Salt Bay Chamberfest’s annual chamber music concerts will this year be held at the historic 1827 Italianate Lincoln Theater in downtown Damariscotta. Audiences can delight in hearing live classical music once again while enjoying performances by distinctive artists with international reputations for excellence. Eight, one-hour festival concerts will take place between Aug. 15 and 29. Most concerts will be presented at both 4 and 7:30 p.m., with increased COVID precautions at all 4 p.m. shows.
The opening concert, on Sunday, Aug. 15, will feature violin soloist Jennifer Koh and cellist and SBC Artistic Director Wilhelmina Smith performing a world premiere and SBC-commissioned work composed by Darian Donovan Thomas, as well as works by several important composers of this generation, including Jessie Montgomery, Dawn Avery, Nina C. Young, and Angelica Negron. This duo concert will also feature Bach Inventions and Ravel’s “Sonata for Violin and Cello.”
Koh will perform J.S. Bach’s complete Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin on Monday, Aug. 16 and Tuesday, Aug. 17. A recipient of the Avery Fisher Career grant and top prizewinner in the Tchaikovsky Competition, Koh has been honored as “A Force of Nature” by the American Composers Orchestra and was Musical America’s 2016 Instrumentalist of the Year.
The Naumburg Award-winning Brentano String Quartet will present two programs on Wednesday, Aug. 18 and Thursday, Aug. 19. On Aug. 18, the Quartet will present works composed for them by Bruce Adolphe and Steven Mackey, as well as Haydn’s “Quartet Op. 20, No. 5,” and Beethoven’s formidable “Grosse Fuge.” On Aug. 19, they will present Haydn’s “Quartet Op. 71, No. 2,” Stravinsky’s “Concertino,” George Walker’s “Molto Adagio,” and Beethoven’s late work, “String Quartet No. 16, Op. 135.”
On Tuesday, Aug. 24, harpist Bridget Kibbey will perform a unique program for solo harp beginning with Bach’s famed “Toccata and Fugue,” and featuring Britten’s “Suite for Harp.” In addition, the concert will include shorter works by Fauré, Albéniz, Paquito D’Rivera, and Samuel Torres. Kibbey will also offer insights into the music.
On Friday, Aug. 27, Hawk Henries, who has an international reputation as a flutist and flute maker, will perform original and traditional works for native flute. Henries is a member of the Chaubunagungamaug band of Nipmuck, a people indigenous to what is now southern New England. He has been composing original music and using hand tools to craft Eastern Woodlands flutes for 30 years.
Lester Lynch, a dramatic operatic baritone, will be in Damariscotta on Sunday, Aug. 29 to perform a solo recital with harpist Bridget Kibbey. The featured work on the program will be Schumann’s song cycle Dichterliebe, followed by songs of Fauré and Wagner, as well as traditional spirituals. Lynch has made his mark singing lead roles in some of the world’s leading opera houses, including those of Berlin, San Francisco, and the Chicago Lyric.
For tickets and more information, visit www.saltbaychamberfest.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (207) 522-3749. All concerts are presented twice on each day, at 4 and 7:30 pm at Lincoln Theater, 2 Theater St, Damariscotta, with the exception of Aug. 29 (5 p.m. only).
The free outdoor concerts ... part of Salt Bay Chamberfest’s “River Muse: Meditations on the Damariscotta River” series: On Saturday, Aug. 21 at 3 p.m., at the Whaleback Shell Midden overlooking the Damariscotta River, the Penobscot Burnurwurbskek Singers will perform traditional songs honoring the river at this historic Native American site. On Saturday, Aug. 28, at 8 a.m. at Salt Bay Farm, flutist Hawk Henries will present a musical installation on the Bayside Trail birdwatching path. Henries will be stationed on a promontory overlooking the Damariscotta River, and will be playing songs of nature in an encounter with river birds, water, wind, and passersby.