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Rites of Spring Music Festival Goes Virtual with New ‘Music & Tell’ Series

Join classical and contemporary artists on Zoom all month.

Before plans changed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the annual Rites of Spring Music Festival (ROSMF) would have begun its fifth season of bringing classical and contemporary music to multiple North Fork venues. This won’t come to pass in quite the same way. Instead, however, ROSMF is launching a new “Music & Tell” virtual series of performances and talks featuring a list of excellent talents throughout the month of May.

Each 45-minute installment of Music & Tell will be available on Saturdays at 2 p.m. through the Zoom video conferencing platform. An announcement for the program explains, “Music & Tell is aimed to expand the mission of ROSMF and create a stronger sense of identity while investing in the passion and artistry of classical and contemporary artists.”

ROSMF Executive Director and pianist Paolo Bartolani, who founded the festival in 2016, says he was inspired by the many musicians who participate in his annual event. “Music is essentially a human relationship—we can communicate our inner world through contact with the other person. To me, that is the essence of music: a reflection of the soul through sound. Living in particular times like these, music allows us to see the extraordinary in the ordinary. We cannot recall a more important time to share such sustenance,” Bartolani continued, adding, “Shifting to online performances has made classical music more accessible than ever.”

Music & Tell kicks off this Saturday, May 9 and will continue every Saturday at 2 p.m. through its final broadcast on Saturday, May 30.

See the complete schedule and performance details below, or visit ritesmusic.org to find all this and more information about ROSMF’s mission and offerings, including lessons and other educational opportunities. More virtual programming will be announced soon.

Paolo Bartolani at piano in Southold
Paolo Bartolani, Courtesy ROSMF

Rites of Spring Music Festival Schedule

Music & Tell Episode 1: Italian Baroque Sonatas
Saturday, May 9, 2 p.m.

The first session of Music & Tell presents music by Italian composers Domenico Scarlatti and Domenico Cimarosa. Sonatas will be performed and compositional aspects will be presented, featuring Scarlatti, Cimarosa and more. Led by Bartolani.

Music & Tell Episode 2: The Pleasures of Solitude
Saturday, May 16 at 2 p.m.

“Syrinx” by Claude Debussy, “Semblance” by Nathan Hudson, and operatic paraphrases. The artist will perform and talk about three aspects of solitude in music:

Necessity: the 19th century practice of bringing back home opera melodies with transcriptions for solo instrument.

Choice: With Debussy, the flute instrument chosen for introspection and bucolic solitude.

Obligation: In the current period, social distancing provokes new ways of connecting the self to art, and art to social.

Led by flutist Ginevra Petrucci.

Music & Tell Episode 3: Discovering Mrs. Rossini
Saturday, May 23 at 2 p.m.

The third session of Music & Tell will tell the story of Isabella Colbran, the wife and muse of composer Gioachino Rossini of The Barber of Seville fame. A Spanish-born, early 19th century diva, Colbran was the toast of the opera stages of Europe. This performance will tell the tale of love, passion and intrigue at the San Carlo Opera in Naples, woven with excerpts of music from Rossini’s Neapolitan period that Colbran premiered, as well as some of her own compositions. The concert is based on a production presented by Divaria Productions in 2015, in collaboration with Italian musicologist Professor Sergio Ragni, author of Isabella Colbran, Isabella Rossini, edited by Zecchini in Italy. Led by soprano Ashley Galvani Bell.

Music & Tell Episode 4: Benjamin Britten and Roman Mythology
Saturday, May 23 at 2 p.m.

“Six Metamorphoses after Ovid” for oboe solo by Benjamin Britten. Led by oboist Terry Keevil.

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