Home Music festival Marlboro Music Festival returns to Vermont

Marlboro Music Festival returns to Vermont


Classical music lovers often flock to remote locations to hear world-class musicians during the summer.

But when it comes to remote locations and great music, few can match Vermont’s Marlboro Music Festival, which runs July 16-August 14 this summer.

Founded in 1951 by violinist Adolph Busch and his son-in-law, legendary pianist Rudolf Serkin, the Marlboro Music Festival brings chamber music performances to the picturesque hilltop village of Marlboro, Vermont, 10 miles west of Brattleboro .

Since the festival’s inception more than seven decades ago, the list of musicians who have performed at Marlboro includes a roster of many of the greatest classical musicians of the past century.

Yo-Yo Ma.

Emanuel Axe.

Pablo Casals.

Leon Fleisher.

Many concerts this summer will also feature two of the world’s finest pianists – Jonathan Biss and Mitsuko Uchida, the festival’s artistic director.

And unlike most music festivals, where you know months in advance who’s performing and what songs they’ll be playing, Marlboro waits a few weeks before each gig to announce the performers and schedule.

This is because festival attendees expect to know that they are ready to play a particular piece. It may seem strange. But that’s also partly because the festival isn’t focused on its weekend performances.

Instead, the goal of festival attendees has always been to perfect their craft, to become better musicians.

This summer, 85 musicians from around the world will live and perform together for seven weeks in Marlboro, creating a tight-knit community of artists.

This unique approach to practice and performance is part of the secret to Marlboro’s continued success, according to Brian Potter, director of communications for Marlboro Music.

“Fundamental to Marlboro’s success is its collaborative approach to learning, in which master artists perform with exceptional young professionals, sharing perspectives and learning from each other in a unique musical and human community,” wrote Potter in response to several questions.

“We are fortunate to have the dedicated artistic direction of Mitsuko Uchida and Jonathan Biss who, along with their fellow senior artists, are committed to upholding the founding ideals of Marlboro, while evolving the program to better serve music and people. needs of young players in the 21st. century,” Potter added. “Although much has changed over the years, the principles that bind and drive this community – generosity of spirit, collaboration in the pursuit of a single vision, and the fusion of diverse cultural influences – remain as vital today. today than ever.”

The music festival has faced several unique challenges in recent years. In 2020, Marlboro College, where the festival is held, closed permanently for a variety of reasons, including declining enrollment.

Fortunately, the music festival was able to purchase the old campus of Marlboro College known as Potash Hill in 2021, ensuring that the music festival will continue at the same location in the future.

“The College’s closure and our subsequent acquisition of the Potash Hill campus marks a new chapter for Marlboro Music,” Potter wrote. “While it has created significant challenges, the purchase brings a vital measure of stability to our organization, the surrounding community and the many customers and constituents who feel as protective as we do about this special place.”

“It has tremendous potential for other worthy cultural, educational and community uses that would enhance the cultural and economic vitality of the city, region and state as well as our arts community, mission and values ​​at the future,” Potter added. . “We have been incredibly grateful for the enthusiastic response to our purchase from so many patrons, local friends and former members of the Marlboro College community, and we are committed to ensuring that this beautiful historic property remains intact, preserved, and the home campus of Marlboro Music for generations to come. More information about Potash Hill can be found on our dedicated campus website, www.potashhill.org »

Along with the purchase of Potash Hill, Marlboro Music also embarked on a construction project, which included the construction of a new 18-room residence hall and the Jerome and Celia Bertin Reich building.

“The new buildings opened in June 2021,” Potter wrote. “The Reich Building contains three spacious music rehearsal studios, the library of the Maxine and Stuart Frankel Foundation, a library for the vast collection of some 8,500 Marlboro chamber music scores, administrative offices and social spaces. ”

For those planning to attend concerts this summer at the Marlboro Music Festival, there are some important changes that audience members should be aware of for this summer.

“Proof of vaccination against Covid-19 will be required to attend all public rehearsals and performances (vaccination and ID cards will be checked at the door). only about half the seats at each concert are on sale,” Potter wrote. “If conditions this spring and summer permit, we will increase that number. performances as usual, we can confirm that the program for Friday August 12 will include the 50-minute chamber opera “Into the Little Hill” (2006) by one of our 2022-in-Residence composers, George Benjamin. Composer Libby Larsen will also be in residence with us this summer.

And for anyone who has ever been to Marlboro, you can expect the same magical experience with magnificent musicians in an immaculate setting.

“At Marlboro, musicians have the special opportunity to rehearse with unlimited time, ideal conditions, inspiration from the beautiful surrounding countryside and the support of a close-knit community,” Potter wrote.

“On this rural hillside in Vermont, freed from the limitations and demands of regular work life, they rehearse, play, dine, socialize and live together for seven weeks each summer, immersing themselves in music and enjoying the rare chance of ‘explore all avenues open to them,” Potter added. “Musicians themselves determine what works they study, how long to keep rehearsing, and whether their ensemble is ‘ready to play’.”

“Marlboro audiences know that the most memorable and exciting performances come from artists who are passionate about the repertoire they play; who have had plenty of time to learn the piece in depth; and who also share the results of their work with family, friends and colleagues who enjoy music as much as they do,” Potter wrote. “Over seven decades, this dynamic process has led to musical creation imbued with an uncommon joy and freshness of spirit, and to the development of generations of artists who now occupy positions of leadership in the world of music. the music.”

“The Marlboro experience is fundamentally rooted in the Vermont landscape,” Potter added. “The beauty, intimacy and intimacy of the setting are integral to the deep exchange of ideas and the nurturing family of musicians who come together on campus each summer. There is a wonderful idealistic synergy here between music, nature and community.

The Marlboro Music Festival will be held in Marlboro, Vermont from July 16 to August 14. Proof of Covid 19 vaccination is required to attend. For more information on the summer music festival, visit www.marlboromusic.org