Portland Chamber Music Festival announces new artistic director

Posted:  Thursday, January 11, 2018 - 11:15am

The Portland Chamber Music Festival (PCMF) is thrilled to announce that Melissa Reardon has been selected as the organization’s next Artistic Director. Reardon succeeds PCMF’s founding Artistic Director Jennifer Elowitch, who will step down following the 25th anniversary season in August 2018.

Grammy-nominated violist Melissa Reardon is an internationally renowned performer whose solo and chamber playing spans all musical genres. As a member of the Ensō String Quartet since 2006, Melissa has toured both nationally and internationally. (This is the final season for the quartet, with its last performances scheduled for the summer of 2018.) Melissa is also a founding member of the East Coast Chamber Orchestra (ECCO), and is a sought-after collaborative musician. Lauded by Classical Voice for her “elegant” and “virtuosic” performances, the Massachusetts-born musician won first prize at the Washington International Competition, and is the only violist to win top prizes in consecutive HAMS International viola competitions. Melissa has appeared in numerous festivals across the U.S. and around the world, and has toured with Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble, and with Musicians from Marlboro. She holds degrees from the Curtis Institute of Music and the New England Conservatory, and is a graduate of Walnut Hill School for the Arts, where current PCMF Artistic Director Jennifer Elowitch now serves as Director of Music. Melissa lives in New York City and is married to the cellist Raman Ramakrishnan.

Reardon made her PCMF debut in 2017, and will return to perform at the upcoming August 2018 season. Several events are being planned throughout the year to introduce Reardon to audiences and the community, and she will formally assume the role of Artistic Director on September 1, 2018.

“I am honored and thrilled to join the PCMF team,” said Reardon. “I have such admiration for Jenny Elowitch's artistic leadership and hope to emulate her ability to connect with musicians and with Portland's vibrant community. It is no small feat to grow a festival for 25 years and I hope that the festival will continue to flourish under my leadership for years to come.” She added, “I am so excited to spend more time in this beautiful city, which I first came to know and love when I served as Assistant Principal Viola of the Portland Symphony Orchestra in the early 2000s, and to continue bringing world-class chamber music to Maine.”

PCMF Executive Director Alice Kornhauser remarked, “I am delighted with the selection of Melissa as PCMF’s next Artistic Director. She brings a stellar reputation and exciting artistic vision, continuing Jenny’s great work. She will be a great partner and strong asset in Portland’s arts community, bringing the world’s most accomplished and dynamic musicians and enthusiastically engaging with our audiences.”

Founding Artistic Director Jennifer Elowitch started PCMF in 1994 (with co-founder and pianist Dena Levine) and also served as Executive Director from 2004 through 2014. Over the 25 years of her tenure, PCMF has grown into one of the premier chamber music events in New England and a cornerstone of Portland’s vibrant arts community.

For more information on the Portland Chamber Music Festival, visit pcmf.org