confessionals of personal feelings ever vouchsafed by a composer in his music.

Notes from David Yang

Multiple Viewings

It is the anticipation of knowing what’s coming that might be classical music’s most sublime pleasure.

Note from the NCMF Board President

NCMF needs volunteers for this summer

Since its inception, NCMF has been brought to life by volunteers. The time has come for more volunteers to help. Perhaps you?

Notes from David Yang

Haydn and the early embers of romanticism

In 1772, the rationalism of the Age of Enlightenment ran head-on into early romanticism.

Notes from David Yang

Frontiers of the early 20th Century with Ysaÿe and Kreisler

If the concerto represents the individual against massed forces, unaccompanied works feel like an internalization of this struggle within an individual.

Notes from David Yang

This summer's program (2023)

Thanks to an older kid in my orchestra back in 1982, I attended a chamber music camp in Vermont.

Notes from David Yang

Another new board member!

 "Looking back," Paul told me, “I would not have lived the same life without all this music because it is so important to me.”

Notes from David Yang

Composers and Cars

If Mozart drove a car, what kind of car would he have? (One thinks about such things when sitting on a transcontinental flight.)

Notes from David Yang

Obsession:  A Dark Plunge into Janáček’s Second Quartet

One of the most original composers of the 20th Century, Janáček had a hot-blooded disposition and a pronounced appetite for the opposite sex.

Notes from David Yang

Road Trip: Part II - Italy

After traveling through Belgium, Holland, Germany, and Switzerland, we finally crossed the Alps into Italy

Notes from David Yang

NCMF Awarded Cultural Sector Recovery Grant

Have you ever wondered how exactly we keep this thing running? And...some great news!

Notes from David Yang

Favorite Places

Musicians travel - a lot - so I asked this summer’s artists to list a favorite place or two in the world.

Notes from David Yang

The sound of dawn

This winter, I’ve been heading out on pre-dawn rides to train for what was supposed to be a slightly insane three-day, 400-mile bicycle trip

Announcements

NCMF Annual Report for 2022

For 21 years, the Newburyport Chamber Music Festival has worked to fulfill its vision of community-based chamber music concerts and events with world-class artists

Notes from David Yang

A new board member

I’m delighted to announce we have a new board member, Maryellen Moreland.

Notes from David Yang

Winter Baroque ‘22: a portfolio

The feedback from NCMF Winter Baroque has been rolling in and is overwhelmingly positive.

Notes from Alessandra

How to "Bach" (+performance)

In January of 2021, I shared the process of how my quartet learned a Beethoven string quartet

Notes from David Yang

A special bonus on the Winter Baroque concert

Thomas Baltzar’s jewel of a piece, his Prelude, packs more in two minutes than some composers stuff into an entire symphony.

Notes from David Yang

Why is Eliana using two different cellos for the NCMF Winter Baroque concert?

What is the difference between a modern and "historic" cello and why use one over another?

Notes from David Yang

Bach and the cello suites, Part II

I’ve returned to the tried and true holiday formula of not programming anything composed after 1750.

Notes from David Yang

Aldo Abreu, recorder

There is a new look for Winter Baroque this year (tickets go on sale today!).

Notes from David Yang

Bach and the cello suites, Part I

There are certain very specific and individualized sounds we associate with childhood.

Notes from David Yang

Thank you

After the call informing me that one of the artists had tested positive...

Notes from David Yang

Covid 19 scuttles festival 2022

It seems that Covid 19 had one last surprise in store for us for the summer.

Notes from David Yang

First spotting of the “The Jury”

There were a few weeks when Jon Deak emailed me a page of the manuscript every day.

Notes from David Yang

A Conversation with Clancy Newman

I love playing with Clancy and also just hanging with this terrific musician and human being.

Notes from David Yang

Shostakovich, Quartet No. 2, and the Shadow of Stalin

"Even if they cut off both my hands and I have to hold my pen in my teeth I shall go on writing music."

Notes from David Yang

Mozart's "Dissonance"

There is a transcendent moment near the beginning of this quartet that makes my heart leap in my chest.

Notes from David Yang

A new board member

Running a music festival is very much a group effort. Please welcome our newest board member.

Notes from David Yang

2022 with Mozart, Shostakovich, Webern, Deak, and Schoenberg

Summer 2022 features arguably the most perfect of Mozart’s perfect quartets, the C Major.

Notes from David Yang

Poet-in-Residence Rhina P. Espaillat

Does anyone in Newburyport really need an introduction to the National Treasure that is Rhina?

Notes from David Yang

Composer-in-Residence Jon Deak

I met Jon about twenty years ago over breakfast on the Upper West Side.

Notes from David Yang

A Musical Menu, Valentine Edition

‍‍I started cooking in grad school when I procured a copy of Marcella Hazan’s “Classic Italian Cookbook.”

Notes from David Yang

Music and Memory

"...suddenly the memory revealed itself. The taste was that of the little piece of madeleine which on Sunday mornings at Combray..."

Note from Eliana

New Year's Post 2022

Kneisel Hall is a chamber music festival in Blue Hill, Maine, founded in 1902.

Notes from David Yang

Winter Baroque-ish

Tickets for the 2021 NCMF Winter Baroque concert have gone live and, as promised, the concert will be a doozy.

Notes from David Yang

Summer 2021 – a gallery

After marinating indoors for the better part of a year and a half, we’ve all been desperate for live music.

Notes from David Yang

Lieder and cycling

When I was a teenager, I got a job one summer working as a bike messenger in New York.

Notes from David Yang

Shostakovich String Quartet No. 9

This summer we’ll be performing Shostakovich’s String Quartet in Eb Major, No. 9.

Notes from Festival Artists

Note from Rebecca Anderson: Ysaÿe's Ballade

This summer, Becky Anderson will be playing the third  violin sonata by Eugène Ysaÿe.

Notes from Festival Artists

Penderecki’s Capriccio

This summer, Scott Devereaux will be playing Capriccio for solo tuba by Krzysztof Penderecki.

Notes from David Yang

Plans for the Summer Festival 2021: Garden Variety

Set aside August 4 to August 15 because NCMF is on for summer 2021 with six concerts in six days.

Notes from David Yang

The Perfect Piece?

Is there such a thing as a perfect piece of music, something that never gets old?

Notes from David Yang

“The Creation of the World” by Darius Milhaud

Sunday, June 6 the Newburyport Chamber Music Festival is back in action.

Notes from David Yang

A conversation with tuba player Sergeant First Class Scott Devereaux

The first LP I ever owned was a collection of marches by John Philip Sousa.

Notes from David Yang

Ennio Morricone, music & film

Last year the great Italian composer Ennio Morricone passed away at the age of 91.

Notes from David Yang

Frozen Music

Goethe said "music is liquid architecture; architecture is frozen music." That sounds good but what does it really mean?

Notes from David Yang

Note from Alessandra: New Year's Post 2021

You may have seen me around Newburyport or playing viola in the summer concert.

Notes from David Yang

Storytelling, Holiday and Family

For the holidays, I thought I’d take off my Artistic Director hat and put on another.

Notes from David Yang

The Bach Chaconne

The concept of infinity is beyond the capacity of the human brain to conceptualize.

Notes from David Yang

Bach’s sixth suite for unaccompanied cello

I feel a slight chill and sense of awe when I walk into a cathedral. I get the same feeling of immensity when I listen to the sixth suite.

Notes from David Yang

A Conversation with Ania Vu

David talks with composer Ania Vu about her new work written for the NCMF Winter Baroque concert.

Notes from David Yang

Winter Baroque and the Return of Nurit Pacht

I love winter: the low afternoon sun, footsteps crunching on new snow, huddling in bed under a comforter...

Notes from David Yang

The Ubiquitous String Quartet

Bringing music to the streets: Covid 19, the summer of 2020, and "quartet caroling" in Newburyport neighborhoods .

Summer Festival 2020 - Artist's Pick

Artist's Pick: David Yang (Artistic Director)

I asked past artists of NCMF to choose a surprise performance for our audience.

Artists

A Conversation with Scott Devereaux (tuba)

Scott Devereaux (tuba): A conversation with David Yang, Artistic Director NCMF

Summer Festival 2020 - Artist's Pick

Artist's Pick: Makoto Nakura (marimba)

I asked past artists to choose a surprise performance as a treat for our audience.

Artists

A Conversation with Eliana Yang, cello

Eliana Yang: A conversation with Beth Clary, President of NCMF Board

Summer Festival 2020 - Artist's Pick

Artist's Pick: Indrajit Roy-Chowdhury (sitar)

I asked past artists to choose a surprise performance as a treat for our audience.

Summer Festival 2020 - Artist's Pick

Artist's Pick: Nurit Pacht (violin)

I asked past artists to choose a surprise performance as a treat for our audience.

Summer Festival 2020 - Artist's Pick

Artist's Pick: Daniel Lippel (guitar)

I asked past artists to choose a surprise performance as a treat for our audience.

Summer Festival 2020 - Artist's Pick

A Conversation with Eric Ewazen (composer)

Eric Ewazen: A conversation with David Yang, Artistic Director NCMF

Summer Festival 2020 - Artist's Pick

Artist's Pick: Cynthia Roberts (baroque violin)

I asked past artists to choose a surprise performance as a treat for our audience.

Summer Festival 2020 - Artist's Pick

Artist's Pick: Clare Hammond (piano)

I asked past artists to choose a surprise performance as a treat for our audience.

Artists

A Conversation with David Yang

David Yang in conversation with Beth Clary, President of the NCMF Board

Summer Festival 2020 - Artist's Pick

Artist's Pick: Todd Palmer (clarinet)

I asked past artists to choose a surprise performance as a treat for our audience.

Notes from David Yang

Schedule for Summer 2020 reimagined

Despite general weirdness everywhere, we’re determined to make NCMF 2020 joyful.

Notes from David Yang

Recollections of NCMF, Summer 2019, Eighteenth Season

For 19 years, the festival has taken over the town for a week in August.

Notes from David Yang

A conversation with Sébastien van Kuijk

David chats with Sébastien van Kuijk whose visitwas foiled by COVID-19

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