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Chamber Music Festival On Star

   September 10 - 12,  2020

Listen

On Star Island, chamber music is an intimate experience, with the opening concert played in a 200 year old, acoustically perfect, candle-lit stone chapel; the Saturday evening salon-style concert played in the lobby of our 19th Century wooden hotel, where such concerts and salons were commonplace when these hotels were in their heyday, and our final, Sunday morning concert in the more intimate Pink Parlor.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

In such settings, where you are only a few feet away from the musicians, you can see, hear, and appreciate each performer not only for the virtuoso that he or she is, but also witness how great musicians become a seamless ensemble—truly a conversation among players, their instruments, and you, the audience.  

 

All of this happens on a late summer weekend in the stark beauty of our magical Star Island.  Star offers us a welcome respite from our busy, daily world. Beside the concerts, there will be time to explore this this island that so many of us call our spirit's home, sit in a rocking chair on the hotel porch admiring the view of the front lawn sloping down to the harbor, read a book, chat with friends both old and new, or find the space you need to be intentionally solitary.

 
 
 

Listen

 

 

A Note Before We Begin:

 

Dear  Friends, 

 

As the time of our normal gathering grows closer, we are once again faced with the reality that there is no Star this year. Not only for us, but for every conference, every gathering, all summer long.  We are all grieving, often trying to put into words what to say in the midst of so much meanspirited lack of leadership, fear and loss—of jobs, income, our ordered society, and even of life itself.  

 

There has never been a better time to remember how important the universal language of music is, not only for soothing the savage beast, but for restoring all of our souls.  Of course there is no substitute for being on Star, of walking into the hotel as a rehearsal is in progress, but if you scroll down from here, I’ve added what I hope is the next best thing—a video of just that from last summer, and left the video from the year before as well..

 So enjoy, and put your energies, prayers, or whatever you do when you want to facilitate hope turning into reality, as you listen to Gershwin’s "I Got Plenty of Nothin’" from Porgy and Bess, arranged for string quartet, clarinet and piano by Paul Rosenbloom.

 

I send you greetings from Irene and John, as well as myself, and repeat after me:  You will come back! You will come bak! You will come back!

 

See you in 2021

Jill Brody, Registrar  

 

On Star Island, chamber music is an intimate experience, with the opening concert played in a 200 year old, acoustically perfect, candle-lit stone chapel; the Saturday evening salon-style concert played in the lobby of our 19th Century wooden hotel, where such concerts and salons were commonplace when these hotels were in their heyday, and our final, Sunday morning concert in the more intimate Pink Parlor.

In such settings, where you are only a few feet away from the musicians, you can see, hear, and appreciate each performer not only for the virtuoso that he or she is, but also witness how great musicians become a seamless ensemble—truly a conversation among players, their instruments, and you, the audience. 

All of this happens on a late summer weekend in the stark beauty of our magical Star Island.  Star offers us a welcome respite from our busy, daily world. Beside the concerts, there will be time to explore this island that so many of us call our spirit's home, sit in a rocking chair on the hotel porch admiring the view of the front lawn sloping down to the harbor, read a book, chat with friends both old and new, or find the space you need to be intentionally solitary.

Our Musicians

Susan Curran Culpo, viola, is the Assistant Principal Violist of the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra. She is a founding member of the Proteus String Quartet in residence t Rhode Island College.  For the past 33 years she has also played with the Boston Philharmonic and Boston Pops orchestras, as an extra when needed, which has allowed her to travel all over the world, and still have time to have five children, a wonderful life, for which she is very grateful. proteusstringquartet.com

Lois Finkel, 2nd violin, teaches violin and Chamber Music at Brown University and heads the Chamber Music Department at the Rhode Island Philharmonic and Music School. She has been a member of the Rhode Island Philharmonic and the Grand Teton Festival Orchestra in Jackson, Wyoming since 1986. She was a founding member of the Charleston String Quartet. Lois has regularly performed with groups such as Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Boston Cantata Singers, and the Providence Singers. Besides music, Lois enjoys gardening, hiking, and reading. 

Dr. Robert Hayden, clarinet, is a founding member of Musica Dolce. During his professional music career, he performed with the U.S. Air Force Band, the Georgetown, Annapolis, and Baltimore Symphonies and spent six years touring the United States and Canada while leading his own five piece musical ensemble. He holds music degrees from Ithaca College and Catholic University, as well as a DMD degree from the University of Connecticut and a post-doctoral orthodontic certificate from Emory University. He maintains an active orthodontic practice in Westerly, RI and Block Island.

Theodore Mook returns to Star for his seventh summer, as cellist, and inveterate Star Islander, which includes a daily Polar Bear Dip in the tepid North Atlantic. While a New York resident, Mook performed regularly with the Orchestra of St. Lukes, Musica Sacra, on Broadway, on film scores, recordings, and with countless other orchestras and ensembles. He is an active proponent of contemporary music, particularly microtonal music, and has performed at the Library of Congress, the American Academy in Rome, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and on concert series and festivals throughout the US, Europe and Australia. Recent tours include appearances in Pittsburgh, NYC, Boston, Bremen, Oldenburg, Porto, Brussels, Baltimore, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Perth and Brisbane. His discography spans over four dozen recordings of new music on New World Records, Atlantic, ECM, Sony, CRI, Tzadik and Lovely labels, most  recently a release  featuring the music of Lois V. Vierk, Words Fail Me. Mook taught at the University of Rhode Island, UMass- Lowell, Rhode Island College and the Rhode Island Philharmonic Music School, and performs regularly with the Rhode island Philharmonic, the Providence Baroque Chamber Orchestra and Proteus, a string quartet in residence at RI College.

 

Pianist, composer, and arranger, as well as our Music Director, Paul Rosenbloom, is the Artistic Director of one of Rhode Island's pre-eminent chamber music ensembles, Musica Dolce. An accomplished pianist and composer, Paul is a brilliant musical alchemist, turning piano works into chamber music transcriptions, some of which you will hear again at Star--as well this year, as his own compositions. He began piano studies at the age of ten with Joseph U. Boudreau. He graduated magna cum laude in music composition from Harvard in 1974, and received his Masters and Doctorate in composition from Cornell in 1979. Paul has taught theory, piano and composition at Cornell and the New England Conservatory, and computer science at the University of Rhode Island. He was principal pianist of the Filarmonica de Caracas (Venezuela), as well as head of the piano department at the Caracas Conservatory. Paul was principal pianist with the Rhode Island Philharmonic for almost three decades, conducted the Young Peoples Symphony, the URI and Ariosti chamber orchestras, and is the composer-in-residence of Musica Dolce since its inception. Dr. Rosenbloom has now retired from EVAS, a Westerly firm specializing in adaptive computer technology for the blind and visually handicapped.  musicadolce.org 

Violinist John Sumerlin has performed in the US, Canada, Mexico and Europe as soloist through Artistry Associates Management. As first violinist of the Harrington String Quartet, he was a finalist in the Banff International String Quartet Competition, and with the Harrington played over 60 concerts a year in the US and Mexico. He has been a first violinist in the Dallas, Cincinnati, American, and Honolulu Symphony Orchestras, as well as the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra, and Concertmaster of the Amarillo Sydony Orchestra, with which he was the featured soloist in over forty concerts with conductor Thomas Conlin. John was Artist in Residence at Dalhousie University (Halifax, NS) and the West Texas A & M University (Canyon), and on the faculty at S.U.N.Y Purchase. Since 1989 Sumerlin has taught violin, viola, and chamber music at Rhode Island College, as well as conducting the Rhode Island College Chamber Orchestra. He also serves as Concertmaster of the RIC Symphony Orchestra. In 2010 he and colleagues, among them Susan Culpo, co-founded the Proteus String Quartet, which is now in its sixth season. www.johnsumerlin.com.

 proteusstringquartet.com

Program

 

These are the bare-bones ideas for the three programs that would have been presented for this this year, 2020

Friday in the Chapel

Mozart Fantasy for clarinet quintet, originally for the "Mechanical Clock" 

String quartet by a woman composer


Saturday in the Lobby

Love Triangle--Clara and Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms

Beethoven, Op 16, piano quartet

Beethoven Ghost Trio

Sunday in the Pink Parlor

Although nothing specific was chosen before the Island shut down, 19th, 20th, and possibly even more recent music by women composers would have made up the bulk of Sunday's program.


 

Photo Gallery

A conversation with our musicians in the Pink Parlor

Sunset and Moonrise

The chapel where candles were once hung in the bell tower to guide sailors home.