Tag: bard music festival

“Art in the Catskills” Is Four Month Old

Art in the CatskillsArt in the Catskills, published earlier this year, is an inventory of cultural assets in the Catskills, and it essentially serves as a travel guide for art and history lovers.

I wrote this book, because this is the kind of book I wish I was handed when I moved to the Catskills ten years ago. And, although some of the cultural projects that I discuss in this book were developed later – like for instance The Woodstock Writers Festival, which launched in 2010, and The Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice, which also launched in 2010, most are well-established, well-known historical landmarks. For instance, Thomas Cole’s Old Studio at Cedar Grove Mansion in Catskill was built in 1839; the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild was founded in 1902; the Maverick Concert Hall, the oldest chamber music hall in the country still in existence, opened in 1916; the Woodstock Playhouse opened in 1938; all these are national artistic and cultural landmarks.

People are used to come to the Catskills for its tremendous outdoor recreational opportunities, but what I’m saying with this book is that the Catskills is also an amazing cultural destination – look for instance at the Glimmerglass Opera Festival in Cooperstown – the festival will celebrate its 40th anniversary next year (it opened in 1975). Or Bard Music Festival, which celebrated its 25th anniversary this year. And, right here close to us, there is Belleayre Music Festival that brought Ray Charles and Wynton Marsalis to the Catskills.

And there is art in all forms and styles. Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown displays works by famed landscape painters like Thomas Cole and Asher B. Durand. The Emporium in High Falls houses documents about Cubist painter Marc Chagall, who lived in New York City in the 1940s, and maintained a studio in High Falls – Chagall painted in the Catskills from 1946 to 1948. So, there is a lot of art in the Catskills.

I knew quite a bit about the Catskills prior to writing this book, but during the research phase, I learned many new things:

  • The National Museum of Dance in Saratoga Springs, founded in 1986 by Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney and his wife Marylou, is the only dance museum in the country, and one of the very few in the world. Its collections are extensive;
  • Thomas Cole’s New Studio, which was built in 1846, and was demolished in the 1970s, is currently being re-built based on the original design model.

There is a lot going on in the Catskills, and I talk about all these in my book. A second edition is coming out early next year.

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Looking forward to talking more about Art in the Catskills!

© 2014 Simona David

Weekend in the Catskills – 8/8/14

This weekend in the Catskills: jazz, Schubert, Shakespeare, family day at Byrdcliffe Guild in Woodstock, and an art studio tour in Saugerties.

The Joy of Jazz week, a program of the Catskill Jazz Factory, will conclude with performances in Tannersville this Friday and Saturday: Late Night Jam Sessions starting at 10 pm at the Last Chance Tavern on Rt. 23A on both evenings, and The Spirit of Louis Concert on Saturday night at the Orpheum Theater, starting at 7:30 pm – legendary jazz pianist Marcus Roberts will be on stage that evening. For more information, visit http://www.catskilljazzfactory.org/.

This year, Bard Music Festival celebrates its 25th anniversary with two weeks of exceptional programming dedicated to the Austrian romantic composer Franz Schubert (1797 – 1828). Schubert was a prolific composer of the early 19th century who wrote over 600 lieder, nine symphonies, as well as operas and chamber music. Bard Music Festival will present from August 8 to 17 an extraordinary body of work by Schubert, including some of his lieder, as well as fantasies and sonatas, his symphonies No. 3 and No. 8, and his opera Fierrabras. The festival this year will also include compositions by Mozart, Beethoven, Schuman, Mendelssohn, Liszt and other composers. For more information, visit http://fishercenter.bard.edu/bmf

Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival (HVSF), organized in Garrison, Putnam County, since 1987, produces three plays per season, bringing a fresh, new perspective on the material presented. This season, which runs from June 10 to August 31, includes Othello, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, and The Liar. Performances are held in a tent on the grounds of Boscobel, an early 1800s Federal mansion situated on the banks of the Hudson River. In addition to performances, the festival includes lectures and panel discussions with actors and scholars. HVSF offers educational programs year round, including an apprenticeship program for actors, a training program for teachers, and a summer camp for children. This year marks the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birthday. For more information, visit http://hvshakespeare.org.

The Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild has a family day event this Saturday, August 9 at 4:30 pm – music, food and other fun activities are scheduled. Founded in 1902, the guild offers a variety of programs year round: workshops, exhibitions, performances, and summer residencies for artists. For more information, visit http://www.woodstockguild.org

Launched in 2003, Saugerties Art Tour celebrates its 12th anniversary this weekend with over thirty participating artists. The event kicks off tonight at 5 pm at the Opus 40 Gallery in Saugerties with an annual opening reception. Then Saturday, August 9 and Sunday, August 10 from 10 am to 6 pm artists in all media will open their spaces to the public: painters, sculptors, printmakers, ceramicists, photographers, collage artists, and others will show and talk about their work. For more information, visit http://saugertiesarttour.com.

All in all, yet another busy weekend in the Catskills!