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Harlem Quartet Returns to Music Mountain with a Program Featuring African American Masterworks

July 25, 2021 @ 3:00 pm 5:00 pm EDT

FALLS VILLAGE, Conn. — This weekend, on Sunday, July 25 at 3:00 p.m., the Harlem Quartet, a Music Mountain favorite, takes the stage to perform a vibrant program of works by Black composers, from William Grant Still and George Walker to Wynton Marsalis and Billy Strayhorn. 

The New York-based Harlem Quartet has been praised for its “panache” by The New York Times and hailed in the Cincinnati Enquirer for “bringing a new attitude to classical music, one that is fresh, bracing and intelligent.” Since its public debut at Carnegie Hall in 2006, the ensemble has thrilled audiences and students in 47 states as well as in the U.K., France, Belgium, Brazil, Panama, Canada, Venezuela, Japan, Ethiopia, and South Africa.

Music Mountain’s artistic director, Oskar Espina-Ruiz looks forward to the annual return of the virtuoso ensemble. “Not only does the Harlem Quartet play with verve and deep musicality, but they also bring us works from an American musical legacy that is in all our DNA. In looking to our own past, we find a rich and vibrant trove of musical invention and diversity. It is very much in keeping with the original vision of our founder, Jacques Gordon.” 

Women composers are also front and center this season at Music Mountain. 

Last weekend pianist Fei-Fei and the Verona Quartet premiered an exuberant piano quintet by Polish female-composer Grażyna Bacewicz. Music Mountain’s concert on August 8 includes music by Azerbaijani composer, Ali-Zadeh; August 15 features Gabriela Lena Frank’s Leyendas, An Andean Walkabout for String Quartet; August 22 has works Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel and Florence Price; and Music Mountain’s season finale features the all-female Cassatt String Quartet joining forces with pianist Ursula Oppens to perform the Romantic Piano Quintet in F Sharp Minor, Op. 67, by Amy Beach.

While Sunday afternoons are devoted to chamber music, Saturdays this summer feature an exciting big band festival, including Swingtime Big Band (July 24) and their new program “THAT is the Question,” Swing Times Five (July 31), Wolverine Jazz Band (Aug 7), Riverboat Stompers Jazz Band (Aug 14), Gabriel Alegria Afro-Peruvian Sextet (Aug 21), Galvanized Jazz Band (Aug 28), and Peter & Will Anderson’s Tribute to Irving Berlin (Sept 4). 

Music Mountain continues to provide a safe listening environment while delivering a high-quality concert experience in three formats: in historic Gordon Hall, where improved acoustics and accessibility are combined with new ultra-quiet overhead fans that provide enhanced air circulation and a cooling breeze; on Music Mountain’s Great Lawn, where the live sound that flows naturally from Gordon Hall is now enhanced with audiophile speaker amplification and outdoor LED screens, allowing patrons to watch the concert from the lawn in real time, while enjoying a picnic; and online, bringing Music Mountain concerts into homes around the world in real time.

Tickets and Location

Music Mountain is located at 225 Music Mountain Road, in Falls Village, Connecticut, where a short scenic drive will bring you to Gordon Hall atop Music Mountain. Free parking and picnic facilities are available. Children ages 5-18 are admitted FREE to ALL CONCERTS when accompanied by a ticket holder. Other discounts apply. Please call (860) 824-7126 for details. Concerts start at 3 pm and last approximately 2 hours, with a 20-minute intermission. 

For more information, please visit www.musicmountain.org or call (860) 824-7126.

About Music Mountain

Since 1930 generations of music lovers have come to Music Mountain for an exceptional concert experience and, today, audiences continue to praise the outstanding quality and consistency of the events at Music Mountain, the exceptional acoustics of air-conditioned Gordon Hall, and the beauty and peaceful serenity of Music Mountain’s mountaintop grounds. 

Recent concertgoers see Music Mountain as “a peaceful green oasis” and highlight its “amazing venue, ambience, and experience.”

Music Mountain, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, began as the unique vision of Jacques Gordon, Chicago Symphony concertmaster from 1921 to 1930 and the founding first violinist of the Gordon String Quartet, one of the leading quartets of its time. The buildings at Music Mountain form a well-designed campus in the Colonial Revival style. They were built by Sears, Roebuck & Company’s pre-fabricated housing division and are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Today, artistic director Oskar Espina-Ruiz and Music Mountain’s dedicated board of directors steer Music Mountain through a period of continued growth.

Music Mountain is supported in part by the Connecticut State Department of Economic and Community Development Office of the Arts, the Peter N. Krysa Fund of Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, and two funds of the Northwest Connecticut Community Foundation, Inc.: the Khurshed Bhumgara Fund, and the Lucia Tuttle Fritz Fund.

(860) 824-7126

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225 Music Mountain Road
Falls Village, Connecticut 06031
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(860) 824-7126
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