Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival: 35th Anniversary Season / 18 Concerts



18 CONCERTS, JULY 19 AUGUST 19, 2018 


  • “Destination America” Theme
  • World Premieres of BCMF Commissions by Kenji Bunch and Paul Moravec (A New Country)
  • Guest Artists: Alan Alda, Nathan Gunn, Jennifer Johnson Cano
  • Five Free Pre-Festival Pop-Up Concerts Around the Hamptons 


“As we put this very special season together, we were reminded of the profound and enduring relationship between exposure to other cultures and creativity.”

‒Marya Martin, BCMF Founder & Artistic Director


This summer, the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, called “the crown jewel of chamber music festivals on Long Island – arguably anywhere on the East Coast” by Newsday last year, celebrates its 35th anniversary. A pre-festival ramp-up of five free pop-up concerts around the Hamptons sets the stage, Alan Alda returns to launch the season, hosting a musical portrait of Fanny and Felix Mendelssohn, and the festival features the world premieres of BCMF-commissioned works by Kenji Bunch and Paul Moravec.

Overarching the main series of 13 concerts July 22 – August 19 is the theme of “Destination America,” presenting and framing music by composers who came to this country for reasons both creative and otherwise – to flee oppression (Igor Stravinsky, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Arnold Schoenberg, Bohuslav Martinů, Bohuslav Dohnányi), to explore new opportunities (Antonin Dvořák, Astor Piazzolla, Osvaldo Golijov, Zhou Tian) – or are the descendants of slaves (William Grant Still) or immigrants (Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, Philip Glass, John Corigliano, Paul Moravec, Bruce MacCombie, George Tsontakis, Mark O’Connor, Jennifer Higdon, Kenji Bunch).

“Thirty-five years ago I stood on my front porch and sold tickets to our very first festival,” said BCMF Founder and Artistic Director Marya Martin. “It’s hard to believe how much we’ve accomplished since that first weekend of two concerts. But even before that, I, like so many musicians and composers over the years, came to America to follow my musical dreams. This summer, we celebrate the amazing impact that this country has had on composers and musicians and vice versa through our theme, ‘Destination America.’ As we put this very special season together, we were reminded of the profound and enduring relationship between exposure to other cultures and creativity.”

“By celebrating our 35th Season through the lens of ‘Destination America,’ we put a spotlight on works both the familiar and new, and reinforce the idea of America as a place where creativity thrives, and is indeed improved, by a coming together of cultures,” said BCMF Executive Director Michael Lawrence. “We feel the same way about our artists, who come from all around the world to bring their unique perspectives to bear on an amazingly broad and deep repertoire, creating a special and dynamic experience for our audiences.”

Among the festival’s highlights: a Bernstein centennial program celebrating the friendship between Leonard Bernstein and Aaron Copland, featuring Copland’s Appalachian Spring in the original chamber version for 13 instruments and Bernstein and Copland songs performed by opera star Nathan Gunn; a special all-American program at the Parrish Art Museum featuring music by Higdon, Glass, Tsontakis, Dohnányi, and Light Upon a Turning Leaf, a 2010 BCMF commission by Bruce MacCombie; dance-inspired music by Strauss/Schoenberg, Dvořák, Piazzolla, William Grant Still, and Mark O’Connor for the festival’s annual Free Outdoor Concert; “The Mendelssohns: Fanny and Felix,” a composer portrait hosted by Alan Alda; a program juxtaposing music by Haydn and Korngold; an evening of Bach sonatas; and program  highlights including Four Seasons of Vivaldi and Piazzolla, Stravinsky’s Three Pieces for String Quartet, and Schumann’s Piano Quintet. (Complete programs follow below.)


BCMF Commissions 2018

Portland, Oregon, native Kenji Bunch’s second BCMF commission is a new work for piano and winds that will have its world premiere on August 5. The festival concludes on August 19 with a program that combines music by Brahms with the world premiere of a BCMF commission by Pulitzer Prize-winning Buffalo, NY, native Paul Moravec, his second: A New Country for mezzo-soprano, flute, violin, viola, cello, and piano, which will feature the singer Jennifer Johnson Cano in her second BCMF appearance. (Moravec’s 2003 Chamber Symphony, also a BCMF commission, is on the festival’s August 12 program.)

The festival’s home is the beautiful 1842 Bridgehampton Presbyterian Church, which boasts admirable acoustics, and whose grounds are also the site of the festival’s Free Outdoor Concert, “Art of the Dance” on July 25. Special events taking place in other Hamptons locations include the BCMF Annual Benefit, a one-hour program followed by dinner, at the Atlantic Golf Club on July 28, and the Festival’s annual Wm. Brian Little Concert(named after the late BCMF board member) on August 10, a “Bernstein & Copland” program under a tent on the stunning grounds of the Channing Sculpture Garden adjacent to the Channing Daughters Winery; wine and hors d’oeuvres are served before the hour-long program.  And this year’s BCMF concert at the Parrish Art Museum, “American Dreams” on August 6, is the festival’s fifth event there.


Free Pop-Up Concerts by the Rolston String Quartet 


As a special 35th-anniversary prelude, BCMF presents five free concerts by the Rolston String Quartet July 19-21 in different locations throughout the Hamptons: Southampton Arts Center, Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill, Hampton Library in Bridgehampton, John Jermain Memorial Library in Sag Harbor, and Madoo Conservancy in Sagaponack. The programs for these casual, 30-40-minute concerts by the Rolston String Quartet, which just received Chamber Music America’s Cleveland Quartet Award (given to a young quartet on the cusp of a major career), will be announced from the stage. (See full schedule below.)

The festival’s roster of artists comprises one of the best multi-generational groups of chamber musicians to be found anywhere. Led by flutist and festival founder Marya Martin, they include  violinist Ani Kavafian, who has played in the festival since its first year; New York Philharmonic Concertmaster Frank Huang; Masumi Rostad, viola, recently of the Pacifica Quartet; Jon Kimura Parker, pianist of the Montrose Trio, longtime festival artists Stewart Rose, horn; Clive Greensmith, cello, formerly of the Tokyo Quartet; Anthony Marwood, violin, current Principal Artistic Partner of Canada’s Les Violons du Roy; and Long Island native Kenneth Weiss, harpsichord; and newcomers to the festival, including pianists Michael Brown, Ran Dank, David Fung, and Julie Gunn; violinists Benjamin Baker, Alexi Kenney, Angelo Xiang-Yu; violist Matthew Lipman; and cellist Mihai Marica, formerly of the Escher String Quartet.

Watch an excerpt from “Brahms and the Schumanns: Love, Genius, Madness,” narrated by Alan Alda, recorded July 30, 2017:

Tickets go on sale May 7 and may be purchased on the festival’s website,, or by calling 212-741-9403 before July 15; after July 16, call 631-537-6368. A student ticket price of $10 will be available for most concerts.


A “beloved East End festival”

Called a “beloved East End festival” by The New Yorker, the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival has become known for presenting a broad and stimulating range of music, performed by some of the best musicians in the country in one of the most beautiful seaside settings on the East Coast.  The longest-running classical music festival on Long Island, BCMF has maintained its special sense of community ever since the festival debuted in 1984 with five artists in two concerts in the intimate setting of the Bridgehampton Presbyterian Church.  BCMF has developed a loyal core audience among the local residents and summer visitors to this East End destination, who have had a wide range of music introduced to them over more than three decades of summer festivals – currently comprising more than a dozen events over five weeks in the summer – and, since 2015, a BCMF Spring mini-series. 

Violinist Ani Kavafian, cellist Fred Sherry, and pianist André-Michel Schub joined Marya Martin for the Festival’s first season. Each year, the Festival welcomes back many artists from years past along with new chamber music leaders to create, in Marya Martin’s words, “the electricity of good friends making music together.” The roster has included, among others, violinists Pamela Frank, Mark O’Connor, Colin Jacobsen, and Anthony Marwood; cellists Clive Greensmith and Peter Wiley; bassist Edgar Meyer; pianists Jeremy Denk, Claude Frank, and Ursula Oppens; harpsichordist Kenneth Cooper; the late flutist Jean-Pierre Rampal; clarinetist Anthony McGill; Tony-award winning singers Audra McDonald and Victoria Clark; and ensembles Brooklyn Rider and the Miró String Quartet.

Committed to presenting a wide variety of music with emphasis on American composers, the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival has commissioned works from composers Bruce Adolphe, Kenji Bunch, Bruce MacCombie, Mark O’Connor, Howard Shore, and Pulitzer Prize-winners Paul Moravec, Kevin Puts, and Ned Rorem, and features contemporary works in its programs each season. 

BCMF features video from previous concerts—performances of complete works and select movements—on its website: And in 2012, BCMF launched its own record label, BCMF Records, which has to date released 10 recordings. For the full discography, visit


Marya Martin

Internationally acclaimed flutist Marya Martin enjoys a musical career of remarkable breadth and achievement. Gracefully balancing the roles of chamber musician, festival director, soloist, teacher, and supporter of musical institutions, she has performed throughout the world in such halls as London’s Royal Albert Hall and Wigmore Hall, Sydney Opera House, Casals Hall in Tokyo, and other international venues.

A native of New Zealand, Ms. Martin studied at Yale University, and shortly thereafter moved to Paris to study with flutist Jean-Pierre Rampal.  After winning top prizes in the Naumburg, Munich International, and Jean-Pierre Rampal International competitions, and the Concert Artists Guild and Young Concert Artists International Auditions—all within a two-year period—she returned to the U.S. and has since appeared as a soloist with major orchestras and at leading festivals and chamber music series throughout the country. In 2006 she received a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Auckland, and in 2011 received the Ian Mininberg Distinguished Service Award from Yale University. Committed to expanding the flute repertoire, she has commissioned more than 20 new works. She most recently commissioned eight works for flute and piano comprising Eight Visions, an anthology published by Theodore Presser, and recorded them for the Naxos label. She has also released an album dedicated to the music of Eric Ewazen on Albany Records. Ms. Martin has been a faculty member of the Manhattan School of Music since 1996.

Tickets go on sale May 7 and may be purchased on the festival’s website,, or by calling 212-741-9403 before July 15; after July 16, call 631-537-6368. A student ticket price of $10 will be available for most concerts.

For further information, please visit 



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