Friday to Sunday, September 8 to 10, 2017

Music Appreciation in a Classic Setting

Listen, enjoy, and learn – music in harmony with this historic setting at the Isles of Shoals. This weekend is a time to be inspired and relax, with three splendid concerts and a talk with the performers.

Our superb musicians will play some truly remarkable music in perfect venues. These few days are an opportunity to be surrounded with the sights – and sounds – of this celebrated retreat.

At a glance

  • Friday night – Candlelit concert in our hilltop stone Chapel
  • Saturday daytime – Enjoy the Island and meet the musicians
  • Saturday evening – Concert in our 19th century hotel lobby
  • Sunday morning – Concert in the hotel's intimate Pink Parlor.

Then and Now

Chamber music – a form of "classical music" – is played by a small group of instruments. Traditionally, the performance could fit in a large room or chamber. Each part is played by one instrument. (Orchestral music has parts played by multiple performers.)

In the era of Celia Thaxter's salon on Appledore Island, all music was performed live. While popular music was played at the nearby hotels, chamber music was heard in her salon. William Mason and Edward MacDowell were among those who played the grand piano there.

At that time, like the paintings of Childe Hassam, chamber music was also influenced by impressionism. Composers such as Debussy and Dvorak were contemporaries. During our weekend, you will hear the chamber music of various eras, performed as it might have been.

For today's audience – on Star Island – chamber music is an intimate experience. Our extraordinary musicians bring a varied repertoire and a virtuoso collaboration.  Music fills the room as you listen from only a few feet away. You can see, hear, and appreciate each performance. This is truly a conversation among the instruments.

All of this happens on a late summer weekend, on beautiful Star Island. Star is a welcoming retreat from our busy, daily world. Beside the concerts, you will have the time to explore this magical island. Sit in a rocking chair on the hotel porch, admire the view as the front lawn slopes to the harbor, read a book, chat with friends both old and new, or find the space you need to be intentionally solitary or social.


People are saying good things about Chamber Music on Star:

"Excellent. Thank you for making it happen."
"The Chapel is the most acoustically perfect place...."
"Connecting with the musicians was unique and special."
"I truly appreciated the world-class musicians."
"We felt like we were at Carnegie Hall. Bravo!"

With an up-to-date browser, listen to some of a previous conference:

Excerpt from Scherzo (Furiant) of the Piano Quintet, Op 81, of Antonin Dvorak. Performed by John Sumerlin and Lois Finkel, violins; Susan Curran Culpo, viola; Theodore Mook, cello; Paul Rosenbloom, piano.

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Join us on Star Island in September!

Register now for the two nights of this wonderful weekend!

Program fee: $95/person

Extend your stay! Fee for the Chamber Music weekend is only $70 if you are also attending a Midweek conference!

Questions?  Contact <>

Chairs: John and Irene Bush   /////   Registrar: Jill Brody

Theodore Mook

Paul Rosenbloom

Robert Hayden

John Sumerlin

Lois Finkel

Susan Curran Culpo