The Garage at Chatham to open third season of salon concert series on June 10

CHATHAM — Are you familiar with The Garage at Chatham?  

It’s a free, summer arts series in the tradition of salon concerts nestled within the Hudson Valley kicking off on Saturday, June 10.

Now in its 3rd full season, the series has attracted world-renowned talent, who very often debut new works at the GAC.  It is truly a revival of the salon concerts of the 19th century- an essential format familiar to composers Schubert, Beethoven, Chopin, and Liszt.

The style has artists perform in an intimate setting, in this case, an actual garage. It’s the brainchild of opera singer Jon Morrell and his wife, former opera singer, Adrienne Morrell. The two discovered the acoustic possibilities of their garage while working on it during the first months of the shutdown. 

Jon Morell and his wife, Adrienne, are opera singers who discovered the unique acoustic quality of their Chatham garage as they were sequestered during the 2020 COVID pandemic. (Photo credit: The Garage of Chatham)

Along with their friend conductor/composer Thomas Carlo Bo (who lives in an apartment on their property in upstate New York), they produced an intimate, locally-sourced, free classical concert out of their garage in the summer of 2020.  The response was overwhelming and led them to create their first full summer series in 2021.

Jon Morrell’s goal with the summer series is to promote new works/compositions and create a cultural, intellectual exchange between artists and the audience that can only be achieved within an intimate setting such as this.  The performances are always less than 90 minutes in length.

The 2023 season will open with a tribute to the trailblazing Zoellner Quartet on Saturday, June 10. 

The intermezzo style evening will include The Honorable Alex Foley speaking about the Zoellner Quartet, the great-granddaughter of Joseph Zoellner Senior, the founder of the quartet, and a world-premiere performance by the Conduit Quartet, assembled by cellist Julian Muller, and joined by Eric Gratz on first violin, James Thomspon on violin, and Anthony Bracewell on viola.  Alex Foley is in the process of writing a book about the Zoellner Quartet, which were progressive rock stars of the early 20th century, with over 3,000 performances to their names.

The season will also feature a solo violin performance from 2023 Artist in Residence Miranda Cuckson, who is about to release a new album of her work, a performance from pianist Taka Kigawa, a “classical violin meets flamenco music” performance with Jose Moreno (Cajon, vocals, and dance), Pedro Cortes on guitar, and Miranda Cuckson on violin.  And Summer Jazz at the GAC brings three performances, with jazz guitar (Paul Meyers), Jazz Vocals (TBA), and “Garage Band- The GAC Nonet” (personnel TBA). The sculpture show opens Friday, June 16, and remains in place throughout the season.  Composers in Residence include the accomplished Dave Soldier and Brian Shank.

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