Wilhelmina Smith, Founder and Artistic Director
Founded in 1995 by cellist Wilhelmina Smith, Salt Bay Chamberfest has remained true to its fundamental principles and earned a reputation for making artistic statements of the first class. Smith believes that musical programs can be crafted in such a way that they highlight larger ideas, be they musical, historical, political, or generally human. Cutting across a large swath of musical styles, the programs at Chamberfest embrace music from the Renaissance to the present day and regularly feature the music of living composers. Rather than bringing an audience a sequence of performances, this kind of program creates an experience that can be thought-provoking and profoundly moving long after leaving the concert hall.
Comprised of three dynamic young string players, Variation String Trio is now entering its eighth season. Violinist Jennifer Koh, violist Hsin-Yun Huang and cellist Wilhelmina Smith formed the trio in the fall of 2005 after performing together to great acclaim at Salt Bay Chamberfest on the coast of Maine. They have performed in chamber music series’ across the United States, including Classicfest in Pensacola, FL, Salt Bay Chamberfest in Damariscotta, ME, and Performers of Westchester in Westchester County, NY. They made their European debut in Geneva, Switzerland in February ‘07and are scheduled to perform at the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, “Sejong Presents” at Carnegie Hall, and the Moritzburg Festival in Germany. Unique among chamber music groups, their name, Variation, describes both their commitment to the repertoire for string trio (highlighting an exquisite arrangement of Bach’s Goldberg Variations) as well as their ideal of collaborating with a range of guest artists, regularly varying and enhancing their musical offerings.
All exuberance and bright sunshine. What a well-prepared and confidently managed evening it was.
— New York Times
Music From Copland House is the acclaimed resident ensemble at Aaron Copland’s National Historic Landmark home in New York, now restored as a unique creative center for American music. Since its triumphant New York debut as the Opening Night of Merkin Hall’s 1999-2000 season, Music from Copland House (MCH) has come to occupy a special place on the U.S. musical scene as perhaps this country’s only wide-ranging American repertory ensemble. Provocatively uniting past and present, American and non-American, it journeys across 150 years of our nation’s rich musical legacy, reaching back deep into the 19th century and forward to just-completed compositions.
Comprised of three dynamic and highly esteemed artists, the Artymiw-Keefe-Smith Piano Trio makes its debut in the 14-15 season. Combining a shared musical heritage from the Marlboro Music Festival and a love of performing great masterworks together, this trio promises to be an exceptional addition to the top tier level of chamber ensembles.
Pianist Lydia Artymiw, recipient of the Avery Fisher and Andrew Wolf prizes, has performed as soloist with more than one hundred orchestras in the United States and currently holds the Distinguished McKnight Professor of Piano chair at the University of Minnesota. The New York Times writes, “Lydia Artymiw has such a satisfying musical soul; she is a pleasure to hear”.
Violinist Erin Keefe, currently the Concertmaster of the Minnesota Orchestra, is also a recipient of the Avery Fisher Career Grant. She has performed as soloist with orchestras in the U.S. and abroad and has performed frequently as a member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Boston Chamber Music Society and as featured performer on Live From Lincoln Center.
Cellist Wilhelmina Smith made her debut as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra while a student at the Curtis Institute of music. She was a prizewinner in the International Leonard Rose Cello competition, and has been a guest artist with the Boston Chamber Music Society, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.