Kelli O’Hara, fresh from her Tony Award-winning performance in The King and I, will join the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, conducted by Rob Fisher, to open Caramoor Music Festival’s 71st summer season with A Starlit Evening on Saturday, June 18, in the Venetian Theater.
The opening night gala performance will feature Broadway showstoppers and favorites from the Great American Songbook; gala tickets include a pre-concert cocktail reception and dinner, premium seating, and an After Dark party (ticket information for all events is at caramoor.org or call 914-232-1252).
It leads off a season of music that will range from violinist Pamela Frank’s Chamber for My Father — Dedicated to Claude Frank (June 19), to the all-day American Roots Music Festival on June 25, to Pops, Patriots, Fireworks on July 2, to Bel Canto at Caramoor on July 16, to the Jazz Festival on July 23, to the Summer Season Finale with violinist Gil Shaham and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s on Aug. 7.
It’s music for all tastes and all ages, and a chance for music lovers to enjoy concerts in the magnificent Caramoor venues, including the 1508-seat Venetian Theater and the more intimate Spanish Courtyard, where chamber music will fill the air. This year’s Ernst Stiefel Quartet-in-Residence is the Aizuri Quartet, two of whose members are alumnae of Caramoor’s Evnin Rising Stars program.
The 90-acre estate with its Italianate buildings offers expansive gardens and encourages picnickers to enjoy them. There is a Sense Circle garden for the visually impaired, a Sunken Garden, Butterfly Garden, Tapestry Hedge and Iris and Peony Garden. Audience members are invited to arrive early to explore the grounds, tour the Rosen House or have Sunday afternoon tea (information at caramoor.org).
The Orchestra of St. Luke’s, founded at Caramoor more than 35 years ago, will be featured not only on opening night but will also perform in semi-staged productions of Beethoven’s Fidelio and Rossini’s Aureliano in Palmira (receiving its American premiere). The orchestra will join with artist-in-residence pianist Jonathan Biss mid-season for the New York premiere of Tim Andres’ Third Piano Concerto, The Blind Banister, co-commissioned by Biss as part of his multi-season Beethoven/5 project. The Andres concerto is inspired by Beethoven’s Second Piano Concerto, which will follow in the first half of the July 10 program. Another musical pairing will complete the concert: Martinu’s La Jolla Sinfonietta, a neoclassical response to Haydn’s Symphony No. 98, followed by the Haydn symphony.
In addition to its instrumental programs for young artists, Caramoor presents the Schwab Vocal Rising Stars and the Bel Canto Young Artists; the latter will be featured in two programs, The Intimate Rossini on July 7 and Beethoven in Song on July 21.
One of the recent summer traditions is the family-friendly Dancing at Dusk programming, which takes place on the lawn of Friends Field. Musicians from around the world highlight the sounds and dance traditions of their cultures; this year the focus is on the Pacific Rim. Lei Pasifika will present the music and dance of Tahiti and Hawaii on June 29; Kinding Sindaw Melayu Heritage will focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and South Thailand on July 13; and classical and modern dancer Ling Tang will lead an exploration of Chinese folk music on July 27.
Chamber music is a huge part of summer at Caramoor and chamber performers will include David Finckel, Wu Han and Philip Setzer, the Pacifica Quartet, the Danish String Quartet, the Akropolis Reed Quintet, pianist Jeremy Denk, and guitarist Meng Su, who will play a special program in the Sunken Garden on July 28. The Stamford Piano Trio will celebrate Bastille Day on July 14 with works by Fauré, Ravel and Lili Boulanger, while Music from Copland House will play All-American selections on July 22. Cellist Edward Arron, a former Evnin Rising Star, will return this summer and the 2016 Evnin Rising Stars Showcase will present Paul Huang, violin, Matthew Lipman, viola, and Kuok-Wai Lio, piano, in works by Mozart, Brahms and Ravel on June 30.
The full day of American Roots Music planned on June 25 will be headlined by New Orleans’ Hurray for the Riff Raff, John Fulbright and Sara Watkins, with other performers including Man About A Horse, Dennis Stroughmatt et l’Esprit Creole, The Lowest Pair, Silver City Bound, Spuyten Duyvil and others. More roots music can be heard on July 1, when Richard Thompson plays in the Spanish Courtyard, on July 15, when Ben Folds and yMusic visit, and on July 30, in a concert by Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams.
The traditional Independence Day celebration at Caramoor will take place July 2, a family-friendly event featuring curt Ebersole and his 60-piece Westchester Symphonic Winds and Broadway star Ryan Silverman, performing a centennial tribute to Frank Sinatra. The concert also includes euphonium soloist John Palatucci and will conclude, as always, with fireworks.
This year’s Jazz Festival on July 23 will include the Chick Corea Trio, the Evan Sherman Big Band, Ladies Sing the Blues, Etienne Charles, Gotham Kings, Jazzmeia Horn and Bia Skonberg. There will be more jazz on July 9 and Aug. 6, when Cécile McLorin Salvant returns.
Caramoor is at 149 Girdle Ridge Road, off Route 22 just under two miles south of Route 35, in Katonah, N.Y. All parking is free and close to the performance area. For more information, visit caramoor.org.