As we all struggle to comprehend this unimaginable time, I find it comforting to reflect on the many wonderful years of music making that we have shared in the magnificent First Congregational Church of Old Lyme. The experience of living through this unsettling period has reinforced my belief that the arts and live performance are essential to humanity and are an indispensable part of a healthy society. It gives me great pride that our organization has committed to presenting a full season of concert programs as we celebrate the 30th season of Musical Masterworks.
Thanks to the dedication and determination of the Musical Masterworks board and staff, we have resolved to present our usual five programs during the 2020-21 season, with a few modifications to our normal way of doing things as we attempt to navigate this time of uneasiness about large gatherings. All five programs will be filmed and recorded by a Grammy-winning team for online viewing. The links to access each concert video will be made available for home viewing for a period of three weeks to all ticket holders. Due to local and state ordinances, we will not be allowed to invite live audience members into the performance space in the Fall of 2020, but we are holding out hope that conditions will improve by the Spring of 2021 so that ticket holders might have an option to attend our spring concerts in person.
As large-scale fanfare does not feel quite right at this time, we have chosen instead to celebrate this extraordinary 30th anniversary milestone with intimate collaborations by beloved Musical Masterworks veteran artists, performing masterpieces that span the golden age of musical composition. Works by Bach, Handel, Mozart, Mendelssohn, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Ravel, Poulenc, Bernstein, Ives, and Corigliano will fill our treasured “chamber for chamber music” at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme. While many of us remain heartbroken about the cancellation this past spring of the long-anticipated cycle of Beethoven’s String Quartets in celebration of the 250th anniversary of the composer’s birth, there is a bit of good news: as of the writing of this letter, Beethoven is in fact still only 249 years old! And so, we will begin the 2020-21 season with two all-Beethoven programs. In October, the exquisite pianist Andrew Armstrong will join renowned violinist James Ehnes to perform three glorious sonatas by Beethoven; and on Saturday, December 19 – three days after Beethoven’s actual 250th birthday – James Ehnes, Amy Schwartz Moretti, Che-Yen Chen and I will join forces to perform three monumental Beethoven String Quartets.
In the spring, we will welcome back a parade of MM favorite artists, including Rieko Aizawa, Todd Palmer, Jeewon Park, Randall Scarlata, Gilles Vonsattel, and Tessa Lark, as we delight in musical treasures from Bach to Corigliano, and everything else we could fit in between.
I look forward to greeting you from the stage, whether in person or onscreen, as we celebrate music, humanity, and 30 years of Musical Masterworks.
October 24th, 2020 Filming
As our season begins, Beethoven will still be only 249 years old! And so we will begin the 2020-21 season with two all-Beethoven programs. In October, the exquisite pianist Andrew Armstrong will join renowned violinist James Ehnes will perform three glorious sonatas by Beethoven.Concert Details & Video Tickets