The Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Society has continuously produced concerts for both visitors to and residents of the Island of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts for over 50 years. The MVCMS is also very active in encouraging classical music stringed instrument education for Island school children.
MVCMS celebrated 50 seasons
and six concerts in 2021.
Our 2021 season was highlighted on August 15th by luminary chamber musicians (see photos and bios below) gathering in concert at the Whaling Church in Edgartown, Massachusetts to honor the musical excellence, heart, vision, and devotion of Delores Stevens, a visionary who had offered the gift of chamber music to Martha’s Vineyard for nearly a half-century. Read below about the musicians, the music and our beginnings.
How it Started…
It began in the Chilmark home of Eleanor Piacenza and Caroline Worthington. Cellist Caroline, clarinetist John Gates, and pianist Delores Stevens - the Montagana Trio - were rehearsing for an upcoming European tour when it occurred to them that they'd love to play concerts on the Vineyard.
They continued to play four concerts each summer as a trio and then began to invite their professional music friends to join them on the Vineyard and perform with them. This became the annual summer concert festival known as "The Chilmark Chamber Players" and eventually "The Martha's Vineyard Chamber Music Society," with Caroline and Delores as co-artistic directors until 2002. From 2002 until 2019 Delores Stevens continued as the sole artistic director.
In the words of Nora Nevin, past President of the MVCMS and long-time board member, “Despite Caroline Worthington’s departure in 2002, the sweet airs did not fade. Our constant, the pole star, the steady but driving force has been our pianist Delores Stevens. Through changes in artists and boards, Dee remained in charge, assembling every summer a crew of musicians, some new, many familiar, all world class.”
Amongst many other accolades, Delores is recognized as a leading piano soloist, chamber musician, and music educator throughout the United States and the world. Her consistent support of contemporary composers, including numerous commissions have led to a prestigious award from the National Association of Composers, the Presidential Award of Merit from the International Music Fraternity of Mu Phi Epsilon, and the prestigious Living Legends Award from the Young Musicians Foundation presented to her by the legendary composer John Williams.
August 15, 2021: The Musicians
Please join MVCMS and the following remarkable musicians and friends to celebrate the remarkable life and work of Delores (Dee) Stevens.
Stephanie Chase, Violin
Melissa White, Violin
Scott Woolweaver, Viola
Noah Fields , Viola
Scott Kluksdahl, Cello
Paul Stevens, French Horn
To read more about the musicians please click here.
August 15, 2021: The Music
Prologue and Epilogue from Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings (1943) by Benjamin Britten (1913-1976)
This haunting and beautiful music opens this 50th celebration.The music is brief, but nonetheless carries performer and audience on an epic journey, bringing at last a peaceful finality.
A selection of Unaccompanied Bach for Strings
“The passionate and penetrating energy, the inner fire and warmth which often grew to be painful in its intensity in the violin works, is here softened down to a quieter beauty and a generally serene grandeur, as was to be expected from the deeper pitch and fuller tone of the cello.” Phillipp Spitta
Terzetto for String Trio, op. 74 (1887) in C by Antonin Dvorak (1841-1904)
Terzetto literally translates to a trio for “three voices”, and the vocal qualities are immediately apparent in these gorgeous singing melodies. Dvorak was uniquely able to coax human quality from his strings, only the fact they do not breathe betrays them.
Quintet for Horn and Strings, K. 407 (1782) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
The greatest piece of chamber music featuring horn outside of the Brahms Horn Trio. Mozart wrote this piece for a hornist turned cheesemonger named Joseph Ignaz Leutge....This quintet, arguably the most acrobatic, was to take full advantage of the hornist at the height of his skills.
During the COVID-19 lockdown MVCMS began to broadcast concerts using internet media. Our first concert of 2021 – “Spring is Here!’ with the remarkable “Artists of Martha’s Vineyard String Quartet” was pre-recorded and received its virtual premiere on Saturday March 20th. Please click here for more information and to view the concert.
The Martha's Vineyard Chamber Music Society produces chamber music concerts and promotes an appreciation of classical and contemporary music on the island of Martha's Vineyard.
The Summer Evening Concerts and our Education Programs including Instrument Loans, Lesson Scholarships, Artist in Residence, and Project Cello, all depend on generous donors and grant funders.
Your donation is greatly appreciated and will help us fulfill our mission.
For more information about giving options
call 508-696-8055 or email firstname.lastname@example.org