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Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival Celebrating 35 Years In The Hamptons

Olivia Rutigliano

This year's theme is "Destination America." (Photo: www.facebook.com)

The Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival's 35th anniversary season will offer over a month's worth of brilliant performances, running from Thursday, July 19 to Sunday, August 19.

Lauded as a "beloved East End festival" by The New Yorker, the Festival is known for presenting a wide range of music, performed by some of the best in the country amidst the classic seaside setting. The longest running classic festival on Long Island, it has maintained a sense of community, even as it as grown from the small two concert weekend in 1984 to a five week event that even commissions work from talents musicians presently.

"Thirty-five years ago I stood on my front porch and sold tickets to our very first festival," reflected BCMF Founder and Artistic Director Marya Martin. "It's hard to believe how much we've accomplished since that first weekend of two concerts. But even before that, I, like so many musicians and composers over the years, came to America to follow my musical dreams."

This year's theme, "Destination America," presents and highlights music by composers who came to the country for creative reasons, as immigrants, descendants of slaves, to flee oppression or to explore new opportunities.

"By celebrating our 35th Season through the lens of 'Destination America,' we put a spotlight on works both the familiar and new, and reinforce the idea of America as a place where creativity thrives, and is indeed improved, by a coming together of cultures," added BCMF Executive Director Michael Lawrence. "We feel the same way about our artists, who come from all around the world to bring their unique perspectives to bear on an amazingly broad and deep repertoire, creating a special and dynamic experience for our audiences."

Some Festival highlights include a Bernstein centennial program featuring Copland's Appalachian Spring in the original chamber version for 13 instruments performed by opera star Nathan Gunn; a special all-American program at the Parrish Art Museum featuring music by Higdon, Glass, Tsontakis, Dohnányi, and Light Upon a Turning Leaf; dance-inspired music by Strauss/Schoenberg, Dvořák, Piazzolla, William Grant Still, and Mark O'Connor for the Festival's annual Free Outdoor Concert; "The Mendelssohns: Fanny and Felix," a composer portrait hosted by Alan Alda; an evening of Bach sonatas; and program highlights including Four Seasons of Vivaldi and Piazzolla, Stravinsky's Three Pieces for String Quartet, and Schumann's Piano Quintet.

A series of free pop-up concerts by the Rolston String Quartet will prelude the Festival. The causal 30-40 minute concert will be held in various locations around the Hamptons.

Most of the Festival concerts will take place at the Bridgehampton Presbyterian Church, but other special events such as the BCMF Annual Benefit, will take place at other Hamptons venues.

For a full list of locations and events, visit the Festival's website.

For more information, call 212-741-9403 or visit www.bcmf.org.

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