Music Mountain Announces 2018 Season

Chamber music aficionados along with Beethoven lovers will want to mark their calendars for the start of Music Mountain’s concert season! America’s oldest continuing summer chamber music festival will kick off on June 10th with an extremely special summer event – the Complete Beethoven String Quartet Cycle performed by the acclaimed Shanghai String Quartet. The technical and emotional scope of the Beethoven cycle makes it the ultimate challenge for a string quartet.

The Chamber Music Series will also feature Music Mountain premieres and welcome first-time guest artists and returning favorites. Concerts are scheduled for a 16-week season (through September 23rd) and are dedicated to the memory of Music Mountain’s late impresario and Music Director Nicholas Gordon. “Working together with Nick Gordon for a year was an honor and a privilege,” stated Music Mountain artistic director, Oskar Espina-Ruiz. “Nick Gordon’s knowledge was encyclopedic and his mentorship went a long way towards preparing me as new artistic director.”

The 89th Season launches with brio on Sunday, June 10th (3PM) with the Opening Concert & Reception featuring the outstanding Shanghai String Quartet performing the Beethoven Cycle Program #1: String Quartet in E Flat Major, Op. 127; String Quartet in G Major, Op. 18 #2; and String Quartet in C Major, Op. 59 #3. Renowned for its passionate musicality, impressive technique and multicultural innovations, the Shanghai Quartet has become one of the world’s foremost chamber ensembles. Formed at the Shanghai Conservatory in 1983, the Shanghai Quartet has worked with the world’s most distinguished artists and regularly tours the major music centers of Europe, North America and Asia. The celebrated quartet has re-arranged its international touring schedule to perform the Beethoven Cycle in six concerts at Music Mountain this summer, on consecutive Sundays from June 10 to July 8 and returning on September 9 for a 6th rousing concert with a celebratory reception.

This is a one-of-a-kind season,” stated Oskar Espina-Ruiz. “In addition to the Beethoven Cycle, it includes the complete set of three rarely performed and brilliant Beethoven piano quartets from 1785; the complete Mozart “Prussian” string quartets, a set of three, which were the last string quartets Mozart composed; the great piano quintets by Schumann, Brahms, Dvorak, Dohnanyi and Shostakovich; the Mozart and Beethoven quintets for piano and winds featuring Peter Serkin; Shostakovich string quartet numbers 3, 7 and 8; and beloved master works such as Tchaikovsky’s String Sextet “Souvenir de Florence;” Schubert’s “Death and the Maiden” and “Rosamunde” string quartets, and the Cello Quintet in C Major; as well as Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet. (Complete chamber season listed below.)

The 89th Season features Music Mountain debuts by two outstanding quartets: the American String Quartet—resident quartet at the Aspen Music Festival since 1974 and the Manhattan School of Music since 1984—and the Escher String Quartet—in residence at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Three new guest artists join the ranks of exceptional Music Mountain performers: 2017 Van Cliburn Gold Medalist Yekwon Sunwoo, Piano, on July 15; legendary cellist of the Cleveland String Quartet, Paul Katz, on August 26; and the incomparable Robert McDonald, Piano, recital partner for many years to Isaac Stern and other distinguished instrumentalists.

Exceptional artists returning in 2018 include Penderecki String Quartet, Harlem String Quartet, Avalon String Quartet, Amernet String Quartet, St. Petersburg Piano Quartet, Cassatt String Quartet, Ariel String Quartet, Victoria Schwartzman, Piano; Fei-Fei Dong, Piano; Soyeon Kate Lee, Piano; and Peter Serkin, Piano; together with highly acclaimed artists Chauncey Patterson, Viola; Ronald Thomas, Cello; Jihyun (James) Kim, Oboe; Caitlin Beare, Clarinet; Shannon Hagan, Horn; Adam Romey, Bassoon. The 2018 season closes with the Music Mountain debut of artistic director Oskar Espina-Ruiz, Clarinet, on September 23.

About Music Mountain
Music Mountain is located in Falls Village, Connecticut on Music Mountain Road, where a short scenic drive will bring you to Gordon Hall atop Music Mountain. Free parking and picnic facilities are available. Music Mountain is supported, in part, by the Connecticut Commission On Culture & Tourism and the National Endowment for the Arts.


Specially Priced Concerts are as Follows: Tickets for the 89th Season Opening Concert & Reception with the artists featuring Shanghai String Quartet on Sunday, June 10 (3PM) are $75. Tickets for the Labor Day Benefit Concert & Reception with the artists on Sunday, September 2 (3PM) with Peter Serkin, Piano, Jihyun (James) Kim, Oboe, Caitlin Beare, Clarinet, Shannon Hagan, Horn, and Adam Romey, Bassoon, are $75. Tickets for the final Beethoven Cycle Concert and Wine Reception with the artists on Sunday, September 9 (3PM) are $60.

Specially Priced Packages include: the Music Mountain Gold Pass, including admission to all concerts and receptions with the artists, priority reserved seating and one $20 guest ticket available for any regularly priced concert, for $780 individual and $1,500 pair, transferable; and the Beethoven Cycle Package, including admission to all 6 concerts and 2 receptions with the artists of the Beethoven Cycle, for $225, individual, transferable.

Beethoven Cycle Package on sale from January 1. All other tickets go on sale on March 1.
Regularly scheduled Chamber Music Concerts are $35. Twilight Series Concerts are $30. Children ages 5-18 are admitted FREE to ALL CONCERTS when accompanied by a ticket holder. Saturday evening Twilight Concerts are at 6:30 pm. Sunday afternoon Chamber Music concerts are at 3 pm. 4-Pak Pre-Season Ticket Plans are available for $100. Discounts apply through participating organizations. For a complete summer schedule, special ticket prices, and to download a ticket order form visit or call (860) 824-7126.

Arts & Crafts Architecture in Torrington June 6

The Torrington Historical Society is pleased to host a presentation about noted architect E.G.W. Dietrich on Wednesday, June 6th . Architect E.G.W. Dietrich: Bringing the Arts and Crafts Style to Torrington will be presented by Dietrich scholar, Christopher Jend, and will feature information about Dietrich and his design for the Luther Turner House in Torrington, one of the city’s most prominent historic homes. This presentation will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Torrington Historical Society Carriage House Gallery, 192 Main Street, Torrington. The program, free to the public, is sponsored by the Torrington Chapter of UNICO National.

Architect E. G. W. Dietrich (1857-1924) was a native of Pittsburgh, PA and came to prominence in the 1880’s for his eye-catching designs of shingle style country residences. Finding success on the East coast, he relocated to New York City where he would practice for nearly forty years. He was an early proponent of the Colonial Revival and Arts and Crafts styles. Through his collaboration with furniture designer Gustav Stickley, Dietrich is recognized as designing the first “Craftsman” house published in Stickley’s Craftsman Magazine in May 1903.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Dietrich was hired to design a house for Luther G. Turner (1845-1924), one of Torrington’s most prominent citizens. Turner made his career with one of Torrington’s largest industries, the Turner & Seymour Manufacturing Company, eventually serving as President of the firm prior to his retirement in 1915. The house, built circa 1904 and located on a prominent lot at the corner of Migeon Avenue and Gleason Street, went through several design iterations. Coinciding with Dietrich’s design of the first “Craftsman” house, the Turner residence is an outstanding example of Dietrich’s work in the Arts and Crafts Style.

Christopher Jend began researching architect E. G. W. Dietrich seven years ago. In that time, he has documented more than 350 of Dietrich’s designs and visited Dietrich projects in New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Indiana. Mr. Jend researched and wrote the successful nomination of the John Mollenhauer House in Bay Shore, New York to the National Register of Historic Places. He has presented his research on Dietrich at the Bay Shore Historical Society and the Warwick Historical Society (Orange County, New York). The latter was part of the Warwick Village Sesquicentennial and included an exhibition of drawings, renderings, and photographs of Dietrich designs.
For more information, please contact the Torrington Historical Society at

Hollister House hosts Music in the Garden June 10

The Hollister House located in the bucolic village of Washington is hosting its annual event, Music in the Garden, on June 10 at 5 p.m. that is perfect for garden and music lovers. Beautifully situated on a sloping terraced site, this house garden is an American interpretation of a classic English Garden.

Unwind on the main lawn amid the loosely formal structure of this garden and enjoy a magical concert by the Deming String Quartet. The concert of baroque music will include Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G Major by Johann Sebastian Bach, L’estro Armonico, Opus 3, No.11 in D Minor by Antonio Vivaldi, Selections from Water Music and Music for the Royal Fireworks by George Frideric Handel and more.Bring a blanket or a camp chair, even a picnic if you wish – we’ll provide the rosé! Greet summer with a backdrop of a beautiful garden while enjoying an outstanding concert of baroque music.

For tickets, HHG Members $25 |Non-Members $35

About the Quartet
The Deming String Quartet is led by founder and violinist Larry Deming, Concertmaster of the Danbury Symphony Orchestra and Director of the Danbury Music Centre Summer Strings Program. Diane Orson, violinist with Orchestra New England (and WNPR reporter!), Barbara Wiggins, member of the Hartford and New Haven Symphony Orchestras and principal viola with Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra and Mary Costanza, award winning cellist and currently associate principal cellist with the Greenwich Symphony Orchestra complete the quartet.

Free Admission @ Institute of American Indian Studies June 9

Connecticut Open House Day is an annual event scheduled the second Saturday of June, where cultural organizations and tourism attractions throughout the state open their doors to invite folks to discover – and rediscover Connecticut’s museums. One of the best ways to celebrate Open House Day is at the Institute of American Indian Studies located on 38 Curtis Road in Washington Connecticut. Best of all, on June 9 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. visitors will get in free!

If you want to learn about archeology and native cultures past and present, this is the place to visit. A special highlight of the Open House Day at the Institute will be the traditional flute music played by Allan Madahbee, an Ojibway artist, and musician. In Native American culture, the flute is deeply rooted in Eastern Woodland Indian traditions as well as in the culture of indigenous peoples of the Americas. The sound of the flute is hauntingly beautiful and unforgettable. The gift shop is also offering an interesting selection of these rare handmade flutes crafted by Madahbee.

The Collections at IAIS are divided into two categories, Ethnographic and Archaeological. Both categories of the collection are used for exhibition, research, and study.

The Ethnographic Collection contains over 6,000 cultural items and represents indigenous communities throughout the Western Hemisphere. Ethnographic items generally date to the near (Post-European contact) past. The objects were collected, purchased, bartered from or gifted by indigenous owners to others, and often passed down as heirlooms by indigenous and non-indigenous families. These objects represent the diverse history and continued presence of Native American societies, many of whom still dwell on the homelands of their ancestors and maintain their cultural traditions today.

The Archaeological collection features over 300,000 artifacts representing over 1,300 New England Native American archaeological sites. Archaeological items are mostly from below-ground archaeological sites. Some, however, were disturbed from their original location and brought to the surface either by natural causes or human activity. The vast majority of these are nonperishable items such as stone tools and clay pottery fragments. Most of the perishable materials used in the past are rarely found due to the acidic soils and temperate climate of the Northeast.

The archaeological collections in the care of the IAIS span over 12,000 years of indigenous history, including objects from the oldest known site in Connecticut: the Templeton site (6LF21) in Washington.

The IAIS holds overall the largest collection of artifacts from Western Connecticut anywhere in the state. This collection spans from the earliest known occupation to the colonial and Federalist periods of Euro-American history and holds enormous historical significance. The majority of the sites where these artifacts were retrieved have been destroyed by urban development, river erosion, sea level rise or other factors. The only remains of the culture and activities from these sites are the items in this collection.

The Institute for American Indian Studies

Located on 15 woodland acres the IAIS has an outdoor Three Sisters and Healing Plants Gardens as well as a replicated 16th c. Algonkian Village. Inside the museum, authentic artifacts are displayed in permanent, semi-permanent and temporary exhibits from prehistory to the present that allows visitors a walk through time. The Institute for American Indian Studies is located on 38 Curtis Road in Washington Connecticut and can be reached online or by calling 860-868-0518.

The Institute for American Indian Studies preserves and educates through discovery and creativity the diverse traditions, vitality, and knowledge of Native American cultures. Through archaeology, the IAIS is able to build new understandings of the world and history of Native Americans, the focus is on stewardship and preservation. This is achieved through workshops, special events, and education for students of all ages.

Decorative Arts Lecture: The New Redware Collection at the Glebe House

The Glebe House Museum & Gertrude Jekyll Garden will host a Decorative Arts lecture about Redware, Tuesday, June 5 at 7:00 pm at the Glebe House located at 49 Hollow Road, Woodbury, CT.

Samuel Herrup, redware expert and owner of Samuel Herrup Antiques in Sheffield, Massachusetts will speak about the newly acquired Redware Collection at the Glebe House. The 31 piece collection was donated by a private collector in December 2017 and is now on display in the Library – Gallery at the Glebe House Museum.

Tickets for the lecture are $5 for members of the Museum and $10 for non-members and may be purchased in advance by calling the Museum Director at 203-263-2855. Reservations recommended. Seating is limited.

The Glebe House Museum & Gertrude Jekyll Garden located at 49 Hollow Road in Woodbury is celebrating its 93rd anniversary as a historic house & garden this year. It is open Wednesday through Sunday from 1:00-4:00 p.m. and for special group tours upon request. For more information about this program or other programs or events call the Museum or visit the website:

Westport Country Playhouse Opens 2018 Season with “Flyin’ West”

Westport Country Playhouse will open its 2018 Season with an uplifting tale of bravery, pride, and sisterhood, “Flyin’ West,” written by Pearl Cleage and directed by Seret Scott, playing May 29 through June 16.  This year marks the historic theater’s 88th season.

“’Flyin’ West’ is a magical experience, at once funny, suspenseful, gripping, and then completely, joyously satisfying,” said Mark Lamos, Playhouse artistic director. “The characters are richlydelineated and the plot crafted to keep you on the edge of your seat. I’ve loved Pearl Cleage’s writing for years and am thrilled to have Seret Scott directing on our stage at last.”

“Flyin’ West” is set in 1898 as the Civil War is still a living memory and the all-black town of Nicodemus, Kansas, offers a refuge for many former slaves.  At one homestead lives a family of courageous and sharp-witted women determined to make a place for themselves.  They overcome tremendous odds in a heroic effort to escape the scars of the past. 

Cast members are Brittany Bradford as Fannie Dove (NYC/Regional credits: “For Colored Girls,” “The Profane,” “The Taming of the Shrew,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “Neighbors,” “Avenue Q,” “Next to Normal,” “Ragtime,” “Stick Fly”);  Michael Chenevert as Frank Charles (NYC: Writer and star of one-man show, “An Adam Experiment,” about Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.; TV: “Ugly Betty,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “The Following”); Nikiya Mathis as Sophie Washington (Off-Broadway: Atlantic Theater Company, The Public Theater, Playwrights Horizons; TV: “Braindead” (recurring), “The Blacklist,” “Elementary,” “Person of Interest,” “Madam Secretary,” “The Night Of”; Film: “Compliance,” “Knucklehead”); Edward O’Blenis as Wil Parish (Westport Country Playhouse: “The Old Settler,” “A Member of the Wedding,” directed by Joanne Woodward; Film: “Eden,” “Proud,” “On the Outs”; MFA: Yale School of Drama).

Also, Brenda Pressley as Miss Leah (Broadway: “The Lyons,” “The American Plan,” original casts of “Cats” and “Dreamgirls”; Film: “Cradle Will Rock,” “It Could Happen To You”; TV: “Elementary,” “Mysteries of Laura,” “Brewster Place”); and Keona Welch as Minnie Dove Charles (Off-Broadway: “Moony’s Kid Don’t Cry,” “Court-Martial at Fort Devens” – AUDELCO Award Best Ensemble; Film: “Custody,” “Didn’t I Ask For Tea?”; Netflix: “Seven Seconds”).

Director Seret Scott has helmed a dozen productions at The Old Globe as an associate artist. Her Off-Broadway directing credits include New Victory Theater, Second Stage, and Pan Asian Repertory Theatre. Regionally she directed “Native Son” at Yale Repertory Theatre, Court Theatre, and Marin Theatre Company. Other regional venues include Long Wharf Theatre and Hartford Stage, among many more. She was recently given a playwright/directing residency with the Eugene O’Neill National Theater Institute. Scott is a former director-in-residence with New Dramatists, a PEW/TCG Artist Residency Grant awardee, a produced playwright, and a Drama Desk Award-winning actress. She is on the executive board of SDC.

Playwright Pearl Cleage is an Atlanta-based writer whose work has won commercial acceptance and critical praise in several genres. She is an award-winning playwright of a dozen works including “Blues for an Alabama Sky,” and “Flyin’ West,” the most-produced new play in the country in 1994.  She is also a bestselling author whose first novel, “What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day,” was an Oprah Book Club pick and spent nine weeks on The New York Times bestseller list.

The design team includes Marjorie Bradley Kellogg, scenic design; Heidi Leigh Hanson, costume design; Stephen Strawbridge, lighting design; and Frederick Kennedy, sound design. “Flyin West” Production Partners are Johnna G. Torsone and John McKeon; Corporate Production Sponsor is Fidelity Investments. 

Performance schedule is Tuesday at 7 p.m., Wednesday at 2 and 8 p.m., Thursday and Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 3 and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m.  Special series feature Taste of Tuesday (May 29), LGBT Night OUT (May 31), Opening Night (June 2), Sunday Symposium (June 3), Together at the Table Family Dinner (June 5), Open Captions (June 10), Backstage Pass (June 13), Playhouse Happy Hour (June 14), and Thursday TalkBack (June 14). 

Single tickets start at $30; buy early for best prices.  For more information and to buy tickets, vi

Celebrate Memorial Day Weekend with BBQ and Bourbon and Bacon!

The exciting summer season at the Railroad Museum of New England launches on Memorial Day Weekend. Beginning on Saturday, May 26, families wanting to enjoy the scenic views of the Naugatuck River and the Litchfield Hills are invited to take a ride back in time on the Museum’s vintage 1920s passenger coaches.

Trains leave Thomaston Station at 12 noon and 2 pm on Saturdays and Sundays beginning this Holiday weekend, and throughout the summer. The 2 pm trains have the added feature of stopping at Fascia’s Chocolates in Waterbury to enjoy delicious selections of sweets.

Kicking off the season with some “special sauce,” on Saturday, May 26, the Museum is offering the “Litchfield Hills BBQ and Whiskey Special,” sponsored by Litchfield Distillery. This special event, for adults over 21, features a delicious mix of bourbon, BBQ and music with a train ride and scenic views.

The program starts at Thomaston Train Station at 5 pm, with the serving of the “Litchfielder”— Litchfield Distillery’s signature cocktail. The BBQ includes a hearty BBQ appetizer buffet of pulled pork sliders, dry rubbed chicken wings, BBQ ribs, bourbon BBQ meatballs wrapped in bacon, and more, all provided by Black Rock Tavern of Thomaston.

On the train ride to Torrington each guest will be offered a “Brown Derby” cocktail, live music and select cheeses. Upon arrival, passengers will take a leisurely, five-minute, down-hill walk down to the Five Points Gallery for scrumptious desserts, live entertainment, and coffee.

Desserts include caramel pecan cake drops, maple bourbon cannolis, caramel apple mini cheesecakes, truffle filled double chocolate cookie tarts, and mini cupcakes. The event finishes up with a walk back to the train and return ride to Thomaston, while enjoying a “Mochalotion” dessert cocktail.

Further into the season, the Museum also is scheduling four special excursions with the “Torrington Twilight Express” on Wednesdays from July 11th through August 1st. This special express train will run in collaboration with the Main Street Marketplace and leave Thomaston Station at 5 pm, departing Torrington at 7:30 pm, allowing passengers the chance to enjoy Torrington’s popular street festival.