The Ubiquitous String Quartet

The South End

With the arrival of September, the resumption of UPenn and coaching chamber music over Zoom (oy…), I decided to take a little hiatus from posts. I’m proud of the work we did to make August 2020 a success in the midst of COVID-19 with events both live and virtual. The highlight was undoubtedly the “quartet caroling” around town.

The North End

After being holed up since February it felt great to play with real people and get out into the community. In many ways, that’s what the festival has been about since its inception: it is why we have open rehearsals in libraries, coffee shops, bookstores; family concerts and puppet shows, “Hausmusik” readings in homes; a new piece each year with a local connection. The heart of the festival is the concerts but the soul of NCMF is the close interaction with you, our audience.

With halls closed in summer 2020, NCMF came to your doorstep over three days, and to your computers over two weeks, fitting in a live-streamed concert in an empty St. Paul’s along the way.

Live, from St. Paul’s
(where did everybody go?)

I’m pleased to report we have more music on the way. Winter Baroque 2020 will be streamed on Sunday, 20 December at 3:00 PM. Yes, Nurit is back. Stay tuned for details on the program but here is a hint:

If he can wear a mask then so can you

Lastly, a plea. All the events of the summer – everything – was free: the concerts which raised money for Anna Jacques, the quartet caroling, the conversations and artist picks online, viewing of the documentary “Note by Note.” It was our gift to the community after 19 wonderful seasons. However, our expenses were considerable. Please consider making a contribution to NCMF to ensure its continuation as we look to the future.

Donate to Newburyport Chamber Music Festival

The West End

Speaking of 2021, planning is underway. Scott Devereaux will arrive with his tuba, Eric Ewazen is hard at work on the new piece, and Alban Berg’s masterpiece from 1925, “Lyric Suite,” will receive its Newburyport premiere. Vaccine or no, the festival will be held live and in person in 2021. How will this be accomplished without putting our audience needlessly at risk, you ask? Ah, we will reveal our plans….later! But it will be grand.


Stay safe,

David Yang, Artistic Director

The Yang Sisters, masqued and accoutred

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