Rites of Spring Music Fest Returns for Second Season

Paolo Bartolani
Paolo Bartolani

After a successful first season last spring on the North Fork, the Rites of Spring Music Fest classical and contemporary concert series is returning to the East End with an expanded season of programming beginning April 30.

This year’s festival showcases young professional musicians, including musicians from the Stony Brook University Music Department and PianoFest in the Hamptons, and international guests, in innovative and exciting music programs, that combine complimentary wine and food tastings and breathtaking natural landscapes.

“Rites of Spring Music Fest is all about sharing: music is for everyone,” says the festival’s organizer, Paolo Bartolani. “It is also youthful and energetic, engaging top young musicians to reach out with the message of music – that classical and contemporary music is fun, beautiful and, above all, inspiring.”

Mr. Bartolani, an Italian pianist and European music festival organizer who still works for the Santa Cecilia National Academy in Rome, has been making a name for himself since he moved to Southold from Rome in 2014.

During his work in Europe, he devoted much of his time to making music accessible for all people, combining concerts and workshops in hospitals, schools and nursing homes with elegant evening performances of both classical and contemporary music.

The Rites of Spring Music Fest shares that ethos.

This year’s festival kicks off with a a solo piano concert by Mr. Bartolani at Castello di Borghese Vineyard in Cutchogue on April 30 at 5 p.m., with musical selections by J.S. Bach, Beethoven, John Adams and Debussy.

It continues on May 12 at 7 p.m. with a “Memory Palace” concert at the Jamesport Meeting House with innovative composer Chris Cerrone,  who will present an evocative musical work in five movements for homemade percussion instruments and electronic sounds.

Virtuostic Italian pianist Niccolò Ronchi will continue the series on May 13 at 5 p .m. with a solo piano concert at Castello di Borghese Vineyard, playing works by Brahms and Liszt.

On May 21 at 5 p.m., rising stars from the PianoFest in the Hamptons concert series will present a special program, along with an open bar, cocktail sampling and chocolate at the Peconic Bay Yacht Club in Southold, with music by Mozart, Chopin, Brahms, Liszt, Debussy, Rachmaninoff.

The Arcanum String Quartet returns this year for the program’s second Classical Music and Historic House Tour on May 28 from 1 to 5 p.m., with tours of historic houses in Southold, Greenport and Orient, with music throughout, capped by a concert by the quartet at Poquatuck Hall.

The series takes an experimental turn in early June, with a program titled “Thought Experiments Under the Stars” with percussionist Brian Smith and the Hidden City Orchestra at Southold’s Custer Institute observatory on June 3 at 7 p.m., an evening of real time composition and collaborative projects.

On June 4 at 5 p.m., Cliff Baldwin and the ACME Ensemble will perform “Quogue Nocturne” at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge,” a performance involving live owls, wild food, wine and naturalists.

The series concludes with an encore performance of an Italian Opera Night presentation with soprano Masha Carrera  and Mr. Bartolani at Laurel Lake Vineyards on June 10 at 7 p.m., with a performance of Mediterranean Lyrical Songs by de Falla, Bizet, Ravel and Neapolitan songs and a Mediterranean Table Food and Wine Session.

“The festival offers to the community, and to the numerous visitors who arrive on the East End of Long Island, and all lovers of music a new perspective of encounter between music, art, history, architecture and landscape,” said Mr. Bartolani.

More information and online ticket sales are at www.ritesmusic.org.

Beth Young

Beth Young has been covering the East End since the 1990s. In her spare time, she runs around the block, tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at editor@eastendbeacon.com

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