A very nice 24 hours in Vermont, first having the honor of being the inaugural speaker in the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival’s Perspectives and Contexts series, and then joining morning host (and freshly-minted Managinr Producer) Kari Anderson on the air the next morning at Vermont Public Radio‘s classical service.
The GMCF is run by old friend Kevin Lawrence of the UNC School for the Arts in Winston-Salem, whom I’ve gotten to know through his participation in the “Music and Museum” series I program at the Bechtler Museum in Charlotte. Kevin and his wife Barbara are now steering the Festival – which takes place on the UVM campus in Burlington – through its 10th anniversary season. It’s an intensive program for string students (generally ranging in age from 15 to 25), led by some first-rate faculty who also concertize a couple of times a week.
I didn’t have the chance to hear much music-making (except for the cheerful cacophony of walking past the all the practice rooms), but I was truly impressed by the smart, engaged students attending my talk, who peppered me with questions about classical music, media, and technology, which was the subject of the presentation. Truly a stimulating evening. Very nice to visit in person one of the places we featured on one of our New England Summer Festivals programs as well. You can check it out here.
Up bright and early the next morning to spin some platters with Kari, and talk up some bright young lights in the classical biz. In no particular order: Anderson & Roe (I’m already on record as being a big fan) with their own arrangement of Bizet’s Carmen Fantasy; the Baroque/electronica (really!) recording on ECM from Il Pergolese (“where jazz meets opera”), the stunning Montreal period-instrument band Ensemble Caprice, with one of the zippiest recordings I know of Bach’s Brandenburg concertos. As well as a new discovery: the Atlanta-based choral group called the Skylark Vocal Ensemble.
Meanwhile, there are some changes in the wind in classical radio in Vermont, as WVCT, the state’s sole remaining commercial-classical station (an increasingly endangered species), is due to format-flip on July 1.