Artistic Director
David Deveau

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Press Release

June 2, 2006

Rockport Chamber Music Festival Announces
25th Anniversary Season
June 8 - July 2, 2006

Rockport, Massachusetts - Rockport Chamber Music Festival celebrates the opening of its 25th Anniversary Season on Thursday, June 8. Artistic Director, David Deveau, presents four weeks of world-class ensembles and soloists performing diverse music from the Renaissance to contemporary world premieres. This milestone season is enhanced with special events, concerts and educational programs.

To inaugurate the silver anniversary season, and as Rockport Chamber Music Festival's gift to Cape Ann for 25 years of support, Imani Winds performs a free pre-season concert Sunday June 4th at the Rockport High School Performing Arts Center. Imani Winds, a virtuosic wind quintet based in New York specializing in Latino and Afro-American music as well as a contemporary repertoire, have performed twice before in Rockport, and have acquired a devoted following. As part of the Rockport Chamber Music Festival's education program, Imani Winds will hold a special performance in the Gloucester Public School system for the 3rd grade students.

June 10 New Century Saxophone Quartet performs a free family concert open to all. Saturday morning educational programs on June 17 with pianist Andrew Rangell and June 24 with contemporary music ensemble eighth blackbird offer an opportunity to interact with performers and to learn more about the music they play. Prelude Suppers return on June 15 and 29 and will feature presentations by Artistic Director, David Deveau, and special guests. An event to honor Rockport Chamber Music Festival's founders Lila Deis, soprano and David Alpher, piano, will be presented on June 28. The evening features music by Mozart, Beethoven, Lehar and other Viennese composers, Viennese pastries, and a nostalgic look back at the Festival's beginnings with co-founder Paul Sylva, a Rockport businessman who helped launch the Festival.

The Festival's regular season opens on June 8 with a gala concert featuring Borromeo String Quartet with members of Imani Winds and Boston Symphony Orchestra's principal bass, Edwin Barker, followed by a champagne reception. The music of Mozart and Schubert's great Octet in F Major highlight the evening's program. Opening week continues with a performance by New Century Saxophone Quartet featuring the world premiere of David Lang's Revolutionary Etudes, co-commissioned by Rockport Chamber Music Festival. Performances by Biava String Quartet with Quynh Nguyen and Boston Trio conclude the week.

Celebration of the anniversary season continues during week two of the Festival with the return of Brentano String Quartet with guest violist Hsin-Yun Huang on June 15. A festival favorite, Garrick Ohlsson returns to play two sold out concerts featuring solo recitals of Beethoven sonatas. On June18, the festival presents another world premiere, Abu Ghraib by John Harbison. Scored for cello and piano, this piece is a response to what Harbison describes as an important episode in our country's historys, and is intense, dark, and haunting. The performers are Rhonda Rider, cello and David Deveau, piano. Also featured this concert is the return of the superb St. Petersburg String Quartet, performing the Schubert String Quintet in C with Ms. Rider as second cellist.

St. Petersburg String Quartet, having earned international honors for its complete recording of the quartets of Shostakovich, will start the Festival's third week off performing Quartets Nos. 8 and 9 on June 22. Mia Chung, a festival favorite, joins for Schumann's Piano Quintet. The astonishing young Swiss-born Gilles Vonsattel returns for a solo recital featuring music of Mozart, Bartok, Poulenc, and Liszt. First appearing at the Festival in 1999 after winning the Concert Artists Guild Award, eighth blackbird has since won the Naumburg Competition for chamber music, and has been featured on national TV programs such as CBS Sunday Mornings. eighth blackbird is definitely not to be missed! The Festival's third week finishes out with a special debut by Les Amies, a trio of flute featuring Carol Wincenc, harp; Nancy Allen, principal harpist of the New York Philharmonic; and viola Cynthia Phelps, principal violist also of the New York Philharmonic.

David Alpher returns for the Festival's final week on June 29 with vocalist Jennie Litt for a delightful cabaret program of Rodgers with Hart and Hammerstein: Songs in Matched Pairs. Pianists Andrew Rangell and Judith Gordon; members of the QX string quartet; Bruce Creditor, clarinet; Jean Rife, horn; and Thomas Stephenson, bassoon join for a remarkable program of eastern European chamber music by Janacek and Dohnanyi. The yearly return of the Cardenes-Williams-Deveau piano trio showcases music of Mozart, Schumann and Schubert. Concluding the 25th Anniversary Season on July 2, the long-awaited return of the Eroica Trio will feature an all-American program of piano trios of Mark O'Connor, Charles Ives and a suite from Gershwin's Porgy and Bess.

The Rockport Chamber Music Festival's 25th anniversary season is supported by a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Federal agency. The Festival joins the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Ballet, the Museum of Fine Arts and Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, among other Massachusetts cultural organizations, that will share $20 million in NEA grants awarded nationwide in the category "Access to Artistic Excellence."

The Festival is in the process of acquiring the Haskins Building on Main Street in Rockport, with plans to develop a 325-seat, acoustically-superb concert hall for chamber music and other performing arts events. An extraordinary display of color renderings featuring the prospective Festival Center gives concertgoers an opportunity to imagine what the future holds.

Most Festival events, with the exception of the June 4 Imani Winds program and the June 24th eighth blackbird performance, are held in the Hibbard Gallery of the historic Rockport Art Association, 12 Main Street in downtown Rockport, Massachusetts.

For further information or for ticket availability, please contact the Rockport Chamber Music Festival office at 978-546-7391 or visit www.rcmf.org .

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