Spring ‘24 Season Features Cellist Abel Selaocoe, Singer-Songwriter Allison Russell, The English Concert, Baritone Will Liverman, the Lakecia Benjamin Quartet, Pianist Seong-Jin Cho and Much More
Caramoor’s longstanding commitment to adventurous programming – encompassing an expansive range of genres and outstanding artists – continues indoors all year round in the intimate setting of the Rosen House Music Room. Highlights of the Fall ’23 – Spring ‘24 season include genre-bending South African cellist Abel Selaocoe (Oct 22); a benefit concert with Juno Award-winning and Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Allison Russell (Dec 2); superlative period-instrument ensemble The English Concert led by Harry Bicket (Dec 8); Grammy-winning baritone Will Liverman (March 24); dynamic saxophonist and bandleader Lakecia Benjamin with her quartet (April 19); and Chopin International Competition-winning pianist Seong-Jin Cho (May 15).
The fall and spring season is rounded out with the multi-Grammy winning Pacifica Quartet (April 14); a holiday program featuring TENET Vocal Artists (Dec 10); two programs from this season’s Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence, the Abeo Quartet (Nov 12 & May 5); American Roots music from Alisa Amador (Nov 3) and Jake Blount (May 11); jazz from the Emmet Cohen Trio with special guest Lucy Yeghiazaryan (Sep 29); cabaret singer Carole J. Bufford (Oct 20); performances by young artists from Caramoor’s Evnin Rising Stars and Schwab Vocal Rising Stars programs, and more.
Designed by Caramoor’s founders, Walter T. and Lucie Bigelow Rosen, as a charmingly intimate space for chamber music concerts, the historic Rosen House Music Room, with its authentic Renaissance furniture, paintings dating from the 16th century, and terra cotta reliefs, provides an ideal venue for Caramoor’s fall and spring programs – many of them unlikely to be heard this season elsewhere in the New York area.
Recitals and Chamber Music
Reviewing a recent performance, The Strad called genre-bending South African cellist Abel Selaocoe “a keen improviser, effulgent vocalist, natural collaborator and a winning communicator.” Moving seamlessly through a range of genres and styles, he has collaborated with world musicians and beatboxers, while also giving concerto performances and solo classical recitals. He combines virtuosic performance with improvisation, singing and body percussion, and he has a special interest in curating recital programs that highlight the links between Western and non-Western musical traditions, with a view to helping classical music reach a more diverse audience. An exclusive Warner Classics recording artist, Selaocoe’s debut album, Where is Home? (Hae Ke Kae), on the subject of home and refuge, was released last fall (Oct 22).
Superlative period-instrument ensemble The English Concert, led from the harpsichord by Harry Bicket, a recipient of an OBE from Queen Elizabeth, returns to Caramoor to perform the music of Vivaldi, Geminiani and others. This follows their 2021 all-Vivaldi performance, and featured on this concert are the remaining concertos from Vivaldi’s string concerto collection L’estro armonico that were not performed two years ago. Founded in 1972 by Trevor Pinnock CBE, the pioneering chamber orchestra was one of the first devoted to playing 18th- and early 19th-century music on period instruments and is recognized as one of the world’s leading exponents of Baroque and early Classical repertoire (Dec 8).
New York City-based TENET Vocal Artists, now in its 15th anniversary season, returns to Caramoor for a Christmas program entitled “Love Enfolds Thee Round.” Under Artistic Director Jolle Greenleaf, the vocal ensemble has won acclaim for its innovative programming, virtuosic one-voice-to-a-part singing “to an uncanny degree of precision” (Boston Globe) and command of repertoire that spans the Middle Ages to the present day (Dec 10).
Baritone Will Liverman, who earned raves and a subsequent Grammy for his “breakout performance” in Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up in My Bones at the Met, gives his debut recital at Caramoor this season. Called “a voice for this historic moment” (Washington Post), Liverman was also awarded the Met’s 2022 Beverly Sills Artist Award. Following Fire’s success, the Met announced that Liverman will star in Anthony Davis’s X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X, premiering this fall and making Davis the second Black composer to have an opera produced at the Met in the company’s history (March 24).
With a career spanning nearly three decades, the multiple Grammy-winning Pacifica Quartet is known for its virtuosity, exuberant performance style, and often-daring repertory choices. Faculty string quartet-in-residence at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music since 2012, the quartet also leads the Center for Advanced Quartet Studies at the Aspen Music Festival and School. Its 2020 album Contemporary Voices, featuring the works of Pulitzer Prize winners Shulamit Ran, Jennifer Higdon, and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, won the Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance. The quartet’s Caramoor program comprises works by Korngold, Gruenberg and Beethoven (April 14).
Pianist Seong-Jin Cho – the youngest-ever winner of Japan’s Hamamatsu International Piano Competition – also won Third Prize at the International Tchaikovsky Competition in 2011 at the age of 17 and was the first prize winner at the 2015 Chopin International Competition in Warsaw. An exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist since 2016, his latest recording for the label is the solo album The Handel Project, released this past spring, following up on a 2021 release of Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and Scherzi with the London Symphony Orchestra and Gianandrea Noseda. At Caramoor, he plays a program of Haydn, Ravel and Liszt (May 15).
Jazz (in collaboration with Jazz at Lincoln Center)
Multifaceted American jazz pianist and composer Emmet Cohen is an internationally acclaimed jazz artist, dedicated educator, winner of the 2019 American Pianists Awards, and a finalist in the 2011 Thelonious Monk International Piano Competition. A regular headliner at Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Village Vanguard and Birdland, he has also appeared at the Newport, Monterey, and North Sea jazz festivals. The Emmet Cohen Trio is joined at Caramoor by American-Armenian vocalist Lucy Yeghiazaryan, a frequent collaborator who has become a leading voice in American straight-ahead jazz. She was a top ten finalist in the 2015 Thelonious Monk Competition and is also a skilled classical violinist. Her third album, Lonely House, was released earlier this year (Sep 29).
In 2020, charismatic alto saxophonist Lakecia Benjamin was voted “Rising Star” in the 2020 Downbeat Critics Poll and “Up and Coming Artist of the Year” by the Jazz Journalists Association. Fusing traditional conceptions of jazz, hip-hop, and soul, she has shared stages with several legendary artists, including Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, and The Roots. Her fourth studio album, Phoenix, released this past January on Whirlwind Recordings, was praised by All Music for its “wide sense of adventure,” revealing Benjamin to be “as ambitious as she is focused, energetic, and perceptive.” She appears at Caramoor with the Lakecia Benjamin Quartet (April 19).
American Roots (in collaboration with City Winery)
Winner of the 2022 NPR Tiny Desk Contest, Alisa Amador began performing as a backup singer for her parents’ bilingual Latin folk band, Sol y Canto, at age five, began playing classical guitar at age ten, and eventually found the electric guitar a decade later. Her own songs, written in both English and Spanish, contain elements of Latin and jazz music as well as pop, funk, soul, and something uniquely her own. As she puts it, her specialty is sparking connections across both listeners and musical styles (Nov 3).
Self-taught singer, songwriter, poet, activist and multi-instrumentalist Allison Russell plays a special benefit concert in the Rosen House Music Room in December. Her first solo album, Outside Child, was released two years ago, and garnered three Grammy nominations, the Juno Award for Contemporary Roots Album of the Year, the 2022 Americana Music Association’s Album of the Year Award, two International Folk Music Awards, three Canadian Folk Music Awards, and four UK Americana Music Awards. Her eagerly awaited follow-up, The Returner, a body-shaking, mind-expanding, soulful expression of Black liberation, Black love and Black self-respect that features an all-female musical collective, will be released in September (Dec 2).
Based in Providence, RI, Jake Blount is an award-winning interpreter of Black folk music. Initially recognized for his skill as a string band musician, Blount has charted an unprecedented, Afrofuturist course on his pilgrimage through sound archives and song collections. In his hands, the banjo, fiddle, electric guitar and synthesizer become ceremonial objects used to channel the insurgent creativity of his forebears. His performances – like his recent Smithsonian Folkways release, The New Faith – seamlessly merge centuries-old traditional songs with the trappings and techniques of modern Black genres (May 11).
Carole J. Bufford – recipient of Broadway World’s Vocalist of the Year and the 2020 Gold Medal winner of the American Traditions Vocal Competition – gives a benefit performance in October. Originally hailing from Lincolnton, GA, her program, ROAR! Music of the Jazz Age, will feature classics from the Jazz Age songbook made famous by the likes of Sophie Tucker, Louis Armstrong, Al Jolson, Fats Waller, Bessie Smith, Helen Morgan, Ruth Etting, and more. (Oct 20).
Caramoor presents a celebration of Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, for the third year as a free outdoor community event. The rich cultural holiday will be observed through traditional music, dance, arts & crafts, and storytelling so that loved ones are honored in this lively celebration. Featured artists include the Calpulli Mexican Dance Company (Oct 15).
Blanca Cecilia González and Jesse Elder – a husband and wife violin/piano duo – bring the holiday-themed Musiquita Nutcracker Tap Dance Special to the Music Room, in a playful bilingual exploration in Spanish and English of music, language and culture (Dec 3).
In the spring, Latin Grammy-nominated songwriter Sonia De Los Santos presents a family program on Friends Field following the release of her third and latest solo album, Esperanza, a bilingual collection of songs that explore hope, looking back at our own journey, cherishing our cities and homes, being grateful to one another, dreaming of a better future, marveling at nature, and finding light within ourselves (May 19).
Young artists from Caramoor’s chamber mentorship program, Evnin Rising Stars, led by Guest Artistic Director Marcy Rosen, perform a pair of concerts in the fall following a week of workshops, reading sessions, and ensemble rehearsals alongside distinguished artist mentors violist Shmuel Ashkenasi and double bassist Edgar Meyer. This year’s Rising Stars are violinists Maria Ioudenitch, Lun Li and Amarins Wierdsma; violists Njord Fossnes and Cara Pogossian; cellists Gabriel Martins and Chase Park; and pianist Janice Carissa. Over the course of two programs, they perform works by Boccherini, Mozart, Schubert, and Dohnányi, as well as Meyer’s Quintet for String Quartet and Double Bass (Oct 28 & 29).
The Abeo Quartet, Caramoor’s 2023-24 Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence, gives two performances this fall and spring. The quartet formed at Juilliard in 2018 and is currently the inaugural Graduate String Quartet in Residence at the University of Delaware under the mentorship of the Calidore String Quartet. Abeo’s recent accomplishments include winning Third Prize at the 2023 Bad Tölz International String Quartet Competition and being among ten quartets invited to participate in the 14th Banff International String Quartet Competition in 2022. The quartet was also a First Prize and Audience Favorite Prize winner in the Yellow Springs Chamber Music Competition for Emerging Professional Ensembles and Silver Medal winner of the Chesapeake International Chamber Music Competition, both in 2022. The quartet’s fall program includes music of Prokofiev and Beethoven, along with the U.S. premiere of Lee Bradshaw’s Resolve. In the spring they perform quartets by Glazunov, Shostakovich, Ravel and Reena Esmail (Nov 12, May 5).
Caramoor’s Schwab Vocal Rising Stars – led by Artistic Director Steven Blier, assisted by Bénédicte Jourdois and developed in conjunction with the New York Festival of Song – present “EROS AND CO.”: the chaos and the delight of Cupid’s arrow, refracted through songs by Saint-Saëns, Granados, Sondheim, Serge Gainsbourg, and others. This follows a week-long residency that includes daily coaching, rehearsals, and workshops (March 17).
Getting to Caramoor
Getting to Caramoor is simple by car or public transportation. All parking is free and close to the performance areas. Handicapped parking is also free and readily available. By car from New York City, take the Henry Hudson Parkway north to the Saw Mill River Parkway north to I-684 north to Exit 6. Go east on Route 35 to the traffic light (0.3 miles). Turn right onto Route 22 south, and travel 1.9 miles to the junction of Girdle Ridge Road where there is a green Caramoor sign. At the junction, veer left and make a quick right onto Girdle Ridge Road. Continue on Girdle Ridge Road 0.5 miles to the Caramoor gates on the right. Approximate drive time is one hour. By train from Grand Central Station, take the Harlem Division Line of the Metro-North Railroad heading to Southeast, and exit at Katonah. Caramoor is a 3.5-mile drive from the Katonah station.
Caramoor is a cultural arts destination located on a unique 80-plus-acre campus with Italianate architecture and gardens in Northern Westchester County, NY. Its beautiful grounds include the historic Rosen House, a stunning mansion listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Besides enriching the lives of its audiences through innovative and diverse musical performances of the highest quality, Caramoor mentors young professional musicians and provides music-centered educational programs for young children.
Caramoor Fall ’23 – Spring ‘24 season
All concerts take place in the Rosen House Music Room unless otherwise indicated
Fri, Sep 29 at 8pm
Emmet Cohen Trio with special guest Lucy Yeghiazaryan
Presented in collaboration with Jazz at Lincoln Center
Sun, Oct 15 at 3pm
Día de los Muertos Celebration
With Calpulli Mexican Dance Company
Fri, Oct 20 at 8pm
Carole J. Bufford
Sun, Oct 22 at 3pm
Abel Selaocoe, cello
Sat, Oct 28 at 8pm
Evnin Rising Stars: Program I
Guest Artistic Director:
Marcy Rosen, cello
Shmuel Ashkenasi, viola
Edgar Meyer, double bass
Maria Ioudenitch, violin
Lun Li, violin
Amarins Wierdsma, violin
Njord Fossnes, viola
Cara Pogossian, viola
Gabriel Martins, cello
Chase Park, cello
Janice Carissa, piano
Luigi BOCCHERINI: String Quintet TBA
Edgar MEYER: Quintet
Ernő DOHNÁNYI: Piano Quintet in C
Sun, Oct 29 at 3pm
Evnin Rising Stars: Program II
Luigi BOCCHERINI: String Quintet TBA
W.A. MOZART: String Quintet in G minor, K. 516
Franz SCHUBERT: Piano Quintet in A, “Trout”
Fri, Nov 3 at 8pm
Presented in collaboration with City Winery
Sun, Nov 12 at 3pm
Lee BRADSHAW: Resolve for String Quartet (U.S. premiere)
Sergei PROKOFIEV: String Quartet No. 2 in F, Op. 92
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN: String Quartet No. 12 in E-flat, Op. 127
Sat, Dec 2 at 8pm
Sun, Dec 3 at 3pm
Family Concert: Musiquita Nutcracker Tap Dance Special
Fri, Dec 8 at 8pm
The English Concert
Harry Bicket, conductor and harpsichord
Antonio VIVALDI: L’estro Armonico, Concerto No. 5
Antonio VIVALDI: L’estro Armonico, Concerto No. 6
Antonio VIVALDI: L’estro Armonico, Concerto No. 7
Evaristo Felice DALL’ABACO: Concerto a più istrumenti, Op 5, No. 6
Unico Wilhelm VAN WASSENAER: Concerto Armonici for 4 violins in E-flat, No. 6
Giovanni MOSSI: Concerto for 4 violins
Antonio VIVALDI: L’estro Armonico, Concerto No. 4
Francesco GEMINIANI: Concerto grosso in D minor, “La Follia” after Corelli
Sun, Dec 10 at 3pm
TENET Vocal Artists
“Love Enfolds Thee Round”
Sun, March 17 at 3pm
Schwab Vocal Rising Stars
Steven Blier, Artistic Director
“EROS AND CO.”
Sun, March 24 at 3pm
Will Liverman, baritone
Sun, April 14 at 3pm
Erich Wolfgang KORNGOLD: String Quartet No. 3 in D, Op. 34
Louis GRUENBERG: Four Diversions for String Quartet, Op. 32
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN: String Quartet No. 15 in A minor, Op. 132
Fri, April 19 at 8pm
Lakecia Benjamin Quartet
Presented in collaboration with Jazz at Lincoln Center
Sun, May 5 at 3pm
Alexander GLAZUNOV: Five Novelettes, Op. 15: 2. Orientale
Reena ESMAIL: String Quartet “Ragamala”
Dmitri SHOSTAKOVICH: String Quartet No. 11 in F minor, Op. 122
Maurice RAVEL: String Quartet in F
Sat, May 11 at 8pm
Presented in collaboration with City Winery
Wed, May 15 at 7:30pm
Seong-Jin Cho, piano
Joseph HAYDN: Piano Sonata in E minor
Maurice RAVEL: Menuet sur le nom d’Haydn
Maurice RAVEL: Le Tombeau de Couperin
Franz LISZT: Années de pèlerinage, deuxième année – Italie, S161
Sun, May 19 at 3pm
Family Concert: Sonia De Los Santos