CALENDAR OF EVENTS:

ARKAI

Saturday, January 27, 2024 at 7 :30 pm – Lake Flower Landing, 421 Lake Flower Avenue, Saranac Lake, NY 12983

Sunday, January 28, 2024 at 3:00 pm – Saranac Fire Hall, 3277 Route 3, Saranac NY 12981

Award-winning electroacoustic duo (violin-cello) ARKAI performs genre-defying music that fuses progressive classical, rock, jazz, folk, and global with contemporary technology. They compose original music that combines the beauty of classical virtuosity with the electricity of a rock band and the spontaneity of a jazz combo. Graduates of The Juilliard School, ARKAI engagements have included performances at The MET, Joe’s Pub, City Winery, Rockwood Music Hall, Lincoln Center, Musikfest, Chateau Marmont, Carnegie Hall, and TED. They recently opened for Oscar and Grammy-winning musician Jon Batiste at YPO EDGE in NYC’s Javits Center.

Notable 2023 engagements include Jazz Aspen and the US Air Force Academy Symposium. ARKAI was commissioned by the Museum of Chinese in America to compose a work for their exhibition Responses: Asian Americans Resisting the Tides of Racism. ARKAI was recently honored with the 2021 Robert Sherman Music Education and Community Outreach Award presented by WQXR, The Juilliard School, and The Harold W. McGraw Family Foundation. ARKAI was selected by the U.S. Department of State and the Association of American Voices to participate in the 2021-22 American Music Abroad season. ARKAI has performed hundreds of concerts around the globe, inspiring audiences and demonstrating the power of cultural diplomacy as a tool to bring people together. 

ARKAI – Jonathan Miron, violin and Philip Sheegog, cello

Watch Jonathan Miron and Philip Sheegog of ARKAI perform both on traditional violin and cello in “Patchwork” and on electric instruments in “Tokyo Sidecar.”

Concert admission is collected at the door: $20 for all. More info call 518-293-7613 or email ambrown.hillholl@gmail.com


Rob Schwimmer

Sunday, March 10 at 3:00 pm – Saranac Methodist Church, Route 3 in Saranac

“Virtuosity, magic, humor” The New York Times

“Stylistically freewheeling, but there is a lot more to his border-free musical world. He is also a magnificent jazz pianist, with a fleet, subtle touch.” – Allan Kozinn

Rob Schwimmer is the master of his own musical kingdom, where he performs as a soloist and conjures a sound world created by his singular virtuosity at the piano, theremin (on which he is considered to be one of the world masters) and Haken Continuum Fingerboard (ditto). The Haken Continuum has an expressiveness akin to the theremin, but adds polyphony and harmony into the musical equation. It is a huge step forward in the evolution of electronic instruments. Playing all three instruments in a single show is a rarely heard combination which allows him to bring audiences to beautiful and mysterious new sonic territory and perhaps find new or re-connect with forgotten feelings.

A veteran player who has worked with beloved legends like Stevie Wonder, Simon and Garfunkel, Wayne Shorter, and Antonio Carlos Jobim, as well as celebrated young contemporary artists such as Esperanza Spalding and Gotye, Schwimmer leads his listeners on an organic and musically rich journey from the pensive to the thrilling, with many musical ports of call in between. He has performed throughout the world, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Tokyo Dome, Madison Square Garden, and the Colosseum (Rome). He also excels in intimate settings like Le Poisson Rouge, Bargemusic, Joe’s Pub, and The Blue Note.

Rob Schwimmer playing the theremin

Watch Rob Schwimmer perform Improvisation on Octet from Adam Guettel’s The Light In The Piazza on piano; Mussorgsky’s Elegy on theremin; and the Beatles’ Because on Haken Continuum.

Concert admission is collected at the door: $20 general; $15 students/seniors; $5 children accompanied by adult. More info call 518-293-7613 or email ambrown.hillholl@gmail.com


Ensemble Scholastica

Sunday, April 14 at 3:00 pm – Church of the Assumption, Church Street in Redford, NY

Montreal-based professional female vocal ensemble of 12 members, Ensemble Scholastica  specializes in performance of medieval plainchant and polyphony (c. 800-1300 AD). The music is deeply spiritual with a transcendent other-worldly beauty. Singing from authentic medieval manuscripts, yet with the added freedom of “elaboration” (ornamentation and improvisation), their goal is to share with listeners the exquisite beauty and intricacy of medieval music, particularly the medieval liturgical traditions that are at the very root of Western music and to experience the remarkable joy and complexity of medieval spirituality and culture.

The ensemble is named for Scholastica, the sixth-century “mother” of female European monasticism and sister to St. Benedict (founder of the Benedictine Order) and in part to reference the influential intellectual movement beginning in the 12th century known as Scholasticism. The Scholastics, such as Peter Abelard and Thomas Aquinas, sought to create order out of existing knowledge and the many new forms of knowledge coming into Europe during the period. The concert program features music of Hildegard von Bingen and other anonymous women composers. It is a rich repertoire of music developed by communities of women from the Middle Ages to 17th-century New France (a rarely performed repertoire that Scholastica is uniquely well-placed to explore). Added bonus: the ensemble’s director, noted medieval scholar-performer Rebecca Bain, will give a pre-concert talk at 2:00 pm.

 Watch Scholastica perform Visionary Songs of Hildegard von Bingen and Dance of the Labyrinth

Concert admission is collected at the door: $20 general; $15 students/seniors; $5 children accompanied by adult. More info call 518-293-7613 or email ambrown.hillholl@gmail.com


Alan Blackman Quintet

Coastal Suite – Sunday, May 19 at 3:00 pm – Saranac Methodist Church, Route 3 in Saranac, NY

Baltimore-based pianist, educator, and award-winning composer Alan Blackman and his ensembles have performed at Blues Alley, Kennedy Center, and festivals and venues from San Francisco to New York with jazz notables such as Donny McCaslin, Joe Locke, Michael Formanek, Helen Sung, and Vardan Ovsepian, to name but a few. He was selected for the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program, as well as residencies at The Banff Centre, Millay Arts, and Avaloch Music Institute. Alan has received many awards for jazz composition, jazz performance, gospel, and world music, including most recently The MAP Fund.

The concert features Blackman’s full-length composition The Coastal Suite, an evocative multi-media concept piece that explores a 24-hour tidal cycle at the ocean. Using projected images of seascape paintings by renowned Shetland artist Ruth Brownlee, Blackman’s 17-song suite was a New Jazz Works commission awarded by Chamber Music America and the Doris Duke Foundation. The Coastal Suite presents a highly programmatic sound-universe in which the musicians imitate nautical sounds through extended techniques (expanding the vocabulary of their instruments’ sonic capabilities) to create a sound landscape that the projected images evoke. Blackman composed the Suite with traditional notation, while giving space for the musicians to explore, invent, and create with utmost freedom. In this way every performance is unique in a deeper way than the typical improvised solos of traditional jazz.

Watch the promo video for The Coastal Suite with Alan Blackman Jazz Quintet and the gorgeous seascapes of artist Ruth Brownlee.

Concert admission is collected at the door: $20 general; $15 students/seniors; $5 children accompanied by adult. More info call 518-293-7613 or email ambrown.hillholl@gmail.com


RECENT EVENTS

INTERWOVEN – November 12, 2023 – Six virtuoso artists from Japan, Korea, and Taiwan performed captivatingly beautiful contemporary soundscapes of Asia and Europe on traditional Asian instruments koto, erhu, piri, and saenghwang alongside violin, viola, and cello in compositions by Daron Hagen, Thomas Osborne, Theodor Wiprud, gamin, Yang Yong, Liu TianHua and Chen YaoXing. The amazing ensemble is the vision of Grammy Award-winning violinst Keiko Tokunaga. Interwoven performed concerts at Lake Forest Senior Living and Peru Central School and held discussion and workshops with string students at PCS.

Dogtober with Cattitude! – October 29, 2023 was the brain- and heart-child of violist Patricia McCarty, who rallied friends to create a touching program inspired by the love of animals. Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals, performed spectacularly by Rose Chancler and Jennifer Moore, with Ogden Nash verses narrated by Benjamin Pomerance, was a highlight. Other excellent regional performers include Janice Kyle, oboe; Janine Scherline, clarinet; Michael Emery, violin; Bill Zito, guitar; and Patti McCarty. The concert raised $1,495 for the Elmore SPCA – such a worthy cause!

Alexander String Quartet – October 15, 2023: The eminent string quartet from San Francisco was brought back by popular demand for a second year in a row – and a very good turnout of 130+ heard them perform an unusual program: Gradual of Tarik O’Regan, String Quartet in D minor, Op. 56 “Voces Intimae” of Sibelius, and Quartet No. 2 in A major, Op. 68 (1944) of Shostakovich. As a “palate cleanser” for an encore, they offered a brisk scherzo movement from one of Haydn’s opus 33 quartets – magnificent!

Paul Winter Consort – September 4, 2023: From points far and wide throughout the Adirondacks, 450 gathered under a large tent at Weatherwatch Farm on a sultry Labor Day afternoon to see and hear the much-beloved Paul Winter Consort perform their latest signature program “This Glorious Earth.” Iconic favorite pieces included “Sun Singer,” “The Well-Tempered Wood Thrush,” “The Voyage Home,” “Wolf Eyes,” and of course, “Icarus.” The seven-time Grammy Award winning ensemble did not stint. The concert lasted almost three hours!

Meadowmount School of Music Off-Campus Concert – August 5, 2022: What a special joy and privilege to hear the Young Artists and Artist Faculty of the revered, intensive summer music “camp” perform two very substantial works: Dohnany’s Serenade in C Major for String Trio, Op.10 and Tchaikovsky’s String Sextet in D minor, Op.70 “Souvenir de Florence.” About 70 attended the concert. Generous free-will donations totaling $1000 were made to the Meadowmount scholarship fund.

Dara Anissi Ensemble – November 19 and 20, 2022: Dara Anissi on the oud joined with Nikolai Ruskin and Martin Shamoonpour on frame drums (daf and riq) and dumbek, as well as violin, ney, recorder, and pipes. The trio from Ithaca gave two fabulous fascinating shows at the Saranac Fire Hall, playing mostly original music written by Anissi, whose influences are drawn from Persian, Arab, and Turkic music, as well as some iconic traditional tunes. 

Alexander String Quartet – October 2, 2022: The super-duper San Francisco-based ensemble performed a memorable program at the Methodist Church featuring Mozart’s String Quartet No. 22 in B-flat major, K589 (1790); Danish composer Carl Nielsen’s String Quartet No. 1 in G minor, Op. 13 (1889); and Debussy’s String Quartet in G minor, Op. 10 (1893). They drew a good crowd of 100 who were hungry for and deeply appreciative of their highest level of artistry. They play on a matched set of instruments made by Francis Kuttner, known as the Ellen M. Egger Quartet.

Paul Meyers’ World on a String – September 5, 2022:  Brazilian-inspired jazz trio warmed up a chilly day at Weatherwatch Farm. Three friends who form the core of World on a String – Paul Meyers on nylon string guitar, Leo Traversa on electric bass, and Vanderlei Pereira on drums and percussion – created a cozy atmosphere inside the tent with expressive music grounded in intricate Brazilian rhythms. About 100 turned out for a totally mellow and satisfying show.

The Will Patton Ensemble – August 21, 2022: Over 100 gathered for an afternoon of lively and poignant music by the Will Patton Ensemble, a seasoned band of six amigos, crème de la crème of Vermont virtuosos playing classic Gypsy jazz hits  Café Manouche, Le Marais, and Chez Tchavolo; Brazilian choro favorites Parana, Nao Me Toques, Caro Raul, and Choro for Rachel; Jazz standards like Sweet Lorraine; Québécois trad tunes Ste. Béatrice and Ste. Anne; and the nostalgic bittersweet Upper Valley Waltz. And much more!

Meadowmount School of Music Concert – August 9, 2022: Eight wonderfully talented and accomplished students performed a beautiful and challenging program that included Beethoven’s String Trio No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 9; Ysaÿe’s Sonata for Solo Violin, No. 5 in G Major, Op. 27 Pastorale; and Mendelssohn’s String Quartet No. 6 in F Minor, Op. 80. These young virtuosos are so dedicated and full of promise – we wish them well!

Alon Goldstein, piano with the Fine Arts Quartet – July 24, 2022: The celebrated Israeli-American pianist Alon Goldstein joined with the venerable Fine Arts Quartet and the rising double-bass phenom Lizzie Burns in an exciting concert collaboration featuring two piano concerti of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (arr. Ignaz Lachner): Piano Concerto No. 19 in F major, K459 and Piano Concerto No. 25 in C major, K503. And to shake things up midway through – a palette cleanser – the Fine Arts Quartet performed String Quartet No. 2 “Company” of Philip Glass. Definitely a WOW event!

Calmus – April 24, 2022: The award-winning, world-traveling vocal quintet from Leipzig, Germany performed “Faith and Madness” at the Church of the Assumption in Redford. There were many glowing moments in the program that included sacred works by Palestrina, Schütz, C.P. Bach, J.S. Bach and Altnikol (J.S. Bach’s son-in-law) and secular madrigals by Monteverdi, Gesualdo, Janéquin, and Flecha. There was not a dry eye in the house when Calmus offered Lysenko’s “Prayer for Ukraine” as an encore.

Infusion Baroque – March 13, 2022: The prize-winning Montreal all-gal early music ensemble gave a pre-concert talk and performed their signature program “Virtuosa” featuring the music of women musicians of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, including Barbara Strozzi (1619-1677), Anna Bon (1738-1769), Wilhelmine von Bayreuth (1709-1758), Maddalena Lombardini Sirmen (1745-1818), Élizabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre (1665-1729).

Le Vent du Nord – February 6, 2022: The crème de la crème of Québécois bands gave a smoking performance to a full house of 185 enthusiasts at the Assumption of Mary School in Redford. It was one of the premiere performances launching Le Vent du Nord’s 20th anniversary tour – entitled “20 Printemps” or “20 Springs” – of all new material (traditional and originals). The band rocked the house!

November 21, 2021: Patricia McCarty, viola and Bill Zito, guitar and lute – The duo’s rich program featured music from the Renaissance to the 21st century, including works by Dowland, Telemann, Giuliani, Nin, Villa-Lobos, Granados, de Falla, Gunter Braun, and Roberto Sierra. The concert was held in the historic Plattsburgh Memorial Chapel on the former military base, and was produced by Hill and Hollow Music for the benefit of the chapel.

November 14, 2021: Horszowski Trio – Jesse Mills, violin; Ole Akahoshi, cello; and Rieko Aizawa, piano performed Dvorak’s “Dumky” Trio, No. 4 in E Minor, Op. 90; Rebecca Clarke’s Piano Trio; and Schumann’s Trio No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 63 for a full house of 140. This concert had to be cancelled and rescheduled twice because of the covid pandemic. It was well worth waiting for – they are an extraordinary ensemble. 

October 3, 2021: Dana Muller and Gary Steigerwalt, four-hands piano – The duo were with us for a week’s residency that included community outreach events and preparation for the premiere of a new work written for them by Pulitzer composer Lewis Spratlan. Spratlan gave a pre-concert talk about both of his works being performed by the duo that day – Fantasia and Dreamworlds – for which Muller and Steigerwalt demo’d key passages. Other works performed were Debussy’s Prélude de l’après-midi d’un faune; Mendelssohn’s La Valse

September 6, 2021: Cantrip – Scottish Traditional Music – Dan Houghton on border pipes, flutes, whistles, and vocals; Alasdair White on fiddle; and Eric McDonald on guitar and vocals. Their music cast a spell over a large crowd and time stood still while the trio wove together stories and tunes on a rainy afternoon under the canopy. When the sun finally broke through, folks burst into spontaneous combustible dancing!

August 7-8, 2021: Tim Collins Jazz Quintet – An ad hoc ensemble of old friends from grad school and early professional days in New York City who nowadays all have high-octane international careers: Ingrid Jensen, trumpet; John Ellis, tenor sax; Tim Collins, vibes; Marcos Varela, bass; Jon Wikan, drums. They played two outdoor shows – Curbside at Harborside in Plattsburgh and Weatherwatch Farm in Saranac – of mostly original compositions of Christine Jensen and Tim Collins. Some unusual colors and sonorities there – over-the-top beautiful!

July 17-18, 2021: Mazel Tov Cocktail Party, clarinet-wizard David Krakauer’s newest band, gave premiere performances at Curbside at Harborside in Plattsburgh and Weatherwatch Farm in Saranac. Members of the international all-star ensemble include Kathleen Tagg, keys and cello; Sarah MK, vocals and rap; Yoshie Fruchter, guitar and oud; Jerome Harris, bass and vocals; and Martin Shamoonpour, daf and jaw harp. Klezmer-infused traditional square dance, polka, hornpipe, calypso, and hora got everyone up dancing in the parking lot and on the lawn!

June 19, 2021: Kathryn Sloat, harp, performed her signature “Moon and Stars” program of 20th- and 21st- century works under a tent on the lawn of Weatherwatch Farm. It was a glorious evening paired with glorious music! Works performed included those of Tournier, Salzedo, Debussy, Britten, Aspinall, Lizotte, Salazar, Schmidt, and Mancini.

November 28-29, 2020: Gretchen Koehler and Daniel Kelly performed a virtual house concert celebrating the release of their new album “LIVE from Hill and Hollow.” There were three streams during Thanksgiving weekend. The house concert and CD feature traditional fiddle tunes as well as originals by both Gretchen and Daniel.

October 16, 17, and 18, 2020: Alon Goldstein performed three solo piano recitals at Weatherwatch Farm. Attendance was limited to only 12 masked guests at each performance, owing to safety concerns during the pandemic. It was truly amazing to have such an intimate musical encounter with this powerful artist who has performed in major concert halls around the globe. Programs included J. S. Bach, Beethoven, Debussy, Florence Price, Bernstein, Chopin, and Scarlatti .

September 6, 2020: Patricia (Patti) McCarty, viola and William (Bill) Zito, guitar performed a beautiful outdoor concert at Weatherwatch Farm on a warm sunny Sunday afternoon. We pitched a canopy on the east lawn and audience (masked) mostly brought their own chairs and were scattered around to maintain safe distancing. Sonatas of Locatelli and Paganini were offered, with short works by Beethoven, Ravel, Ibert, Albeniz, and a premiere of a work composed for the duo by John Hawkins.

August 28 and August 30, 2020: Television Broadcast of Breath & Hammer on Mountain Lake PBS. The extraordinary program of David Krakauer and Kathleen Tagg was beautifully filmed and edited by Mountain Lake PBS in the Saranac Methodist Church. The 70-minute program is a passionate, eclectic musical journey pushing beyond the boundaries of the traditional clarinet and piano duo, with Debussy’s “Première Rhapsodie,” John Zorn’s “Parzial,” Kinan Azmeh’s “November 22,” Johnny Green’s American Songbook classic “Body and Soul,” as well as traditional klezmer tunes and original compositions by Krakauer and Tagg. See close-up their unorthodox playing unplugged and totally acoustic: CLICK HERE

July 18, 2020 – Koehler & Kelly: Hall of Fame champion fiddler Gretchen Koehler with jazz pianist Daniel Kelly performed a drive-in concert in downtown Plattsburgh, part of the “Curbside at Harborside” series.  The duo blends the raw energy of traditional fiddle and dance music with the nuanced lyricism and irresistible rhythms of jazz piano to create their unique soundscape. Audience liberally honked their appreciation after each number.

June 7, 2020 – David Krakauer, clarinet and Kathleen Tagg, piano performed their extraordinary signature program “Breath & Hammer” to a live audience of 13 at the Saranac Methodist Church. This performance was filmed by Mountain Lake PBS and subsequently streamed online.  It is still available for viewing here: Breath & Hammer

January 10, 2020 – Alexis Chartrand and Nicolas Babineau with dancer Mélissandre Tremblay-Bourassa gave an exciting performance on fiddles, guitar, and foot-percussion of  French-Canadian traditional music to a sell-out audience at the Saranac Fire Hall.  This was a celebration to launch their new CD “un beau p’tit son” (“a beautiful little sound”) which had been developed and recorded during two residencies at Hill and Hollow Music during 2019. A great big fun event!

November 3, 2019 – Chamber Music for Strings with Arturo Delmoni, violin; Patricia McCarty, viola; Julia Lichten and David Geber, cellos.  Four superb artists at the peak of their powers came together to play Arensky’s monumental 1894 String Quartet No. 2 in A minor, Op. 3 for single violin, viola, and two cellos. Also on the program was the North American premiere of Seven into Eight (2008) by British composer John Hawkins, Beethoven’s String Trio in G major, Op. 9, No. 1 (1797), and Jean Francaix’s String Trio in C major (1933).

September 29, 2019 – Vera Quartet – Currently Quartet-in-Residence at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, the rising young ensemble has won numerous chamber music competitions, including Astral Artists.  They performed Haydn’s String Quartet op.76 no.1 in G major, Ravel’s String Quartet in F major, plus individual movements from string quartets by Schubert, Schnittke, Beethoven, and Auerbach (which hung together amazingly well as a cohesive quartet!)

August 10, 2019 – 25th Anniversary Gala Celebration featuring Inora Brass and Curley Taylor & Zydeco Trouble – Great music, great food, great people all came together at Weatherwatch Farm to launch our 25th season.  Over 200 attended the FUNdraiser.  Party of the Summer!

July 25, 2018 – Meadowmount School of Music Off-Campus Concert – We were privileged once again to be host for an off-campus concert by advanced students of the renowned Meadowmount School of Music.  Eleven musicians performed Trio No.1 in g minor, Élégiaque of Rachmaninov, Caprice, Op. 52, no.6 of Ysaye, Pezzo capriccioso, Op. 62 and Scherzo in d minor, Op.6 of Tchaikovsy, and String Quintet in C Major, D. 956 of Schubert. So inspiring to see and hear these talented, dedicated young people.

April 28, 2019 – Ensemble Caprice – This amazing ensemble lived up to its reputation as one of the pre-eminent baroque music ensembles performing today. The Montreal-based Ensemble Caprice is Matthias Maute and Sophie Larivière on recorders, Susie Napper on cello; and Ziya Tabassian on percussion. They performed a fascinating and beautiful program “i Love baroque! that was brim-full of drama, pathos, and virtuosity.  Featured music of the 17th and 18th centuries included works by Purcell, Handel, Bach, Schmelzer, Falconieri, and Vivaldi.

March 9-10, 2019 – Ray Vega Latin Jazz Sextet – The atmosphere sizzled with two spicy shows on Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon by Ray Vega’s first-rate ensemble featuring some of Vermont’s finest jazz musicians: Brian McCarthy on alto saxophone, Mike Hartigan on piano, Giovanni Rovetto on bass, Caleb Bronz on drums, Scott Dean on congas and percussion, and Vega himself on trumpet, flugelhorn, and percussion. The program was combination of standards and originals by Vega and members of the band.  One standout moment, particularly poignant, was their remembrance of Rick Davies, a beloved friend, colleague, and member of the greater jazz community who passed two years ago, followed by a performance of one of Rick’s tunes.  And yes, indeed, there was dancing in the aisles!

February 2-3, 2019 – Nicolas Babineau and Alexis Chartrand – Two marvelous shows by French-Canadian traditional music duo, comprising two fiddles, guitar, and foot-percussion, performing an extravagant array of reels and traditional fiddle music they collected from Francophone communities in the far reaches of eastern Québec and Canada’s Maritime provinces, including Chicoutimi, Gaspésie, Cape-Breton, and Newfoundland, as well as some of their own original music. The duo was joined by the remarkable Québecois step-dancer Mélissandre Tremblay-Bourassa.  All three artists put a distinctive contemporary spin on their traditional roots music and dance – really exciting stuff!

November 18, 2018 – Arturo Delmoni, violin with Li-Pi Hsieh, piano – The program included Pugnani’s Sonata in E Major, Beethoven’s Violin Sonata No. 5 in F Major, “Spring,” Grieg’s less frequently played Violin Sonata No. 2 in G Major, Robert Russell Bennett’s Hexapoda: Five Studies in Jitteroptera, and a set of favorite short works: Hungarian Dance in f minor (Brahms-Kreisler), Song Without Words, “Sweet Remembrance” (Mendelssohn-Heifetz), Legend of the Canyon (Cadman), Claire de Lune (Debussy), Mazurka, “Dudiarz” (Wieniawski), and Valse-Scherzo, Op. 34 (Tchaikovsky). Prighiera of Heifetz was offered as an encore.  We can only agree with Glenn Dicterow, long-time concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic, who said, “Delmoni’s playing always goes right to the heart, and his charisma is irresistible.”

October 28, 2018 – New York Polyphony – The program “Faith and Reason” featured two very different and significant works: the 16th-century Mass for Four Voices by Thomas Tallis (1505-1585), sung in Latin; and the contemporary secular mass, Missa Charles Darwin, composed by Gregory Brown (b. 1974) on texts from Darwin’s On the Origin of Species and The Descent of Man, and sung in English; plus a few other contemporary works that were composed especially for the ensemble.

New York Polyphonys concert was all that we hoped for, and more!  Presenting them in Redfords Church of the Assumption was spot-on.  The darling old stone church with its cathedral-like resonance allowed the voices to ring out and float in the air.  The vocal blend was miraculous, while each of the singularly beautiful four voices remained distinctive and strong. It is clear why New York Polyphony enjoys a reputation as one of the finest vocal chamber ensembles in the world.

August 19, 2018 – Emerald Trio – The New York City-based musicians were with us for an intense week of work and fun.  They broke in a new pianist, James Sheppard, who was also commissioned to compose a new work for the trio.  The work was written on-site and rehearsed in close collaboration with the players (an ideal situation), and subsequently given its premiere at the concert August 19, where the audience greeted it warmly.  Indeed, the entire program was fascinating and engaging, with a beautiful suite by Mel (née Mélanie) Bonis (1858-1937), a little known contemporary of Ravel, and works by T.O. Sterrett (b. 1953), Howard Cass (b. 1989), and Alessandro Annunziata (b. 1968), demonstrating their commitment to uncovering lost gems from the past, as well as contemporary chamber music and building the repertoire for their ensemble’s instrumentation of flute, violin/viola, and piano.

July 26, 2018 – Meadowmount School of Music Off-Campus Concert – We were privileged to be host for an off-campus concert by advanced students of the renowned Meadowmount School of Music. The program began with Weilu Zhang playing two movements of the Sonata for Solo Violin in A minor, BWV 1003 by J.S. Bach.  Then followed the exquisite Ravel Trio in A Minor with Liam Kaplan, piano; Nanao Yamada, violin; and Jeremy Tai, cello.  After intermission Jeremy Tai performed a movement Kodaly’s wild and virtuosic Sonata for Solo Cello, Op. 8.  The glorious culmination was Schumann’s Quartet for Piano and Strings, Op. 47, with Matthew Harikian, piano; Weilu Zhang; violin; Aaron Rosengaus, viola; and Luiz Venturelli, cello.  Founded in 1944 by the legendary Russian violinist and pedagogue Ivan Galamian, the school soon became – and continues to be today – a pre-eminent summer program for young musicians training for a professional career in music.  Alumni of Meadowmount have won every major competition worldwide, and are among the very best of international soloists and chamber musicians, concertmasters and principal players of the world’s leading orchestras, and the distinguished artist-teachers in every major university and conservatory.

June 23, 2018 – Jonathan Aceto, MIDI violin, with the McLean Mix – His solo electric violin program offered SAMPLER: Everything Goes When the Whistle Blows, a riveting work by Salvatore Martirano about the 1985 terrorist hijacking of the cruise ship Achille Lauro and Desert Voices by Priscilla McLean with a slideshow of photos of the Sonoran Desert, where many of the sounds on the background tape were recorded.  Following the performance was a screening of Rainforest Images II, an evocative music-video by Barton and Priscilla McLean based on their adventures in Malaysia and Borneo. Additionally, in a side room, the McLeans created an audience-interactive installation that drew from world music, sounds of nature, and intriguing experimental techniques, and invited folks to experience and participate in the creation of music and sound.  Great fun!

May 6, 2018 – Lise de la Salle, piano - The extraordinary French pianist Lise de la Salle offered “Bach Unlimited,” her current signature solo recital program, conceived as a profound and shining tribute to the timeless genius of J.S. Bach. The concert began with Bach’s Italian Concerto and moved through three centuries of composers  inspired by Bach: Liszt (Fantasy & Fugue on the Theme B-A-C-H), Bach/Busoni (Chaconne), and pithy shorter works of Roussel, Poulenc, Kempf and Enhco.  Lise’s outstanding performance demonstrated not only her powerful virtuosity, but also her extreme delicacy and touching devotion to this music.   It is clear why Lise is one of the most celebrated artists of her generation – she recently turned 30!

April 6-8, 2018 -  Tim Collins USA Jazz Group - Vibes virtuoso Tim Collins teamed up again with Robinson Morse on double bass and Gabe Jarrett on drums, inviting guitarist/vocalist Davy Mooney as featured guest artist.  The quartet converged in Saranac for a run of three shows at the Fire Hall, which was transformed into a funky little jazz club such as might be found in Alphabet City in the East Village.   The guys did a mellow mix of standards and originals by Tim Collins and Davy Mooney, with periodic bursts of energy and fireworks – overall a perfect balance of cool and hot.  Goldilocks would say “just right.”  All shows were well attended; standing room only at both Saturday and Sunday shows.

Sunday, March 4, 2018 – Rhythm Future Quartet – Keeping the spirit of Gypsy jazz alive and expanding in today’s musical universe, the virtuoso acoustic jazz foursome, named for a Django Reinhardt tune, offers up a newly minted sound, influenced by the classic Hot Club of France, yet wholly contemporary. Led by violinist Jason Anick and guitarist Olli Soikkeli, the quartet performs dynamic and lyrical arrangements of both Gypsy jazz standards and original compositions that draw upon diverse international rhythms and musical idioms. With Max O’Rourke on second guitar and Greg Loughman on bass, Rhythm Future is dedicated to expanding the boundaries of a vital musical genre.

Saturday, February 24, 2018 – Lavrova-Primakov Piano Duo – Two extraordinary Russian pianists Natalia Lavrova and Vassily Primakov formed as a duo in 2010 after graduating from Juilliard.  They come to Saranac with some regularity to work and perform, and we always look forward to their lively visits. The Duo tried out an exciting new program to a full house at Weatherwatch Farm: Danse macabre, Op. 40 of Saint-Saëns, Night on Bald Mountain of Modest Musorgsky, Andante and Allegro Brillant, Op. 92 of Felix Mendelsson, and Blue Danube Fantasy of Greg Anderson.  It was a dazzling performance and the audience roared with delight!

Saturday and Sunday, November 18-19, 2017 – Journey West – Seven virtuoso multi-instrumental artists of diverse nationalities and ethnic backgrounds performed world music on violins, saxophone, clarinet, flute, mandolin, guitar, oud, bass, accordion, and all manner of percussion. The fascinating musical travelogue chronicles the migration of melody and changing instrumentation from the Middle East, through Eastern and Western Europe, and finally arriving in the United States.  Two excellent concerts were for the benefit of Plattsburgh Cares, an organization that provides humanitarian aid for asylum seekers and refugees traveling through our community on their way to Canada. 

Sunday, October 8, 2017 – Soovin Kim and Gloria Chien, violin-piano duo – One of the most dynamic couples on the classical scene today did not fail to thrill and astound.  Featured works were Robert Schumann’s Sonata No. 1 for Violin and Piano in A minor, op. 105 ; Charles Ives’s Sonata for Violin and Piano, No. 2 ; and Richard Strauss’s Sonata for Violin and Piano in E-flat Major, op. 18.  The audience could not go home without hearing some favorites by one of the greatest all-time masters of the violin, Fritz Kreisler.  No surprise, best attendance ever!

Friday, September 15, 2017 – Olympus Piano Trio – violinist Regi Papa, cellist Ben Capps, and pianist Konstantine Valianatos had a retreat to prepare a rather hefty program for upcoming concerts and competitions – trios of Brahms (No. 1 in  B Major, op. 8), Ravel (A Minor), and Greek-Canadian contemporary composer Christos Hatzis (Odd World) – which they tried out in the living room at Weatherwatch Farm.   We had a great turnout because folks remembered how superb the trio was last year – and again several audience members pronounced it the best concert they have ever heard!  There is indeed something extra-special about experiencing live music in such close proximity to the artists.

Sunday, July 9, 2017 – Passepartout Duo – Nicoletta Favari, piano, and Christopher Salvito, vibraphone, were in residence to rehearse a new commission by Molly Joyce and to record videos of it and other works in their contemporary repertoire, which were subsequently posted on YouTube.  At the conclusion of their residency they gave a live audio-visual performance with additional percussion, some electronics, and lights, besides piano and vibraphone.  Works included the premiere of Molly Joyce’s Less is More, works by George Aperghis and Andy Akiho, and an animated film short by Mayke Nas with music composed by Salvito.   Our audience found the challenging program quite a stretch, but Favari and Salvito won them over with their competence, precision, passion, enthusiasm, humor, and charisma.

Sunday, April 9, 2017 – the Davydov-Fanning Duo – Cellist Dieuwke Davydov and pianist Diana Fanning, both Affiliate Artists at Middlebury College, performed their 40th Anniversary Concert before taking it on tour in Europe.  The meaty and moving program featured Beethoven Cello Sonata No. 2 in G Minor, op. 5, Hindemith Fantasiestück,  Brahms Cello Sonata No. 1 in E Minor, op. 38 and Camille Saint-Saëns Allegro Appassionato, op. 43; plus Chopin “Berceuse” and two Debussy études for solo piano. 

Sunday, January 22, 2017 – Lilac 94 -  The contemporary harp duo performed a program devoted entirely to the music of Carlos Salzedo, very likely the greatest harpist of the 20th century and possibly the greatest-ever composer for the harp.  Before performing Salzedo’s ground-breaking (and challenging) work Pentacle, they gave an illuminating lecture-demonstration of the extended techniques he developed  and applied copiously therein.  Other lighter works Lilac 94 performed were “Chanson dans la nuit” and “Tango” and “Rumba” from Salzedo’s Suite of Eight Dances.   An audience of 90+ responded enthusiastically to the Q & A and, of course, the music!

Sunday, November 20, 2016 – The Delmoni-McCarty-Thomas String Trio performed mature Mozart (Divertimento in E-flat Major, K563), early Beethoven (Trio in C minor, Op. 9, No. 3), and youthful Ernst von Dohnanyi (Serenade in C Major, Op. 10). The players’ warm friendship plus their deep respect and love for the music animated and illuminated the exquisite program of monumental masterpieces.

Sunday, October 16, 2016 – Gloria Chien, piano –  A superb solo recital featured Debussy’s Suite Bergamasque, several of Mendelssohn’s Songs Without Words, a Chopin Nocturne and Barcarolle, Liszt’s Venezia e Napoli, and a Scriabin Nocturne for left hand.  About 120 attended the feast of favorites from Romantic and Impressionist periods.

Sunday, September 11, 2016 – Diderot String Quartet – Performing on period instruments, Johanna Novom and Adriane Post, violins; Kyle Miller, viola; and Paul Dwyer, cello offered Mozart’s String Quartet in G Major, K387, “Spring” and Burgmüller’s String Quartet No. 1 in D minor, op. 4.  Elegance, passion, sensitivity, exuberance, daring and precision all came together.  Annual free concert was attended by 100+

Sunday, August 21, 2016 – Olympus Piano Trio – violinist Regi Papa, cellist Ben Capps, and pianist Konstantine Valianatos  performed trios of Rachmaninoff (No. 1 in G Minor “Élégiaque), Brahms (No. 2 in C major, op. 87), and Tchaikovsky (A Minor, op. 50). A rich, substantial program richly delivered.  The Tchaikovsky moved one to tears,  Several audience members pronounced it the best concert they have ever heard!

Saturday, June 25, 2016 – Balkanville  – Balkan music by Montreal ensemble featuring Richard Simas, clarinet; Sean McCutcheon, accordion and winds; Cathy Inouye, tuba; Becky Lazarovic, tapan, and special guest Max Fass, accordion. House concert at Weatherwatch Farm with an informal concert on the deck followed by dancing on the lawn. Al fresco drinks and dinner, too, on a perfect summer evening overlooking the Adirondacks.

April 3, 2016 РRebel Ensemble for Baroque Music РJ̦rg-Michael Schwarz and Karen Marie Marmer, violins; John Moran, cello; Donsok Shin, harpsichord performed Barocco: Musical Treasures of the 17th and 18th Centuries. Our audience flipped over the energy and style these artists brought to the music, not to mention sheer virtuosity. We won the lottery on this one!

February 12-14, 2016 – Tim Collins USA Jazz Quartet – The North Country’s home-grown luminary Tim Collins on vibes traveled from his now-home in Germany for three exciting shows at the Saranac Fire Hall “Jazz Club.”  Special guest star was New York City jazz piano phenom Ayako Shirasaki and rhythm by Vermont jazz notables John Rivers on bass and Gabe Jarrett on drums.  This was the real deal. Wish we could hear great jazz like this around here more often!

November 22, 2015 – Concert of Piano Quartets – Superb violist and Adirondack resident Patricia McCarty was joined by three renowned colleagues: Jung Lin, piano; Arturo Delmoni, violin; and Ronald Thomas, cello. Their thrilling and deeply satisfying program included Mozart’s Piano Quartet in E flat, K. 493; Faure’s Piano Quartet No. 2 in G minor, Op. 45; and Brahms’s Piano Quartet in A major, Op. 26. The audience responded to a unique musical happening with multiple standing ovations!

October 25, 2015 – Johannes String Quartet – The acclaimed ensemble opened with Homunculus, an exciting 15-minute work written expressly for them by the world-renowned Finnish composer-conductor Esa Pekka Salonen.  Also featured was Mozart’s String Quartet No. 15 in D Minor, K. 421 and Brahms’s String Quartet No. 3 in B-flat Major, op. 67.  Playing at the highest level and the house was packed – a love-fest, for sure!

August 23, 2015 – Emerald Trio – New York City-based Karen Bogardus, flutes; Orlando Wells, violin and viola; and Matt Castle, piano and composer performed a concert of  new works written especially for them by hot-on-the-scene NYC composers Carolyn Steinberg, Matt Castle, Joseph Pehrson, Gene Pritsker, Dan Cooper, Milica Paranosic, and Davide Zannoni.  Our annual free concert. Fascinating, challenging, and well received – kudos to intrepid artists and audience alike!

July 19, 2015 – Gretchen Koehler and Daniel Kelly Duo -  by New York State Hall of Fame fiddler Gretchen Kelly partnered by NYC-based jazz pianist Daniel Kelly offered a beautiful and diverse selection of tunes, both traditional and original, in a unique and fascinating performance of many styles of fiddling and improvisation.  13-year-old Syl step-danced into the hearts of all!

June 28, 2015 – Red Hedgehog Trio – Boston musicians Marina Krickler, horn; Marjorie Gere, violin; and Daniel Sedgwick, piano performed works for solo keyboard (Bach) and violin-piano duo (Brahms), as well as for horn-violin-piano trio (Harbison).  They premiered their new commission “10 x 10” - a huge hit!

May 3, 2015 – Ricochet Duo – Jane Boxall on marimba and Rose Chancler on piano performed “DANCES,” a delightful array of short dance-inspired works, including ragtime, tango, and more.

March 22, 2015 – Duo FAE – Violinist Charlene Kluegel and pianist Katherine Petersen performed a traditional recital featuring three  sonatas by Beethoven, Faure, and Ives. Nourishment for the soul.

February 8, 2015 – The Guidonian Hand – Four virtuoso trombones juxtaposed art music of the past (Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Debussy) with contemporary works of living composers (Galen Brown, Jeremy Howard Beck, Conrad Winslow). Totally wonderful!

November 16, 2014 – Patricia McCarty and Cary Lewis – Two superb artists at the top of their game offered a deeply satisfying and memorable viola-piano duo recital featuring works Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, and the contemporary American composer David Avshalomov.

October 12, 2014 – Russian Duo – Balalaika artist Oleg Kruglyakov and pianist Terry Boyarsky guided a rapt audience on a fascinating journey across the span of Russian culture with folk music, lyrical romances, rhythmic dances, classical music favorites, gypsy melodies, and popular songs.

August 24, 2014 - The Allant Trio astounded a full house at the Methodist Church with elegant, energetic virtuosity. This was our now-annual free concert and about 140 attended.  They gave a perfectly paced performance of Hadyn’s Trio No. 39 in G Major (Gypsy), Canadian composer Kelly-Marie Murphy’s Give Me Phoenix Wings to Fly, and Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 49.

July 11 and 13, 2014 – The Rocky Hill Ramblers gave two delightful shows at the Saranac Fire Hall. The three-member band of fiddle, guitar, bass, with sophisticated vocal harmonies performed 60s and 70s folk, rock, jazz, and blues, along with some ancient traditional tunes plus originals. Sweet memories and smiles!

June 22, 2014 – The Lavrova-Primakov Piano Duo performed music for one piano, two-, four-, and six-hands on our nine-foot Steinway at the Methodist Church. Approximately half of the program featured works by South African composer Braam van Eeden, including two solo sonatas and the premiere of Allegory, dedicated to Hill and Hollow Music. Van Eeden was present to receive a standing ovation after each (three SOs!). Also performed were Twelve Pieces, op.66, of Anton Arensky and Six Morceaux, op. 11, of Sergei Rachmaninoff. As an encore, van Eeden joined Lavrova and Primakov at the keyboard to play Rachmaninoff’s charming Valse for six hands!

May 24-25, 2014 - The Bonfiglio Trio gave two performances of Harmonica America – Classical to Blues featuring the towering harmonica virtuoso Robe

Patti McCarty and Friends – Sunday, November 3 at 3:00 pm at the Saranac Methodist Church on Route 3 – Arturo Delmoni, violin; Patricia McCarty, viola; and Julia Lichten and David Geber, cellos –  Instead of two violins, this is a string quartet with two cellos!