The Craftsbury Chamber Players, performers of “the best chamber music in Vermont” for over fifty years, have announced its 2019 season. Presenting six weekly concerts in Hardwick and the Burlington area, as well as mini-concerts for children, the Craftsbury Chamber Players continue to offer an engaging musical journey.

The 2019 season offers a wide range of repertoire. The first week of concerts start the season with three pieces that the Players dub “monumental miniatures” from Mozart, Beethoven, and Hindemith. The Craftsbury Chamber Players then have concerts ranging from American parlor and art songs to selections that evoke the natural world. The fourth week of concerts is dedicated to the music of Franz Schubert, and the fifth week are player favorites from Mozart, Britten, and Brahms.

The players end the 2019 season with a program dedicated to the late co-founder and artistic director, Mary Anthony Cox. Cox, who passed in January, taught generations of musicians at Julliard using her own ear training curriculum, for which no model existed in the United States Dubbed the “doyenne of music for the Northeast Kingdom” by the Times Argus, she was profoundly influential, and generations of students dubbed her a formidable and memorable instructor. She was known for her impeccable musicianship, uncompromising standards, and an ability to bring humor to a sometimes dry subject.

“Our 2019 concert offerings continue our tradition of programming a mixture of traditional, challenging, and unusual repertoire,” said Music Director Frances Rowell. “Our choices come from our artists, which means we have an incredibly rich selection to play for our audience. Our extended family of guest artists as well as our volunteers, donors, and patrons bring an added vigor to the choices.”

Continuing this season are pre-concert chats before each program. Each talk starts at 6:45 p.m. and will be an interactive discussion of some facet of the evening’s performance, hosted by Executive Director Hal Parker. A full program can be found at the Craftsbury Chamber Players’ website at www.crafstburychamberplayers.org.

GUEST ARTISTS

Anchoring the ensemble are the veteran CCP artists: pianists Marcantonio Barone, Monica Ohuchi, and Inessa Zaretsky; violinists Mary Rowell, Katherine Winterstein, Joyce Hammann, and Ben Russell; violist Kenji Bunch; bassist Evan Premo; and cellists Frances Rowell and Mimi Hwang. Our guest artists this season are: soprano Mary Bonhag; violinist Victor Costanzi; violist Isabel Hagen; oboist Diane Lesser; singer Gregory Purnhagen; and violinist Carol Rodland.

Performances are weekly and held in both Hardwick and the greater Burlington area.

Hardwick-area concerts are on Thursdays from July 11 to August 15, 2019. The concerts start at 7:30 p.m. and are held at the historic Hardwick Town House.

FREE MINI-CONCERTS FOR CHILDREN

Since the beginning, the Craftsbury Chamber Players have shared their art with the youngest members of the community by performing free mini-concerts. These performances take place in the afternoon, before the evening concerts, and they feature music from the full concerts. The performers offer explanations and demonstrations geared to the young audience to guide them inside some of the greatest music ever written.

This year, the mini-concerts will be held in Burlington, Hardwick, and Greensboro. A full schedule can be found on www.craftsburychamberplayers.org.

HISTORY

From its 1966 founding, The Craftsbury Chamber Players’ close-knit, local core has attracted an array of world-class musicians from around the USA and globe. The original four musicians, Mary Anthony Cox, Alan Birney, Ann Rylands Birney and her sister, Mary Lou Rylands, now of East Craftsbury, first performed in the Sterling College (then School) dining hall on Craftsbury Common. Their growing audience soon required expansion of the ensemble and repertoire, then a move to Hardwick’s much larger Town House. In the early 1980’s came the addition of weekly performances in Burlington at the University of Vermont Recital Hall in association with the University’s Lane Series.

“As one of the longest, continuously running music festivals in the country, the Craftsbury Chamber Players offer the beauty of world-class music in the serenity of northern Vermont,” said Ned Houston of Craftsbury, president of the organization that marshals the Northeast Kingdom and Burlington community support vital to the group’s existence.

He continued, “We are so grateful to our donors whose contributions and continued support cover about half of our annual budget and help ensure our success.”

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