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Looking Back: 2021 CMS SPAC Residency

September 3, 2021
Pitney Meadows Community Farm

This summer the Saratoga Performing Arts Center partnered with Pitney Meadows Community Farm to bring back the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center for its annual Saratoga Springs residency. The new "CMS at the Meadows" series were the first live performances that SPAC presented since the 2020 season was cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The performances, limited to 200 attendees per show, were held in Pitney Meadows Community Farm's beautiful open-air High Tunnel greenhouse, adhering to carefully mapped out, socially-distanced seating and rigorous COVID-19 protocols.


The Calidore String Quartet Backstage

Among the many highlights of CMS at the Meadows was the SPAC preimere of the Calidore String Quartet who presented a program of Beethoven String Quartets on August 8, 2021. The concert featured the timeless Op. 95 "Serioso" and Op. 59, No. 3 "Razumovsky" Quartets.

The Calidore String Quartet in Rehearsal

A further highlight of the summer was a thrilling afternoon of piano music performed by Michael Stephen Brown, Gilles Vonsattel, Ursula Oppens, and Jerome Lowenthal. The program featured solo and four-hands works by Barber, Mendelssohn, Debussy, and Ravel, as well as the world preimere of Twelve Blocks composed by Michael Stephen Brown.

Jerome Lowenthal and Ursula Oppens Preparing to Perform
Michael Stephen Brown holding the score to his work "Twelve Blocks" premiered by Jerome Lowenthal and Ursula Oppens on July 18, 2021
Pianists Michael Stephen Brown and Gilles Vonsattel in Rehearsal

On June 13, 2021, CMS presented the program From Prague to Vienna featuring Dvořák's Terzetto in C major for Two Violins and Viola, Op. 74, and Mozart's Quintet in A major for Clarinet, Two Violins, Viola, and Cello, K. 581. The concert featured the first SPAC performances of new CMS Bowers Program members Stella Chen, and Sihao He.

Stella Chen, Sihao He, Misha Amory, Anthony McGill, and Bella Hristova

The all-star ensemble of Wu Han, Arnaud Sussman, Paul Neubaer, and David Finckel delighted audiences with a program of Beethoven and Schumann on June 20, 2021.


Wu Han, David Finckel, Arnaud Sussmann, and Paul Neubauer Following their Performance

Violinist Benjamin Beilman joined CMS Co-Artistic Directors David Finckel and Wu Han on August 29, 2021, to close the CMS SPAC season with a program of Schubert.

Wu Han, David Finckel, and Benjamin Beilman Take their Bows