2006 Summer

Litchfield, CT --
Contact: Janet L. Serra
Ph: 800-663-1273
Email: lhcvbnwct@aol.com
For Immediate Release

With the 100th birthday of its Music Shed as ample reason for celebration, the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival of the Yale Summer School of Music will host a landmark year this summer honoring its historic hall. The cedar and redwood venue remains as handsome and its acoustics as great as when it was dedicated in 1906. The Centennial season from June 10 to August 20 will offer many special events.

The second historic festival in the Litchfield Hills, Music Mountain in Falls Village, will mark its 77th season June 11 to September 10.

THE NORFOLK CELEBRATION

The Norfolk celebration begins with a 100th Anniversary Gala Concert on Saturday, June 10th with the Dave Brubeck Quartet. followed on June 17 by a fully staged performance of Gilbert and Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance by New York's Blue Hill Troupe. The public is invited to share a free day on July 20 featuring Mozart during the day and an evening Concert Band performance capped by outdoor fireworks. The Norfolk Choral Festival on August 19th will feature a new work for chamber choir by Joan Panetti.

As always, audiences will be able to enjoy a streamside picnic or an evening stroll on the estates lovely 70 acres of rolling lawns, gardens and historic buildings.

The Festival will feature over 40 performances by faculty and guest artists, along with promising musicians selected as Fellows of the Yale Summer School of Music. Performers this summer will include the resident Tokyo Strong Quartet, as well as The Vermeer Quartet, the Keller Quartet from Hungary and Vienna's Leschitizky Trio. Grammy-winning soprano Susan Narucki, flutist Ransom Wilson and bassoonist Frank Morelli are among the featured performers scheduled. See www.yale.edu/norfolk for details.

AN ILLUSTRIOUS HISTORY

The Music Festival had its beginnings in 1899 when Ellen Battell and her husband Carl Stoeckel, son of the Yale School of Music's first professor, founded the Litchfield County Choral Union and began hosting chamber music and choral concerts at their 35-room mansion, called Whitehouse. As audiences grew, the Stoeckels decided to build a hall. They commissioned E.K. Rossiter, a New York architect, to design the Music Shed which became widely known for its acoustics, carrying even the softest sounds to the farthest corner of the hall. The Shed remains essentially unchanged since the stage was graced by such musicians as Fritz Kreisler, Sergei Rachmaninoff and Jean Sibelius.

Endowed with a bequest from Ellen Battell Stoeckel, the Yale Summer School of Music at Norfolk opened its doors in 1941 on the Stoeckel estate with a mission to maintain the great tradition and to provide professional development for emerging career musicians. This summer marks the 65th season for the Yale-sponsored Chamber Music series. The Tokyo String Quartet has been in residence since 1976. Each year, talented young professional musicians compete to spend their summer weeks in intensive programs, working with the Festival's exceptional roster of professionals.

MUSIC MOUNTAIN HIGHLIGHTS

The second venerable program in the Litchfield Hills, Music Mountain, begins its 77th season June 11 as the oldest continuous summer chamber music festival in the country. Concerts take place in Gordon Hall, built in 1930 and on the National Register of Historic Places. The hall has recently been air-conditioned. Music Mountain is one of the few programs of its caliber completely managed by a group of dedicated volunteers.

The season will feature 16 chamber concerts, a Saturday night jazz series, and choral concerts on Friday nights, as well as special events. An opening benefit on June 11 will feature the Jacque Thibaud Trio and Eugenia Zukerman on flute. Among summer highlights are the Shanghai and St. Petersburg string quartets, the Steinhardt, Artymiw, Eskin Trio and soloists including Melvin Chen on piano, Robert Martin on cello and pianists Alpin Hong, Tao Lin and Daniel Epstein. Classical Guitar will be featured on May 27 and August 18 and Paul Winter and Friends, featuring five-time Grammy Award winner Winter on soprano sax, will close out the season on September 10 with Bach2Brazil. See details of the season at www.musicmountain.org

A free Open House and Festival will be held at Music Mountain on Saturday, August 12 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a variety of performances including Saint-Sa?ns Carnival of the Animals performed by the Bergonzi String Quartet.

For more information about summer music in the Litchfield Hills and a free copy of UNWIND, a 112-page color guide to lodging and dining and other regional attractions in the Litchfield Hills of Northwest Connecticut contact the Northwest Connecticut Convention and Visitors Bureau, PO Box 968, Litchfield, CT 06759, 800-663-1273, or check the Internet at www.litchfieldhills.com.