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Cassatt String Quartet

The Cassatt String Quartet

Acclaimed as one of America's outstanding ensembles, the Manhattan based Cassatt String Quartet has performed throughout North America, Europe, and the Far East, with appearances at New York's Alice Tully Hall and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, the Tanglewood Music Theater, the Kennedy Center and Library of Congress in Washington, DC, the Theatre des Champs in Paris and Maeda Hall in Tokyo. The Quartet has been presented on major radio stations such as National Public Radio's Performance Today, Boston's WGBH, New York's WQXR and WNYC, and on Canada's CBC Radio and Radio France.

Formed in 1985 with the encouragement of the Juilliard Quartet, the Cassatt initiated and served as the inaugural participants in Juilliard's Young Artists Quartet Program. Their numerous awards include a Tanglewood Chamber Music Fellowship, the Wardwell Chamber Music Fellowship at Yale (where they served as teaching assistants to the Tokyo Quartet), First Prizes at the Fischoff and Coleman Chamber Music Competitions, two top prizes at the Banff International String Quartet Competition, two CMA/ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming, a recording grant from the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, and commissioning grants from Meet the Composer and the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2004, they were selected for the centennial celebration of the Coleman Chamber Music Association in Pasadena, California.

The Cassatt celebrated its twentieth anniversary in 2006 with a series of world-premieres, a performance at the Library of Congress on the Library's Stradivarius Collection and gave concerts for the American Academy in Rome, Cornell and Syracuse Universities and were guest clinicians at the the Texas Music Educators Association. They also gave mini-residencies at the Centro National de las Artes in Mexico City, Vassar College and the University of Texas at Austin.

"... an undulant, lyrical and insightful performance..." by the Cassatt String Quartet was recently cited in The New York Times. The 2014-15 season highlights include their debut at the Beijing Modern Music Festival, the New York Botanical Gardens with composer/moderator, Laura Kaminsky and return appearances at Chamber Music America's National Conference, Music Mountain Festival and Bargemusic with pianist, Ursula Oppens, the Westchester Chamber Society with violist Kazuhide Isomura of the former Tokyo Quartet and Treetops Chamber Series with clarinetist, Oskar Espina Ruiz. They will continue their unique collaboration with the Kyo-Shin-An Ensemble at New York City's Tenri Cultural Center to give performances for quartet, koto, shakuhachi and shamisen with James Nyoraku Schlefer and Yoko Reikano Kimura. This year marks their 9th annual Cassatt in the Basin! educational chamber music residency in Texas with guest, Maestro Benjamin Zander.

Summer highlights include their residency at the innovative Seal Bay Festival and the Atlantic Music Festival in Maine.

Equally adept at classical masterpieces and contemporary music, the Cassatt has collaborated with a remarkable array of artists/composers including pianist Marc-Andre Hamelin, soprano Susan Narucki, flutist Ransom Wilson, jazz pianist Fred Hersch, didgeriedoo player Simon 7, the Trisha Brown Dance Company, distinguished members of the Cleveland and Vermeer Quartets, and composers Louis Andriessen and John Harbison.

With a deep commitment to nurturing young musicians, the Cassatt, in residencies at Princeton, Yale, Syracuse University, the University at Buffalo and the University of Pennsylvania, has devoted itself to coaching, conducting sectionals and reading student composers' works, while offering lively musical presentations in music theory, history and composition. Selected by Chamber Music America, they served as guest artists for their New Music Institute; a series to help presenters market new music to their audiences.

Named three times by The New Yorker magazine's Best Of...CD Selection, the Cassatt's discography includes eclectic new quartets by Pulitizer Prize-winner Steven Stucky and Tina Davidson (Albany Records), by Daniel S. Godfrey (Koch International Classics) and by Grawemeyer and Rome Prize-winner Sebastian Currier (New World) as critiqued in The New York Times (Quartetset) was written for the Cassatt... which plays it strongly here."

The Cassatt has recorded for the Koch, Naxos, New World, Point, CRI, Tzadik and Albany labels and is named for the celebrated American impressionist painter Mary Cassatt.

Please visit the Cassatt String Quartet website for more information:


Artistic Director - Laura Kaminsky

Laura Kaminsky is a composer with "an ear for the new and interesting" whose works are "colorful and harmonically sharp-edged" (The New York Times). Social and political themes are common in her work, as is an abiding respect for and connection to the natural world. Kaminsky's "music is full of fire as well as ice, written in an idiom that contrasts dissonance and violence with tonal beauty and meditative reflection. It is strong stuff." (American Record Guide) Her opera, As One (co-librettists Mark Campbell and Kimberly Reed), recently presented at BAM, received unanimously positive reviews, including: "(As One) is a piece that haunts and challenges its audience with questions about identity, authenticity, compassion, and the human desire for self-love and peace" (Opera News) and "...musically, (this seasoned, socially-aware composer's) dramatically charged music has a tonal ambiguity that allows each scene to go where it needs to, and in a clear dramatic trajectory."(Operavore)

Kaminsky has received support from the National Endowment for the Arts, Koussevitzky Music Foundation, Opera America, BAM/The Kennedy Center De Vos Institute, New York State Council on the Arts, Aaron Copland Fund, Chamber Music America, American Music Center, USArtists International, CEC ArtsLink International Partnerships, Likhachev Foundation, Kenan Institute for the Arts, Artist Trust, Seattle Arts Commission, North Carolina Arts Council, Seattle Arts Commission, Virgil Thomson Foundation, Meet the Composer, and others. She has received six ASCAP-Chamber Music America Awards for Adventuresome Programming, a citation from the Office of the President of the Borough of Manhattan, and the Polish Ministry of Culture National Heritage 2010 Chopin Award. She has been a fellow at the Hermitage Artist Retreat Center, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Centrum Foundation, Dorland Mountain Arts Colony, and Millay Colony for the Arts. Currently composer-in-residence at American Opera Projects, Kaminsky is a member of the faculty in the School of the Arts/Conservatory of Music at Purchase College/SUNY, where she served as dean from 2004-2008.

Daniel S. Godfrey

Daniel Strong Godfrey (b. 1949) has earned awards and commissions from the J. S. Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Fromm Music Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Bogliasco Foundation, the Koussevitzky Music Foundation, and the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition, among many others. His music has been performed by soloists, chamber ensembles and orchestras throughout the U.S. and abroad. He is founder and co-director of the Seal Bay Festival of American Chamber Music (on the Maine coast) and is co-author (with the late Elliott Schwartz) of Music Since 1945, published by Schirmer Books.

Godfrey's works have been recorded on Albany, CRI, GM, Innova, Klavier, Koch, UK Light and Mark compact disks. His music is available through publishers Carl Fischer and G. Schirmer.

Godfrey received his graduate degrees in composition from Yale University and the University of Iowa. He is currently Professor and Chair in the Department of Music at Northeastern University's College or Arts, Media and Design (Boston, Massachusetts). Prior to his recent appointment at Northeastern, Godfrey was Professor of Music Composition, Theory and History at Syracuse University's Setnor School of Music, and he has also held guest faculty appointments in composition at the Eastman School of Music and the Indiana University School of Music.

Augusta Read Thomas

Grammy winning composer, Augusta Read Thomas's impressive body of works embodies unbridled passion and fierce poetry. The New Yorker Magazine called her "a true virtuoso composer." Championed by such luminaries as Barenboim, Rostropovich, Boulez, Eschenbach, Salonen, Maazel, Ozawa, and Knussen, she rose early to the top of her profession. Later, as an influential teacher at Eastman, Northwestern, Tanglewood, now she is the 16th ever University Professor (one of five current University Professors) at The University of Chicago. Former Chairperson of the American Music Center, she has become one of the most recognizable and widely loved figures in American Music. Thomas was the longest-serving Mead Composer-in-Residence for Daniel Barenboim and Pierre Boulez with the Chicago Symphony from 1997 through 2006, a residency that culminated in the premiere of Astral Canticle – one of two finalists for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in Music. During her residency, Thomas not only premiered nine commissioned works, but was central toward establishing the thriving MusicNOW series. She won the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize, among many other coveted awards. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Victoria Bond

Victoria Bond leads a dual career as composer and conductor. Her compositions have been praised by The New York Times as “powerful, stylistically varied and technically demanding,” and her conducting hasbeen called “impassioned” by The Wall Street Journal and “full of energy and fervor” by The New York Times. Bond has been commissioned by the American Ballet Theater, Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, Houston Symphony, and Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. Her compositions have been performed by the Dallas Symphony, New York City Opera, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and musicians from the New York Philharmonic.

Honored with the American Academy of Arts and Letters Walter Hinrichsen Award and the Miriam Gideon Prize. Ms. Bond was the first woman appointed Exxon/Arts Endowment Conductor with a major orchestra, the Pittsburgh Symphony. She has guest conducted throughout the United States, Europe, South America and China and was profiled in The Wall Street Journal, People magazine, The New York Times, and on NBC's TODAY.

The first woman awarded a doctorate in orchestral conducting from The Juilliard School, Bond served as music director of the New Amsterdam and Roanoke Symphony Orchestras; artistic director of Opera Roanoke, Harrisburg Opera, and Bel Canto Opera; music adviser of the Wuhan Symphony in China and assistant conductor of New York City Opera. She is currently principal guest conductor of Chamber Opera Chicago andArtistic Director of Welltone New Music, Inc. She has worked with André Previn, Pierre Boulez, Aaron Copland, Mstislav Rostropovich, Sixten Ehrling, Leonard Slatkin, James Conlon, Herbert Blomstedt and Herbert von Karajan.

Elliot Schwartz

Elliott Schwartz was born 1936 in New York City and studied composition with Otto Luening and Jack Beeson at Columbia University. He retired from the faculty at Bowdoin College, where he served for 43 years, twelve of them as department chair. His many extended residencies and/or visiting professorships include Ohio State University, the University of California (San Diego and Santa Barbara), Harvard, Oxford, and Cambridge. Schwartz's compositions have been performed by such groups as the Minnesota Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Chicago Chamber Orchestra, and the Youth Orchestra of the Netherlands and featured at numerous international music centers and festivals including Tanglewood, the Library of Congress, Monday Evening Concerts (Los Angeles), DeIjsbreker (Amsterdam), Music of the Americas (London), and the European Youth Orchestra Festival (Copenhagen).

Leading orchestras and chamber ensembles have recorded his music for New World, CRI, Albany, Innova, Capstone and other labels. Honors and awards for his compositions include the Gaudeamus Foundation (Netherlands), the Rockefeller Foundation (two Bellagio residencies), and the National Endowment for the Arts. Over the course of his career he has served as president of The College Music Society, president of the Society of Composers, Inc, vice-president of the American Music Center, and board member of the American Composers Alliance.

Schwartz wrote or edited a number of books on musical subjects. These include Music: Ways of Listening, Electronic Music: A Listener's Guide, Music since 1945 (co-author with Daniel Godfrey) and the anthology Contemporary Composers on Contemporary Music (co-editor with Barney Childs). Schwartz's 70th and 80th birthdays were celebrated with concerts and guest lectures at Oxford, the Royal Academy of Music (London), Butler University, Concordia College, the University of Minnesota, the ACA Festival (NYC) and the Library of Congress. His music is published by ACA, Associated Music Publishers, and Lauren Keiser Music, and is preserved at archives including the Library of Congress and Special Collections in Performing Arts at the University of Maryland. He passed away December 7, 2016 in Brunswick.

Delvyn Case

Delvyn Case is a composer, conductor, educator, and performer based in Boston. His music has been performed by 70 orchestras across the US, UK, and Canada, including the National Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic, and the Atlanta and Toronto symphonies. Other performers of his music include the Grammy-winning quintet Chestnut Brass Company, the Dallas Wind Symphony, United States Coast Guard Band, mezzo-soprano D'Anna Fortunato, and the Hermitage Trio. He has received awards, honors, and fellowships from BMI, The MacDowell Colony, The Society of Composers, The Atlantic Center for the Arts, and The New York Virtuoso Singers, among others. His 2008 chamber opera The Prioress's Tale, which explores issues of religious intolerance, toured New England for three seasons years as part of a unique initiative to foster dialogue about peace-making and reconciliation. His two outreach pieces for narrator and chamber ensemble, commissioned by the Portland Symphony Orchestra, have been performed for over five thousand children in Maine, Massachusetts, and California since 2010. He studied at music at Yale (B.A. summa cum laude) and the University of Pennsylvania (Ph.D. in musical composition), as well as conducting at the Curtis Institute of Music. He is former member of the graduate faculty of the Longy School of Music, and has also taught at Boston College and Northeastern University. He now serves as Associate Professor of Music at Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, where he conducts the Great Woods Symphony Orchestra.

Vineet Shende

Vineet Shende spent his formative years in Chicago and Pune, India. He holds degrees from Cornell University, Butler University and Grinnell College, where he studied composition with Roberto Sierra, Steven Stucky, Michael Schelle and Jonathan Chenette. He has also studied sitar with Ustad Usman Khan. Shendes music has been commissioned, premiered, and/or recorded by ensembles such as the National Symphony Orchestra, the Portland Symphony Orchestra, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, the Amernet String Quartet, the Cassatt String Quartet and Flexible Music. He is an associate professor and chair of the Music Department at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine.

Anna Gravel

Anna is a film and stage Actress, Singer and Filmmaker who discovered her passion for acting at age 8. She knew then this was the thing she wanted to do for the rest of her life, and went on to earn her BA in Theater from the University of Southern Maine.

In the summer of 2011 Anna began delving into the world of film and since then has appeared in many independent films and commercials throughout New England. Ultimately her work in film led to the formation of Through the Door Productions in 2012 with Derek R. Brigham and Everett Bunker. She has co-produced short films for Funny or Die, the Portland Maine 48 Hour Film Project (receiving Best Film) and the Damnationland Film Festival. In the spring of 2015 Anna left TTD to pursue her own artistic goals as an Actor/Director. She is currently producing and directing a film for Damnationland 2016.

It is Anna's belief that through acting and filmmaking we have the unique opportunity to uplift, inspire, educate and empower not just those whose lives we touch through our art, but even ourselves.

Rebecca Allan

Known for her richly layered and chromatically nuanced abstract paintings, Rebecca Allan has for many years concentrated on rivers, tributaries, and watershed environments as primary sources of investigation. Her work explores the ecology, meteorology, and geology of the Northeast, Pacific Northwest, and the Gulf Coast. Working from a studio that overlooks the Harlem and Hudson Rivers in New York City, Rebecca is inspired by a deep appreciation for the beauty of the natural environment overlaid with an awareness of its fragility and endangerment.

Exhibiting in the United States and abroad for more than 25 years, Rebecca's most recent solo exhibitions were presented at Herron School of Art at Indiana University and Purdue University. The Nancy Dryfoos Gallery at Kean University Hudson Opera House Gallery; ArtLab78 (New York) and Gallery 2/20, The American Church in Paris, Ringling College of Art and Design/Longboat Key Center for the Arts; and Seattle Art Museum Gallery. Rebecca has been a Fellow at the Hermitage Artist Retreat, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Dorland Mountain Arts Colony. From 2006-2014 Rebecca was the Director of Education at the Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture in New York City.

Lauren Lessing

Lauren Lessing is an art historian and educator with twenty years of experience working in museums, including the Art Institute of Chicago and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City. In her current position as Mirken Director of Academic and Public Programs at the Colby College Museum of Art, she directs community outreach and programming, links the Museum's collections and exhibitions to curriculum at the college, and oversees American paintings and sculptures created before 1900. Lessing completed her Ph.D. in Art History at Indiana University in 2006 under the guidance of Sarah Burns, and she has authored numerous books, articles, catalogue essays, and papers on eighteenth and nineteenth-century American art.

The Seal Bay FestivalP.O. Box 824, Vinalhaven, Maine 04863