The Salomé Chamber Orchestra is returning to the East End this week to kick off three unique Hamptons performances at Nova’s Ark Project in Bridgehampton. The Manhattan-based string ensemble is unlike any orchestra you’ve heard or seen. Formed in 2009 by siblings Sean, Lauren and David Carpenter, Salomé is composed of gifted young adults who hope to introduce classical music to audiences with innovative performances and exciting music. They’re also a nonprofit organization and have collaborated with and raised money for charities like the Trevor Project.
“We’re an orchestra comprised of the some of the best musicians in the country, if not the world,” says Lauren Carpenter. “We created a mission and that was to collaborate with other nonprofit organizations and raise awareness and philanthropy for their causes as well.” Carpenter notes that part of the inspiration behind founding Salomé was to have a greater purpose than just performing in concerts.
“While playing with other musicians is great, entertaining, inspiring, we find that the real value is collaborating with organizations that have more crucial [causes and missions].” For an organization that’s still very new, Salomé has been very successful.“We have a board of trustees and they tell me to ask for money, which I normally would have a hard time with, but I don’t have a hard time asking people to donate money for a charity concert,” Carpenter says with a smile.
If three different shows in three days is any indication, Salomé gets around. After their performance at Nova’s Ark Project on Friday, the orchestra will perform “Music of the Diaspora” at the Jewish Center of the Hamptons on Saturday, followed by the premiere of Offenbach’s family friendly one-act operetta The Babysitter at Nova’s Ark on Sunday afternoon. Carpenter notes that the orchestra is always busy. “We did a California tour in March; 10 concerts in 11 days all for different organizations and it’s exciting to be part of that. We wanted to extend this to the Hamptons, the confluence of arts, culture and philanthropy.” They’ve also performed with pop stars like John Legend, Natasha Bedingfield and Hamptons favorite Rufus Wainwright.
Carpenter and her brothers are very young to have created an internationally successful orchestra. All three began performing at a very young age. I was about four, my little brother was five and my older brother was six. Music was never the [professional] goal for us. It was part of the ‘well-rounded’ education. My mom put us in it to avoid watching television and that was the start of the music thing,” Carpenter giggles. “We all studied politics. The for-profit branch of what we do—we have a successful business that sells fine musical instruments, which supports the orchestra. It allows us to do all these charity events. My younger brother [David Aaron] is a traveling soloist. He was just with the National Symphony at Carnegie Hall.”
Indeed, David Aaron Carpenter, born in 1986, is currently one of the most celebrated violists in the world and will be performing with Salomé when they come to the Hamptons. “David was actually the ‘brainchild’ of Salomé,” Carpenter explains. “He said to himself, ‘So many musicians have their own orchestras, why shouldn’t we do the same?’ and that’s what we do!” The youthful energy is one of Salomé’s greatest assets. The Carpenters believe that all types of music—classical, contemporary, any genre—should be entertaining. “Some of the older generation of musicians…it doesn’t inspire. It’s not entertaining. A lot of musicians don’t realize their job is to entertain. They have this elitism and think what they do transcends entertainment. We like having fun onstage and we like the audience to have fun with us,” she says happily. “And it has a purpose and mission.”
Salomé Chamber Orchestra will perform at Nova’s Ark Project and the Jewish Center of the Hamptons on August 24, 25 and 26. For more information and tickets, go to salomechamber.org or facebook.com/salomechamber.