By Alexander Platt
As we welcome in a New Year, I look back on our magnificent 2018 festival with gratitude and appreciation for your encouragement and loyal support. And I’m happy to say that 2019, our 104th summer of “Music in the Woods”, will be equally superb with our customary eclectic mix of the finest in classical, jazz, folk and world music, presented masterfully by legendary artists from Woodstock and around the world.
As many of you know, 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of WOODSTOCK – “The Summer of Love”, which, in Maverick lore, was originally planned to take place near our historic “Music Chapel”, but quickly outgrew the space (the rest is history). That said, the rambunctious spirit of the old Maverick Festivals of the 20s and 30s was a direct inspiration for that defining moment of The Sixties and Maverick Concerts will be duly marking that signal anniversary this summer, in our own very distinctive style.
Many of your favorite string quartets – the Escher, the Harlem, the Jasper, the Jupiter, the Pacifica, the Amernet and the Shanghai — along with the matchless Trio Solisti, will grace our famed Sunday Chamber Music Festival with more bracing combinations of beloved classics with modern works: in particular, the amazing quartets from the 1960s of Elliot Carter and Shostakovich, not to mention Philip Glass. And two new ensembles will be making their Maverick debuts: the Quatuor Danel of Brussels, one of the great mid-career quartets in Europe today; and from New York, the Catalyst Quartet, who in their Afro-Latin heritage are shining examples of the new diversity on the classical scene. Pianists Michael Brown, Adam Tendler, Daniel Gortler and Gabriela Martinez will be joining several of the ensembles to complete the picture of virtuoso music-making.
Saturday nights at the Maverick will be no less alluring. Jazz at the Maverick will feature return appearances by popular demand: the Bill Charlap Trio and Brazilian jazz master Nilson Matta. The brilliant young Christian Sands makes his Maverick debut with a tribute to Erroll Garner. And Creative Music Studio guru Karl Berger and friends will be repeating their sold-out success from two years ago, this time celebrating the genius of Ornette Coleman. Catskill’s Bansuri flute master Steve Gorn will present Evening Ragas in memory of the beloved sitar maestro Ravi Shankar, and Stephen Cope of the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health will join the stunningly virtuosic pianist Frederic Chiu in a Music and Meditation evening – an interweaving of classical music with meditation, chanting and “loving silence” communication.
Happy Traum, with equally gifted assisting artists, will be celebrating the late Pete Seeger on his centenary. And the Young Peoples Concerts will surely delight children and families with the welcome return of the revered Elizabeth Mitchell, a presentation of Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf” with narration by award-winning storyteller David Gonzalez, and more.
In sum, Maverick Concerts will be celebrating the spirit of the 60s in a very extraordinary way and I look forward to welcoming you this summer. Our 104th festival schedule, to include concert repertoire and ticket information, will be announced in March via our website www.maverickconcert.org.
As always, I wish you abundant health, prosperity and joy in the year to come!
Alexander Platt, Music Director