The first Kneisel Hall/Blue Hill Together in Music residency took place September 22-26, 2014, featuring teaching artists and Kneisel Hall alumnae Clara Lyon (violin), Hannah Collins (cello) and Hannah Sun (piano). This program is a new initiative to bring the music and spirit of Kneisel Hall into the local schools and community to connect with all of the wonderful creative and musical things that happen in Blue Hill during the school year. Here our teaching artists share some of their experiences:
Our residency in Blue Hill centered on work in all of the area schools. We performed Interactive Concerts for the George Stevens Academy, the Blue Hill Consolidated School, the Bay School and the Blue Hill Harbor School. We also thoroughly enjoyed leading sectionals at the Consolidated School, where we worked on ensemble skills like blending, leading and playing with passion. Each Interactive Performance was designed to bring the audience closer to the creative process of composing and making music! We challenged each group to use their critical thinking skills to create gestures, movement, sound effects and more to interpret the different emotional characters in Biber’s “Sonata Representativa,” Beethoven’s “Archduke Trio,” and other selections. We knew we had succeeded in making an impression when we kept being spotted by our new young friends around the town all week long!
Through creative workshops at Kneisel Hall and at the Blue Hill Public Library, we also worked with students from the home schooling community and students who study instrumental music outside of school. In both workshops we worked on using musical gestures to describe specific words and places, working together to create brand-new pieces of music inspired by scenes that the students chose. We were constantly surprised and delighted by the ideas these students came up with!
We enjoyed working and collaborating with artists of other mediums in Blue Hill. On Wednesday, we joined the Portrait Painter’s group at the Parker Ridge Senior Living Center. For two hours, Hannah Collins and Clara Lyon played music for a group of friends that meets every week to paint portraits. We were inspired with their beautiful creations: each artist responded to the challenge of painting live, moving subjects in a different way. On Thursday, we had the pleasure of joining dancer and choreographer Jennifer Trowbridge’s workshop on Movement and Visual Art at the Blue Hill Library. Jennifer led the group through a series of movement exercises, and then challenged us to interpret still images through gesture. We joined the fun of creating movement and gesture, but also interpreted the images with instrumental improvisation! A lovely time was had by all.
Public performances were also a big part of our week. In addition to pop-up sets at the Blue Hill Co-op and outside of the Kneisel Hall Office on Main Street, we gave two evening concerts. The first was an eclectic set of fiddle tunes, standards and classic French hits at the Blue Hill Wine Shop with an assist from Wine Shop owner and Kneisel Hall friend Max Treitler for a spoken word quartet piece called the “Geographical Fugue.” On the last day of the residency, we gave a full-length concert at Kneisel Hall with a variety of works, each of which modeled a different aspect of our work in Blue Hill this week. The program included a solo piano set by Hannah Sun, featuring one of her own compositions next to a set of three prize-winning compositions from this year’s Bagaduce Music Lending Library’s Young Composers’ Competition. We were lucky enough to have one of the composers, Lucas Fischer, with us and some comments from another, Sam Barry, via a Skype video. We ended the program with Beethoven’s “Archduke” trio and an encore of the Rodgers and Hammerstein tune “Edelweiss,” featuring Hannah Sun on melodica!
Thank you to everyone in Blue Hill who helped to make this first KHBH residency a success and a special thank you to our many dear friends who provided us with food and support throughout the week!
From the opening Haydn quartet concerts by the Attacca Quartet to the closing concerts featuring the Formosa Quartet, each weekend the Kneisel audiences were treated to all manner of chamber music for strings and piano and this year, voice. We heard piano four hands, Schumann Lieder, French song with string quartet, a string trio, a string orchestra and music written in the 17th century to music written in April 2014.
A subscription to the Kneisel Festival Concerts is a conservatory course in chamber music. We invite you to sign up for next year’s season!
Young Artists 2014
From Belgium, China, Taiwan, Singapore, Iceland, Hungary, Canada, Poland, South Korea and the US, the young artists were to a one gifted, and the music they made was stunning. Artistic Director Seymour Lipkin exclaimed, “I think their concerts went splendidly and the level of performance was exceptionally high, with a large number really outstanding. It was really one of our best series ever.”
From a Maine student:
“This program pushes my ability and when the week ends, I always feel as though I am a better musician”
Dates: Kneisel Hall 2015:
KHBH – Together in Music:
May 26 – 29
Program for Maine Students:
June 21 – June 27
June 26 – September 6
Chamber Music Program:
June 28 – August 16
July 9, 13, 16; August 3, 6, 10
Carroll Young Artist Concerts:
July 18, 20, 21; August 12, 13, 15
ACMI: August 16 – August 23
Autumn Concert: September 6
KHBH – Together in Music:
Applications: Maine Student and ACMI applications at
www.kneisel.org after 1/1/15.
Richard Wernick Premiere
Violinist Laurie Smukler and cellist Joel Krosnick gave the world premiere of Richard Wernick’s “Sonatina in the Shape of a Pearl” on July 4, a piece written for them. What made the performance special for us was the presence of the composer in the audience. Richard Wernick and his wife Bea spent four days at Kneisel. He worked with Laurie and Joel as they rehearsed the “Sonatina” _(once in an open rehearsal) and met with students who were studying his Piano Trio and String quartet No. 8, as well as students aspiring to be composers.
We are used to listening to music we have heard before, written by composers from another century. It was an exciting challenge to hear music we’ve never heard before and revelatory to have the composer on stage discussing the process.
Young Artist to Guest Artist to Kneisel Hall Development Associate!
When Doris Lederer was called away suddenly, Artistic Director Seymour Lipkin needed to find a substitute. Alumna (2003, 2004) violist Elizabeth Weisser was visiting Maine this summer and Lipkin invited her to play. Asked how it was coming back to KH as a “pro” she wrote:
“I was asked to play a concert in Bar Harbor in July of this past summer. I know better than to ever refuse a chance to go to Maine, but I was especially thrilled that this trip would allow me to visit Kneisel Hall. Because of my memorable summers there, driving north on I95 from New York always feels like going home. It was indeed great to be back: an opportunity to see mentors and friends, many familiar faces and several new ones too. It was uplifting to be surrounded by the young artists with their intensity and drive – people who want to rehearse far beyond what is expected simply because they believe in the music, its integrity and the community.
After having been there a week, I was honored that Seymour Lipkin asked me to stand in last minute for a Festival Concert. It was a privilege to play with him, whom I have known for years as an important mentor, Dmitry Kousov, whom I met for this occasion and David Bowlin, with whom I shared this very stage ten and eleven years ago when we were young artists together. And there is just something about that Hall – that stage – that is alone inspiring. At the same time that it is intimate in size and isolated geographically, it is also vast in its history and universal and rich in what it represents.
These are ingredients that nourish the roots of the creative process.
My daily life in New York is full of music; I’m surrounded by it. From great colleagues, really exciting repertoire to advocate for, to the chance to create opportunities for people of all backgrounds and experience to participate in this art. I start each day feeling fortunate. It was my time at Kneisel Hall as a young artist that prepared me for this, and it was the weekend this past July that served as a profound reminder of why I do it.”
And now Beth will “do it” for Kneisel Hall. Her advocacy for music and musicians, her love for and knowledge of Kneisel Hall makes her the perfect person for the new position, Kneisel Hall Development Associate. We welcome her.
Taking the Show on the Road
As in summers past, Kneisel Hall young artists performed at Parker Ridge every Tuesday afternoon and the Blue Hill Library on Wednesdays with concerts specifically for younger children. Judging by the audiences in both venues – chamber music is alive and well in Blue Hill, Maine, for people of all ages.
The young artists gave standing-room-only concerts in Deer Isle, Bangor and Southwest Harbor, as well.
Thank you to the Stonington Opera House, Bangor All Souls Church, Congregation Beth Israel, the Bangor Symphony and Bert and Suzi Zbar for providing the opportunities for KH to share its music.
In a Quarry and By the Lake
In the summer there is no telling where one might hear a Kneisel quartet. In July a young artist quartet performed a Mendelssohn string quartet at Mollie Heron’s with Alamoosook Lake as a backdrop. In August a young artist ensemble played a Brahms string quartet in the Prior granite quarry surrounded by swaying fir trees and ancient boulders. If you would like to have a concert at your home by the sea, in the village or even in New York or Boston this winter, we can supply the music. Give Ellen Werner a call (207 374 2811) and a Kneisel young artist ensemble will be at your door with music in hand!
Intermissions — A Show in Themselves
Area chefs, bakers and baristas shared their wares with audiences at intermission – and it was delicious! Week after week each arrived with delectable goodies made from fresh local ingredients. We are especially appreciative of them taking a weekend out of their extraordinarily busy summers to share their gifts with us.
David Dillon (Bucklyn Coffee), Millstream Deli, Black Dinah Chocolatiers, Bahai Yackzan (baklava), Laurelin Mason (Fete), Sarah Havener-Brown (Sarahndipity), Quatie Bryan (cakes and pies), Nancy McMillan (Twin Oaks Cakery), The Flour Shop, The Wine Shop and El El Frijoles. Please patronize their wonderful businesses!
Exhibiting artisans this summer were: Melisa Walker, Mandriola Design; Basha Burwell, jeweler; Marisol Trowbridge, Puzzle Apparel; Geoffrey Warner, Owl
From a young artist:
There are no words for what Kneisel Hall has given me. How do you thank people for giving you a sense of purpose, a feeling of being truly alive, the means to do what I have always hoped in the core of my being to be able to do, a reason to never give up, and priceless knowledge about the most beautiful and intangible parts of music? Thank you all. My heart melts with gratitude for being able to forever be a part of KH 2014.
At the August meeting the board elected their officers for the following year: Robin Clements, president; Franklin Marsteller, vice president; Kathryn Dillon, treasurer; Nancy Hoppin, secretary and Margery Irvine, clerk. Noel Butcher Hanley was thanked for her dedicated and enthusiastic years on the board. At a special meeting in September Jae Lee joined the board. Jae, a violinist, is an alumnus, graduate of the University of Michigan, and recognized by most as a founding member of A Far Cry.
Kneisel Hall Board:
Robert M. Clements – PresidentFranklin Marsteller – Vice President
Kathryn Dillon – Treasurer
Nancy Hoppin – Secretary
Margery Irvine – Clerk
Amy BrittonElizabeth Cluett
Jae Young Cosmos Lee
Seymour Lipkin, ex officio
Cornelius Prior, Jr.
H. Max Treitler
Ellen Werner, ex officio
Farnham Blair, Emeritus
Saul Cohen, Emeritus
Marnie Reed Crowell, Emerita
Ruth Davis, Emerita
Dorothy Hayes, Emerita
Dr. Leo Siegel, Emeritus
Mrs. Charles Smithgall, Honorary Trustee
Building and Grounds
Anyone who attended a concert this season thanks the Building & Grounds committee (chair Deborah Little). The new parking lot is level, lighted and large enough for all the cars.
The committee is not resting – there is always something that needs to be done on our 15-building, 15-acre campus! Next on the list is a new kitchen: the old kitchen is being razed this fall and a spanking-brand-new one will be ready for the young artists in June. (Best part – the two ancient oak trees that watch over the Dining Hall will still be standing when construction is complete.)
The ACMI experience for me – I think it was the most challenging experience I have had in my whole life – and I’m in my 60’s!
“The ACMI experience for me – I think it was the most challenging experience I have had in my whole life – and I’m in my 60’s!” wrote a grateful participant. Twenty-eight dedicated, enthusiastic adult musicians spent the third week in August chamber-music-making on the Kneisel Hall campus.
For many the ACMI week is the only time in the year they can study a piece in depth with daily rehearsals, coachings and master classes. There are sight-reading sessions, discussions, performances by mentors and faculty and traveling cocktail parties. Yes, traveling – this summer we visited the Blue Hill Wine Shop, Fairwinds Florist/Black Dinah Chocolatiers, the Cynthia Winings Gallery and Handworks Gallery – all with wine and appetizers in tow. Thank you to the faculty: Director Scott Woolweaver, Jan Pffeifer-Rios, Lora Tchekoratova, Georgy Valtchev, Shelly Tramposh, and mentors: Katherine Liccardo, Wyatt Underhill, Brian Hong, Madge Ma, Kim Uwate, Xinyi Xu, Joe Gotoff, Allan Hon, Russell Houston, Ju Young Lee, Ben Swartz, Ye Young Yoo, Yoon Lee. Next year is the 20th Anniversary Year and you are invited to join us: August 16 – 23, 2015.
Frank Marsteller, Marilyn Heineman, Betsey Harries, Judith and Jon Dullnig, Deborah Little, Kathryn Dillon, Robin Clements for rides to and from the Bangor airport and bus terminal.
Marilyn Heineman and Judith Dullnig for planning the opening picnic.
Marilyn Heineman for hosting the picnic and thank you to everyone who helped make it a success.
Dale Macurdy and Carol Korty for the new artist display screens.
Mark Canner for the signed Arthur Heitzelman Beethoven sketch.
Neil and Trudie Prior, Mark and Libbie Cluett and Chuck and Annie Holland for graciously housing KH guests.
Fire safety educator/ fireman David Rackliffe for leading this year’s fire drill.
Alan Flowers for volunteering in the Library each week.
Olin Heitmann for volunteering on the grounds each morning.
Marcia Thompson for supplying the gorgeous concert bouquets each week.
Program for Maine Students
“This program pushes my ability and when the week ends, I always feel as though I am a better musician.” wrote Isaac. Nayan agreed, “I would not be where I am in music if it were not for Kneisel Hall.”
Parents concurred: “On the ride home I asked the boys how the day went for them. They all had a wonderful day and are enjoying this week immensely! Thank you for all your efforts in creating a rich experience! It really is an amazing program.”
Most satisfying was a request from one of the younger players. At the end of the week he asked for a copy of the score of the piece he was assigned. “I want to be able to play with my friends who were not able to come to the program.” How great is that? What he learned went forward into the Penobscot school!
Working in the Program for Maine Students profoundly affected the mentors, too. One wrote us that her life was changed: “I discovered that teaching is my true passion. And with this new-found knowledge, I am certain that my life will lead on in a more focused way and my passion and love for music will continue to flourish.”
Thank you to faculty: Director Dr. Patricia Stowell, Marisa Solomon and Scott Woolweaver; and to mentors: Seth Biagini, JY Lee; Josie Davis, Matt Consul, Caeli Smith, Meghan Yost, Marta Lambert, Wayne Ching and especially to our donors: Lanie & Ethel Foundation, Mr. Bernard Osher and the Lincoln and Therese Filene Foundation whose generosity brought the gift of music to young Maine string and piano players, their families and their friends.
From an alumna:
My daily life in New York is full of playing music, great colleagues to play it with and really exciting repertoire. I start each day feeling fortunate. It was my time at Kneisel Hall as a young artist that prepared me for this, and it was the weekend this past July that served as a profound reminder of why I do it.
2015 Faculty and Guests
Violin: David Bowlin, Ronald Copes, Jonathan Crow, Laurie Smukler
Viola: Doris Lederer, Katherine Murdock, Ira Weller
Cello: Jerry Grossman, Joel Krosnick, Dmitry Kouzov, Barbara Stein Mallow
Piano Jane Coop, Seymour Lipkin, Florence Millet
Guests: Aeolius Quartet
Telegraph Quartet (with alum cellist Jeremiah Shaw)
Trio Cleonice (with alums violinist Ari Isaacman-Beck,
cellist Gwen Krosnick, pianist Emely Phelps)
Kneisel Hall PO Box 648 Blue Hill, ME 04614
207.374.2811 • firstname.lastname@example.org
Alums – send us your news and your concert dates!
Alums – spend August 16–23, 2015 in Maine and mentor in the ACMI program.
We depend upon your gifts but we also rely upon foundation grants to meet our budget each year. Maybe you can help us. Do you know a foundation that supports music, education or outreach activities? Do you sit on a board of a foundation that might look kindly on Kneisel Hall? Let us know and together we can keep the music on the Concert Hall stage. Give us a call at 207.374.2811.
__ I/we would like to sponsor a Maine Student’s week on campus. ($250)
__ I/we would like to help underwrite the 2015 Maine Students Program.
__ I/we would like to underwrite a Festival Concert. ($1,500)
__ I/we would like to underwrite a Young Artist Concert. ($1,500)
__ I/we would like to sponsor a young artist’s studies in 2015. ($10,000)
__ I/we would like to advertise a business in the 2015 Kneisel Hall Program.
__ I/we wish to join the Encore Society. I/we will put Kneisel in my/our estate plans.
__ I/we wish to be subscribers next season.
Here is my/our donation in honor of the exceptionally successful 2014! $ ___________