Chamber Music Offers 13 Concerts

The festival leads off with “Mozart: A Portrait in Music and Words.”
A festival performance from last year Michael Lawrence

Thirteen concerts, 32 instrumentalists, and 30 composers in five venues in four weeks: The Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival has put together another outstanding series of summer events that promises to entertain and enrich aficionados.

The festival leads off with “Mozart: A Portrait in Music and Words.” Four works, from the pen of the wunderkind to the mature master, will be performed. The actor Alan Alda, a renowned storyteller, will narrate a journey of Mozart’s short and full life, drawing on the composer’s letters. Mozart has special meaning to Mr. Alda, who has recounted how he met his wife some 60 years ago when she was playing the clarinet in a performance of Mozart. The same clarinet quintet was included in the final episode of his TV show “M*A*S*H.”

Along with Mr. Alda will be the flutist Marya Martin, who founded thefestival 33 seasons ago and is its artistic director; the violinist Kristin Lee, the violinist and violist Tien-Hsin Cindy Wu, Raman Ramakrishnan on cello, and Jon Kimura Parker on piano. Because of high demand there will be two concerts, one on Sunday and the next on Monday, both at 6:30 p.m.

The festival’s annual free outdoor concert will be at a new location this year, the open field behind the Bridgehampton Presbyterian Church, the main venue for most of the programs. The Aug. 3 concert is cleverly named “Summer Winds,” and guests have been invited to bring a picnic to enjoy along with music featuring woodwinds by Martinu, Ligeti, Poulenc, and Rheinberger.

Another highlight will also be offered twice, at the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill, and shares its name with an exhibition there: “Unfinished Business.” The concert will ponder the question, “When is a piece of music unfinished?” with music of Schubert (Trio for Violin, Viola, and Cello), Part (Fratres for Violin and Piano), Brown (Lost Waltz for Flute and Strings), and Harbison (“November 19, 1828, Hallucination in Four Episodes for Piano Quartet”).

The back-to-back performances will be on Aug.15 at 4:30 and 6:30 p.m., with a brief event in between for the audience to experience the Steinway & Sons Spirio player piano. Tickets for these events also include admission to the Parrish.

An Aug. 6 benefit at Bridgehampton’s Atlantic Golf Club will feature an hour of music at 6:30 p.m., with a concerto by Vivaldi and a Nonet for Winds and Strings by Spohr, as well as a tongue-in-cheek homage by Alfred Schnittke called “Moz-Art” for two violins, followed by cocktails and dinner.

On this season’s schedule there are a good number of works for larger ensembles. Three of Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos will be heard on Aug. 19 at the Wm. Brian Little concert in the sculpture garden of Channing Daughters Winery in Bridgehampton, with a 7 p.m. concert preceded an hour earlier by wine-tasting and appetizers. On Aug. 7 there will be Beethoven’s Septet for winds and strings and Rheinberger’s Nonet for the same combination.

Other composers to be heard during the month include Mendelssohn, Shostakovich, Fauré, Bolcom, Brahms, and Dvorak. The concerts continue through August, with a festive finale on the 28th.

The festival’s roster, as always, has first-class musicians from around the globe, and a mix of veterans and first-timers. Returning regulars include the violinist Ani Kavafian, the violist Cynthia Phelps, the cellist Carter Brey, and the pianists Gilles Vonsattel and Orion Weiss. New to the mix this year are Alexander Sitkovetsky on violin, Jon Kimura Parker on piano, Kemp Jernigan on oboe, and Jakob Koranyi on cello.

And if all of these fine concerts weren’t enough, the festival has also recorded on its own label, BCMF Records, launched in 2012. The latest release, “BCMF Live 2015,” featuring a Boccherini quintet and a Brahms quintet, brings its listings to 10.

Tickets for most events range from $35 to $55, and a student ticket for $10 will be available for most concerts. Complete details and ticket information can be found at bcmf.org or by calling 631-537-6368.