Sofia Gubaidulina and Leon Fleisher participating artists
MARLBORO >> Artistic Director Mitsuko Uchida will be one of the eighty international artists arriving this weekend at the hilltop campus of Vermont's Marlboro College for the 66th season of Marlboro Music, the retreat where master artists and exceptional young professionals explore music together with the rare opportunity of unlimited rehearsal time. Ms. Uchida, who chooses to live on-campus in a dormitory apartment, will be among the 'senior' artists at the opening dinner on Sunday evening, greeting young musicians returning for their second or third year (there is a three-year limit), as well as the twenty-plus artists attending Marlboro for the first time.
The participants, as everyone is referred to at Marlboro, will spend seven weeks exploring and exchanging ideas on the approximately 250 works that the musicians themselves have proposed to study. Some eighteen of the participating artists will also have the opportunity of receiving insights from resident composer Sofia Gubaidulina on five or six of her works that they will explore. Two close associates, for whom the noted composer has created compositions - cellist Vladimir Tonkha and Elsbeth Moser, who is an acclaimed player of the bayan (a Russian accordion) will be participating during her residency. Marlboro's first week schedule includes sixty-five works involving a wide variety of instrumental and vocal combinations, and runs the gamut from Thomas Adès' Piano Quintet to Wagner's Funf Gedichte fur eine Frauenstimme, WWV 91 for mezzo-soprano and string quartet.
As a retreat where the mission is to delve into music in great depth, rather than to focus on performance, less that 25 percent of the works rehearsed are presented in the weekend concerts. Programs are only decided a week in advance and are drawn from those works that the musicians feel have gone especially well and should be shared with others. Performances will be given on Saturday evenings at the new time of 8 p.m. and Sunday afternoons at 2:30 p.m. between July 16 through Aug. 14. There will be two special concerts on Fridays, Aug. 5 and 12 at 8 p.m. There will be a shuttle between Brattleboro and Marlboro on Saturday nights. Further information and tickets may be obtained at marlboromusic.org or by calling 802-254-2394.
A list of the 2016 participating artists is available on the website with many of the 'seniors,' like Ms. Uchida, being musicians who first spent formative summers in Vermont at the beginning of their careers and have returned to share their Marlboro and personal musical experiences with new generations. They include members of the Cleveland, Guarneri, Juilliard, Johannes and Mendelssohn String Quartets; pianists Jonathan Biss, Leon Fleisher, Ieva Jokubaviciute, Cynthia Raim and Ignat Solzhenitsyn. Among the experienced artists attending for the first time or returning after a number of years' absence are pianists Bruno Canino and Shai Wosner; former Mendelssohn and Juilliard Quartet violinist and Met Opera concertmaster Nick Eanet and violinist Lily Francis; violist Dimitri Murrath; and San Francisco Principal Clarinet Carey Bell.
The Marlboro Music community is truly international with its participants having roots in Belgium, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Ethiopa, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Macedonia, Russia, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom, United States and Uzbekistan.
Vermont Public Radio is among the stations currently broadcasting a series of four one-hour programs – "The Magic of Marlboro" – produced by New York's WQXR to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Musicians from Marlboro touring program. The programs include historic summer and tour performances and brief commentary from musicians as to what makes Marlboro and the tours such an important influence. They are available online at wqxr.org/series/magic-marlboro.