July-August 2018 | NOTEWORTHY

Elena UriosteGuy JohnstonTom PosterAnthony McGillVicki PowellBella Hristova



Chamber Music by the Sea 2018 set to captivate Berlin and Snow Hill this August

The historic charm and artistic bent of Berlin lend themselves perfectly to the town’s chamber-music festival. Dubbed Chamber Music by the Sea 2018, the event will be held August 14-19 in and around Berlin. Attendees can look forward to music-making of the highest caliber, with selections ranging from standard masterworks to bolder, thought-provoking pieces to a world premiere by Berlin’s own Lily Wildy Quillin, shared festival founder Elena Urioste.

“The town, the beach, the food, the warmth of the people — it is truly an ideal place for a chamber-music festival,” said Urioste, who has performed with top-shelf institutions, including the Philadelphia and Cleveland orchestras, the Boston Pops and the New York, Los Angeles and Buffalo philharmonics.

“I am so excited about this year’s programs, and I absolutely cannot wait to speak with the community about their reactions to the music,” said Urioste, who recently was named a BBC New Generation Artist. “This year’s musician lineup is absolutely spectacular and includes world-renowned soloists, two BBC Young Musician winners and the principal clarinetist of the New York Philharmonic.”

Urioste and her family discovered Berlin when she was a teen, spending weekends there in their second home. Charmed by the area’s many natural and cultural amenities, the classically trained musician decided to make her own contribution.

“Berlin continues to evolve and expand in ways that are so exciting to me,” Urioste said. “The one thing it was lacking, I decided, was classical music. So, I launched a small festival in 2016.”

According to Urioste, chamber music is simply music on an intimate scale — literally, music originally written to be played in one’s personal chambers. It’s an art form that evolved over time and made its way into the world’s great concert halls in addition to people’s homes. Above all, chamber music is a conversation between instruments in small ensembles, ranging from duos to groups of 10 or 12 and includes all instruments.

“In the classical-music world, chamber-music festivals are quite common and plentiful,” said Urioste. “It seems that most regions host at least one per year, usually in the summertime, when musicians are free to travel, generally to a scenic destination of some sort.”

Musical education is important to Urioste, and local students and devotees are encouraged to participate. “I believe it’s vital to welcome into our circle absolutely everyone in the community,” she said. “Classical music has a reputation for being elitist or stuffy, and I feel a real responsibility to shatter that perception. I am so thrilled that Berlin and Snow Hill have embraced so wholeheartedly the genre of music that’s dearest to my heart.”

Among the educational offerings are a day of activities at Zenna Wellness Studio in Berlin, including a violin masterclass; a session of yoga for musicians focusing on posture, breathing and stretches to target musicians’ more problematic areas in the body; and an open rehearsal of the piece to be performed by the group at Friday night’s Buckingham Presbyterian Church concert.

“Chamber Music by the Sea has felt like a truly symbiotic endeavor,” said Urioste. “The community has been open and receptive to the music, which has been, at times, admittedly, quite adventurous. Sometimes I have to pinch myself — I can’t quite believe I’ve stumbled upon such an incredible audience.
“The trust that the community puts in me as an artistic director and in the festival as a whole is unbelievable and truly moving,” she added. “The performers, I hope, are able to feel the audiences’ excitement and appreciation, in addition to cultivating their own appreciation for Berlin and all its surrounding areas have to offer.”

Chamber Music by the Sea 2018 will be held rain or shine. Visit ChamberMusicByTheSea.com for tickets, program and artist information and more festival detail; visit Chamber Music by the Sea on Facebook and Instagram.

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