Events downtown

Jul 14

Esteemed Cassatt String Quartet Returns to Seal Bay Festival
Location: 519 Congress Street, Portland, Maine 04101, US
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Event website

Cassatts To Be Joined by Pianist Lily Funahashi & Guitarist Eliot Fisk

A much loved, regular participant of the Seal Bay Festival, the acclaimed Cassatt String Quartet will return to the 19th Seal Bay Festival of American Chamber Music, July 5 – 16, 2022. This twelve-day festival celebrating America’s contemporary classical music and composers features the Cassatts performing four live concerts and twelve private outreach concerts for the local community. The Cassatt String Quartet will appear in the formation of first violinist Muneko Otani, second violinist Jennifer Leshnower, violist Ah Ling Neu, and cellist Kirsten Jermé.

Championing chamber music by contemporary American composers, the Cassatts will perform at Smith Hokanson Memorial Hall, Vinalhaven School (22 Arcola Lane, Vinalhaven, ME 04863) on July 11, 6 pm EDT and July 12, 7 pm EDT; Waterfall Arts (256 High Street, Belfast, ME 04915) July 13, at 7 pm EDT; and at SPACE (519 Congress Street, Portland ME 04101) July 14, 7:30 pm EDT. The repertoire, supporting Seal Bay Festival’s mission of making American chamber music a living experience, will include a world premiere by Vineet Shende as well as works by leading American composers Ellington, Gershwin, Copland, Ware, Shekhar, Godfrey, Schneider, and Scrugg.

Ticketing information follows:
Tickets of $15 in advance, and $20 on the day of the show are available for purchase here: Members of SPACE are eligible for a $2 discount.
Waterfall Arts- $10 admission. For further information, please visit the Sealbay Festival website:; and the Cassatt String Quartet website:

Hailed for their “mighty rapport and relentless commitment” (Jay Harvey Upstage, 2021), 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; Tanglewood Music Center; the Kennedy Center; Théâtre des Champs-Élysées; Centro National de las Artes; Maeda Hall; and Beijing Central Conservatory. At the Library of Congress, the Cassatts performed on the Library’s matched quartet of Stradivarius instruments.

The Cassatt’s upcoming projects include premiere performances and recordings of works by Daniel S. Godfrey, Dylan Schneider, Gerald Cohen, and Shirish Korde; collaborations with Ursula Oppens, Eliot Fisk, Oskar Espina Ruíz, Colin Williams, and Narek Arutyunian; their annual residencies in Texas and Maine; hometown concerts in the New York City area; and appearances at Music Mountain, Treetops Chamber Music Society, Maverick Concerts, and Jordan Hall.

Alex Ross has named the Cassatt Quartet’s work three times in his “10 Best Classical Recordings” roundup in The New Yorker Magazine. The group’s prolific discography of over forty recordings includes new quartets by Steven Stucky, Daniel S. Godfrey, Sebastian Currier, and Samuel Adler. They have recorded for the Koch, Naxos, New World, Point, CRI, Tzadik, and Albany labels.

The quartet has been featured on NPR’s “Performance Today,” WGBH Boston, WQXR and WNYC of New York, Canada’s CBC Radio, and Radio France. They have appeared in numerous virtual concert series and performances across online platforms.

Formed in 1985 with the encouragement of the Juilliard Quartet, the Cassatt String Quartet served as the inaugural participants in Juilliard’s Graduate String Quartet Residency. They have received major awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the USArtists International, Chamber Music America, CMA/ASCAP, Banff International String Quartet Competition, Fischoff and Coleman Chamber Music Association, 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.

The CSQ has played nationally and internationally to critical acclaim. The New York Times praised their “bold and probing account” of Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 8 (Anthony Tommasini, 2015). Concerto Net wrote: “Wherever one encounters the Cassatt Quartet…one is astonished both at their prowess and their unfailing inspiration” (2018). SoundWordSight praised their “wonderful performance, with a beautifully integrated sound” (Jeffrey James, 2017); and Jay Harvey said their “performance’s rapturous reception by the large audience was both predictable and well-deserved” (Jay Harvey Upstage, 2021).

The Cassatt Quartet is deeply committed to nurturing young musicians, and has given classes for composers and performers at the American Academy in Rome; the Toho School in Tokyo; the Bowdoin International Music Festival; Columbia, Cornell, Princeton and Syracuse Universities; and the University of Pennsylvania. Since 1995, the CSQ has been in residence at the Seal Bay Festival of Contemporary American Chamber Music in Maine; and, since 2005, at Cassatt in the Basin!, an annual educational residency in Odessa, Texas.

The Cassatt Quartet is noted for its brilliance in both contemporary and traditional repertoire, and has collaborated with members of the Tokyo, Cleveland and Vermeer Quartets; pianists Ursula Oppens and Marc-André Hamelin; clarinetist David Shifrin, flutist Ransom Wilson, jazz pianist Fred Hersch, and didgeridoo player Simon 7; the Trisha Brown Dance Company; and composers Louis Andriessen, Kaija Saariaho, Joan Tower, John Corigliano, Tania León, Shulamit Ran, and Augusta Read Thomas.

Named for the Impressionist painter Mary Cassatt, the quartet consists of violinists Muneko Otani and Jennifer Leshnower; violist Rosemary Nelis; and cellist Gwen Krosnick. Ah Ling Neu will serve as violist, and Kirsten Jermé will serve as cellist for this concert.

For further information, please contact Hemsing Associates at (212) 772-1132 or visit