After much consideration, I have decided to postpone the 6th annual Middlebury Summer Chamber Music Festival and reschedule it for next year, 2021. The new dates will be June 25-27, 2021. The cancellation is very disappointing! We’ve all been practicing and looking forward to playing together for months! But by not getting together, we will be in solidarity with our global community, participating in social distancing to slow and decrease the impact of our global pandemic. Forgoing our festival this summer is the right thing to do.
The Vermont governor’s current plan is to allow events and hotels to accept reservations starting on June 15, 2020. The music school has not canceled summer programming at this time. So at this point, the Middlebury Chamber Music Festival will proceed. The health of our community is a priority and we are monitoring the situation carefully. I will email updates to participants and faculty if there is any change and update this post. Please use the contact form to let me know how you are doing!
The Middlebury Chamber Music Workshop will celebrate its 6th year in 2020. Workshop dates will be from June 26-28, 2020. The workshop will be held at the Middlebury Community Music Center. Adult and teen amateurs gather to play quartets coached by visiting professional artist-teachers. Each participant is assigned to two groups. The repertoire is assigned in advanced and prepared individually by participants then polished with the assistance of a professional chamber music coach. Visiting coaches and participants are hosted by local participants or stay in local hotels or AirBnBs.
Friday, June 26, 2020
4:00 – 6:00 PM – First look: groups gather to read and rehearse repertoire at the music school
6:30 PM – potluck dinner and faculty house concert
Saturday, June 27, 2020
10:30 AM – coached session
12:00 PM – lunch break
1:00 PM – coached session
2:30 PM – break
4:00 PM – chamber orchestra sight-reading party. This year we will feature MarcOlivia and the Stamitz Double Concerto!
Melissa and Elena will work with students of all ages on connecting their minds, bodies, and spirits to their music-making through an introduction to yoga. Free. The adult and teen session is for all instruments. Bring your instrument if you like!
MUSIC TEACHER INTERMISSION SESSION WORKSHOP
Monday, Aug. 26, 2019
Middlebury Community Music Center, 6 Main St, Middlebury, VT
9:00-10:30 Music, Movement, and Mindfulness for Music Teachers Melissa and Elena will work with music teachers of all instruments on developing ways to help integrate movement and mindfulness in our practice rooms, studios, and classrooms. Bring your instrument if you like! Free. Registration: Registration Link
Sunday, Aug. 25, 2019, 6:30 PM
Saint Stephen’s Church, 3 Main Street, Middlebury, VT Informal recital featuring duets performed by violinists Melissa White and Elena Urioste. Free and open to the public.
Intermission is a ground-breaking program that encourages a union of body, mind, spirit, and music-making through yoga and meditation.
Melissa White and Elena Urioste — violinists, yoginis, and dear friends — spend much of their lives on the road, performing and jet-setting around the world. Melissa, a first-prize laureate in the Sphinx Competition, has received critical acclaim for solo performances with some of America’s leading ensembles, including the Cleveland Orchestra; the Boston Pops; and the Atlanta, Baltimore, Colorado, Detroit and Pittsburgh symphony orchestras. As a founding member of the award-winning Harlem Quartet, she has appeared in many of the country’s most prestigious venues, including Carnegie Hall, the White House for former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, and the Kennedy Center; and internationally in Europe, Africa, Japan, and the U.K., where the ensemble is currently Quartet-in-Residence at the Royal College of Music in London. The musical versatility of Harlem Quartet has also garnered them an international reputation in the world of jazz and following an extensive concert tour with Chick Corea and Gary Burton, the sextet’s recording entitled “Mozart Goes Dancing” won a 2013 Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition.
Elena has given acclaimed performances with major orchestras throughout the United States, including the Philadelphia and Cleveland Orchestras; Boston Pops; New York, Los Angeles, and Buffalo Philharmonics; and the Chicago, San Francisco, National, Atlanta, Baltimore, and the Detroit symphony orchestras, among others. Abroad, she has appeared with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Hallé Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Orchestra of Opera North, and the BBC Symphony, BBC Philharmonic, and BBC National Orchestra of Wales. She has regularly performed as a featured soloist in Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium and has given recitals in such distinguished venues as the Wigmore Hall in London, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, Konzerthaus Berlin, and the Sage Gateshead in Newcastle. Recent season highlights have included a recital debut at the Kennedy Center with pianist Michael Brown and three separate concerto and chamber music appearances in Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall in the 2017/18 season; upcoming highlights include subscription debuts with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and the Orchestre National de Lille, in addition to the release of Elena’s second album on BIS Records, Estrellita, a collection of miniatures for violin and piano with pianist Tom Poster.
Melissa and Elena met in 2003 via a combination of ENCORE School for Strings, the Curtis Institute of Music, and the Sphinx Organization. Through their attendance at and performances in affiliation with all three, the two grew to be wonderful friends and natural collaborators. Unbeknownst to each other, Melissa and Elena stumbled upon their respective yoga practices at exactly the same time in two different cities! Upon discovering each other’s new passion for yoga in the autumn of 2009, they added this to their list of commonalities and began to practice together whenever their schedules allowed. Over the past nine years, the benefits that they have both experienced as a result of regular yoga practice have been innumerable, from improved muscular control in their violin playing to an increase in self-discipline to a greater sense of peace with the world around them. Both active teachers within their respective musical careers, Melissa and Elena have often found themselves advising students to employ principles learned in yoga as much as those from their musical studies. The truth is, the two fields are inextricably linked, and out of this realization the idea for Intermission Sessions & Retreat was born.
Intermission encompasses a series of workshops for students and retreats for professionals, all of which aims to explore and celebrate the symbiosis between yoga and music. Through yoga, musicians of all ages begin to build greater awareness of their bodies and learn proper alignment to optimize their musical set-ups, practice mental focus and efficiency, and deepen their connections to their inner selves and, ultimately, to music. Intermission is currently offering capsule Sessions, in which Melissa and/or Elena visit schools, festivals, and other musical organizations to work with students of all ages on connecting their minds, bodies, and spirits to their music-making. Groups are guided through light yoga sequences with an emphasis on preparing the body for instrumental practice sessions or performances: arm and hand stretches to warm and limber the muscles, breathing techniques to relax and center oneself before a nerve-wracking stage appearance, and properly stacking the body from the feet to the crown of the head to achieve optimal posture, to name a few examples. These yoga sessions are then supplemented by instrumental masterclasses, where Melissa and Elena teach with an emphasis on applying what students have learned on the yoga mat to their musical studies. Intermission Retreats are week-long getaways for seasoned professional musicians to come together in a supportive, peaceful, communal setting to practice yoga, hone their crafts, and share creative ideas — basically, an artist colony meets yoga retreat. Both Sessions and Retreats provide the time, space, and guidance for musicians to begin to connect the individual elements of themselves and their music-making into one complete picture.
And finally, a little fun fact: Melissa and Elena both began playing the violin as a result of watching the very same episode of Sesame Street in 1988!
Middlebury Chamber Music Festival guest artists Olivia Hajioff, Marc Ramirez, Miho Weber, and Jon Weber will offer a public open rehearsal on Saturday, June 29, 2019, at 7:30 at Unity Hall located in the new addition of the Middlebury Congregational Church, 2 Main St, Middlebury, VT 05753. The program will include movements of Prokofiev Quartet op.50, Ravel F Major Quartet, Toru Takemitsu’s ‘Rocking Mirror Daybreak’ for Two Violins and the Beethoven “Eyeglasses” duet for viola and cello. Free!
The Middlebury Chamber Music Festival returns for its fifth year in Middlebury, Vermont from June 28-30, 2019.
The focus of this year’s festival is a quartet workshop for adult amateur string players and pianists taught by visiting artists, Miho Zaitsu (cello), Jonathan Weber (violin and viola), Marc Ramirez (violin and viola) and Olivia Hajioff (violin and viola).
The festival hosts will be the Middlebury Community Music Center (mcmcvt.org) and the Middlebury Congregational Church, located across the street from the music center.
There will be two opportunities to sightread with our coaches, on Friday evening we will all gather to read chamber orchestra repertoire and then on Saturday afternoon in small ensembles. Our coaches will offer an intimate open rehearsal performance for participants and their friends and families on Saturday evening.
Friday, June 28, 2019
4 – 6 PM Welcome and chamber orchestra reading at Unity Hall. Coaches and workshop participants sight read Baroque and Classical chamber orchestra pieces. Jon Weber Conducts. Bring a stand and *Cellists, bring a rock-stop as the floor is slippery polished stone. Unity Hall (part of the Congregational Church), 2 Main St, Middlebury, VT 05753. Here is the link to parts to print!: String Orchestra Reading Party Repertoire
6:30-8 Potluck at Joy’s house Details coming soon!
Saturday, June 29
Everyone will play in two coached groups (Group 1 and 2).
9 – 11 AM – Group 1 Coached Rehearsal at MCMC, 6 Main Street, Middlebury, VT 05753
String Quartet No.2, Op.13 (Mendelssohn, Felix)
Movement: Adagio Non Lento- cantabile (2nd movement)
Olivia Hajioff, a Fulbright scholar, received a BBC Young Musician of the Year Award and was also a prize winner in the European Violin competition. In her native England, she has performed chamber music at the Dartington International Festival with David Owen Norris and Stephen Kovacevich. She has also performed with Edgar Meyer, Awadagin Pratt, and Led Zeppelin. She has concertized throughout Europe and the U.S. notably in London’s Wigmore Hall, the South Bank, Cheltenham Festival, Paderewski Hall in Switzerland, and the Kennedy Center. Arnold Steinhardt (Guarneri Quartet) described her as a “compelling performer”.
Marc Ramirez has concertized throughout Europe and North America, performing at such halls as the Tretyakov Museum in Moscow, Carnegie Recital Hall, and the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater. His recitals have been broadcast on many radio stations, including those in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Among his awards are First Prizes in the Henryk Szeryng Competition, the Parisot-Friedman International Competition, and the Cavallaro International Competition for a two-year Fellowship to Yale University. From 1983-1986, he was invited by Henryk Szeryng to study and tour with him, visiting many European cities. The Washington Post has described his playing as “intensely beautiful”.
Hajioff and Ramirez perform together as the MarcOlivia violin/viola duo performing music of many styles and periods, including Folk Music, Jazz, and Salon/Virtuoso works. The Marcolivia Duo appears frequently on NPR’s “Performance Today” and “Front Row Washington”. They are regular guest artists at the Tokyo College of Music, Japan, and have performed for the Federal Reserve Board in Washington DC, Cleveland Museum of Art, Cosmos Club, and annually at the Phillips Collection (where they are featured on several CDs of Series Highlights and Distinguished Performers). Other venues include the Kennedy Center, Strathmore, Merkin Hall, and Symphony Space, NYC. Marcolivia regularly adjudicates, perform, and give masterclasses for events organized by the Washington Performing Arts Society. Marcolivia also performs double concertos regularly with many of the DC area regional orchestras, including Alexandria and Fairfax Symphonies. In 2015, they were invited to perform as soloists with the National Gallery of Art Orchestra and St Petersburg State Orchestra at the National Gallery of Art.
Marcolivia performed at Chamber Music America’s 25th Anniversary Concert in NYC, alongside groups such as the Juilliard Quartet, and were the only chamber music finalists in the Concert Artists Guild International Competition in 2000. The duo is on the roster of the Millenium Stage at the Kennedy Center and the Virginia Commission For The Arts Touring Roster. In 2011, Marcolivia were invited to be founding members of the Phillips Camerata, based at the Phillips Collection and the National Gallery of Art. The Camerata gives several performances annually at both galleries – many of which have been broadcast.
Jonathan Weber maintains a versatile musical career in multiple genres as a violinist, violist, conductor, and composer. A graduate of the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College (CUNY) and classically trained under violinist Daniel Phillips, Mr. Weber has collaborated in the chamber music field with artists including Daniel Phillips and Timothy Eddy of the Orion String Quartet, Tara Helen O’Connor of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and Windscape, oboe virtuosos Ronald Roseman and Randall Wolfgang, and the Bach Aria Group. Mr. Weber has also made solo and ensemble appearances with symphony orchestras both in the United States and abroad.
Branching into alternate musical genres such as jazz, hip-hop, country, and rock, Mr. Weber has performed with artists including Billy Joel, Roger Daltrey, Peter Gabriel, Josh Groban, Taylor Swift, Idina Menzel, Sarah McLachlan, Barry Manilow, Johnny Mathis, Tony Bennett, Elvis Costello, Herbie Hancock, Savion Glover, Jay-Z, Beyonce Knowles, Alicia Keys, Nas, Busta Rhymes, Janelle Monae, Erykah Badu, Corey Glover, the Roots, the Irish Tenors, the Trans Siberian Orchestra, the Mahavishnu Project, and fusion band DBR & The Mission (Opus 3 Artists) for which he has received critical acclaim. As an active New York freelancer, Mr. Weber performs regularly in the Broadway circuit and has appeared as a violinist with the vintage jazz band, Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks. CD credits include Billy Joel: Live at Shea Stadium, Jay-Z: Kingdom Come, Albert Hammond Jr.: Como Te Llama, and Boardwalk Empire Volume 3: Music from the HBO series. Mr. Weber has also participated in television and film score collaborations with artists including Ryuichi Sakamoto and Steven Van Zandt.
Journeying into the cinematic medium, Mr. Weber has appeared as an on-screen musician in films such as Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus (2006), Sex and the City 2 (2010), Billy Joel: The Last Play at Shea (2010), the HBO Miniseries: “Mildred Pierce” (2011) and Annie (2014). He has also made television appearances performing on The Late Show with David Letterman, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Live with Regis and Kelly, The Rachel Ray Show, The View, Christmas: Live at Rockefeller Center” and PBS programs: Great Performances and Soundstage, and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, where he made his televised conducting debut in 2014, performing in collaboration with comedian Dana Carvey and The Roots. In 2012, Mr. Weber appeared as guest conductor for the 2012 NMEA All-County Music Festival performing in concert at the Tilles Center at C.W. Post, LI University.
Jonathan Weber has been a faculty member at the Lawrence Eisman Center for Preparatory Studies in Music [Pre-College Division of the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College (CUNY)] since the year 2000, where he serves as music director of the pre-college orchestras, head of the chamber music department, director of the CPSM Summer Chamber Music Festival, and member of the violin and viola faculty. In addition, Mr. Weber is a recurring faculty member at the University of Buffalo Summer Strings Workshop where he has served as orchestral conductor, chamber music coach, and jazz/rock improvisation instructor. Mr. Weber is also a member of the strings faculty at the 92nd Street Y in New York City.
“Full of Herculean power” (Time Out), cellist Miho Weber continues to excite audiences with her thought-provoking performances throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. In New York, she regularly performs at Bargemusic, Carnegie’s Stern Auditorium, Lincoln Center, Merkin Hall, Symphony Space, and the United Nations. Miho’s recent chamber music projects have included the InterPlay duo and collaborations with members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in the Memling Ensemble. She has performed with the New England Symphonic Ensemble, Paragon Orchestra, and String Orchestra of New York City throughout the United States as principal cello. Her popular engagements have included a performance with Imagine Dragons on Saturday Night Live and Josh Groban at the US Open.
Miho has held residencies at the Aspen Music Festival, Banff Centre, Schleswig-Holstein, and many others. She is the director of the strings and chamber music after school program at NEST+m, a specially gifted and talented public school in New York City and is a chamber music coach for the New York Youth Symphony. Miho is the founding director of InterPlay Chamber Music, an educational organization with a unique mission to create an inspiring learning environment for chamber musicians of all ages. During the summer, Miho also teaches at the New York Summer Music Festival at SUNY Oneonta.