February 7, 2016

Musical Masterworks Hosts Beethoven Bonanza Over Two Weekend Concerts

Cellist Edward Arron and pianist Jeewon Park

Cellist Edward Arron and pianist Jeewon Park

Musical Masterworks continues its celebration of a quarter century of magnificent chamber music at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme on Saturday, Feb. 13, at 5 p.m. and on Sunday, Feb. 14, at 3 p.m.

In a bold break from their traditional programming of repeat concerts, Edward Arron and pianist Jeewon Park will play two different programs in the Saturday and Sunday concerts, traversing the entire cycle of Ludwig van Beethoven’s works for piano and cello over the two days, providing a fascinating window into the arc of Beethoven’s compositional career.

The two different programs will include three sets of variations and five sonatas as follows:

Saturday, Feb. 13 at 5 p.m.

Sonata No. 1 in F Major, Opus 5, No. 1
Sonata No. 4 in C Major, Opus 102, No. 1
12 Variations in F Major on ‘Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen’, Opus 66
Sonata No. 3 in A Major, Opus 69

Sunday, Feb. 14 at 3 p.m.

12 Variations in G Major on ‘See the conqu’ring hero comes’, WoO 45
Sonata No. 2 in g minor, Opus 5, No. 2
Seven Variations on ‘Bei Männern, welche Liebe fühlen’, WoO 46
Sonata No. 5 in D Major, Opus 102, No. 2

For those who plan to attend both programs, Musical Masterworks is offering a 50 percent discount on tickets to the additional concert.

Musical Masterworks has partnered with the Old Lyme Inn with a special promotion for February concert-goers.  With a February Musical Masterworks ticket or stub, Old Lyme Inn will offer a 10 percent discount on dinner on Saturday, Feb. 13, (between 7 and 9 p.m.) and a 10 percent discount on brunch on Sunday, Feb. 14, (between 10 and 3 p.m.)

For more information or to order tickets, call the office at 860.434.2252 or visit www.musicalmasterworks.org.

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Two New Exhibitions on View at Lyme Art Association

'Cipollini Onions and Company' by Randie Kahrl is one of the signature paintings of the exhibition.

‘Cipollini Onions and Company’ by Randie Kahrl is one of the signature paintings of the ‘Annual Associate Artist Exhibition.’

The opening reception for the 24th Annual Associate Artist Exhibition and Wonders of Winter will be held this Sunday, Jan. 31, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Lyme Art Association (LAA) at 90 Lyme St. in Old Lyme.

Both exhibitions are on view from Jan. 22 through Feb. 26.  The 24th Annual Associate Artist Exhibition is on view in the Association’s front galleries and features landscape, portrait, and still life paintings, as well as sculpture by Associate Artist members while Wonders of Winter showcases winter scenes by members of all levels and is on display in the Goodman Gallery.

'Beaverbrook Farm in Winter' by Joan Wallace is found in the 'Wonders of Winter' exhibition.

‘Beaverbrook Farm in Winter’ by Joan Wallace is found in the ‘Wonders of Winter’ exhibition.

“The Annual Associate Artist Exhibition highlights the range, creativity, and excellence of our Associate Artist members. This exhibition includes a variety of subjects, media, and styles: paintings or sculptures that capture the range of human emotion, the beauty and grandeur of the Connecticut landscape, or the personal objects and surroundings of everyday life,” notes Jocelyn Zallinger, LAA’s Gallery Manager. She adds, “The Wonders of Winter exhibition in the Goodman Gallery celebrates the beauty of the winter landscape, its colors, textures, and dramatic lighting.”

The LAA was founded in 1914 by the American Impressionists and continues the tradition of exhibiting and selling representational artwork by its members and invited artists, as well as offering art instruction and lectures to the community. The Association is housed in a building designed by Charles Adams Platt and located within the Old Lyme Historic District.

Admission is free with contributions appreciated. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 10am to 5pm, or by appointment. For more information on exhibitions, purchase of art, art classes, or becoming a member, call 860-434-7802 or visit www.lymeartassociation.org.

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Essex Winter Series Continues with Jeff Barnhart And His Hot Rhythm, Feb. 21

Jeff Barnhart

Jeff Barnhart

The 2016 Essex Winter Series (EWS) continues Sunday, Feb. 21, at Valley Regional High School at 3 p.m. with the Stu Ingersoll Jazz Concert featuring Jeff Barnhart and His Hot Rhythm.

The 2016 EWS season, which has been designed by Executive Director Mihae Lee for its quality and variety, promises to be an exciting one, with three very different programs all by world-class artists. Enjoy great chamber music, hot jazz, expressive vocal music, and the thrill of a full orchestra.

All of the concerts are on Sunday afternoons at 3 p.m. in Deep River. Concerts take place at Valley Regional High School, with the exception of the March 6 concert, which will be presented at John Winthrop Middle School. The schedule is as follows:

Feb. 21: Stu Ingersoll Jazz Concert
Jeff Barnhart and His Hot Rhythm
Valley Regional High School

Jeff Barnhart, our jazz artistic advisor, has thrilled EWS audiences for years with his performances of hot jazz. The renowned pianist, vocalist, arranger, bandleader, re­cording artist, composer, educator, and entertainer will perform seminal jazz and pop standards from the first half of the 20th century with a top-notch band: Scott Philbrick on trumpet, banjo, and guitar; Joe Midiri on reeds; Paul Midiri on vibes and trombone; Anne Barnharton flute and vocals; Vince Giordano on bass, tuba, and bass sax; and Jim Lawlor on drums. Co-sponsored by The Clark Group and Tower Laboratories

March 6: Patricia Schuman, soprano
John Winthrop Middle School

We are delighted to welcome back to our stage the internationally-celebrated soprano Patricia Schuman. Her program, “Winter Romance,” will feature songs of love and loss as well as lighter fare from the great Amer­ican songbook and musical theater. She will be joined by harpist Megan Sesma, pianist Douglas Dickson, and a special surprise guest artist. Ms. Schuman has been engaged by the most distinguished opera houses throughout the world, and has collaborated with many of the foremost conductors and directors of our time. Co-sponsored by Essex Savings Bank and an anonymous foundation

April 3: Fenton Brown Emerging Artists Concert
New Haven Symphony Orchestra with violinist Tessa Lark
Valley Regional High School

Now in its 121st year of continuous operation, the New Haven Symphony Orchestra is one of the country’s finest regional orchestras. Returning to our series, the orchestra under music director William Boughton will perform Mozart’s Overture to The Marriage of Figaro, Haydn’s “London” Symphony, and Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, featuring our 2016 Emerging Artist, Tessa Lark. Lark won the prestigious Naumburg International Violin Award in 2012, and is one of today’s most sought-after young violinists. Co-sponsored by Guilford Savings Bank and an anonymous foundation

All tickets to Essex Winter Series concerts are general admission. Individual tickets are $35; four-concert subscriptions are $120, which represents a $20 saving over the single-ticket price for four concerts. Tickets may be purchased on the EWS website, www.essexwinterseries.com, or by calling 860-272-4572.

More program information, artist biographies and photos, and much more is available on the Essex Winter Series web site, www.essexwinterseries.com.

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Laurel Double Reed Ensemble Presents Free Concert/Masterclass, Feb. 6

AREAWIDE – Community Music School and the Laurel Double Reed Ensemble will present a concert and master class on Saturday, Feb. 6 at 2 p.m. at the Centerbrook Meetinghouse, 51 Main Street, Centerbrook.

The Laurel Double Reed Ensemble is an eclectic and educational organization comprised of Anne Megan, oboe; Tamar Beach Wells, oboe d’amore; Marilyn Krentzman, English horn; and Rebecca Noreen, bassoon. They perform for schools and communities throughout Connecticut, showcasing the unusual and beautiful sounds of the double reed instruments.

At the Feb. 6 concert, the ensemble will perform a 45-minute “Arts in Education” program geared as an introduction to the double reed instrument family. The diverse musical program ranges from Let it Go from Frozen, to the traditional classical styles of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Franz Joseph Haydn. A master class with student performers will follow the performance.

The concert and master class are free and open to the public of all ages; at-will donations will be graciously accepted.

If you would like to participate in the master class, call Community Music School to reserve a spot, 860-767-0026.

Editor’s Note: Community Music School offers innovative music programming for infants through adults, building on a 30-year tradition of providing quality music instruction to residents of shoreline communities. CMS programs cultivate musical ability and creativity and provide students with a thorough understanding of music so that they can enjoy playing and listening for their entire lives. For additional information visit www.community-music-school.org or call 860-767-0026.

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Vista Hosts Auditions for “Pirates of Penzance,” Feb. 8-9

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AREAWIDE – Calling all performers! Vista is hosting open auditions for its upcoming production of “The Pirates of Penzance,” which sets sail in May. Auditions will be held Feb. 8 and 9, by appointment only, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Vista’s Madison Campus, located at 107 Bradley Rd. in Madison.

Versatile adult performers of all abilities are needed. Bring 16 measures of sheet music for an audition song. An accompanist will be provided. Be prepared and dressed to move.

“The Pirates of Penzance” will run May 20 through May 22 at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center — The Kate — in Old Saybrook. Pat Souney will direct.

To schedule an audition appointment or for additional information, contact Amanda Roberts at (860) 399-8080 ext. 255 or aroberts@vistavocational.org.

Editor’s Note: Based in Madison and Westbrook, Vista Vocational & Life Skills Center is a 501©3 nonprofit organization. Vista’s mission is to provide services and resources to assist individuals with disabilities achieve personal success. For more information about Vista, visit www.vistavocational.org.

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Essex Winter Series Offers World-Class Performers in Diverse Programs

Essex Winter Series has announced the artists and programs for its 2016 season. Designed by Artistic Director Mihae Lee for its quality and variety, this 39th season promises to be an exciting one, all four very different programs by world-class artists. Enjoy great chamber music, hot jazz, expressive vocal music, and the thrill of a full orchestra.

All of the concerts are on Sunday afternoons at 3 p.m. in Deep River. Concerts take place at Valley Regional High School, with the exception of the March 6 concert, which will be presented at John Winthrop Middle School.

Mihae Lee

Mihae Lee

Jan. 10: The Juilliard String Quartet with pianist Mihae Lee
Valley Regional High School

One of the country’s most revered string quartets will be joined by our artistic director in a program of three favorites from the classical repertory: Mo­zart’s “Dissonance” Quartet, Beethoven’s String Quar­tet in F major, Op. 135, and the monumental F minor Piano Quintet of Brahms. The Juilliard members are violinists Joseph Lin and Ronald Copes, violist Roger Tapping, and cellist Joel Krosnick, who will perform his 41st and final season with the quartet before his retirement later in 2016. Co-sponsored by Northstar Wealth Partners

Feb. 21: Stu Ingersoll Jazz Concert
Jeff Barnhart and His Hot Rhythm
Valley Regional High School

Jeff Barnhart, our jazz artistic advisor, has thrilled EWS audiences for years with his performances of hot jazz. The renowned pianist, vocalist, arranger, bandleader, re­cording artist, composer, educator, and entertainer will perform seminal jazz and pop standards from the first half of the 20th century with a top-notch band: Scott Philbrick on trumpet, banjo, and guitar; Joe Midiri on reeds; Paul Midiri on vibes and trombone; Anne Barnharton flute and vocals; Vince Giordano on bass, tuba, and bass sax; and Jim Lawlor on drums. Co-sponsored by The Clark Group and Tower Laboratories

March 6: Patricia Schuman, soprano
John Winthrop Middle School

We are delighted to welcome back to our stage the internationally-celebrated soprano Patricia Schuman. Her program, “Winter Romance,” will feature songs of love and loss as well as lighter fare from the great Amer­ican songbook and musical theater. She will be joined by harpist Megan Sesma, pianist Douglas Dickson, and a special surprise guest artist. Ms. Schuman has been engaged by the most distinguished opera houses throughout the world, and has collaborated with many of the foremost conductors and directors of our time. Co-sponsored by Essex Savings Bank and an anonymous foundation

April 3: Fenton Brown Emerging Artists Concert
New Haven Symphony Orchestra with violinist Tessa Lark
Valley Regional High School

Now in its 121st year of continuous operation, the New Haven Symphony Orchestra is one of the country’s finest regional orchestras. Returning to our series, the orchestra under music director William Boughton will perform Mozart’s Overture to The Marriage of Figaro, Haydn’s “London” Symphony, and Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, featuring our 2016 Emerging Artist, Tessa Lark. Lark won the prestigious Naumburg International Violin Award in 2012, and is one of today’s most sought-after young violinists. Co-sponsored by Guilford Savings Bank and an anonymous foundation

All tickets to Essex Winter Series concerts are general admission. Individual tickets are $35; four-concert subscriptions are $120, which represents a $20 saving over the single-ticket price for four concerts. Tickets may be purchased on the EWS website, www.essexwinterseries.com, or by calling 860-272-4572.

More program information, artist biographies and photos, and much more is available on the Essex Winter Series web site, www.essexwinterseries.com.

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Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra Appoints New Executive Coordinator

Daniel Brandl

Daniel Brandl

The Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra (ECSO) has announced that Daniel Brandl has joined the New London-based nonprofit arts organization to serve as its new Executive Coordinator. Brandl comes with a wealth of experience in music, education, and arts administration.

Currently, he serves as Resident Music Director of the Chestnut Street Playhouse in Norwich, Conn., as well as secretary of its board of directors where he was instrumental in helping create a new arts organization after the Spirit of Broadway Theater closed. He is also the Music Director and Organist at First United Methodist Church in Mystic, Conn.

A champion of the arts and arts education in Connecticut, Brandl was most recently an Artist Instructor at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts. He holds a B.M. in Jazz Piano Performance from Western Connecticut State University and will complete a Graduate Certificate in Arts Administration from the University of Connecticut in December. Originally from Meriden, Conn., he currently resides in Stonington Borough with his wife Kathryn and their two young children.

Brandl comments, “I am excited to start a new challenge at ECSO and look forward to working with the staff, orchestra, musicians, board of directors, and volunteers. I am fortunate to be joining such an amazing arts organization with a strong mission.”

Board President Bob Reed comments, “I’m thrilled to have Daniel Brandl join the ECSO organization as Executive Coordinator. Dan’s background and experience in the performing arts arena brings much to the table and he will certainly assist our Executive Director, Caleb Bailey and our board to achieve our goals.”

The ECSO performs six classical concerts from October to May at the Garde Arts Center in New London. The orchestra offers a range of affordable seating options from $62 to as low as $12 for attendance to one concert. New this season, the ECSO will offer those under 30 years of age $12 tickets in premium sections. Additionally, $12 rush tickets will be available the night of every concert to those under 30 and any active or retired military.

Music director and conductor Toshiyuki Shimada has programmed an exciting season showcasing the ECSO’s critically acclaimed virtuosity and scope of repertoire ranging from Classical and Romantic-era favorites to newly composed, cutting-edge international works. Visit www.ectsymphony.com for more information and follow ECSO on Facebook.

Founded in 1946, the mission of the ECSO is to perform high quality symphonic music and conduct educational outreach programs.

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‘Deck The Walls’ on Show at Lyme Art Association

'Village Morning' by Barbara Lussier is one of the signature paintings of the exhibition.

‘Village Morning’ by Barbara Lussier is one of the signature paintings of the exhibition.

The Lyme Art Association’s (LAA) festive art exhibition and sale, Deck the Walls, opened Nov. 27 and is on show through Jan. 8, 2016. An opening reception featuring live music will be held next Friday, Dec. 4, from 5 to 7 p.m.  Admission is free and all painting purchases from 5 p.m. on Dec. 4 through 5 p.m. Dec. 5 will be tax-free.

More than 200 original works of art by member artists will be on display and priced to sell as holiday gifts. Artwork by newly inducted LAA Elected Artists will be featured in their own exhibition in the Goodman Gallery.

'Curious' by Kim Muller-Thym is featured in 'Deck the Walls.'

‘Curious’ by Kim Muller-Thym is featured in ‘Deck the Walls.’

“For Deck the Walls, the Lyme Art Association features a wide variety of appealing subjects at affordable prices that are great for holiday shopping. We hope to help solve those gift giving dilemmas – a beautiful piece of artwork is always appreciated!” says Jocelyn Zallinger, Gallery Manager.

The LAA is open Wednesday through Sunday, from 12 to 5 p.m., and by appointment. The building is located at 90 Lyme Street in Old Lyme, at the corner of Halls Road.

Call (860) 434-7802 for more information, or visit www.lymeartassociation.org.

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Visit the Florence Griswold Museum for Exhibitions & More

The current exhibition on show at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme is The Artist in the Connecticut Landscape, which draws from the collections of 10 partner institutions to present some of the most renowned depictions of Connecticut in art from the 18th to the 20th centuries.

The 76 works are from the collections of the Connecticut Historical Society, the Connecticut State Library, the Florence Griswold Museum, the Lyman Allyn Art Museum, the Mattatuck Museum, the Mystic Arts Center, Mystic Seaport, the New Britain Museum of American Art, the Slater Memorial Museum, and the Wadsworth Atheneum.

Also on show through Nov. 29 is a pop-up exhibition titled, TIME & PLACE Young Artists Inspired by Artworks in the Current Exhibition.  Artist/instructor Susan Stephenson partnered with the Museum to create an immersive learning experience for her sophomore painting students at the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts. After visiting the exhibition,The Artist in the Connecticut Landscape, students were asked to respond to a work with their own interpretation

For more information, contact (860) 434-5542 x122.

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Cooley Gallery Hosts Opening Reception Tonight for ‘All Paintings Great and Small’

'A Winter's Eve' by Herbert McCord is the featured painting of the 'All Paintings Great and Small' exhibition.

‘A Winter’s Eve’ by Herbert McCord is the featured painting of the ‘All Paintings Great and Small’ exhibition.

The Cooley Gallery hosts an opening reception for the annual holiday exhibition All Paintings Great and Small this evening from 5 to 8 p.m.

The exhibition features historic and contemporary works of art 12″ in size or smaller and for many in the area, this annual exhibition and opening celebration, now in its 29th year, has become an undisputed kick-off to the holiday season. Artists from around the country and Mexico, with a concentration of works by artists in Connecticut, participate in this annual show.

Jeff Cooley, owner of The Cooley Gallery notes, “We had no sense of how this show evolved into a local holiday tradition until we started to talk about changing the format or doing something completely different.  Over the years we thought we would try to revamp the holiday show and freshen it with a little variation.  We were quickly reminded by gallery visitors and friends not to mess with a good thing.”

He continues, “The very first small painting show we did all those years ago had only 15 pictures but they were choice and mainly historical works. Last year’s All Paintings Great and Small ballooned to over 350 works of art and proved too much can be too much. While we’re not going back to only 15 select works, we are simplifying the show this year.”

As in years past, All Paintings Great and Small offers a wide range of subjects and media carefully chosen by the staff at the gallery. Cooley notes, “We are a small operation. Everyone gets involved in everything here but especially with this exhibition: discovering artists and choosing their favorites. Lorre Broom, our gallery manager, orchestrates the logistics and artists. Nancy Pinney our website guru and an artist in her own right, makes sure the images are perfect and gets it all posted in time for people to get a start on their holiday shopping.”

The galleries at 25 Lyme Street are hung “salon-style” with multiples from floor to ceiling, and a wealth of varied artwork. Prices range from the low hundreds on up giving collectors at all levels a chance to acquire some truly wonderful original works of art.  The other exhibition in the back gallery features recent acquisitions, paintings from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The show runs through Jan. 9, 2016.

Founded in 1981 and located in the heart of historic Old Lyme, the Cooley Gallery specializes in fine American paintings from the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries, including the Hudson River School, American Impressionism, and select contemporary artists.

Visitors are welcome and encouraged Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays 12 to 4 p.m. or online anytime at www.cooleygallery.com

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Reception Tonight Celebrates EF Watermelon’s 30th Anniversary in Old Lyme,

Painting_of_view_looking_south

EF Watermelon hosts a reception this evening from 5 to 8  p.m. at the store on Lyme St. to celebrate the business’s 30th anniversary in Old Lyme.  All are welcome.

Guest artist, Paula Crevoshay, will be on hand to present and discuss her line of  jewelry.

The store is located at 24 Lyme St., in Old Lyme.

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Sing or Listen to “Messiah” at ‘The Kate,’ Dec. 20

The seventh annual ‘Messiah’ Sing or Listen, sponsored by Cappella Cantorum will be held Sunday, Dec. 20, when singers rehearse at 3:30 pm in sections, for a performance at 4 p.m. in the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Art Center, 300 Main St. Old Saybrook, CT 06475.

The Singalong is open to all, featuring professional soloists, Bring your ‘Messiah’ scores if you have them or they will be provided.

There is a $10 fee for singers and audience. The audience is invited to sit in the back, witness the short rehearsal and ‘The Sing’ at 4 p.m.

Tickets are available through the Box Office at 877-503-1286, www.thekate.org or day of performance.  There are no reserved seats.

For more information, contact Barry Asch at 860-388-2871 or visit www.cappellacantorum.org

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Next Concerts in ‘Musical Masterworks’ 25th Season Dec. 5 & 6

MM_25_Logo_CMYK Vector Whiteborder jpg[1] copyMusical Masterworks is celebrating a quarter century of magnificent chamber music at Old Lyme’s First Congregational Church, beginning with the first concerts of their season on Saturday, Oct. 24, at 5 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 25, at 3 p.m.

This concert will feature two of chamber music’s rising stars: violinist Bella Hristova and, in her Musical Masterworks debut, pianist Anna Polonsky. They will join with one of Musical Masterworks’ favorite horn players, Eric Ruske, and Musical Masterworks’ Artistic Director and cellist Edward Arron, for a program including trios by Schubert and Brahms, Schumann’s Three Fantasy Pieces for horn and piano, and a work by contemporary composer David Ludwig.

Musical Masterworks has prepared a very special 25th Anniversary Season of chamber music.  “This anniversary season, we will celebrate with masterworks of Bach, Mozart, Schubert, Schumann,  Brahms, Dvorák, Ravel and Bartók, alongside vibrant and transporting works by some of the most dynamic composers of our time,” said Edward Arron, Artistic Director of Musical Masterworks.

In a bold break from their traditional programming of repeat concerts on Saturday and Sunday, on Feb. 13 and 14, 2016, Arron and pianist Jeewon Park will play the entire cycle of Beethoven’s works for piano and cello, providing a fascinating window into the arc of Beethoven’s career.

Book_cover_MM_25_YearsIn celebration of this milestone anniversary, Lee Pritchard and Jamie Murphy, Musical Masterworks’ Honorary Director and Founder, respectively, have embarked on an exciting project to chronicle Musical Masterworks’ 25-year journey.  Assembling treasured photos and recounting the memories and milestones shared by its audience, musicians, volunteers and staff over the years, Pritchard and Murphy have compiled a commemorative book that will be available for purchase beginning with Musical Masterworks’ October concerts.

“This keepsake book relates fascinating facts and memorable moments that have brought us to where we are today,” said Alden Rockwell Murphy, President of Musical Masterworks.  “The photos capture the energy and excitement of our journey, as well as the array of magnificent musicians who have been with us over the years; we are thrilled to be able to share our story with the community that has nurtured us.”

Edward Arron

Musical Masterworks Artistic Director Edward Arron

“Our special season will culminate with Mendelssohn’s glorious Octet for Strings, led by Musical Masterworks’ veteran violinist, Chee-Yun,” said Arron.  “I feel extraordinarily privileged to be the curator of this unique concert series. As the years go by, I continue to be inspired by the beauty of the Congregational Church, the art of chamber music, the artistry of my colleagues and the warmth of our audience.”

The anniversary season will be celebrated with a free gala party after the final concert on May 1, 2016 to which all ticket buyers will be invited.

To purchase a series subscription ($150 each) or individual tickets ($35 individual; $5 student) to this 25th season, visit Musical Masterworks’ new website at www.musicalmasterworks.org or call 860.434.2252.

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Ridegeway-Korsmeyer’s Fall Exhibition on View at Old Lyme Library Through Nov.

Renni Ridgeway-Korsmeyer's signature painting in the 'Landscapes Reimagined' show which opens at the Old Lyme Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library Friday, Oct. 16.

This is Renni Ridgeway-Korsmeyer’s signature painting in the ‘Landscapes Reimagined’ show, which opens at the Old Lyme Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library Friday, Oct. 16.

The Old Lyme Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library is hosting an Opening Reception today from 5 to 7 p.m. for its fall art exhibition, “Landscapes Reimagined,” which features work by Renni Ridgeway-Korsmeyer.  The public is invited to attend. All works are for sale and a percentage of the proceeds will benefit the Library.

Ridegeway-Korsmeyer holds graduate degrees in both education and psychiatric social work and spent many years as a teacher and psychotherapist. To her, it felt natural to move from working with people as a psychotherapist to expressing feeling on canvas as an artist.

She is an elected artist in the Madison Art Society, Guilford Art League, and the Essex Art Association, and is an associate artist in the Lyme Art Association, the Clinton Art Society and the Mystic Art Association. Her work frequently appears in the juried shows of these societies, as well as in other juried and invitational art exhibitions and galleries.

Ridegeway-Korsmeyer lives in the Old Lyme, Conn., art community, where she discovered her love of painting. She works in oils and pastels and enjoys each medium equally. In her subtle sensitive landscapes of the shore, sky and marshes, she notes that changes in nature, like the feelings and emotions of the artist and viewer unfold, shift, and evolve.

She studied with prominent artists and art teachers in the Old Lyme and has participated in plein air classes throughout New England. Her work can be found in private collections in Connecticut, New England and throughout the United States.Ridegeway-Korsmeyer continues to paint en plein air and in her studio in Old Lyme.

The ‘Landscapes Reimagined’ show runs until Nov. 30.

The Library is located at 2 Library Lane, off Lyme Street in Old Lyme. Winter hours are Monday and Wednesday, 10am to 7pm; Tuesday and Thursday, 10am to 6pm; Friday, 10am to 5pm and Saturday, 10am to 4pm. Parking: If the Library’s parking lot is full, additional spaces are available on Lyme Street. There is also a lot behind the Old Lyme Memorial Town Hall across the street from the Library.

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Reading Uncertainly: ‘The Sympathizer’ by Viet Thanh Nguyen

The_SympathizerHow often do we take sides while harboring a suspicion that the other fellow’s view actually has some merit? Nguyen’s narrator, never named, but referred to as “The Captain,” states his position at the outset: “ … I am also a man of two minds … I am simply able to see any issue from both sides.”
The Captain is a Vietnamese, ostensibly working for the American forces at the tail-end of the Vietnam (or “American,” as it is called there) War, while acting as mole, an undercover agent, for the Vietcong and the northern forces. Born in North Vietnam of a Vietnamese mother and a father who is a Roman Catholic priest, he leaves for the south and is immediately enmeshed in contradictions. One of the first is the obvious double-meaning of the word “father.”
There he becomes part of an unusual three-man team, the “we” of this compelling take: Bon, an ardent anti-communist, Man, an equally committed communist, and The Captain, who deliciously equivocates through the saga. It is, in fact, a perfect elaboration of the yin and yang culture that dominates the Far East, from the I Ching, to Lao Tse and Confucius. Forces seemingly in opposition are in fact complimentary — they cannot exist without one another.
Nguyen, in the role of The Captain, argues men of “utter conviction” are “insufferable,” noting “The General”, to whom the narrator reports, “ … was a sincere man who believed in everything he said, even if it was a lie, which makes him not so different from most.” The narrator then goes on to puncture every conceivable balloon of human fatuity. We live, he claims, in a litany of contradictions.
Witness another character, “The Congressman”, who berates the “controls” of communism but then describes his “democratic” system as even more autocratic, using censorship and control, because, as he says, “Americans are a confused people.” The Captain comments: “ . that omnipresent American narcotic, optimism, the unending flow of which poured through the American minds continuously whitewashing the graffiti of despair, rage, hatred, and a nihilism scrawled by the black hoodlums of the unconscious.”
Here is a delicious story of the last days of that War and what followed in both the United States and Asia. “We are all puppets in someone else’s play.” And the story is often hilarious, too. The Captain describes, in three joyful pages, his attempt to masturbate with a dead squid!
Nguyen ends with yet another double meaning, “Nothing is more precious than independence and freedom,” as The Captain finally realizes the two senses of this phrase. But he remains “the most hopeful of creatures, a revolutionary in search of a revolution.” A thriller in one sense but a social commentary in another and a challenging counterview to this year commemorating the end of that War.
Opposite ideas are indeed complimentary!
Editor’s Note: The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen is published by Grove Press, New York 2015.

Felix Kloman_headshot_2005_284x331-150x150About the author: Felix Kloman is a sailor, rower, husband, father, grandfather, retired management consultant and, above all, a curious reader and writer. He’s explored how we as human beings and organizations respond to ever-present uncertainty in two books, ‘Mumpsimus Revisited’ (2005) and ‘The Fantods of Risk’ (2008). A 20-year resident of Lyme, he now writes book reviews, mostly of non-fiction that explores our minds, our behavior, our politics and our history. But he does throw in a novel here and there. For more than 50 years, he’s put together the 17 syllables that comprise haiku, the traditional Japanese poetry, and now serves as the self-appointed “poet laureate” of Ashlawn Farms Coffee, where he may be seen on Friday mornings. His wife, Ann, is also a writer, but of mystery novels, all of which begin in a bubbling village in midcoast Maine, strangely reminiscent of the town she and her husband visit every summer.

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Two New Exhibitions on Show at LAA, ‘Summer Days, Starry Nights’ and ‘Purely Pastel’

'Viareggio, Italy' by White is one of the signature paintings in  the new show at the LAA.

Nelson White’s ‘Viareggio, Italy’ is one of the signature paintings in the new ‘Summer Days, Starry Nights’ show opening at the LAA on Friday.

The Lyme Art Association (LAA) at 90 Lyme St. in Old Lyme presents Summer Days, Starry Nights, a juried member exhibition celebrating portraits, landscapes, still life paintings and sculpture, from Aug. 7 through Sept. 18Purely Pastel, a separate show presented by the Connecticut Pastel Society, will also be on view.

Caron's 'Summer Flowers' is featured in the show.

Jerry Caron’s ‘Summer Flowers’ is featured in the ‘Summer Days, Starry Nights’ show.

The Lyme Art Association is pleased to offer this wonderful selection of affordable fine art that showcases the varied talents of our artist membership,” notes LAA Gallery Manager, Jocelyn Zallinger. “This exhibition includes representational work featuring many media, themes, and subjects from exuberant florals, pensive portraits, through of landscapes. There will truly be something for everyone.”

Buchanan's "Searching the Shore" evokes summer memories.

This painting by Clayton Buchanan (CPS), “Searching the Shore,”which  evokes summer memories, is featured in the  ‘Purely Pastel’ show.

The Connecticut Pastel Society (CPS) exhibition, Purely Pastel, in the Goodman Gallery, will be juried by Barbara Groff.  Awards will be given for excellence in the pastel medium.  The CPS will provide a free Triple Demonstration using pastels on Aug. 8, from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Pastel paintings created at the demonstration, as well as other small works, including some by Allan Alain, will be available at the silent auction that runs the length of the exhibition.  This year’s triple demonstration artists are: Claudia Post (portrait/figure), Deborah Quinn Munson (landscape/objects) and Shauna Shane (animal subject).  Light refreshments will be available and the public is invited.

Cindy Streit Mazzaferro, CPS Membership Chair and Purely Pastel Exhibition Chair comments, “I am delighted with the wide range of breadth of artistry and so very excited to once again bring to Lyme some of the best pastel painting artists in CT.  Everyone in attendance is in for a treat and will be captivated by the luscious colors captured with this medium.”

The Lyme Art Association was founded in 1914 by the American Impressionists and continues the tradition of exhibiting and selling representational artwork by its members and invited artists, as well as offering art instruction and lectures to the community. The Lyme Art Association is located at 90 Lyme St., Old Lyme, in a building designed by Charles Adams Platt and located within a national historic district. Admission is free with contributions appreciated. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 12 to 5pm.

For more information on exhibitions, including how to enter a juried exhibition at the LAA, visit www.lymeartassociation.org or purchase of art, art classes, or becoming a member, call (860) 434-7802.

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Brian Keith Stephens Art Exhibit on View at Old Lyme Library

The signature work by Brian Keith Stephens for his 'Imagery and Dreams' exhibition on view at The Cooley Gallery.

The signature work by Brian Keith Stephens for his ‘Imagery and Dreams’ exhibition on view at The Cooley Gallery.

The Old Lyme Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library hosts an exhibition of work by featured Artist of the Month, Brian Keith Stephens titled, ‘Imagery and Dreams.’ It will be on view through Aug. 30, and most works are for sale with a portion of the proceeds benefitting the library.

Stephens’s artistic studies began in his native Connecticut, expanded to cosmopolitan Paris and New York, to return full circle to the rural studio where his paintings come to life. Nostalgia, nature, romance and childhood inform simplicity of subject matter; however, the emotional and physical breadth of each piece resonates in the layers upon contrasting layers of paint.

The resulting works show both the direct energy of the artist’s hand while revealing the story of the artist’s heart. The titles created for his pieces range from humorous to poetic, informing a fuller perception of the artist than the painting alone might present.

A distinctive painter with a quiet, gentle and searching presence, Stephens ‘s works celebrate the innocence of the child within while documenting the passions and conflicts we grow into. Over the past 15 years the prolific Stephens has exhibited in Denmark, France, Germany and across the US to wide acclaim.

Stephens makes the following Artist’s Statement, “How to capture the past, present and future at the same time — this is at the center of my work as an artist. Growing up in Connecticut, I have always found animals as a vessel for depicting human emotion; I believe in many ways animals are capable of expressing human emotions in a way that is both understandable and mysterious and alluring.”

He continues, “Like animals, we are all wild and fearful, but unlike animals, we have to live in this world of rules and norms. My desires, my emotions, are not always able to fit in the place and society I live, but in my art, I can find a place for those outliers to join forces.”

Finally, Stephens notes, “At the center of my work and life are these fascinations with myth, the spectrum of human passion, our kinship to the spirit of the wild animal, and challenge of balancing the real with the fanciful. We must balance all of this while also navigating the spectrum of time, the web of past, present and future. My art has been and continues to be my outlet for exploring these themes and conjuring up new ones.”

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Weiss’s ‘Painting the Figure’ Exhibit on Show at Cooley Gallery

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An opening reception for “Painting the Figure,” an exhibition and sale of figure paintings by Jerry Weiss, will be held at The Cooley Gallery this afternoon, Wednesday, July 15, from 4 to 6 p.m. The public is welcome.

Weiss comes from a family of artists — his father was a celebrated cartoonist and his mother a painter.  While Weiss often paints landscapes, he always returns to rendering the human figure. As a young artist and with his parents support he dedicated six years to the study of the human form.

Weiss explains, “My goal was to create a visual diary that would be a pictorial of family and friends. Then, as now, I am intrigued by the portrait as a most sacred subject.” Through rich paint application and both intuitive and intellectual editing, Weiss’s subjects pulse with vitality.

Capturing a moment or a mood with laser-like insight, Weiss’s subjects present themselves to the viewer with a singular clarity. He comments, “I work from life. I like to paint fairly large and rapidly.”

Though known to many as an accomplished painter of portraits, Weiss is also a published writer, wordsmith and teacher, admired for his clarity, insight and wit.

Weiss has had numerous solo exhibitions in museums and galleries. He teaches figure drawing and painting year-round at the Art Students League of New York and leads intensive workshops around the country. He was an instructor at Lyme Academy College for 15 years and is a Contributing Editor to The Artist’s Magazine, for which he writes features and the ‘Master Class’ column.

This exhibition of a dozen figure paintings and drawings will be on view at The Cooley Gallery, 25 Lyme St., through Aug. 15.

Weiss will also be teaching a class at Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts of the University of New Haven this summer.  For more information, visit www.lymeacademy.edu.

Founded in 1981 and located in the heart of historic Old Lyme, the Cooley Gallery specializes in fine American paintings from the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries, including the Hudson River School, American Impressionism, and select contemporary artists. Regular gallery hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call (860) 434-8807or email info@cooleygallery.com f

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Marine Art Exhibition, “American Waters,” on View at LAA Through July 31

"A Seaport Moment" by James Wagner is one of the signature paintings of the 'American Waters' exhibition.

“A Seaport Moment” by James Wagner is one of the signature paintings of the ‘American Waters’ exhibition.

Lyme Art Association (LAA) presents its summer exhibition, American Waters, in the LAA’s sky-lit galleries from June 12 through July 31. The exhibition will feature work by the country’s premier maritime artists, who are members of the American Society of Marine Artists as invited guests, alongside exciting marine work by LAA artists.

An opening reception for the exhibition will be held Friday, June 19, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the LAA, 90 Lyme St., Old Lyme, Conn. All are welcome and refreshments will be served.

'Marshall Point' by Kent Winchell.

‘Marshall Point’ by Kent Winchell.

Russ Kramer, an internationally recognized marine painter, will jury the exhibition.  Kramer comments, “What better place for an exhibition of marine-inspired art than the Lyme Art Association?” continuing, “It is a true landmark in our region’s artistic history, whose proximity to the Lieutenant and Connecticut rivers and Long Island Sound has inspired artists for a century. These new works in the exhibition American Waters are by many of the finest practitioners of marine art working today. To think the same subjects continue to inspire us 100 years later is testament to this area’s enduring, irresistible allure.”

'Afternoon Light' by the late Yves Parent.

‘Afternoon Light’ by the late Yves Parent.

Concurrent with the American Waters exhibition, the LAA presents a large exhibition of Yves Parent maritime paintings. Many of these paintings are of coastal landmarks, recognizable to boaters who have spent time in the waters around the New England coast. This will be the final opportunity to view and purchase paintings from the estate of Yves Parent at the LAA.

Lyme Art Association Board President, Katherine Simmons, states, “American Waters continues an LAA tradition of exhibiting the very best of fine contemporary American marine painting. We are grateful to the members of the American Society of Marine Artists who are joining us as invited guests, and we would especially like to thank our premier media sponsor, The Day, and our presenting sponsor, Suisman Shapiro Attorneys at Law, along with juror Russ Kramer, for making this exhibition happen.”

The LAA was founded in 1914 by the American Impressionists and continues the tradition of exhibiting and selling representational artwork by its members and invited artists, as well as offering art instruction and lectures to the community. The Association’s home is a building designed by Charles Adams Platt and located within a national historic district.

Admission is free with contributions appreciated. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 12 to 5 p.m.

For more information on exhibitions, purchase of art, art classes, or becoming a member, call (860) 434-7802.

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Gallery One Artists Exhibit at ELLE Design Studio; Includes Work by Carlisle, Christiano of Old Lyme

Forced Narcissus, by Catherine Christiano, on linen, 14 x 8 inches, 2005.

Forced Narcissus, by Catherine Christiano, on linen, 14 x 8 inches, 2005.

Gallery One, a cooperative of mid-career artists working in a wide variety of media and styles from representational to abstract, including painting, sculpture and works on paper, will exhibit at the ELLE Design Studio from June 2 through Aug. 30, with a reception on Friday, June 5, from 5 to 8 p.m.

“We are very pleased to have this opportunity to exhibit our artists’ work in Chester,” says Judith Barbour Osborne, “and particularly at ELLE Design Studio, both of which are art destinations.”

Gallery One artists include David Brown, Old Saybrook; Ashby Carlisle, Old Lyme; Catherine Christiano, Old Lyme; Bette Ellsworth, Madison; Mary Fussell, Clinton; Gray Jacobik, Deep River; Judith Barbour Osborne, Ivoryton; T. Willie Raney, Ivoryton; Diana Rogers, Clinton; Victoria Sivigny, Meriden; and Jill Vaughn, Ivoryton.

The Artists of Gallery One, whose vision is to provide southeastern Connecticut with a stimulating resource and to support one another artists, exhibit in various locations along the Connecticut shoreline from Stonington to New Haven. The Artists will be showing at the Mystic Arts Center Sept. 25 through Nov. 7 (in the Leibig Gallery). Additional information, the artists and any upcoming exhibitions can be found at www.galleryoneCT.com.

ELLE Design Studio is open from Tuesday through Saturday from 11am until 6pm, Sunday from 10am until 4pm, and by appointment.

For more information, visit Gallery One online at www.galleryoneCT.com and the ELLE Design Studio at elledesignstudio.net

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