Music News & Reviews

Chamber Music Festival of the Bluegrass celebrates 10 years at Shaker Village

The Calidore String Quartet are cellist Estelle Choi, violinists Ryan Meehan and Jeffrey Myers and violoist Jeremy Berry.
The Calidore String Quartet are cellist Estelle Choi, violinists Ryan Meehan and Jeffrey Myers and violoist Jeremy Berry. Calidore String Quartet

David Larson and Amy Bugg at the Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill are crossing their fingers for good weather this weekend for the 10th Annual Chamber Music Festival of the Bluegrass.

The 4,000-acre historical site will be hosting the event featuring musicians from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, led by co-artistic directors of the society and festival David Finckel and Wu Han, this Saturday and Sunday. Finckel, a cellist, was named Musical America’s 2012 Musician of the Year and Han, a pianist, is one of the most influential classical musicians of the modern world. They will be performing in the Meeting House and the Meadow View Barn at Shaker Village.

Finckel and Han will be joined by a number of talented musicians including The Calidore String Quartet, violinists Sean Lee and Arnaud Sussmann, and Paul Neubauer, a violist recognized for his exceptional musicality. The Calidore String Quartet was just awarded the $100,000 M-Prize from the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theater and Dance.

“The event started 10 years ago when Centre College’s director of events, George Foreman, decided that it would be a great idea to present top-notch chamber music in a tobacco barn,” Larson said.

Centre stayed involved with the event for several years, but since 2011 Shaker Village has run the event. The constant has been the Chamber Music Society, as Han and Finckel have directed the festival from the beginning.

The Chamber Music Festival of the Bluegrass “presents some of the best chamber musicians in the world,” Larson said.

The festival enjoyed what was probably its biggest moment last year when a crew from Live from Lincoln Center came in to record a performance of Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring. The episode has not aired yet.

This year’s program includes music from Ludwig Van Beethoven, W.A. Mozart, Alfred Schnittke, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Dmitri Shostakovich and more.

Those visitng the village this weekend will have the opportunities to learn about chamber music history as well as the history of Kentucky Shakers’ peaceful lifestyle. Bugg says, “we want our visitors to have the full Shaker Village experience”.

There will be two educational lectures discussing the history of each piece of music being performed, presented by composer, performer, writer and educator Patrick Castillo.

The growth of this event has helped the Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill not only in terms of its event presentation but in its status as a cultural tourist destination.

While the music is the main attraction, Shaker Village will provide additional diversions.

The site will be hosting tours and its retail stores and restaurant will be open all weekend. The Village also has 72 overnight rooms, which sold out one year in advance to the festival.

In 10 years, it’s become a hot ticket.

If You Go

Chamber Music Festival of the Bluegrass

What: Annual chamber music festival featuring musicians from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

When: Concerts at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. May 28 and 29, lectures at 3 p.m. each day.

Where: Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill, 3501 Lexington Road, Harrodsburg

Admission: Sold out

Call: 1-800-734-5611

Online: Shakervillageky.org

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