PUTNEY >> From Italian composer Stefano Gervasoni to Vermont saxophonist Travis Laplante, Yellow Barn's international community of musicians rounds the corner into the final week of this year's festival with seven concerts this week in the Big Barn.
On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday European composers who form the backbone of classical chamber music join multiple generations of American composers: John Cage, John Zorn,Ted Hearne, and Travis Laplante. Concerts also range from first appearances like Laplante's to artistic collaborations that have become Yellow Barn tradition, including a Haydn string quartet with Roger Tapping (violist of the Juilliard Quartet) and Jean-Michel Fonteneau (cello faculty at San Francisco Conservatory), who each year explore a different quartet by the composer known as "Papa Haydn" because of his lasting influence on composers who followed his artistic path for centuries.
Saturday brings William Sharp's final festival performance, as well as one of two string orchestra performances this year, Mendelssohn's "Was bedeutet die Bewegung" arranged by Torsten Rasch for baritone and string orchestra with linking interludes by German composer Torsten Rasch. In a similar vein, Saturday's program offers pieces by Ted Hearne, John Zorn (winner of a MacArthur "Genius" Award), and Travis Laplante's virtuosic solo saxophone piece "Thank You Is Not Enough". The program also includes the beloved Brahms String Quartet Op. 51, No.2, which Michael Kannen (founding cellist of the Brentano String Quartet) will present at a pre-concert discussion at 7 p.m. at the Putney Library.
On Monday, violinist Anthony Marwood performs Bartók's stunning Sonata No.1 with pianist Joseph Liccardo. A Yellow Barn faculty member since 2000, Marwood says of his primary summer festival home, "Yellow Barn is an artistic center of gravity for me." The Bartók is joined by a Lindberg Clarinet Trio with Alan Kay (principal clarinetist for the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra) and Beethoven's "Razumovsky" String Quartet, Op.59, No.1.
Tuesday introduces Composer in Residence Stefano Gervasoni to Yellow Barn audiences at the annual "Composer Portrait", an evening of music and conversation with Gervasoni, Seth Knopp, and other Yellow Barn musicians. Gervasoni, who is from Milan and teaches at the Paris Conservatory, will have seven works on the rest of the festival, beginning on Wednesday, August 3rd. Also on the 3rd is a performance of Crumb's complete Madrigals, with soprano Kristina Bachrach and her mentor soprano Lucy Shelton, Mozart's String Quartet in B-flat Major (with faculty violist Maria Lambros, and Rachmaninoff's Symphonic Dances (with faculty pianist Christina Dahl).
Yellow Barn on Wednesday celebrates the Putney Co-op's 75th Anniversary, and Putney Co-op members receive special $5 tickets that night. Yellow Barn's history with the Putney Co-op dates back to its very first years at the start of the 1970s; Putney Co-op founder Carol Brown gave Yellow Barn founders David and Janet Wells boundless encouragement, including the very first donation to their festival.
All performances are at 8 p.m. in the Big Barn. Tickets are available online at yellowbarn.org, or by phone at 802-387-6637). Thursday is one of five BMC Nights and special discounts for BMC members apply. Call for more information.