BCMF Returns For Summer 2022 - 27 East

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BCMF Returns For Summer 2022

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Marya Martin, left, and BCMF colleagues performing during a previous festival at Bridgehampton Presbyterian Church. MICHAEL LAWRENCE

Marya Martin, left, and BCMF colleagues performing during a previous festival at Bridgehampton Presbyterian Church. MICHAEL LAWRENCE

Sandbox Percussion performs a free outdoor concert on the Bridgehampton Presbyterian Church grounds on July 27. KJELL VAN SICE

Sandbox Percussion performs a free outdoor concert on the Bridgehampton Presbyterian Church grounds on July 27. KJELL VAN SICE

BCMF winds and piano concert at Bridgehampton Presbyterian Church. MICHAEL LAWRENCE

BCMF winds and piano concert at Bridgehampton Presbyterian Church. MICHAEL LAWRENCE

Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival with Alan Alda at Bridgehampton Presbyterian Church. MICHAEL LAWRENCE

Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival with Alan Alda at Bridgehampton Presbyterian Church. MICHAEL LAWRENCE

BCMF at Bridgehampton Presbyterian Church. MICHAEL LAWRENCE

BCMF at Bridgehampton Presbyterian Church. MICHAEL LAWRENCE

BCMF concert with Alan Alda, Marya Martin and Gilles Vonsattel. MICHAEL LAWRENCE

BCMF concert with Alan Alda, Marya Martin and Gilles Vonsattel. MICHAEL LAWRENCE

BCMF founder, flutist Marya Martin, and violinist Amy Schwartz Moretti. MICHAEL LAWRENCE

BCMF founder, flutist Marya Martin, and violinist Amy Schwartz Moretti. MICHAEL LAWRENCE

BCMFconcert on the terrace at Parrish Art Museum. MICHAEL LAWRENCE

BCMFconcert on the terrace at Parrish Art Museum. MICHAEL LAWRENCE

BCMF musicians take a bow at Bridgehampton Presbyterian Church. MICHAEL LAWRENCE

BCMF musicians take a bow at Bridgehampton Presbyterian Church. MICHAEL LAWRENCE

Gloria Chien and Marya Martin in BCMF 2019. MICHAEL LAWRENCE

Gloria Chien and Marya Martin in BCMF 2019. MICHAEL LAWRENCE

authorAnnette Hinkle on Jul 20, 2022

After two years of presenting music in the midst of the ever-changing rules and regulations brought about by COVID-19, Marya Martin, flutist and founder of the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, is happy to report that this summer, the music is back, much as it had been prior to 2020.

“We have our full festival,” said Martin in a recent interview. “Last year, we had about half the concerts.”

BCMF begins this week and will run through August 21, and in that time, festival musicians will present 11 concerts representing a range of composers and musical offerings at the Bridgehampton Presbyterian Church as well as on the terrace at the Parrish Art Museum, at the Atlantic Golf Club and in the sculpture garden at Channing Daughters Winery.

BCMF’s first concert on Sunday, July 24, is an encore presentation of the popular program “A Mozart Portrait with Alan Alda,” hosted by the actor and East End resident who is a longtime friend of Bridgehampton Chamber Music.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was a wunderkind, a prolific composer, virtuoso pianist and creator of some of the most perfectly profound music in history. He lived life to the fullest and died, at 35, virtually penniless. Alda will take audience members on a journey that explores Mozart’s life through his music and letters, painting an intimate portrait of the composer.

“I love putting together these stories about composers, especially when I can work from the letters they wrote, just as they were composing each piece,” noted Alda in a statement. “And that’s especially true of the Mozart evening. His unique personality shines through in both his music and his words.”

“Alan loves to work with the composer’s own words,” said Martin. “Mozart was a crazy guy who wrote letters all day, every day to father, brother, sister. He talked about works he’s writing that we’re playing.

“Alan not only reads some of the letters, but puts this in the time and space of what Mozart was doing at the time,” adds Martin. “He was away from his wife and when you learn what was going on in his life, you relate to the music differently. Alan is brilliant at doing this. I chose the program because there were lots of letters based on these works, then Alan works out which part of which letter to tie into the pieces. It’s like a play.

“Alan is a brilliant writer. I’ve never heard this type of thing done quite as well. Someone can spout notes, but he really does a one man show,” she said. “When he reads a line of Mozart and looks at me and does that great big grin, I think how lucky we all are. There are brilliant people in this world. Alan is one of them. When I’m around him I learn so much.”

Another highlight of this year’s BCMF will be the free outdoor concert on Wednesday, July 27, featuring the ensemble Sandbox Percussion. It’s a program that Martin feels families will particularly enjoy and guests are invited to bring a picnic and a blanket, or sit under the tent in a seat provided by the BCMF.

“Sandbox Percussion is four guys and they play every percussion music — marimba, wine glasses, some are found objects like pieces of wood with string attached,” said Martin. “I think that would be a great concert for kids. For one, it’s on the grass, so they can watch for five minutes then go run around on the grounds of the church. Also, I think kids are fascinated by percussion and rhythm is something we can feel without playing an instrument. Then the kids could go home and bang on pots and pans.”

This is BCMF’s 39th season, and when asked if there is a theme for this year’s musical lineup, Martin replied, “We do always tie it in with what’s going on in our brains. The first year back after COVID, I just wanted comfort music — like comfort food, glorious romantic luxurious sounds to wash over us.

“This year it’s so interesting what’s happened. It’s one world, many worlds. We’re all in this together, the feeling that we all have to admire, respect and tolerate each other and be open to all sorts of things is very much on our minds,” Martin said. “In terms of the music, there’s a lot of diversity in the composers — some Black composers, Black women composers, we have a real mix of musicians and composers. The theme is not only looking backward, but looking forwards and meeting in the middle.”

By way of illustration, Martin points to the Wm. Brian Little Concert, “Bach to Bluegrass” which will be offered at the Channing Daughter’s Winery sculpture garden on August 19. The concert will illustrate the similarities between the music of Appalachia and European Baroque compositions.

“We’re back with bluegrass, showing the audience how the music of the 17th century is similar to country music,” said Martin. “We’ll have a Bach concerto that finishes on one note, from that three people will go into a bluegrass song starting on same note. The bow stroke is incredibly similar. Thinking back 300 years, it’s not as dissimilar as we think. It’s the same empathies hopefully, it’s just sort of fun to think about that concept of music is music and it’s more alike than different.”

While there is much about the BCMF season that points to a semblance of normalcy this year, not everything is returning to prepandemic mode.

“One thing we did last year with the pandemic is concerts that were shorter with no intermission,” said Martin. “Everyone loved the no intermission, so we’re doing it that way again — presenting concerts that are 75-minutes long with no intermission. That’s one of the positives that came out of COVID.”

The Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival offers 11 programs from July 24 to August 21. Most concerts take place at the Bridgehampton Presbyterian Church. For details, visit bcmf.org.

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