Norfolk Chamber Music Festival Announces its 2013 Season Through August 17

The Music Shed
The Music Shed

The Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, presented by the Yale School of Music, celebrates its 72nd season this year with performances and residencies by six internationally esteemed string quartets alongside students and young professionals from around the world. From June 22 to
August 17 Norfolk will host a roster of string quartets including: the Artis Quartet, the Brentano Quartet, the Emerson String Quartet, the Jasper String Quartet, the Keller Quartet, and the Tokyo String Quartet. The Tokyo String Quartet, which is retiring this year, will play its last concert on July 6 at the festival. And on August 3 the Emerson String Quartet will perform its New York area debut concert with the group’s new cellist, Paul Watkins.

Opening the 2013 festival on Saturday, June 22 is a choral program by the Yale Choral Artists, a new ensemble of 24 professional singers from around the country under the direction of the Yale Glee Club’s Jeffrey Douma. The Choral Artists will perform All Night Vigil (Vespers) by Sergei Rachmaninov along with a shorter work by Pavel Chesnokov, Salvation is Created.

From July 5 to August 17 Norfolk will host a six-week Chamber Music Session. Among the twelve concerts each Friday and Saturday night in July and August is a presentation of Franz Schubert’s song cycle Die Winterreise performed by pianist Peter Frankl and baritone Randall Scarlata on
Friday, July 12.

Back Camera

The Norfolk Festival, under the leadership of Paul Hawkshaw since 2004, includes a New Music Workshop led by composer Martin Bresnick, a Lecture series, a Young Artists’ Performance Series, Festival Artist concerts (Friday and Saturday nights), and a Family Day on July 14 that includes a performance of Yale’s Javanese ensemble, Gamelan Suprabanggo. This year’s festival concludes on August 17 with a performance of works for chorus and orchestra from the Renaissance to the contemporary by the Norfolk Festival Chorus and Orchestra directed by Simon Carrington.

For Tickets and Information: Concerts at: The Music Shed, 20 Litchfield Road (Rtes 44 & 272), Norfolk, CT Call: 203.432.1966 Email: Website: Series Ticket Prices: $55 – $15; $10 Students (ages18-25), and KIDS COME FREE! Special Event Ticket Prices: The Tokyo String Quartet- The Last Concert $375 ($345 ltd view) – $225 ($175 ltd view) – $100 ($75 ltd view) – $45.

About the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival

Carl Stoeckel and Ellen Battell, both from families steeped in the Yale University tradition, married in 1895 and decided to honor Ellen’s father by founding a local musical society that would bring an abundance of musical excellence to their town of Norfolk, CT. Choral and musical societies already blossomed around the region; every town had a club and a quorum of musicians. Mrs. Stoeckel had long hosted informal evenings in her home, first in the Whitehouse, and later in the church next door. A great musical festival in Norfolk would provide a natural center to a region steeped in music. When the Litchfield County Choral Union came into being in 1899, it soon became the first internationally known music festival of its kind in America, and inspired the array of music centers that have since settled across the Berkshires.
After five years of concerts on their estate, the Stoeckels decided to build a hall worthy of truly great music.

A New York architect, E.K. Rossiter, designed the building, and the Music Shed opened for use on June 6, 1906. The Shed is built of cedar and lined with California redwood, which likely accounts for its brilliant acoustics and certainly for its rustic beauty. The original hall seated 700 audience members, but after several expansions it was enlarged to hold 2,100. (Fire regulations have since reduced its capacity back to under 1,000.) Audiences began to clamor for invitations from all over New England and as far away as Texas, Chicago and California, and within five years they could easily have filled a building many times as large. The Music Shed had begun its reign among the premiere concert halls in New England.

Mr. and Mrs. Stoeckel spared no expense in making the festival concerts extravagant musical events. They recruited a 70-piece orchestra of players from the Philharmonic and Metropolitan Opera orchestras in New York, and paid for a special train to transport the instrumentalists through the Litchfield hills. The appointments were eagerly sought; apart from the honor, the musicians had the pleasure of spending a week in the mountains, and the lawn parties that spread across the estate after rehearsals were soon famous.
Carl Stoeckel died in 1925 and the concerts continued for several years but activities came to a close during the 1930’s. When Ellen Battell Stoeckel passed away in 1939 she left her estate in trust for the use of the Yale School of Music, to continue “studies in music, art and literature,” and the Yale Summer School of Music/ Norfolk Chamber Music Festival began in 1941. Since that time countless gifted musicians have made for themselves a summer home in Norfolk, whether as students, faculty or performers at the Festival.

Since the beginning of the School and Festival, artists such as the Cleveland, Guarneri, Emerson, Juilliard, and Tokyo quartets have taught and performed in Norfolk. Fellows at Norfolk have included the oboist Allen Vogel, violinists Syoko Aki and Pamela Frank, clarinetist Richard Stoltzman, and soprano Frederica Von Stade. Recent ensembles have established themselves as students at Norfolk, including new music ensemble eighth blackbird, the Avalon quartet, the Calder quartet, the Claremont Trio, the Jasper Quartet, and the Miro quartet. In addition, Norfolk alumni are found in virtually every music conservatory and many major orchestras around the world, including the Boston, Chicago, and the Metropolitan Opera Orchestras.

Students from conservatories around the world audition each year to participate in the festival and those that are accepted receive fellowships to cover the cost of tuition, room, and board. Since 1906, Norfolk festival musicians (including Rachmaninov, Sibelius, Vaughn Williams, in the early decades of the 20th century, and the St. Lawrence Quartet, eighth blackbird, Frederica von Stade, Richard Stoltzman and Alan Gilbert more recently) have performed on the stage of the festival’s iconic venue, the “Music Shed.”

Ives Concert Park announces first five shows of Summer Concert Series

After much anticipation, Ives Concert Park has announced the first five artists slated to perform in its 2013 Summer Concert Series. The venue, located on the Western Connecticut State University Westside campus, 43 Lake Ave. Extension in Danbury, has featured a wide variety of performers representing all eras and genres of music for nearly 40 years. Now, thanks to a new partnership with New York-based promoter The Bowery Presents, the summer line-up is starting to take shape.

All shows are rain or shine and tickets for the five shows announced are on sale at at Additional shows and ticket sale dates will be announced soon.

Scheduled to perform are:


• moe. with the Wood Brothers at 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 1
Reserved tickets are $35; lawn tickets are $20.


• Gov’t Mule at 6 p.m. on Sunday, June 2
Reserved tickets are $35; lawn tickets are $20 in advance and $25 on day of show.

Tony Bennett
Tony Bennett

• Tony Bennett at 8 p.m. on Saturday, July 13
Reserved tickets are $86; lawn tickets are $36.


• Summerland Tour 2013 Alternative Guitars starring Everclear, Live, Filter and Sponge at 8 p.m. on Friday, July 19
Reserved tickets are $35; lawn tickets are $20.


• Brandi Carlile at 8 p.m. on Saturday, July 20
Reserved tickets are $39.50; lawn tickets are $25.

A special two-show ticket has been created for the back-to-back moe. and Gov’t Mule shows on June 1 and 2. A reserved ticket for both nights will be $50 and a lawn ticket will be $30.

Music-lovers who subscribe to the Ives “Backstage Buzz” e-newsletter will have the opportunity to purchase tickets one day before they go on sale to the general public. To sign up, visit the Ives Concert Park website at For contests and announcements, follow Ives on Facebook at and Twitter at @IvesConcertPark.

Sultans of String Perform at Infinity Hall Dec. 20

Fiery world-jazz string super-group, Sultans of String, whose new revved up CD, MOVE, just garnered the group the prestigious CFMA World Group of the Year, returns to headline Infinity Hall December 20th, after their wildly successful debut opening there for Livingston Taylor!


The band’s 3rd CD can only be thought of as a perfect hat-trick, presenting, once again, an exhilarating celebration of world music styles. “North America is a real meeting place of musical influences from around the world” says bandleader/violinist Chris McKhool. “At the same time, as a band we try to tell uniquely North American stories, putting forth our vision of the world as one family.”

From the east coast’s Sable Island with its breathtaking wild horses, to the west coast calls of Luna the Whale, or from the silk road through Spain & the Middle East to the Gypsy-jazz cafés of Eastern Europe, Sultans of String take audiences on a spell-binding sonic journey.

Seamlessly traversing diverse themes of heart, place and tradition, fiery violin dances with kinetic guitar while a funk bass lays down unstoppable grooves. Throughout, acoustic strings meet electronic wizardry to create layers and depth of sound.

Since their formation only 5 years ago, Sultans of String have been riding a wave of success, from their debut CD, “Luna”, and 2nd offering, “Yalla Yalla!”, both hitting # 1 on world/international music charts in Canada, to “Yalla Yalla’s!” triple CFMA nomination, winning Instrumental Group of the Year in 2009.

In the past 2 years alone, they’ve acquired a JUNO nomination, 1st place in the International Songwriting Competition, placed as finalists for two 2011 International Independent Music Awards and won this year’s Festivals & Events Ontario-Entertainer of The Year Award and the CFMA’s World Group of the Year.

The latest good news is that The Chieftains have invited the Sultans to open for them this coming spring in Connecticut—exciting times for this hardworking indie band!
For more information about this band visit For ticket information visit For area information

About Infinity Hall

Located in beautiful Norfolk Connecticut,on Rte. 44 Infinity Hall was built in 1883 and offers an intimate venue for music, dining and entertainment. Newly renovated, the historic building features its original proscenium stage and wood, as well as many other notable details.

The music hall seats 300, ensuring each and every seat provides front row entertainment. The hall hosts more than 200 music and entertainment shows by quality national and regional artists annually. Infinity Bistro, the music-themed restaurant and bar, serves gourmet delights and spirits.

20 Years of Chamber Music At Keeler Tavern Museum April 22 and May 20

Keeler Tavern A Colonial Gem

The Mid-Hudson Saxophone Quarter will perform in the Garden House of the Keeler Tavern Museum located on 132 Main Street in Ridgefield Connecticut on Sunday, April 22 at 3:00 PM. This is the first of two spring concerts scheduled as part of the Louise McKeon Chamber Music Concert Series held at the Museum for over 20 years.

The saxophone musicians are Steven Kieley, soprano and alto, Deborah Tice, soprano and alto, Daniel Teare, tenor, and Charles W. Gray, baritone. They will perform a variety of musical selections suited to this special instrument. All are performing or teaching in the Hudson Valley area schools and colleges and perform at a variety of conventions and with groups in the Hudson Valley and other areas along the Eastern Seaboard.

Admission at the door is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and students, and $10 for children under 12. All guests are invited to meet with the musicians after the concert and enjoy light refreshments.

The final concert of the season will take place Sunday, May 20th with members of the Western Connecticut Youth Orchestras performing in the Garden House at 3 PM For further information call 203-438-5484 or visit

About Keeler Tavern

The Keeler Tavern Preservation Society, Inc. founded the Keeler Tavern Museum in 1966 as a living museum of colonial history within the town of Ridgefield, Connecticut.

It is the Society’s mission to preserve and protect the Keeler Tavern, a site listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1982, that embodies the life of the community from the early 19th century through the mid 20th century.

The Society is committed to promoting Ridgefield’s history and heritage by providing educational and cultural programs that interpret the past for present and future generations.

The history of the Tavern and the Town of Ridgefield is reflected in the stories of the families who lived here. The archives of the Museum include extensive documentation and records from the Keeler, Resseguie and Gilbert families.

Kent Singers Concert Celebrates Spring

Kent Singers

The Kent Singers return for the Spring Concert of the 39th season on April 15, 2012, at St. Andrew’s Church in Kent, and on April 22 at St. Mark’s Bridgewater. Both concerts are scheduled for 3 p.m.

The highly acclaimed group features singers from throughout Northwest Connecticut performing mostly four-part classical compositions. They have built a reputation for presenting some of the finest choral music. They are all volunteers, including Music Director, Mark Brooks.

The April 2012 concert features a mixed theme of Easter, Love and new life in Spring. Johann Sebastian Bach’s Motet 3, “Jesu, meine Freude” (Jesu, my great pleasure), sung in English, reflects the Easter theme. Bach wrote six motets and this one, Motet 3, is unique amongst all the others as it is a “Chorale” motet, using popular hymns of his day with texts from the Eighth Chapter of St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans. Bach’s musical genius rested on a theological foundation and he has been referred to as “The Fifth Evangelist.”

The remainder of the program will be songs of new life, spring and love featuring great poets John Donne, Ronsard, Octavio Paz, Joseph Machlis, George Herbert, Robert Bridges and James Agee, with music by Dominick Argento, David Dickau, Hans Hassler, Orlando diLasso, Eric Whitacre, Williametta Spencer, Norman Dello Joio, William Bolcom and Samuel Barber.

The Kent Singers have performed in Kent, New Preston, Bridgewater, Sharon, Sherman, Washington and New Haven. They have expanded from a single concert in the fall and spring to five concerts per year.

The next performance will be the Faure Requiem with the Sherman Ensemble on June 10 at the Kent School Chapel in Kent, Conn.

Tickets for the April concerts are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and young adults, and children under 12, free. For more information call 860-619-8110, email, or visit