Composer Robert Sirota Launches Muzzy Ridge Concerts in Searsmont, Maine with Two Concerts in August
Sunday, August 15, 2021 at 3pm
Duo Coquelicot: Carol Wincenc, flute & Velléda Maragius, cello with Robert Sirota, piano
Sunday, August 22, 2021 at 3pm
Laurie Carney, violin & David Friend, piano
Tickets and Information:
Composer Robert Sirota launches the inaugural season of a new concert series, Muzzy Ridge Concerts, with two performances in August. Both concerts will take place in the studio where Sirota has composed much of his music over the past 35 years, in Searsmont, Maine. Concerts will be approximately 60 minutes long, without intermission. Indoor seating is limited to 40 vaccinated patrons, with some additional outdoor seating. The address and directions will be supplied to ticket buyers.
On Sunday, August 15, 2021 at 3pm, Duo Coquelicot – Grammy-nominated flutist Carol Wincenc (“Queen of the flute,” New York Magazine), and Boston-based Parisian cellist Velléda Miragias, with Sirota at the piano – will give a concert featuring a wide-ranging program that includes the music of J.S. Bach, Haydn, Fauré, Debussy, Saint-Saëns, and Villa-Lobos, plus a new work by Meira Warschauer. The duo will also perform Robert Sirota’s 2016 piece, Broken Places.
On Sunday, August 22, 2021 at 3pm, violinist Laurie Carney and pianist David Friend perform Messiaen’s Thème et variations, Prokoviev’s Five Melodies, Op. 35, Kodály’s Adagio, and Sirota’s Summermusic from 2000. A founding member of the American String Quartet, Laurie Carney holds the distinction of performing quartets longer than any other woman in this elite field. A fearless performer, critics have described David Friend’s performances as “astonishingly compelling” (The Washington Post).
Robert Sirota says of Muzzy Ridge Concerts:
Since 1986, we have owned a home on a 10–acre property in the town of Searsmont in central coastal Maine: a landscape of small farms, low-bush blueberry fields, and woodlots inhabited by deer, wild turkeys, numerous species of birds, and the occasional moose, black bear, and coyote. Our home sits on a gently sloping parcel on the eastern side of Muzzy Ridge. It is in this setting that I have composed many works in the past 35 years. About ten years ago, we built an 800-square-foot studio onto our house: the perfect intimate venue for chamber music. You are invited to join us for two special events inaugurating Muzzy Ridge Concerts. We hope that these two Sunday afternoons in August will be the start of annual celebrations of chamber music in this place we love.
About Robert Sirota: Over five decades, composer Robert Sirota has developed a distinctive voice, clearly discernible in all of his work – whether symphonic, choral, stage, or chamber music. Writing in the Portland Press Herald, Allan Kozinn asserts: “Sirota’s musical language is personal and undogmatic, in the sense that instead of aligning himself with any of the competing contemporary styles, he follows his own internal musical compass.”
Robert Sirota’s works have been performed by orchestras across the US and Europe; ensembles such as Alarm Will Sound, Sequitur, yMusic, Chameleon Arts, and Dinosaur Annex; the Chiara, American, Telegraph, Ethel, Elmyr, and Blair String Quartets; the Peabody, Concord, and Webster Trios; and at festivals including Tanglewood, Aspen, Yellow Barn, and Cooperstown music festivals; Bowdoin Gamper and Bowdoin International Music Festival; and Mizzou International Composers Festival. Recent commissions include Jeffrey Kahane and the Sarasota Music Festival, Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, Palladium Musicum, American Guild of Organists, the American String Quartet, Alarm Will Sound, the Naumburg Foundation, yMusic, and arrangements for Paul Simon. Commissions for Sirota@70 in honor of his 70th birthday include works for Thomas Pellaton, Carol Wincenc, Linda Chesis & the Cooperstown Summer Music Festival, and Sierra Chamber Society.
Recipient of grants from the Guggenheim and Watson Foundations, United States Information Agency, National Endowment for the Arts, Meet the Composer, and the American Music Center, Sirota’s works are recorded on Legacy Recordings, National Sawdust Tracks, and the Capstone, Albany, New Voice, Gasparo and Crystal labels. His music is published by Muzzy Ridge Music, Schott, Music Associates of New York, MorningStar, Theodore Presser, and To the Fore.
Before becoming Director of the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University in 1995, Sirota served as Chairman of the Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions at New York University and Director of Boston University's School of Music. From 2005-2012, he was the President of Manhattan School of Music, where he was also a member of the School’s composition faculty.
A native New Yorker, Sirota studied at Juilliard, Oberlin, and Harvard and divides his time between New York and Searsmont, Maine with his wife, Episcopal priest and organist Victoria Sirota. They frequently collaborate on new works, with Victoria as librettist and performer, at times also working with their children, Jonah and Nadia, both world-class violists. For more information, visit www.robertsirota.com.