A Trio of Concerts for BCM's Musical Autumn - 27 East

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A Trio of Concerts for BCM’s Musical Autumn

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Calidore String Quartet (Ryan Meehan, violin; Estelle Choi, cello; effrey Myers, violin; Jeremy Berry, viola) make their BCM debut on October 29. COURTESY BCM

Calidore String Quartet (Ryan Meehan, violin; Estelle Choi, cello; effrey Myers, violin; Jeremy Berry, viola) make their BCM debut on October 29. COURTESY BCM

Calidore String Quartet (Jeremy Berry, viola; Estelle Choi, cello; Ryan Meehan, violin; Jeffrey Myers, violin) make their BCM debut on October 29. COURTESY BCM

Calidore String Quartet (Jeremy Berry, viola; Estelle Choi, cello; Ryan Meehan, violin; Jeffrey Myers, violin) make their BCM debut on October 29. COURTESY BCM

Calidore String Quartet (Jeremy Berry, viola; Estelle Choi, cello; Ryan Meehan, violin; Jeffrey Myers, violin) make their BCM debut on October 29. COURTESY BCM

Calidore String Quartet (Jeremy Berry, viola; Estelle Choi, cello; Ryan Meehan, violin; Jeffrey Myers, violin) make their BCM debut on October 29. COURTESY BCM

BCM's autumn trio Carter Brey (cello) Michael Stephen Brown (piano) and Benjamin Beilman (violin) perform November 12. COURTESY BCM

BCM's autumn trio Carter Brey (cello) Michael Stephen Brown (piano) and Benjamin Beilman (violin) perform November 12. COURTESY BCM

authorAnnette Hinkle on Oct 26, 2022

Fall is in the air, and this year so are the classical compositions thanks to Bridgehampton Chamber Music and its BCM Autumn series, which, beginning this weekend, will present three concerts, one each month, at the Bridgehampton Presbyterian Church, culminating with the organization’s first-ever holiday concert.

As the organization’s founder and artistic director, flutist Marya Martin, explained in a recent interview, this year’s BCM Autumn represents a ramping up of the off-season offerings after the uncertainties brought about by COVID-19.

“Last year, our fall series was just two concerts and it was hastily put together because we thought delta had eaten away all the good will and confidence,” she said. “But then in September and October, there was this crazy to and fro, people started to feel they could go out again. So we had these two programs we got together in a week. We were pleasantly surprised with the turnout. We caught a sweet spot between omicron and delta.

“This year, we decided to really do a fall series planned in advance and will offer concerts on October 20 and November 12 and then this lovely Christmas program on December 10, which will be a very upbeat concert.”

The three-concert fall series represents Martin’s long-standing desire to build on BCM’s summer festival schedule, and the realization that there is still a strong audience for classical music on the East End even after the high season crowds have left the area.

“In summer, it’s a wonderful mix of locals and New Yorkers who love hearing concerts in a relaxed atmosphere,” she explained. “In the beginning, we worried we wouldn’t have the New York people in the fall. They go away, but it fills up with the other people. And now that summer is getting a little crazy, there are people who say who they don’t come out in the summer, but will in the fall and spring.

“I also think we now have such a lovely following and many different kinds of people coming and can do concerts in other seasons,” she added. “It’s investing in our community after 40 years.”

Now, in addition to its full slate of summer festival performances, BCM is offering six off-season concerts — three as part of its spring series and another three in the fall.

“Every concert this autumn is a different soundscape,” Martin explained. “The first is a string quartet, the second is a trio of cello, violin and piano, and the third one is a big one with violins, flute, cello, harpsichord and bass, a big baroque group.

First up this Saturday, October 29, will be the Calidore String Quartet, which will be making its BCM debut with this performance. The quartet features violinists Jeffrey Myers and Ryan Meehan, Jeremy Berry on viola and cellist Estelle Choi.

“We’ve chosen three pieces that are almost autobiographical in a way,” Martin said. “Wynton Marsalis’s piece ‘Selections from At the Octoroon Balls’ is about his hometown of New Orleans and he describes it in musical terms. The other piece is Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 8.”

Martin explains that in the 1940s and 1950s, the quartet’s composer, Dmitri Shostakovich, was treated badly in his native Russia — placed on the censor list and prevented from writing music or even accepting teaching jobs. But in 1960, he traveled to Dresden, Germany, to write the music for a propaganda film about the bombing of the city in World War II.

“Away from Russia, he penned this string quartet in three days because he could get it out of the country,” Martin said. “It’s all about the war and incredibly autobiographical. It’s an intense piece and it’s one of my favorites. “

The final piece in the October 29 concert will be Bedřich Smetana’s String Quartet No. 1, “From My Life.”

“Smetana was born in Prague and is basically writing about his time when he went deaf toward the end of his life,” said Martin. “It’s a very beautiful piece, but at times he’ll put in a high pitched note. He writes this is what it sometimes feels like when your hearing is going. It’s like experiencing it through art.”

The second program of the fall series on November 12 is what Martin calls “a Schubert sandwich.” The concert will include the composer’s “Notturno” for piano trio, which he originally wrote as a slow movement for his Piano Trio in B-flat major.

“But he decided he wanted to keep it as a single piece, so wrote a new slow piece for the trio, so ‘Notturno’ stands alone,” Martin said. “ We’ll also have a Handel and Halvorsen duet for violin and cello. It’s not a well-known piece, but I love it and it’s energetic and fun. Then there will be Schubert’s ‘Piano Trio in B-flat Major,’ for which he originally wrote ‘Notturno.’”

The BCM Autumn series will come to an end on December 10 with the celebratory “Baroque Holiday” to ring in the season.

“We’ve never done a concert in December before, and, for me, baroque music is always festive at holiday time. It’s not religious music, it’s just music that is traditionally played in Europe a lot at Christmastime,” said Martin, noting that the program will feature Bach’s “Brandenburg Concerto No. 5” and selections from Bach cantatas.

And after the holiday concert? Martin is looking forward to a little down time before jumping back into her role as BCM’s artistic director and planning for next year’s season of music.

“Our younger daughter had a baby a few days ago,” said Martin. “She lives in New York, so I’ll take a little time off and then go to New Zealand to see my family.”

BCM concerts are presented at Bridgehampton Presbyterian Church, 2429 Montauk Highway, Bridgehampton. Tickets for each concert are $65/$45 ($10 students). For details, visit bcmf.org.

BCM Autumn 2022
 

Saturday, October 29, 5 p.m.

Calidore String Quartet: Jeffrey Myers, violin; Ryan Meehan, violin; Jeremy Berry, viola; Estelle Choi, cello

The celebrated Calidore String Quartet makes its Bridgehampton Chamber Music debut in a wide-ranging program that features the music of Wynton Marsalis, Shostakovich, and Smetana.

Wynton Marsalis — “Selections from At the Octoroon Balls:

Dmitri Shostakovich — String Quartet No. 8 in C minor, Op. 110

Bedřich Smetana — String Quartet No. 1, “From My Life”

Saturday, November 12, 5 p.m.

Schubert Trios: Michael Stephen Brown, piano; Benjamin Beilman, violin; Carter Brey, cello

Few can come close to matching Schubert’s writing for piano trio. This program features the gorgeous “Notturno” as well as Schubert’s beloved and touching B-flat Major Trio, completed as Schubert was in his final years.

Franz Schubert — “Notturno” for Piano Trio in E-flat Major, D.897

G.F. Handel/Johan Halvorsen — “Passacaglia” for Violin and Cello

Franz Schubert — Piano Trio in B-flat Major, D.898

Saturday, December 10, 5 p.m.

Baroque Holiday: Marya Martin, flute; Kristin Lee, violin; Arnaud Sussmann, violin; Matthew Lipman, viola; Brook Speltz, cello; Kenneth Weiss, harpsichord

BCM artistic director Marya Martin is joined by world-renowned artists to perform a festive program of Baroque works, including Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 and selections from Bach cantatas, to celebrate the holiday season.

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