Summer Soirees: home chamber music concerts in July and August

Melvin Kaplan, the founder of the Vermont Mozart Festival, is pleased to announce the start of his Summer Soiree chamber music series this weekend with two free, intimate concerts open to the public at his home in Charlotte.

The first performance is Friday at 8 p.m. and Sunday’s is an afternoon event at 3:30 p.m. The address is Fox Horn Farm at 3022 Spear Street, just south of the Spears Store. Reservations are recommended as the space only holds 35 people and there is no charge to attend.

The Friday night concert will showcase three Brahms trios with Sarah Cullens, featuring clarinet, cello and piano, French horn, violin and piano, and finally alto voice, viola, and piano performed by professional musicians from New York City.

Sunday afternoon’s performance will highlight composers Bach and Schubert, featuring Anna Magdalena Bach’s Notebook and Schubert songs. Anna Magdalena was Bach’s second wife. These compositions were written in 1722 primarily by Bach and in 1726 by a variety of composers. They present a glimpse into the life of domestic music in that era.

Kaplan has arranged for these concerts out of a desire to present quality chamber music in the tradition of the Mozart Festival but in a more accessible format and venue than the larger summer festival offers.

Two more free Soirees will be held in August. On Aug. 11, Kaplan’s farm will host an 8 p.m. cello performance. An Aug. 13 performance is billed as a Gilbert & Sullivan Extravaganza, conducted by William Metcalfe at 2 p.m., at the home of William Racolin, 724 Lake Road, in Charlotte. Both of those performances will also accommodate just 35 patrons and will be offered free (donations appreciated). Reservations are recommended.

The Soiree series ends Aug. 20 with a Grand Finale performance at Basin Harbor Club starting at 8 p.m. This all-Mozart concert will feature two former Mozart Festival stars: flutist Jennifer Grimm and French horn player Sharon Moe. Tickets for that event will be $25 at the door, and reservations are recommended.

To make reservations for any of the Soirees, call 425-2209. Each Soiree will feature a reception for the audience and musicians during intermission. For more information contact Kaplan at the same number or email shirleyereid@aol.com.

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