PUTNEY — Just two weeks ago, 30 young musicians from all over the country and Europe arrived in Putney to attend Yellow Barn’s Young Artists Program.
This Thursday, they will perform their final concerts in the Big Barn at 3 and 8 p.m. Both concerts are free and open to all fully vaccinated individuals. Joining them on stage will be the extraordinary soprano Lucy Shelton.
Their home-away-from-home is Yellow Barn’s summer campus at the Greenwood School, where they will participate in intensive days —from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. — participating in rehearsals, coaching sessions, masterclasses and special workshops with guests like Brattleboro shiatsu practitioner Sarah West. They also gave a performance on Yellow Barn Music Haul last weekend in Hancock, New Hampshire.
They explore and perform masterworks of the chamber music repertoire and premiere new, original works. Thursdays performances will include works by Bartók, Brahms, Britten, Dvořák, Ives and Ravel, alongside six world premieres of Young Artists Program compositions based on poems by Emily Dickinson.
The Young Artists Program is the first in the U.S. to fully integrate composers into a program for young performers of the same age. Working daily with their performers, each of the six composers will have two world premieres on the upcoming concerts — one written in advance of their arrival in Putney and the other during the course of the program. The Young Artists Program is also the first chamber music program for young percussionists, who will be performing together with string players, pianists and a clarinetist in Thursday’s performances.
This year, the musicians have the experience of writing for soprano Lucy Shelton, who will perform in both concerts this week. A Putney School alumna and Yellow Barn faculty soprano, Shelton is a renowned, venerable soprano whose extraordinary career has given the field of chamber music some of its greatest performances of a range of vocal repertoire. A champion of new music, this year’s young composers are having the kind of exposure that many established composers have not yet experienced.
All Young Artists Program concerts are free. Reservations are recommended as seating is limited to 70% capacity. Reservations can be made online at yellowbarn.org, as well as by phone at 802-387-6637. Yellow Barn’s main season opens on July 8, with a full schedule of concerts and masterclasses until the season finale on Aug. 6.