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Hamptons Life

Mar 6, 2018 10:29 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival's Trio Of BCMF Spring Concerts Begins Saturday

Pacifica String Quartet
Mar 6, 2018 10:44 AM

For Marya Martin, the artistic director of the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, designing a successful music festival is much like cultivating a perfect meal—it’s important to have the right combination of ingredients to make it appetizing.

“You can have three major pieces, but if you don’t pair them in the right way—if you have three dessert courses or three meat courses—the program or meal as a whole will not work,” she explained when describing the upcoming spring series of the 35th annual Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival.

For this year’s BCMF Spring, kicking off at the Bridgehampton Presbyterian Church on Saturday, March 10, Ms. Martin believes she has found the perfect combination: Martinů’s Trio for Flute, Cello, and Piano with piano quartets by Mozart and Dvořák on night one; Pacifica Quartet—a string quartet—on April 7; and a wind quartet, accompanied by piano, playing Beethoven, Poulenc, and Mozart on May 5.

“Every concert is very different and each has its strengths,” she said. “In other words, you can’t say that a main course is better than the dessert or appetizer because they are all different. Everyone has a slightly different approach and I work hard to make sure the series is well rounded so that you don’t go hear three string quartets.”

The spring series was introduced as part of the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival four years ago. The main festival features 14 shows running from mid-July through late August.

According to Ms. Martin, one of the things that makes the festival special is the caliber of artists who participate every year, adding that she works to combine different composers and genres of chamber music to make the best series possible. For example, a piece composed in the 1700s will have a very different feel or style than one created in the 1940s, leading to a different musical experience for both the trained and untrained ear.

“I do a lot of research about interesting repertoires that may not be necessarily played much,” she said. “I mix that with the real masterpieces, the warhorse of the repertoire. I think a lot of people come away from the concert saying ‘Wow, I never knew that piece existed and it is one of the most beautiful works in the world.’”

Brandon Vamos, a cellist in Pacifica Quartet, is excited to play someplace new with his group, which also serves as the quartet-in-residence and full-time faculty members at Indiana University.

“It is always interesting to play someplace for the first time because we haven’t experienced the festival or the town yet,” he said. “We love to play for a really great audience, which is what we heard about the festival from others who have played it. We are looking forward to finding out what makes this a unique series.”

Having grown up as a part of the musical world, Mr. Vamos said it is a great way for kids to learn life skills. Chamber music teaches children to be social while rehearsing in small groups, he said, pointing out that there is no conductor in a quartet, and the musicians must learn to talk to each other to find their own unique sound and blend their individual talents into a cohesive unit.

“Some of the greatest repertoires ever written are for our genre,” he said. “We play the best, most personal music by the most experimental, greatest composers of all time. It comes down to the music and how great it is.”

With the series set to launch next week, Ms. Martin said she is proud of how far the series has come, adding that it is quite a milestone for a music festival to reach its 35th season.

“We feel very blessed to have such a large and supportive audience out in the Hamptons,” Ms. Martin said. “I think the audience feels very fortunate that they have concerts that you might find in New York City, in Bridgehampton. These are musicians that you can truly find at Lincoln Center.”

BCMF Spring kicks off Saturday, March 10, at 6 p.m. at the Bridgehampton Presbyterian Church with performers Marya Martin, Orion Weiss, Erin Keefe, Hsin-Yun Huang and Peter Wiley. Admission is $40, or $10 for students. Tickets for the three shows can be purchased online at bcmf.org, or by calling the box office at 631-537-6368.

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