SPAC Announces “CMS at the Meadows”

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Saratoga Performing Arts Center announces that it has partnered with Pitney Meadows Community Farm to bring back the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center for its annual Saratoga Springs residency. Kicking off on Sunday, June 13, the new “CMS at the Meadows” series marks the first live performances that SPAC has presented since the 2020 season was cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The performances, limited to 200 attendees per show, will be held in Pitney Meadows Community Farm’s beautiful open-air High Tunnel greenhouse, adhering to carefully mapped out, socially-distanced seating and rigorous COVID-19 protocols. 

“We are blessed to have so much outdoor space in the park and its environs that we were inspired to bring our beloved chamber musicians back in a new and innovative location — right around the corner from the SPAC grounds. Instead of presenting CMS in their usual home in the Spa Little Theater, which presents COVID-era challenges, we are delighted to partner with Pitney Meadows Community Farm to give our community the opportunity to experience great music-making in a safe and beautiful outdoor setting surrounded by gardens and farmland,” says Elizabeth Sobol, President and CEO of Saratoga Performing Arts Center.  

“Our farm is a unique resource for the community and we are thrilled to have our preserved land used for such a unique opportunity. We are excited to provide a space where individuals can safely gather to enjoy the arts once again and celebrate our pastoral landscape and agricultural mission. We appreciate SPAC’s ability to adapt and collaborate with the Pitney Meadows Community Farm to grow community,” says Lynn Trizna, Executive Director of Pitney Meadows Community Farm.  

The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s reimagined 2021 season at SPAC (June 13- August 29) will feature masterpieces from Beethoven’s preeminent string quartets to Schumann’s timeless Piano Quartet in E-flat major, alongside the U.S. Premiere of Twelve Blocks by pianist Michael Brown. Also highlighting the residency is the return of Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center co-Artistic Directors David Finckel and Wu Han and the SPAC debut of the Calidore String Quartet, praised by The New York Times for its “deep reserves of virtuosity and irrepressible dramatic instinct.” 

“Everyone at CMS is beyond thrilled to be back in Saratoga Springs after what has been too long of an absence from the stage. We cannot wait to reconnect with our friends and community at SPAC, and to invite audiences back to share with us what we love best: live performances with the best chamber musicians in the world today. We can’t thank our partner SPAC enough for making this opportunity a reality, and for what we know will be a fantastic expanded summer visit for everyone,” says co-Artistic Directors David Finckel and Wu Han. 

The series will take place rain or shine at Pitney Meadows Community Farm, under the High Tunnel greenhouse, a large outdoor event space. Maximum capacity will be limited to 200 persons, per performance. Performances will all be 75 minutes long with no intermission. Socially distanced pods of two will be allocated and reserved for ticket buyers. Seats will be provided.  

All attendees will be required to complete a health screening questionnaire upon entry. Guests are required to wear a face mask at all times, regardless of proof of vaccination. Guests will be permitted to bring factory sealed water bottles and essential personal items only. Restrooms will be available with social distancing and enhanced cleaning and sanitation protocols in place in accordance with recommended guidelines. Free parking will also be available onsite. Visit spac.org for additional details.   

“Though the acoustics of the High Tunnel will be very different from those of the Spa Little Theater, the aesthetics of being outdoors at Pitney Meadows will be breathtaking. During COVID-19 we have tried to take every challenge and turn it into an opportunity – this one allowing us to bring great music into the great outdoors for a very unique experience,” added Sobol.   

To purchase tickets:  

Tickets will be available to purchase for $100-$120 per pod, and must be purchased in advance at spac.org. Subscriptions to all six programs, at either 3 p.m. or 6 p.m., will be available to purchase on April 1 for SPAC members and on April 6 for the general public. Single performance tickets will be available to purchase on April 12 for SPAC members and on April 16 for the general public. Tickets will not be available at the door. 

Visit spac.org for additional details.  

The “CMS at the Meadows” schedule is as follows, with two performances of each program: 

Sunday, June 13 @ 3PM & 6PM: From Prague to Vienna 

STELLA CHEN, violin  
BELLA HRISTOVA, violin  
MISHA AMORY, viola
SIHAO HE, cello
ANTHONY MCGILL, clarinet  

Dvořák: Terzetto in C major for Two Violins and Viola, Op. 74 (1887)  
Mozart: Quintet in A major for Clarinet, Two Violins, Viola, and Cello, K. 581 (1789) 

Sunday, June 20 @ 3PM & 6PM: The German Tradition   

WU HAN, piano  
ARNAUD SUSSMANN, violin  
PAUL NEUBAUER, viola  
DAVID FINCKEL, cello  

Beethoven: Trio in G major for Violin, Viola, and Cello, Op. 9, No. 1 (1797-98) 
Schumann: Quartet in E-flat major for Piano, Violin, Viola, and Cello, Op. 47 (1842) 

Sunday, July 11 @ 3PM & 6PM: Delectable Discoveries  

DANBI UM, violin  
HSIN-YUN HUANG, viola  
NICHOLAS CANELLAKIS, cello  
INBAL SEGEV, cello  

Martinů: Duo No. 1 for Violin and Viola, “Three Madrigals” (1947) 
Glière: Selected Duos for Two Cellos, Op. 53 (1911) 
Arensky: Quartet No. 2 in A minor for Violin, Viola, and Two Cellos, Op. 35 (1894) 

Sunday, July 18 @ 3PM & 6PM: U.S. Premiere  

MICHAEL BROWN, piano  
GILLES VONSATTEL, piano  
ORION WEISS, piano  

Barber: Souvenirs for Piano, Four Hands, Op. 28 (1951-52) 
Mendelssohn: Nocturne and Scherzo from A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Piano, Four Hands, Op. 61 (1843) 
Debussy: “Clair de lune” from Suite Bergamasque for Piano, Six Hands (arr. Anderson) (c. 1890, rev. 1905)  
Brown: Twelve Blocks for Piano, Four Hands (2020-21)*
Ravel: La Valse for Piano, Four Hands (1920)  
* U.S. Premiere 

Sunday, August 8 @ 3PM & 6PM: The Calidore Plays Beethoven  

CALIDORE STRING QUARTET  
JEFFREY MYERS, violin  
RYAN MEEHAN, violin  
JEREMY BERRY, viola  
ESTELLE CHOI, cello  

Beethoven: Quartet in F minor for Strings, Op. 95, “Serioso” (1810-11) 
Beethoven: Quartet in C major for Strings, Op. 59, No. 3, “Razumovsky” (1806) 

Sunday, August 29 @ 3PM & 6PM: All Schubert  

WU HAN, piano  
BENJAMIN BEILMAN, violin  
DAVID FINCKEL, cello 

Schubert: Sonata in A major for Violin and Piano, D. 574, Op. 162 (1817) 
Schubert: Trio No. 2 in E-flat major for Piano, Violin, and Cello, D. 929, Op. 100 (1827)

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