Program areas at Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
Mentoring and Arts-In-Education - See Schedule OThe development of emerging artists is central to Caramoor's mission and woven into much of our programming. Through our mentoring programs, we identify, train, and promote the next generation of vocal and instrumental artists. Through these programs, we have worked with some of the finest musicians of the next generation and helped them cross the threshold from their student years into the early stages of their professional careers. For many of these artists, this is the beginning of a longstanding relationship with Caramoor, as they return throughout their careers to perform for our audiences. In 2020, 12 young musicians participated.Evnin Rising StarsFor over two decades there has been an institutional focus on training instrumental artists. Each fall, eight to ten instrumentalists join Rising Stars artistic director Pamela Frank and two distinguished artists for a week of intensive chamber music rehearsals, coaching, and performances of works from the heart of the chamber music repertoire. At the end of the residency, the musicians perform for audiences in the Music Room. In 2020, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Rising Stars program was canceled.Schwab Vocal Rising StarsThe Schwab Vocal Rising Stars, established in 2009 and under the artistic leadership of the New York Festival of Song's Steven Blier, is a program for young vocal artists. The initiative focuses on singing outside the realm of opera, including the song recital and vocal chamber music. The week-long residency offers intensive daily coaching, rehearsals, and workshops with mentors and leaders in the field and concludes with performances at Caramoor and at Merkin Concert Hall in New York City.With music by Rachmaninoff, Bernstein, Tom Lehrer, John Musto, and many others, this year's Schwab Vocal Rising Stars program featured four young singers and a pianist selected by Artistic Director Steven Blier for a weeklong residency at Caramoor. The week included daily coaching, rehearsals, and workshops, and culminated in "The Art of Pleasure," a concert of art song, operetta, musical theater, and folk music celebrating what makes life beautiful. The concert, which was scheduled for March 15, 2020 - just as New York State began its COVID-19 lockdown - was abruptly canceled and shifted to a livestream performance, Caramoor's first ever livestreamed concert. Although it was held in a nearly empty hall, with Caramoor technical crew and a few staff members, the performance by the four young artists (Elaine Daiber, soprano; Siena Licht Miller, mezzo-soprano; Terrence Chin-Loy, tenor; and Thomas West, baritone) was a huge success. Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-ResidenceCaramoor's string quartet residency program, sponsored by the Ernst C. Stiefel Foundation, offers an emerging chamber ensemble an opportunity to gain recognition and boost performance experience. The quartet partners with Caramoor's Student Strings arts-in-education program to hone its mentoring skills and works with a composer on a new commission that premieres during Caramoor's Summer Season.In 2020, the Thalea Quartet, Caramoor's 2019-20 Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence, was scheduled to perform the world premiere of a Caramoor-commissioned piece, "The Red Book," by Paola Prestini, but the concert was postponed until Spring 2021 due to COVID-19-related restrictions.Although the quartet was unable to travel to Caramoor, its members developed a virtual program that allowed them to conduct master classes and sectionals via Zoom. In May they met online with about 150 students from 10 local schools to share rehearsal and practice tips. In fall 2020, the Callisto Quartet, Caramoor's 2020-21 Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence, was set to tour eight area schools and perform two concerts in Caramoor's Music Room. Due to COVID-19, the quartet was unable to travel and instead provided remote instruction to students at six area schools.Arts-in-EducationSince 1974, Caramoor has provided students with arts enrichment opportunities that use our exceptional facilities, visiting artists, and dedicated staff, while meeting New York State education standards. Caramoor's arts-in-education program features on-campus workshops that bring students to Caramoor and a music literacy unit that sends our musicians into local schools. These programs, designed to make the arts and creativity integral to the educational process, engage thousands of area schoolchildren in music and art each year, providing enriching cultural opportunities that are otherwise missing from their education. In a typical year, we serve over 5,000 students via field trips to our campus. Many of these students attend underserved schools and Caramoor often provides their primary exposure to learning about the arts. Our field trips feature teaching artists who engage the students in interactive activities, such as drawing, dancing, and making music, while taking advantage of the Medieval and Renaissance art in our historic Rosen House. In 2020, Due to the severity of the COVID-19 crisis, Caramoor's on-campus school programming was suspended in March when schools abruptly closed for the spring months. This pause coincided with Caramoor's plans to reimagine and redesign our current educational offerings with the following goals in mind: Update curriculum to include 21st-century learning skills focused on critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity; Make our offerings more relevant by soliciting input from community stakeholders; Expand our focus beyond school field trips to integrate our education programs with our public concerts, sound art collection, and history. Our music literacy program, Student Strings, takes place during two eight-day sessions (one in November and another in May). Designed for middle- and high-school music classes, Student Strings connects Caramoor's Ernst Stiefel String Quartet-in-Residence with students in local schools. As noted above, in 2020, due to COVID-19, Students Strings shifted to a remote format, with approximately 150 students from 10 schools participating.
Rosen House, Gardens and Estate - See Schedule OThe Rosen House is a Mediterranean Revival villa at the center of the Caramoor campus. In recognition of the unsurpassed quality and great quantity of European period rooms incorporated into the fabric of the house, Caramoor was recognized as nationally significant on the National Register of Historic Places in 2011, a distinction that it shares with sites such as Vizcaya in Miami, FL and Hearst Castle in San Simeon, CA. Built in the 1930s, it is an incomparable concert venue, a unique classroom for visiting schoolchildren, and a haven for the creative growth of young musicians. In 2020, people visited the historic house for teas, musicales, and tours virtually.Gardens and EstateThe 81-acre Caramoor campus is comprised of four primary buildings today known as the Rosen House, the Administration Building, the Gifford Residence, and the Diane Moss Education Centeras well as ancillary buildings and landscape features, gardens, lawns, and woodland areas. A central focus of the campus is the Venetian Theater, a tented, 1,500-seat venue (built in 1958 and not a contributing structure to Caramoor's NRHP listing).Forty-five acres of the campus is deer-fenced and open to the visiting public, including the Sunken Garden, established in 1912; a Mediterranean Revival pavilion; an alley of cedar trees; and a number of gardens designed in the 1930s by landscape architect and Katonah resident Robert Ludlow Fowler, Jr. The Caramoor estate provides an incomparable setting for our cultural programs by serving as a stage for music performances and contextualizing the concerts that occur here; providing a learning laboratory for arts-in-education and emerging artist programs; and providing an idyllic haven for more than 40,000 visitors annually.Many capital improvements to Caramoor's campus were completed in 2020, including a permanent box office near the outdoor venues, a new entrance to the Venetian Theater, and two new plazas. Other construction work completed in 2020 included the following:- Work on the stone wall at the front entrance was completed;- New ADA parking area, main roadway, drop-off area, and loading areas were paved;- Handrails were installed throughout Welcome Plaza area and South Gate walkways.- Major outdoor lighting was completed;- Privacy fencing around the Venetian Theater and Artists Patio was completed.- The new Venetian Theater Entry Gates were designed to match other signature gates at Caramoor and were installed.- Friends Field was seeded several times, and additional landscaping was done.- The signature piece of sound art by Trimpin, "in 'C", was delivered and installed;- The first phase of wayfinding signage was installed on the campus, as were additional signs for parking and donor recognition.- The Pavilion Plaza stonework was completed.- Parking areas for tech crews and vendors were completed and a privacy fence was installed.