Yesterday evening we were lucky enough to get a special preview of the fourth annual Chelsea Music Festival at a concert hosted by British Deputy Consul-General in New York Nick Astbury. As Artistic Director Ken-David Masur said, it was a true example of chamber music, performed for a small audience in an intimate space, and this is what the festival is all about. The goal is to explore the ways in which music, visual arts and culinary arts interact, creating unique experiences for people to immerse themselves in these art forms for a memorable evening. There will even be a perfumer dispersing a special scent into the air at the performances. The Chelsea Music Festival is a true feast for the senses!
This year the Chelsea Music Festival is partnering with the British Consulate to celebrate British music in honor of composer Benjamin Britten’s centenary. Cellist Michael Petrov and violinist Pablo Hernan gave standout performances both solo and together. The Momenta Quartet performed a movement from Britten’s lively Burlesque, and there’s much more of Britten’s music in store at the festival. The Chelsea Music Festival is celebrating Italian composers as well, including Nino Rota (who did the music for many of Fellini’s films), and the cultural exchange between Britain and Italy, with performances of Britten’s “Death in Venice”.
The Chelsea Music Festival returns to Dillon Gallery this year, which hosted several of the performances and talks last year. We especially loved the Cherry Blossom Road jazz finale last year, which according to Untapped contributor Frances Dodds evoked the feeling of “a hot summer night long ago, white lights strung over a dance floor, sweaty fingers entwined, slipping out the back door to run down a tree lined road, and the perfume of cherry blossoms in the dark.”
This year you can take in some of the sparkling music in some of the city’s most beautiful locations, including Chelsea’s own General Theological Seminary, the School of Visual Arts, and Columbia’s Italian Academy. If this year’s festival is half as good as last year’s (and we’re sure it will be even better!), then we have plenty to be excited about! We’re especially looking forward to the opening night gala on June 14th, “Shakespeare Remixed: Ovid, Macbeth and the Beatles” on Friday, June 21st, and this year’s jazz finale “Music of the Metropolises: from London to Venice via New York” on June 22nd.
The Chelsea Music Festival will host concerts and talks every day from June 14th through June 22nd. Check out their full schedule here. You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter @cmf_nyc. Get in touch with the author @lauraitzkowitz.