Events downtown

Aug 19

Event website

A beloved and regular participant of the Seal Bay Festival, the acclaimed Cassatt String Quartet will participate in the 18th Seal Bay Festival of American Chamber Music for three in-person recitals, as well as for several private outreach concerts, August 11 to 19, 2021. Bringing chamber music to the local community, the Cassatts’ recitals will take place as follows: at Smith Hokanson Memorial Hall, Vinalhaven School (22 Arcola Ln Vinalhaven, ME 04863) on August 16, 7 pm; Waterfall Arts (256 High St, Belfast, ME 04915) August 18, at 7 pm; and Mechanic’s Hall (519 Congress St, Portland, ME 04101) August 19, at 7:30 pm. The repertoire, supporting Seal Bay Festival’s mission of making American chamber music a living experience, will include works by leading American composers Victoria Bond, Shirish Korde, Andy Teirstein, and Sato Matsui. The full program follows:

Victoria Bond (b.1945) Blue and Green Music (2020) for string quartet
1) Blue and Green
2) Green
3) Blue
4) Dancing Colors
Commission made possible by the Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning Program, with funding provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Sato Matsui (b. 1991) Two Thoughts (2020) for solo viola

Shirish Korde (b.1945) Excerpts from 3 Rasas for string quartet
Shringara (love) and Aananda (Joy) (2020)
Amit Kavthekar, Tabla (Aananda)

Shirish Korde (b.1945) Anusvara (2015) for solo cello and tanpura
photographs by Paula Artal-Isbrand, video by Muneko Otani

Andy Teirstein (b. 1957) Restless Nation (2010, rev. 2021) for string quartet
1) My Eyes Were Hungry
2) Our teachers… Flora and Fauna
3) Recess
4) The Door of No Return
5) Stories of Rocks and Rivers
6) Finding our Way Home

For further information, please visit the event website:, recitals at Smith Hokanson Memorial Hall and Waterfall Arts are admission free with a $10 suggested donation; for the recital at Mechanic’s Hall, due to COVID, all ticket purchases are online-only, you can purchase regular tickets of $15 and student and senior tickets of $10 here:

Acclaimed as one of America’s outstanding ensembles, the New York City-based Cassatt String Quartet has performed throughout the world, with appearances at Alice Tully Hall and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, New York; Tanglewood Music Theater; the Kennedy Center,Washington, DC; Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Paris; Centro National de las Artes, Mexico City; Maeda Hall, Tokyo; and Beijing Central Conservatory. At the Library of Congress, the Cassatt performed on the library’s matched quartet of Stradivarius instruments.
Esteemed music critic Alex Ross named The Cassatt three times to his “10 Best Classical Recordings” in The New Yorker, and the ensemble has been featured on NPR’s “Performance Today,” Boston’s WGBH, New York’s WQXR and WNYC, on Canada’s CBC Radio, and on Radio France.

The Cassatt’s numerous awards are from the National Endowment for the Arts, the USArtists International, Chamber Music America, CMA/ASCAP, the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, Meet the Composer, and the Amphion, Copland, Fromm and Alice M. Ditson Music Foundations. Since 1995, the ensemble has been on the performing artist roster for the New York State Council on the Arts.

With a deep commitment to nurturing young musicians, the Cassatt has offered classes for composers and performers at the American Academy, Rome; the Toho School, Tokyo; Bowdoin International Music Festival; Columbia; Cornell; Princeton; Syracuse Universities, and the University of Pennsylvania. The quartet is in residence annually at Maine’s Seal Bay Festival of American Contemporary Chamber Music and Cassatt in the Basin! in Texas.

Equally adept at classical masterpieces and contemporary music, the Cassatt has collaborated with members of the Tokyo, Cleveland, and Vermeer Quartets, pianists Ursula Oppens and Marc-Andre Hamelin, clarinetist David Shifrin, flutist Ransom Wilson, jazz pianist Fred Hersch, didgeriedoo player Simon 7, the Trisha Brown Dance Company, and composers Louis Andriessen, Kaija Saariaho, Joan Tower and John Corigliano. The Cassatt’s discography includes new quartets by Pulitzer Prize-winner Steven Stucky; Guggenheim fellow Daniel S. Godfrey; and Grawemeyer and Rome Prize winner Sebastian Currier.

Named for the celebrated impressionist painter Mary Cassatt, the quartet consists of Muneko Otani, violin; Jennifer Leshnower, violin; Ah Ling Neu, viola; and Elizabeth Anderson, cello.