Teaching Oboe and… Baseball

Humbert Lucarelli has had a storied career as an oboist and oboe teacher, both at the Hartt School of Music and at Norfolk. He shares some of his teaching tips and how playing the oboe is related to baseball.

Humbert “Bert” Lucarelli’s long career started not with a particular musical moment or influential teacher but with baseball and an accident. MORE

Published June 11, 2018
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It Takes a Village to Make This Festival Happen

Hosting Norfolk Chamber Music Festival Fellows is an integral part of the program’s success and the Fellows’ experience. We talk to two long-time hosts about why they open their home year after year.

Fellows greeting a Host

Most people who come to a Norfolk Chamber Music Festival performance understand that the Festival doesn’t just “happen,” that it takes a dedicated staff — everyone from administrators to grounds crews and cooks — to ensure the Fellows have what they need and that each concert goes off without a hitch. What people may not realize is how much residents of  the of the town of Norfolk itself are involved. It literally takes a village to make the Festival work. MORE

Published June 8, 2018
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Melvin Chen on the Summer of 2018

It may still be frosty and cold in Connecticut, but Director Melvin Chen is already thinking about summer breezes and what’s going to happen at Norfolk Chamber Music Festival for the summer of 2018.

By just about any measurement, Chen’s inaugural season as Director was a rousing success. Last summer he expanded the performance opportunities of the Fellows to include regular performances with the Artist Faculty performing on the Friday evening concerts, created a themed mini-Festival within the overall summer schedule (the focus was Dvořák and his musical influences), and he expanded pre-concert talks. MORE

Published February 16, 2018
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How Norfolk Chamber Music Festival
Helped Us Win an Award

Rolston String Quartet (from left to right): Jeffrey Dyrda, violin – Luri Lee, violin – Jonathan Lo, cello – Hezekiah Leung, viola

The Rolston String Quartet (Norfolk ’16) credits attending the Norfolk Festival’s Chamber Music Session with helping them win the 2016 Banff International String Quartet competition. Cellist Jonathan Lo explains why. MORE

Published December 5, 2017
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Donna Yoo (Norfolk ’04) On How The Norfolk Chamber Music Festival Informed Her Life

It’s been over a decade since Donna Yoo (Norfolk ’04) attended the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival’s Chamber Music Session, and she’s still close to the quintet she played with that summer. Not bad for a group that was randomly formed by the Eastman School of Music faculty when they were freshman.

They called themselves Destino Winds. “It was as if we were put together by destiny,” Yoo says of the name. “Historically, these groups don’t stay together. We were the only freshmen quintet that stayed together all four years.” MORE

Published December 5, 2017
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Pianist Ilya Poletaev On The Art Of Listening

By Janet Reynolds

Pianist Ilya Poletaev is a musical triple threat, as at home on the piano keyboard as he is on that of the organ or harpsichord. He’s also a master of many musical tasks and styles. While many musicians focus on orchestral careers or perhaps that of a soloist, Poletaev literally has his fingers in many worlds. MORE

Published August 12, 2017
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Violinist Jennifer Frautschi

By Janet Reynolds

Violinist Jennifer Frautschi Performs at Norfolk Chamber Music FestivalThis summer may mark violinist Jennifer Frautschi’s first visit to Norfolk, but it’s also is a reunion with her long-time friend, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival Director Melvin Chen.“I’ve known Melvin since he was a teen from the Aspen Music Festival,” she says. “I started attending when I was 12, and Melvin and his brother were there.”

Frautschi has led a busy professional life since those teen years. She’s a two-time GRAMMY®- Award nominee and Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient who performs with orchestras around the world. And she is a regular at music festivals as well, including Ojai, La Jolla, Santa Fe, Moab, Bridgehampton, and Salt Bay. Today, when she’s not performing, Frautschi teaches at Stonybrook University. MORE

Published August 8, 2017
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Violinist Harumi Rhodes’ First Visit to Norfolk

By Janet Reynolds

Harumi Rhodes on Performing at Norfolk Chamber Music Festival

This summer may mark violinist Harumi Rhodes’ first visit to Norfolk, but in another way it’s a return to her past. She and Norfolk Chamber Music Festival Director Melvin Chen are close friends, who have played together in chamber music ensembles before.

The music Rhodes will be performing is a return to the familiar as well. In her first performance, the August 4th concert devoted to Dvořák in America, Rhodes will be playing in Dvořák’s Viola Quintet, a piece she calls “one of the most fun pieces to play.” The String Quartet in E-flat Major, sometimes called the “American” String Quintet, was written while Dvořák was living in Iowa and reflects the native influences Dvořák was hearing at the time. “It’s a piece of all kinds of flavors,” Rhodes says. “There are Native American and African American spiritual folk songs embedded, a combination of voices.” The extra viola, meanwhile, “adds a beautiful richness to the texture.” MORE

Published July 25, 2017
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