Notice: Due to low river conditions, the Dixie Belle Riverboat is not yet running and Shaker Landing is not suitable for launch.

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Chamber Music Festival of the Bluegrass

May 23, 2015 - May 24, 2015


Now in its ninth year, the Chamber Music Festival of the Bluegrass is a Central Kentucky cultural destination. The 2015 Festival presents an expanded line up of 14 musicians from New York’s Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (CMS), including CMS Artistic Directors David Finckel and Wu Han. The Festival will be highlighted by a performance of Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring, an inspiring orchestral suite with instrumental adaptations of the Shaker hymn, Simple Gifts.

For the first time ever, Live From Lincoln Center will film outside of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, as they broadcast the Festival to their international audiences. Now in its 40th Anniversary season on PBS, Live From Lincoln Center has been seen by hundreds of millions of viewers since its debut and celebrated by 13 Emmy Awards. Production crews will be onsite throughout the weekend filming performances, interviews and other aspects of the Festival.

Thank you to our corporate sponsors Brown-Forman and The Lee W. Robinson Company!

Discover special programs and learning adventures at Shaker Village this year!

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Reserve Your Seat

Discover a One-of-a-kind Musical Experience

Saturday, May 23

CONCERT I, 11:00 a.m., $20 – SOLD OUT
CONCERT II, 5:00 p.m., $38

Sunday, May 24
CONCERT III, 11:00 a.m., $20 – SOLD OUT
CONCERT IV, 5:00 p.m., $38

Advance ticket sales have ended. Tickets for Concerts II and IV will be available for sale at Shaker Village’s Meadow View Barn beginning at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Tickets will not be mailed, but will be held for pick up at will call. Will call will be located at the concert venue and will open approximately one and a half hours prior to each performance. All tickets are general admission seating. Venues will be open for seating thirty minutes prior to performances.

Plan Your Weekend


Plan Your Weekend Experience

Discover Helpful Tips for the Weekend

Shaker Village books quickly during the Festival. The Inn is already booked. If you have not already made your dining reservations, please consider doing so as soon as possible.

The Trustees’ Table serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Reservations are necessary during the Festival. Please call 800.734.5611 ext. 360 for reservations.

Parking for the morning performances will be available in either of the main Shaker Village parking lots. The Meeting House is located approximately 1/8 of a mile from the main parking area and is an easy walk. Parking will be available at the Meadow View Barn for the evening performances. Upon entering Shaker Village, turn left at the stop sign. Turn right into the third bay of the large parking lot. Turn left onto the small road located at the end of the bay. Turn left onto the first gravel road. Turn right onto the next gravel road, leading up to the barn.

Attire is smart summer casual. Sundresses, slacks and blouses are appropriate attire for women and khakis and polo shirts for men. High heels are not recommended in the Meadow View Barn, as the barn floor and walkways are finely ground gravel.

Concert ticket holders receive complimentary admission to Shaker Village. If you would like to tour Shaker Village during your visit, please present your concert ticket at the Admission Booth.

The 2015 Festival Program


Review the Program

Discover Word-Acclaimed Performances

CONCERT I – Saturday, May 23 – 11 a.m.
Venue: Meeting House

  • Tsontakis: KnickKnacks for Violin and Viola (14′)
  • Zhou: Tales from the Nine Bells for Clarinet, Violin, Viola, and Piano (12′)
  • Dvořák: Quartet for Strings No. 12 in F major, Op. 96, “The American” (25’)

PRE-CONCERT LECTURE I – Saturday, May 23 – 3 p.m.
Venue: Meeting House

CONCERT II – Saturday, May 23 – 5 p.m.
Venue: Meadow View Barn

  • Gottschalk: The Union for Solo Piano, Op. 48 (10’)
  • Dvořák: Sonatina for Violin and Piano in G major, Op. 100 (18’)
  • Copland: Appalachian Spring (25’)
  • Barber: Souvenirs (18′)
  • O’Connor: F.C.’s Jig (5’)
  • Foster: Selections from The Social Orchestra for Flute, Violin, Viola, and Cello (arr. Tara Helen O’Connor) (12’)

CONCERT III – Sunday, May 24 – 11 a.m.
Venue: Meeting House

  • Duruflé: Prélude, Récitatif et Variations for Flute, Viola and Piano, Op. 3 (13’)
  • Glinka: Trio pathétique for Clarinet, Bassoon and Piano in D Minor, G.iv173 (16’)
  • Prokofiev: Sonata for Violin and Piano in D Major, Op. 94a (24′)

PRE-CONCERT LECTURE II – Sunday, May 24 – 3 p.m.
Venue: Meeting House

CONCERT IV – Sunday, May 24 – 5 p.m.
Venue: Meadow View Barn

  • Mozart: Quartet for Strings in D major, K. 575, “Prussian” (25’)
  • Schoenfield: Trio for Clarinet, Violin, and Piano (19’)
  • Dvořák: Piano Quartet in E-flat major, Op. 87 (35’)

Meet the Artists



Chamber Music Festival of the Bluegrass Artistic Directors

Musical America’s 2012 Musicians of the Year, cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han rank among the most esteemed and influential classical musicians in the world today. The talent, energy, imagination, and dedication they bring to their multifaceted endeavors as concert performers, recording artists, educators, artistic administrators, and cultural entrepreneurs go unmatched. Read More

Gilles Vonsattel


A “wanderer between worlds” (Lucerne Festival), Swiss-born American pianist Gilles Vonsattel is an artist of extraordinary versatility and originality. Comfortable with and seeking out an enormous range of repertoire, he displays a musical curiosity and sense of adventure that has gained him many admirers. Read More 


Arnaud Sussmann


Winner of a 2009 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Arnaud Sussmannhas distinguished himself with his unique sound, bravura, and profound musicianship. Minnesota’s Pioneer Press writes, “Sussmann has an old-school sound reminiscent of what you’ll hear on vintage recordings by Jascha Heifetz or Fritz Kreisler, a rare combination of sweet and smooth that can hypnotize a listener.” Read More


Paul Neubauer


Violist Paul Neubauer’s exceptional musicality and effortless playing distinguish him as one of his generation’s quintessential artists. This past April, he gave the world premiere of a new viola concerto by Aaron Jay Kernis with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra followed by performances with the Chautauqua Symphony and the Idyllwild Arts Orchestra. Read More 


Escher String Quartet


The Escher Quartet has been acclaimed for its profound musical insight and rare tonal beauty. Championed by the Emerson String Quartet, the Escher has toured extensively throughout the US, Europe, Australia, and Asia. From 2010-12, the quartet served as BBC New Generation Artists, and gave debuts at both Wigmore Hall and the BBC Proms. Read More


David Shifrin


A Yale University faculty member since 1987, clarinetist David Shifrin is artistic director of Yale’s Chamber Music Society series and Yale in New York, a concert series at Carnegie Hall. He has been an Artist of the Chamber Music Society for 23 years and served as its artistic director from 1992 to 2004, inaugurating the CMS Two program and the annual Brandenburg Concerto concerts. Read More


Kristin Lee


Violinist Kristin Lee enjoys a vibrant career as a soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. She has performed concertos with orchestras throughout the US and abroad, including the Saint Louis Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony, Ural Philharmonic of Russia, and Korean Broadcast Symphony. Read More


Adam Barnett-Hart


Violinist Adam Barnett-Hart made his debut with the Juilliard Symphony at 19 performing the Brahms concerto in Alice Tully Hall. He has since performed with such orchestras as the Colorado Symphony, the Wichita Falls Symphony, the Riverside Symphony, the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra, the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Jefferson Symphony. Read More


Aaron Boyd


Violinist Aaron Boyd enjoys a versatile career as soloist, chamber musician, and recording artist and concertizes throughout the United States, Europe, Russia, and Asia. As a violinist in the Escher String Quartet, he was a recipient of the 2013 Avery Fisher Career Grant and appears regularly with the Chamber Music Society. Read More


Pierre Lapointe


Violist Pierre Lapointe has performed at numerous venues across the United States and abroad. He plays occasionally with the group Sejong Soloists and is currently the violist of the Escher String Quartet. A former member of Chamber Music Society Two and a recent BBC New Generation Artist, the quartet has recorded the complete Zemlinsky quartets and will record the complete Mendelssohn quartets for release by BIS. Read More 


Dane Johnansen


American cellist Dane Johansen performs extensively throughout the world as a soloist, chamber musician, and member of the Escher String Quartet. Praised for his “brave virtuosity” and “staggering aplomb” by The New York Times and New York Magazine, he debuted at Lincoln Center in 2008, performing Elliott Carter’s Cello Concerto with James Levine in celebration of the composer’s centennial. Read More


DaXun Zhang

Double Bass

“If the bass is finally to produce a headliner, the instrument can have no better champion than Zhang,” wrote The Washington Post of double bassist DaXun Zhang. The recipient of the 2010 Aoyama Award of Kyoto, Japan, he is the second double bassist ever to win an Avery Fisher Career Grant. Read More 


Tara Helen O'Connor


Tara Helen O’Connor is a charismatic performer noted for her artistic depth, brilliant technique, and colorful tone spanning every musical era. Winner of an Avery Fisher Career Grant and a two-time Grammy nominee, she was the first wind player to participate in the CMS Two program. Read More


Peter Kolkay


Called “superb” by the Washington Post and “stunningly virtuosic” by the New York TimesPeter Kolkay is the only bassoonist to receive an Avery Fisher Career Grant (2004) and win First Prize at the Concert Artists Guild International Competition (2002).  He has presented solo recitals at Weill Recital Hall, Merkin Hall, the Chicago Cultural Center, and the Teatro Nacional in Panama City. Read More


Patrick Castillo


Patrick Castillo leads a multifaceted career as a composer, performer, writer, and educator. His music has been featured at festivals and venues throughout the United States and internationally including Spoleto Festival USA, June in Buffalo, the Santa Fe New Music Festival, Interlochen Center for the Arts, Berklee College of Music, Tenri Cultural Institute, Bavarian Academy of Music in Munich, and Nuremberg Museum of Contemporary Art. Read More