in David’s words…
Wu Han officially opened the festival by welcoming the audience, and Patrick Castillo was engaged by the Society to introduce the music at the morning programs as well as to deliver hour-long lectures before each evening concert.
After the short program, the musicians and donors were treated to an elegant dinner on the lawn.
Our musicians and New York staff were conferred the honorary title of Kentucky Colonel on documents signed by the Governor. This entitles us to some privileges that I have yet to comprehend, beyond being able to call myself a colonel.
The company of family members on tour is always a joyous bonus for musicians. This time it was the lucky pianist Anne-Marie McDermott, whose husband Michael Lubin joined us for the weekend of music, bourbon-tasting and sightseeing.
On Saturday morning, the Meeting House was packed to capacity. Patrick introduced the concert, which included a reprise by Yura Lee and Jakob Koranyi of their spectacular rendition of the Ravel Duo from CMS’s spring concert, Ravel’s World.
Michael Lawrence enlightened a curious audience member on musical notation.
One can walk 10 minutes from the Meeting House to the barn through bucolic settings.
The barn concerts’ intermissions are parties in themselves.
The Brahms Piano Quintet
After the concert, CMS board member Andrea Walton (center) joined us for the traditional musicians’ bourbon-tasting happy hour, and later hosted us for a delicious traditional dinner at the village inn.
Sunday morning’s Meeting House concert was Tara Helen O’Connor’s recital. She played the entire program, which included works by Haydn, Piazzolla, Villa-Lobos, and a set of songs from “The Social Orchestra” by American legend Stephen Foster, who apparently lived thirty miles from Danville.
This is the only traffic noise in the village.
The festival concluded with a performance of the Schubert Cello Quintet. I could not help introducing the piece from the stage, sharing with the audience my own sense of the milestone represented in any series by the first performance of this masterpiece.
The audience definitely caught my drift and listened to the monumental work in rapt silence. I can honestly say it was one of the finest, most flawless performances of the work I have ever given. And I have given a lot of them.
A barbecue in the front yard of our beautiful residence concluded the festival. I commend and congratulate my colleagues of the weekend, every one of whom outdid themselves and delivered the kind of performances that will go a long way towards making the Festival of the Bluegrass a permanent cultural institution in America.