With expanding audiences and a lineup that continues to go from strength to strength in the summer, Caramoor also remains a hub for music and artistic exploration year-round. Not surprisingly, the upcoming 2019-20 fall and spring seasons offer a wealth of diverse and imaginative programming which the Katonah venue has long been synonymous with, all presented indoors amid the authentic Renaissance furniture, paintings dating from the 16th century and terracotta reliefs of the historic Rosen House Music Room.
Kathy Schuman, vice president, artistic programming and executive director at Caramoor, said the Music Room, with its capacity of 180 audience members, gives music lovers a “special, intimate experience.” Even after moving indoors for the season, she noted, “we still present the same world-class artists as we do in the summer, and the chance to hear them in this intimate venue is very special.”
Caramoor’s extensive grounds are currently under construction as part of its Inspire project and completion is expected in time for Caramoor’s 75th anniversary next summer. “But the Music Room, which underwent a restoration last spring, remains a beautiful and unique setting for concerts,” Schuman said.
Singer-songwriter Anais Mitchell, who was named “one of the greatest songwriters of her generation” by National Public Radio and whose folk opera, “Hadestown” recently won eight Tony awards, performs Friday, Sept. 27, at 8 p.m.
Presented in collaboration with Jazz at Lincoln Center, Veronica Swift performs Saturday, Oct. 12, at 8 p.m. She was noted by Schuman as a “truly stunning young jazz singer,” one of the highlights of the season.
Next up, Sunday, Oct. 20, at 3 p.m., is soprano Sherezade Panthaki with the Helicon Ensemble and Avi Stein, director and harpsichordist, in “Love and Revenge: The Baroque Diva.”
“Helicon is an exceptional period-instrument ensemble based in New York City led by Avi Stein,” Schuman said, “and Sherry is a bona fide star of the baroque world who audiences may remember from the title role in Handel’s ‘Atalanta,’ which we presented in summer 2018. They’ve put together a wonderful program of instrumental and vocal works by Vivaldi, Handel, Purcell and others.”
Other fall season highlights, Schuman said, are Caramoor’s introduction of its new Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence, the Thalea String Quartet. “Along with works by Copland and Beethoven, the Thalea are bringing two works by Florence Price, an African-American composer from the early 20th century, whose music is enjoying renewed interest right now,” Schuman said.
The Thalea Quartet will perform Sunday, Nov. 17, at 3 p.m., with pianist Michelle Cann. The Evnin Rising Stars, with distinguished artists violinist Pamela Frank, clarinetist David Shifrin and pianist Leon Fleisher will appear Saturday, Nov. 2, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 3, at 3 p.m.
“I’m excited that we’ve commissioned a new narrative for Stravinsky’s ‘The Soldier’s Tale’ from composer Bruce Adolphe, who will be narrating it Sunday, Nov. 3, as part of our Evnin Rising Stars concert,” Schuman said. “This was a request of violinist Pam Frank, who was frustrated that no narration existed for the trio version of this piece. This is sure to be a highlight of the Evnin Rising Stars this year.”
The holiday season is a highlight of the year at Caramoor. “We always decorate the Rosen House for the holidays and love to welcome our community at this special time,” Schuman said. “We are presenting a wonderful female vocal trio called ModernMedieval in a Christmas program of music from the British Isles, from beloved English carols to new arrangements of some old favorites and new settings of medieval texts — “A Midwinter Feast,” Dec. 14, 2 and 5 p.m.,” Schuman said. “As we have done the last two years, Rosen House will be open for self-guided tours between the two performances. We also have nine Holiday Tea Musicales this year, increased as we always have so much demand, and of course Santa will be making his annual visit, Dec. 15.”
Audience members can look forward to additional performances in 2020, with the spring season beginning March 15 with Schwab Vocal Rising Stars performing “The Art of Pleasure,” followed by a number of concerts. Events include the Miró Quartet on March 22, pianist Brad Mehldau on April 4, “An Evening of Gershwin Greats and Other Favorites” on May 2, and “What Makes It Great” with Rob Kapilow on May 3, with Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 1 in F, Op. 18, by the Thalea String Quartet.
Della Mae will wrap up the spring season May 9, with “Roots Music in the Music Room.” Mae is a Nashville-based all female string band, with a style that blends traditional mountain music and modern singer-songwriter sensibilities.
For tickets and more information, call 232-1252 or visit caramoor.org.
Caramoor is located at 149 Girdle Ridge Road, Katonah.