Marlboro Music 60th Anniversary Season: an update to our retrospective “Marlboro at 60”

Persons Auditorium at Marlboro. Photo © 2010 Michael Miller.
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Persons Auditorium at Marlboro. Photo © 2010 Michael Miller.
Persons Auditorium at Marlboro. Photo © 2010 Michael Miller.

Marlboro Weekly Concert Programs

Download a Printable Copy of the Programs
Purchase Available Tickets to these Concerts

Marlboro at 60, by Michael Miller


Friday, August 12


Haydn – Flute Trio in G Major, Hob. XV:15
Emi Ferguson, flute
Andrew Janss, cello
Anna Polonsky, piano


Mendelssohn – String Quintet in B-flat Major, Op. 87
Ying Fu, violin
Lucy Chapman, violin
Mary Sang-hyun Yong, viola
Kyle Armbrust, viola
Bronwyn Banerdt, cello


Brahms – Piano Quartet in A Major, Op. 26
Matan Porat, piano
Emilie-Anne Gendron, violin
Hsin-Yun Huang, viola
Gabriel Cabezas, cello




Saturday, August 13


Haydn – Vocal Quartets [Selection]
Sarah Shafer, soprano
Jennifer Johnson Cano, mezzo-soprano
Karim Sulayman, tenor
John Moore, baritone
Richard Goode, piano


Schubert – Quartettsatz in C Minor, D. 703
Robin Scott, violin
Emilie-Anne Gendron, violin
Mary Sang-hyun Yong, viola
Matthew Zalkind, cello


Dvořák – Serenade in D Minor, Op. 44
Nathan Hughes, oboe
Hassan Anderson, oboe
Tibi Cziger, clarinet
Alicia Lee, clarinet
Natalya Rose Vrbsky, bassoon
Steven Dibner, bassoon
David Cooper, horn
Rebekah Daley, horn
Benjamin Jaber, horn
Andrew Janss, cello
Tony Flynt, double bass


Brahms – String Quintet in G Major, Op. 111
Dina Nesterenko, violin
Arnold Steinhardt, violin
Mary Sang-hyun Yong, viola
Hélène Clément, viola
Bronwyn Banerdt, cello




Sunday, August 14


Mozart – Flute Quartet in D Major, K. 285
Brook Ellen Schoenwald, flute
Caroline Goulding, violin
Sally Chisholm, viola
Gabriel Cabezas, cello


Dvořák – String Sextet in A Major, Op. 48
Robin Scott, violin
Itamar Zorman, violin
Vicki Powell, viola
Kyle Armbrust, viola
Bronwyn Banerdt, cello
Peter Wiley, cello


Beethoven – Fantasia for Piano, Chorus, and Orchestra (Choral Fantasy), Op. 80
Richard Goode, piano
Susanna Phillips, soprano
Sarah Shafer, soprano
Jennifer Johnson Cano, mezzo-soprano
Joshua Stewart, tenor
Karim Sulayman, tenor
John Moore, baritone
The Marlboro Orchestra and Chorus, led by Jamie Laredo

Marlboro Music—once again—is celebrating its 60th anniversary, which I have already celebrated in an extensive retrospective article last year. The revered summer music school and festival has a peculiar double anniversary, because its inaugural year was very small indeed, and rather precarious. In the second year, everything was more organized, both in scheduling and financially, and the cherished summer event took off, to become what it is today—which, miraculously, is not terribly different from what it was sixty years ago. It is larger and more professionalized, but it still retains its original feeling of intimacy. The younger participants—they are not called students—still have the same extensive rehearsal time with their mentors. And the public can still look forward to concerts of the highest quality, in which seasoned masters and their less-experienced colleagues make splendid music together.

Obviously the present and the future are what matter most at Marlboro, and I shall focus on that. However, three events have occurred since I published my retrospective, which call once again for a look backward: two important Marlboro figures passed on in the past six months, Philip Naegele, age 83, the lone string player who stayed on in the summer of 1950 to study with Adolf Busch, and Blanche Moyse, age 101, famous outside Marlboro for as a choral director and founder/director of the Brattleboro Bach Festival, but also wife of the flautist Louis Moyse and an active participant at Marlboro. On a less elegiac note, Frank Salomon and Anthony Checchia, Co-Administrators of Marlboro for many years, were honored by Chamber Music America with its Richard J. Bogolmony National Service Award. The award paid tribute to Tony and Frank for their extraordinary role in guiding Marlboro over the past five decades, and for their many other vital contributions to the chamber music field. Arnold Steinhardt, Marlboro senior violinist and a founding member of the Guarneri String Quartet (which formed at Marlboro in 1964) characterized their service in this way: “We honor Frank & Tony—not only for the many fine and difficult things they’ve done, but the extraordinary way they’ve done them, a way that inspires not only our enormous admiration, but also our love and gratitude. They’ve both achieved that delicate balance, combining high musical standards with a deep concern for ethical and human values.” Mr. Checchia is also founder and Artistic Director of the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society which, in its 25th Season, presents an annual program of 65 concerts and 50 educational programs by leading chamber music and recital artists. Frank Salomon is one of the most distinguished managers in the classical music world, as well as manager of the Peoples’ Symphony Concerts, head of the New School Concerts, founder of the New York String Orchestra. What an abundance of achievement in the arts! Senior Marlboro cellist, Peter Wiley, called them “the Ruth and Gehrig of Marlboro.”

I’ll return to Philipp Naegele to quote his reflections on Marlboro from an interview that Fred Child did last summer for Performance Today, because they sum up much of what I have said about Marlboro from the feelings of a lifelong participant.

“I came as a very young man and was taken in warmly by the Busch, Serkin, the Moyse clan, who are the founding fathers of Marlboro, and played the same role for Marlboro that our Founding Fathers played for the country. You keep on coming back to their principals, their ways of thinking, and their ways of making music, and it’s been the most central and long-lasting component of my musical life.”

Of 1950: “Basically I was the only string player and I used to go over to [Busch’s] house and we played. It was the greatest summer imaginable for me–it changed my life.”

“Marlboro is a perfect example of how something can retain its original facet through enormous changes of participants. I mean, we’ve had hundreds of people here, obviously, over all this time. And still, in essence, the place is the same, except in size,and you might say in virtuosity, which has increased exponentially in the last couple of generations. And still, the spirit with which it was imbued is self-renewing, and I don’t know of any other institution that, through all these changes, has stayed so much the same without becoming atrophied in some form.”

“The philosophy of Marlboro has ingredients…You do not make music as a vehicle for self-promotion, and you don’t abuse it in any way by either making fun of it or distorting it knowingly in order to make an impression. The other spirit is that there are collegial relationships between the generations and not “master-student,” so that you are encouraged to contribute even if you are young…And, most of all an attempt at that time to export to America a European chamber music tradition, which the Serkin/Busch/Moyse trio felt was sorely lacking in American conservatories and music education.”

“[Marlboro is] an ideal community and it’s an ideal interplay of high art with social life and unprepossessing environments and fun. Serkin used to be at all of the square dances with his children. And his idea of Marlboro was largely a projection of his fmaily life.” He had a large family, he had a large estate and he simply expanded that to include all of us…And he treated us as members of a family, which didn’t preclude being critical or sometimes dissatisfied and saying so, but it was an extremely successful example of intergenerational cooperation and joy.”

Of Marlboro: “It’s home, it’s an artistic home.”


Now to return to the future. This summer will offer not only five weekends of the unique concerts we have come to love like no other program, but a lot more:

• a special 60th Anniversary publication with evocative photographs and recollections of participating artists and journalists will be distributed to audience members without charge

• concert-goers will also be able to view a photo exhibit and videos capturing six decades of Marlboro. (Now through August 20, there is also an exhibit, you shouldn’t miss, at the Lincoln Center Performing Arts Library in New York; and, from July 16 – August 14, the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center will present a show: Clemens Kalischer@90 and MarlboroMusic@60. Kalischer has been photographing at Marlboro since 1957.

• recent and historic performances can be heard on weekly radio programs including WQXR in New York (Mondays at 9 PM); WCRB in Boston WFCR in Amherst, Vermont Public Radio and American Public Media’s Performance Today.

• And look for an announcement about remarkable new features that will be offered on a greatly expanded and exciting new Marlboro website.

• new recordings on the Marlboro Recording Society including a Beethoven “Archduke Trio” with Mitsuko Uchida, Soovin Kim and David Soyer; as well as the availability on download and the re-issue on CD of many of Marlboro’s historic recordings from the SONY Classical catalogue. These will be available at the concerts and from ArkivMusic.

The first three new issues will be:

1 .
Quintet for 2 Violins, 2 Violas and Cello no 5 in D major, K 593 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Sebastian Krunnies (Viola), Diana Cohen (Violin), David Soyer (Cello), Sarah Kapustin (Violin), Mark Holloway (Viola)
Date of Recording: 07/16/2005

Trio for Piano and Strings no 7 in B flat major, Op. 97 “Archduke” by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Mitsuko Uchida (Piano), David Soyer (Cello), Soovin Kim (Violin)
Date of Recording: 07/23/2006

Trio for Piano and Strings no 2 in E flat major, D 929/Op. 100: 2nd movement, Andante con moto by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Mitsuko Uchida (Piano), David Soyer (Cello), Soovin Kim (Violin)
Date of Recording: 07/13/2008


Quartet for Strings in G minor, Op. 10 by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Richard O’Neill (Viola), Joseph Lin (Violin), Judy Kang (Violin), David Soyer (Cello)
Date of Recording: 2/17/2002
Venue:  Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston


Introduction and Allegro for Harp, Flute, Clarinet and String Quartet by Maurice Ravel
Performer:  Marie-Elisabeth Hecker (Cello), Luke Fleming (Viola), Benjamin Beilman (Violin),  Moran Katz (Clarinet), Joseph Lin (Violin), Sivan Magen (Harp), Joshua Smith (Flute)
Date of Recording: 7/18/2010


Quartet for Strings in F major by Maurice Ravel
Performer:  Jonathan Vinocour (Viola), Jessica Lee (Violin), Soovin Kim (Violin), Soo Bae (Cello)


Il tramonto by Ottorino Respighi
Performer:  Saeunn Thorsteinsdottir (Cello), Ida Levin (Violin), Beth Guterman (Viola),
Jennifer Johnson (Mezzo Soprano), Yonah Zur (Violin)
Date of Recording: 10/24/2010
Venue:  Gardner Museum, Boston, MA


Der gayst funem shturem by Robert Cuckson
Performer:  Beth Guterman (Viola), Ida Levin (Violin), Saeunn Thorsteinsdottir (Cello), Yonah Zur (Violin), Zachary Cohen (Double Bass), Sivan Magen (Harp), Angela Cordell Bilger (French Horn), Jennifer Johnson (Mezzo Soprano), Sarah Beaty (Clarinet)
Date of Recording: 10/24/2010
Venue:  Gardner Museum, Boston, MA


From Jewish folk poetry, Op. 79 by Dmitri Shostakovich
Performer:  Benita Valente (Soprano)
Date of Recording: 08/18/1967


About Michael Miller

Michael Miller, Editor and Publisher of New York Arts and The Berkshire Review, an International Journal for the Arts, was trained as a classicist and art historian at Harvard and Oxford, worked in the art world for many years as a curator and dealer, and contributed reviews and articles to Bostonia, Master Drawings, Drawing, Threshold, and North American Opera Journal, as well as numerous articles for scholarly and popular periodicals. He has taught courses in classics, the English language, and art history at Oberlin, Rutgers, New York University, the New School, and Williams. Currently, when he is not at work on The Berkshire Review and New York Arts, he writes fiction, pursues photography, and publishes scholarly work. In 2011 he contributed an introductory essay to Leonard Freed: The Italians / exh. cat. Io Amo L’Italia, exhibition at Le Stelline, Milan, and wrote the revised the section on American opera houses in The Grove Dictionary of American Music. He is currently at work on a libretto for a new opera by Lewis Spratlan, Midi, an adaptation of Euripides’ Medea set in the French West Indies, ca. 1930.

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