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2017 Kingston Chamber Music Festival

Online Ticket Sales Begin on Tuesday, April 25,

for Seven Concerts, from July 19 through 30
 

Music programs and the lineup of artists for seven spectacular concerts are set for the 29th annual Kingston Chamber Music Festival, to be held July 19 - 30, at the University of Rhode Island.

Twenty-one artists, most of them from major orchestras across the country, will converge on Kingston for two week of collaboration, conviviality and community  — all geared toward the joy of making beautiful music to share with others.

Online ticket sales for the 2017 Kingston Chamber Music Festival begin here on Tuesday, April 25, two weeks before the seasonal box office opens on Monday, May 8. For complete ticket information, click here.

Patrons on our mailing list will receive a 2016 brochure — with a ticket order form — in our annual mailing to patrons at the end of April. Click here, to join our mailing list and receive the brochure.

Six subscription concerts over two weeks will follow the usual Wednesday-Friday-Sunday format, with concerts on July 19, 21, 23, 26, 28, and 30. The Wednesday and Friday concerts start at 7:30 p.m.; both Sunday concerts start at 4 p.m.

For a fifth consecutive season, a seventh concert, not part of the subscription series, will be held in the nearby Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd. A piano recital at the church will be held on Saturday, July 22, at 7:30 p.m.

Highlights include:

  • The festival debuts of violinist Martin Beaver, longtime first violinist of the Tokyo String Quartet; oboist James Austin Smith, a brilliant young member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center; and pianist Jeewon Park, a Korean-born artist who has garnered praise from audiences worldwide.
  • The return of the award-winning saxophone quartet, Project Fusion, which made a sensational debut last season with its unique take on classical masterpieces.  
  • Returning artists to Kingston after absences — long and short — include violinist Kyu-Young Kim, artistic director and principal violin of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra; violinist Zach DePue, concertmaster of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and a former member of the crossover group Time for Three; cellist Kenneth Olsen, assistant principal cello of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra; and cellist Jonathan Karoly, a member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
  • A longtime festival favorite, returning after a one-year absence, is cellist Priscilla Lee, who joined the venerable Philadelphia Orchestra as associate principal cello while she was away. 
  • Music highlights include piano or string quintets by Shostakovich, Brahms, Amy Beach and Sergi Taneyev that will anchor four concerts; three works that include oboe during the festival's first week; Dvořák's lyrical and popular American String Quartet; and two spectacular solo piano works by Ravel and Debussy to be performed by Bulgarian-born pianist Viktor Valkov.
  • Pianist Hanchien Lee, who made her Kingston debut in 2012 in a memorable performance of Bartok's concerto for two pianos and percussion, will perform the solo recital church concert with works by Beethoven, Schumann and contemporary composer Chia-Yu Hsu.

A complete list of music programs will be posted soon on the Concerts page.


Music Festival Seeks New Managing Director

The Kingston Chamber Music Festival has initiated a search for a new managing director after Brian Mitchell informed the festival's Board of Directors that he will retire from that position after the 29th annual concert series in the summer of 2017.

The festival intends to identify a new managing director in time to work with Mitchell prior to the 2017 festival. The position currently carries a part-time salary with an independent contractor status. The new managing director will share a passion for music, have strong diplomatic skills, some knowledge of database ticketing and marketing functions, and will work with the festival board to best implement the vision of Artistic Director Natalie Zhu.

"Brian's devotion to this festival is best exemplified by what our audiences see and hear in the concert hall today. He will be sorely missed, of course, but the board is committed to building upon the excellent strengths Brian has shared with the festival over so many years," said Michelle Little, president of the festival's board. "We will warmly welcome a new managing director who will usher us into our next 30 years respectful of the foundation upon which we stand."

Violinist David Kim founded the festival in 1989 and performed both the artistic and administrative functions until shortly after he became concertmaster of the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1999. Mitchell, after serving as a board member and publicist since 1994, was appointed managing director in 2000, prior to the festival's 13th season. Maestro Kim continued to serve as artistic director until 2008, when pianist Zhu was named to succeed him.

A 1969 journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, Mitchell said the timing of the start of his work for the music festival was perfect. "As my career in newspapers was winding down I was extremely fortunate to be able to land in a second field I was passionate about," he said. Among his many contributions, Mitchell initiated the festival's biannual newsletter, Festival Notes, in 1999. The 39th edition will be published this fall.

Starting with three concerts in one week, the festival has grown over the years to seven concerts over two weeks. At its core, the festival is highly regarded for the exceptional quality of its artists and their ensemble playing and the friendly and attentive audiences that support the concerts. Music outreach to schools has been in place since 1991 and several other programs, including master classes to help nurture young talent, have been added over the years.

A job description and application instructions are available here or by clicking on the "Jobs" tab, or by writing to Martin Sadd, search committee chair, at P.O. Box 1733, Kingston, RI 02881.


Online Ticket Sales for 2016 Festival Begin Monday, April 25

Music programs and the lineup of artists for seven spectacular concerts are set for the 28th annual Kingston Chamber Music Festival, to be held July 20 - 31, 2016, at the University of Rhode Island.

Online ticket sales for the 2016 Kingston Chamber Music Festival begin here on Monday, April 25, two weeks before the seasonal box office opens on Monday, May 9. For complete ticket information, click here.

Patron on our mailing list will receive a 2016 brochure — with a ticket order form — in our annual mailing to patrons at the end of April. Click here to join our mailing list and receive the brochure.

Six subscription concerts over two weeks will follow the usual Wednesday-Friday-Sunday format, with concerts on July 20, 22, 24, 27, 29, and 31. Earlier start times approved for last season will remain in place for 2016. The Wednesday and Friday concerts will start at 7:30 p.m.; both Sunday concerts will start at 4 p.m.

For the fourth consecutive season, a seventh concert will be held in the nearby Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd. A piano recital at the church will be held on Saturday, July 23, at 7:30 p.m.

Highlights include:

  • The world premiere performance of a piano quartet — commissioned by the festival — composed by the ingenious pianist Stewart Goodyear.
  • A famous Bach keyboard work like you’ve never heard it before, performed by an award- winning saxophone quartet, Project Fusion
  • The Myriad Trio, featuring the unusual instrumentation of flute, viola and harp
  • A recital by the exciting young, Bulgarian-born pianist Viktor Valkov
  • The return for the third consecutive season of Grammy-winning guitarist Jason Vieaux
  • Seven of 22 fabulous artists will make their Kingston debuts in 2016!

The banner is up across Upper College Road at the entrance to the URI campus and the 2015 festival that begins on Wednesday, July 22, is not far off. Managing Director Brian Mitchell reports that tickets are still available for all seven concerts. Buy them here or call the box office, at 401-874-2106, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays.


Programs and Artists for 2015 Announced

Highlights of seven concerts for this upcoming 27th season in Kingston include the festival debuts of two extraordinary young artists, violinist Bella Hristova, and clarinetist Benito Meza; the return of two favorites from last season, pianist Stewart Goodyear and guitarist Jason Vieaux, a 2015 Grammy winner; and the return to Kingston of bassoonist Harrison Hollingsworth for two concerts. Great chamber music from every classical period includes two contemporary works to be introduced by their composer, David Ludwig. Pianist Goodyear will perform Bach's keyboard masterpiece, the Goldberg Variations, at a special church concert just off the URI campus. Tickets will go on sale here on Monday, April 27, and the seasonal box office opens on Monday, May 4. For more details, see Concert Schedule, Artists, and Tickets.


Audio/Video Highlights of 2014 Festival Available

Highlights of the 2014 Kingston Chamber Music Festival are available for listening and viewing here now. Segments from the 2014 Festival include excerpts from six works featuring nearly all of the 20 artists who appeared in Kingston last summer. Many of the same artists will be returning in 2015, to be joined by several others making their Kingston debuts. Concert programs and artists for 2015 will be posted in April before tickets go on sale on May 4.