Free concerts in Belfast, Vinalhaven

Seal Bay Festival, 2014

Jun 25, 2014
Photo by: Mary Ann Moy The Cassatt String Quartet returns to Maine for the 12th Seal Bay Festival of American Chamber Music.

The 12th Seal Bay Festival of American Chamber Music will run Monday through Saturday, July 7 through 12, with performances on Vinalhaven; and in Belfast, Waterville and Ogunquit.

The festival brings the Manhattan-based Cassatt String Quartet and living American composers together in collaboration for a series of concerts on the coast of Maine to include performances for school children, at Colby College Museum of Art and the Barn Gallery in Ogunquit; and four master classes with student performers and student composers, at Bay Chamber Music School in Rockport and the Atlantic Music Festival in Waterville.

The Midcoast concerts are scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, July 9 and 10. The free concerts by the Cassatt String Quartet with guest Lauren Lessing, Colby College Museum of Art's Merkin Curator of Education, feature music by George Gershwin; Seal Bay Festival Director Daniel S. Godfrey; Bruce Adolphe, Director of Education at Lincoln Center and host of NPR's "Piano Puzzler"; and Lawrence Dillon from the North Carolina School for the Arts.

On Wednesday at 7 p.m., the concert will be presented at Vinalhaven’s New Era Gallery, 60 Main St.; for more information, call 863-9351. At 8:45 p.m., there will be a Rhapsody In Blue fixe-prix ($40) dinner with the artists at Salt Restaurant, 64 Main St.; for reservations, visit saltvh.com or call 863-4444.

On Thursday at 7 p.m., Seal Bay comes to Waterfall Arts, 256 High St., in Belfast; for more information, visit sealbayfestival.org or call 338-2222. Remaining public events will be: a concert Friday at 7 p.m. in Colby College’s Lorimer Chapel ([888] 704-1311, ext. 1); and a children’s concert Saturday at 2 p.m. at Ogunquit’s Barn Gallery (646-8400).

The Cassatt String Quartet returns to collaborate with resident composers Adolphe and Dillon, and each program invites the public to interact casually with both composers and performers. The 2014 theme of New Creative Heights connects music, visual arts and history, seen through artistic struggle and triumph.

Seal Bay’s Honorary Vice President is Camden composer John Duffy. This summer’s festival includes new partners Colby College Museum of Art, Atlantic Music Festival and New Era Gallery. Funding for the 2014 Seal Bay Festival includes private contributors, Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Alice M. Ditson Fund for Music, Amphion Foundation, BMI Foundation, Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, Wild Blueberry Café and Pittsburgh Bacteriophage Institute.

Lauded as one of America's outstanding ensembles, the Manhattan-based Cassatt String Quartet is equally adept at classical masterpieces and contemporary music. This season they make their debut at the new Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and the College of Fine Arts and Communication in Central Arkansas, New York City's River to River Festival, Princeton University, the Honolulu Chamber Music Series, the Big Sky Music Festival in Montana (with cellist Hamilton Cheifetz), New York's Tenri Cultural Institute with the Koshinan Ensemble, the Pleasantville (N.Y.) Friends of Music, New York’s American Bolero Dance Company and Connecticut’s Treetops Chamber Music Society (with harpist Lisa Tannebaum). They again collaborated with Ursula Oppens in the premiere of Tania Leon's Piano Quintet and together appeared at Bargemusic (N.Y.) and Music Mountain (Conn.). Finally, they return to their eighth annual Texas educational residency, Cassatt In The Basin, which includes a Triple Quartet performed side-by-side with students and the Cassatt.

Established in 1985, the Cassatt has collaborated with a vast array of artists including members of the Cleveland and Vermeer quartets, the Trisha Brown Dance Company and Pulitzer-prize winning composers Steven Stucky and John Harbison.  The Cassatt holds residencies as New York's Symphony Space "All-Stars"; and with the HotSprings Music Festival and Maine's Seal Bay Festival of Contemporary American Music.

Named three times by The New Yorker magazine's Best Of The Year CD Selection, the Cassatt has recorded more than 25 commercial releases for the Koch, Naxos, New World, Point, Tzadik, Albany and CRI labels. The Cassatt String Quartet is named for the celebrated American impressionist painter Mary Cassatt and can be found on YouTube.  For more information, visit cassattquartet.com.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

The Cassatt String Quartet
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