May 18, 2020
Dear Friends of the Blue Hill Concert Association,
Five weeks ago, we announced “Prague Spring Music Festival 2021: Exclusive Opportunity for Friends of the BHCA,” an opportunity for Blue Hill Concert Association patrons to attend this preeminent European musical event a year from now. Our Czech host, Štěpán Ježek, violinist with the Bennewitz String Quartet, has just sent us an invitation to listen in to this year’s festival, which is currently being streamed online. You may also follow the links on the festival website to hear already completed programs. Here is his letter to us …
Dear Friends, dear music lovers,
Encouraged by my friends whom I was lucky enough to meet during my quartet’s concert tours in the United States, I dare now to invite you all to enjoy the wonderful Prague Spring Festival. It is the biggest music festival in Prague, Czech Republic, the city my quartet and myself come from. We are all going through some tough times now, but luckily some of the music venues and festivals decided to share their music events through internet and other channels. That offers us the unique chance to make the best of these unprecedented difficult moments and enjoy some of the great concerts on-line.
Since some of the members of the Blue Hill Concert Association might come to Prague to see and hear the 2021 Festival in person, I would like to let you have a taste of what might await you in the next festival’s edition. The concerts are streamed and some of them can be even viewed retrospectively. The whole program can be found here. Don’t forget to click on “PAST CONCERTS” in order to view past events.
Let me mention some of the interesting events that might be of interest to you.
My quartet colleagues and Prague Philharmonia Orchestra accompany the last year’s winner of the Prague Spring competition – a fantastic young flute player Chaeyeon You.
A rare chance to see a historic 1993 recording of then young Leif Ove Andsnes debuting at the Prague Spring Festival.
A concert of the Collegium 1704, the best period ensemble in Czech Republic. They’ll present Bach, Händel and Jan Dismas Zelenka Czech Baroque composer.
A solo recital of James Ehnes, one of the best violinists one can currently hear.
Opera houses in Munich, Vienna, London, Berlin, Milano, Metropolitan Opera NYC and a many other places. That is the career of Adam Plachetka, our recently most successful singer. You can hear him in Schubert’s Wintereise.
Excellent pianist and good friend Jan Bartoš will give his solo piano recital with a very diverse program.
An homage to Antonin Dvořák presented by the best of the best – Budapest Festival Orchestra under Iván Fischer with András Schiff at the piano.
A historic recording of Beethoven’s 9th symphony played at the final concert of the very first festival’s edition after the revolution in 1989 with Leonard Bernstein as conductor.
All streams start at 8:00 p.m. which equals 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time. As I said, most of the concerts can be viewed also later.
Again, the link to access festival events is https://festival.cz/en/program/ Enjoy!
Board of Trustees
Blue Hill Concert Association
March 13, 2020
Dear Friends of the Blue Hill Concert Association,
Regretfully, we must inform you that we have cancelled our fourth and final concert of the 2020 Blue Hill Concert Association season. We are in agreement that the well-being of concert attendees and the need to do our part to minimize possible exposure to the COVID-19 virus makes this the prudent course of action. Many of our sister organizations have also canceled or postponed concerts, dance performances, sporting events, and other public gatherings. Indeed, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended cancellation of “all non-essential large, indoor group gatherings” for the near future.
If you are a BHCA season subscriber, we invite you to contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by letter at P.O. Box 140, Blue Hill, Maine 04614, if you would like to be refunded the ticket price for this concert. Please let us know your mailing address and the number of season subscriptions you had purchased and we will return to you $30 per subscription. You may request instead a donation letter if you wish to leave your full subscription fee with us as a contribution.
We are sorry you will not be able to hear the Rolston String Quartet, cited as “quickly [achieving] an elite status among the continent’s finest string quartets.” But we are very glad for the fine season we have enjoyed, for the stellar performances by the Hermitage Piano Trio, the Akropolis Reed Quintet, and the Aizuri Quartet, and for our full and appreciative audiences. Thank you for your past and future support of the Blue Hill Concert Association. Keep an eye on our website (bluehillconcertassociation.org). Very soon, we will be announcing our 2021 season line-up!
Board of Trustees
Blue Hill Concert Association
February 17, 2020
Blue Hill Concert Association presents the Aizuri Quartet (Bangor Daily News)
At 3 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 23 at the First Congregational Church of Blue Hill, the Blue Hill Concert Association will present the third concert of their 42nd winter season. The acclaimed Aizuri Quartet will captivate the audience with their “meld of intellect, technique and emotions.” Their name is drawn from aizuri-e, a style of predominantly blue Japanese woodblock printing, noted for its vibrancy and incredible detail. Emma Frucht – violin, Miho Saegusa – violin, Ayane Kozasa – viola and Karen Ouzounian – cello have been awarded the Grand Prize and CAG Management Prize at the 2018 M-Prize Chamber Arts Competition and their debut album “Blueprinting” was a Grammy Nomination for 2019. This CD features new works written especially for the Aizuri Quartet by five American composers.
Their Blue Hill program, “Songs and Echoes of Home” will include selections from Dvorak’s Cypresses, Beecher’s Memories, selections from Komitas’ Folk Songs and Sibelius’ String Quartet Op. 56. On Feb. 24 in keeping with the Blue Hill Concert Association’s commitment to young people, the Aizuri Quartet will present an educational outreach for students at The Bay School and The Blue Hill Harbor School.
During the concert intermission, landscape watercolors by local artist Paul Trowbridge will be on display and the featured institution will be Kneisel Hall, often called “the cradle of chamber music.”
Tickets are $30, available at the door or online. Free admission for young people 21 and under. For more information visit bluehillconcertassociation.org or phone 207-367-2918.
January 27, 2020
Akropolis Reed Quintet (Bangor Daily News)
The Blue Hill Concert Association is excited to welcome five exuberant young musicians from Michigan for their second concert on Sunday, February 9, 2020, 3:00pm, at the First Congregational Church of Blue Hill. The seven-time national prize winning AKROPOLIS REED QUINTET is hailed by Fanfare Magazine for its “imagination, infallible musicality, and huge vitality.” Tom Glockin (oboe), Kari Landry (clarinet), Matt Landry (saxophone), Andrew Koeppe (bass clarinet), and Ryan Reynolds (bassoon) have “dazzled and engaged audiences with virtuoso, off-the-wall performances” – Cincinnati City Beat.
Founded in 2009 at the University of Michigan, they received the Fischoff Gold Medal in 2014 and the Fischoff Educator Award in 2015. The ARQ have commissioned thirty compositions from composers in seven countries. Their 2017 CD release of The Space Between Us was hailed by the San Francisco Chronical as “pure gold, shot through with tenderness and grace.”
Over ten years, the AKROPOLIS REED QUINTET, often called mavericks of new wind sound, have conducted 412 educational events for 41,560 students. While in Blue Hill they will be bringing their enthusiasm and excitement to the students at George Stevens Academy the day after the concert for an educational outreach.
During the intermission at the February 9th concert, oil paintings of Stonington Harbor with its fishing vessels, dinghies, and buoys by local artist Rebecca Daugherty will be on display and Bagaduce Music will be the featured institution.
Tickets for the concert are $30, available at the door or online. Free admission for young people 21 and under. For more information visit: bluehillconcertassociation.org or phone 207-367-2918.
January 8, 2020
Association to give away two tickets per concert (Ellsworth American)
To draw a wider audience, the Blue Hill Concert Association will offer a pair of complimentary tickets to each of its four concerts kicking off with the Hermitage Piano Trio at 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 19, at the First Congregational Church of Blue Hill.
As part of its community outreach, the association will give away two free tickets for each of the winter season’s concerts through 11 area libraries. They will be given on a first-come, first-served basis. The tickets are not concert specific and can be used at any concert during the season.
The tickets will be made available two to four weeks before each concert … [Read More]
January 3, 2020
The Hermitage Piano Trio Comes to Blue Hill
The Blue Hill Concert Association is excited to kick off their 2020 winter season on Sunday, January 19, 2020 with the Hermitage Piano Trio. Descending from the Great Russian musical tradition, the Trio is distinguished by its exuberant musicality, interpretive range, and sumptuous sound. The three superlative musicians are Misha Keylin – violin, Sergey Anontov – cello, and Ilya Kazantsev – piano, all noted soloists in their own right.
The Washington Post hailed the Hermitage Piano Trio saying: “three of Russia’s most spectacular young soloists turned in a tremendous performance of such power and sweeping passion that it left you nearly out of breath.” And The Strad praised their 2019 debut CD release of Rachmaninoff Trios, as “outstanding playing in intense, heartfelt performances.”
The Trio will be performing works by Clara Schumann, Joaquin Turina, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Gaspar Cassado and Schubert’s Notturno.
The January 19th concert will take place in The First Congregational Church of Blue Hill which is well known for outstanding acoustics and warmth. At intermission the featured artist will be Amy Bernhardt, an abstract artist from Deer Isle who paints in oils, oil pastels and watercolor. The featured institution will be the iconic Art Deco Grand Theater in Ellsworth.
In keeping with the Blue Hill Concert Association’s commitment to education, the Hermitage Piano Trio will be putting on an educational outreach at the Bagaduce Music Performance Hall for students the day after the concert.
Tickets for the concert are $30, available on line or at the door. Free admission for young people 21 and under. For more information visit bluehillconcertassociation.org or phone (207) 367-2918.
November 21, 2019
Blue Hill Concert Assoc. announces 2020 season, $3,000 grant (Penobscot Bay Press)
The Blue Hill Concert Association recently announced the lineup for its 42nd winter season.
The concerts will begin on Sunday, January 19, at 3 p.m. in the First Congregational Church of Blue Hill with The Hermitage Trio. Descending from the Great Russian musical tradition, the Hermitage Piano Trio is distinguished by its exuberant musicality, interpretative range, and sumptuous sound, according to a news release. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote, the trio will begin the program with Clara Schumann’s piano trio Op. 17, followed by works of Turina, Rachmaninoff, Schubert and Gaspar Cassado.
On February 9, the Akropolis Reed Quintet will bring new sounds to the Congregational Church, featuring their blend of woodwind tones and interesting programing. Founded in 2009 at the University of Michigan, they are the first ever ensemble of its kind to win seven national prizes, including a Fischoff Gold Medal in 2014 … [Read More]
November 19, 2019
Hear This! (The Ellsworth American)
The Hermitage Piano Trio, whose members’ superb playing reflects Russia’s great music tradition, will open the Blue Hill Concert Association’s 2020 season at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 19, at the First Congregational Church of Blue Hill.
To broaden its reach, the association applied for and won a $3,000 grant from the Auburn-based Onion Foundation to improve its content, website and other publicity materials.
Over the years, the concert series has received ongoing support for its cultural and educational programming from Tradewinds Marketplace, the Lawrence Family, the Maurice Amado Foundation and support from Stanley Subaru for advertising.
Kicking off the association’s 42nd winter season, the Hermitage Trio includes cellist Sergey Antonov, whose mentor, the great Mstislav Rostropovic, called him “brilliant,” pianist Ilya Kazantsev, described as “virtually flawless,” and violinist Misha Keylin, whose Naxos CD series of the seven Henri Vieuxtemps violin concertos and showpieces has won much praise … [Read More]