Plans for the Summer Festival 2021: Garden Variety

Check out the Spring Concert by clicking the image above

Did St. Francis pay rent during lockdown?
(“St. Francis in Ecstasy” by Giovanni Bellini)

Set aside Wednesday, August 4 to Sunday, August 15 because NCMF is on for summer 2021 with six concerts in six days. The only difference from a normal summer is that they’ll all be outside. If you don’t know why then you’ve been living in a cave the last year and a half.

Playing outside: what you lose in sound you gain in ventilation

What else is on the menu? We’ll kick off the festival with a lecture featuring the core work of the summer: “Hiding in Plain Sight: Secrets and Forbidden Love in Berg’s Lyric Suite” followed by a week of open rehearsals in St. Paul’s where people will be socially distanced. We’ll have a panel discussion where you can meet the new artists and hear us working on the world premiere for string quartet and tuba by Composer-in-Residence Eric Ewazen.

Shoes always optional at lectures

Other repertoire includes quartets by Haydn and Shostakovich, music for unaccompanied violin by Bach and Ysaÿe, and solo music featuring tuba virtuoso Scott Devereaux, including Penderecki’s “Capriccio,” “Winter” from the Four Seasons, and "Flight of the Bumble Bee" by Rimsky-Korsakov.

Yes. On a tuba.

More details will emerge as we get closer to August but here is a sneak peek: you’ll get to hear Haydn’s Opus 71. No. 3 string quartet: as comforting and gracious a piece of music as ever was written. Shostakovich’s Quartet No. 9, on the other hand, taps different emotions altogether, beginning enigmatically and ending in a ferocious tornado of sound. There is the aforementioned “Lyric Suite” by Alban Berg which covers the entire range of feeling with sections of unbelievable tenderness juxtaposed against an entire movement that feels like you inadvertently laid your sleeping bag on top of a mound of fire ants.

Alban  Berg (1885 – 1935)
(drawing by Getrud Zuckerkandl-Stekel)

This summer, Tuba player Scott Devereaux and Composer-in-Residence Eric Ewazen join me (on viola) along with violinists Sharon Roffman and Rebecca Anderson, and cellist Clancy Newman. Here is Clancy in his own dazzling transcription of “Uptown Funk.”

And did I mention this is our 20th Season?! Jane Niebling and I started NCMF all the way back in summer 2002. A huge thank you to all who contributed to our 20 day/20 year fundraiser. We met and surpassed our matching goal and raised $7,500! I also hope you all enjoyed the concert/documentary on June 6th featuring the Milhaud and Brahms piano quintets. The concert will remain active on the site.

Jane Niebling: colleague, visionary, activist, and friend

I can’t wait to return to my home-away-from-home and to see all of you in person.

David Yang, Artistic Director

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