The Maine Festival of American Music: Its Roots and Traditions
Directed by The Portland String Quartet
Hosted by The United Society of Shakers
Fourth Annual Season: June 24 - 27, 2009

Stephen Kecskemethy - Violin
Ronald Lantz - Violin
Julia Adams - Viola
Paul Ross - Cello

Held in the historic 1794 Shaker Meeting House, Sabbathday Lake, one of Maine’s most beautiful and acoustically perfect venues, this unique four-day festival presents American music in the broader context of the world’s great chamber music. This season, renowned pianist Virginia Eskin, historian Steven Ledbetter and members of the Shaker Commuity will join the Portland String Quartet in a celebration of our musical heritage.

Wednesday, June 24th, at 7:00 p.m. “Ragtime: American Originals!” In the Festival’s opening concert, pianist Virginia Eskin and the Portland String Quartet will explore the history and impact of ragtime music.

Thursday, June 25th, 7:00 p.m. “In the Shaker Tradition” This session will combine a slide show of Shaker Folk Art with the performance of Shaker Hymns arranged and performed by The Portland String Quartet with historical commentary by Brother Arnold.

Friday’s “Workshop Day” will bring 5 chamber ensembles to the Shaker Village to prepare and perform movements from the chamber works of George Whitefield Chadwick. Coaching and rehearsal sessions beginning at 9:30 a.m. will culminate in a Master Class at the Meeting House from 3:45 – 5:30 p.m.

Saturday, June 27th, 7:00 p.m. “Celebrating Chadwick ” The closing Festival concert with guest pianist Virginia Eskin will begin with the music of Ludwig van Beethoven whose music was a major influence on the compositional development of New England composer George Whitefield Chadwick (1854-1931). Following Chadwick’s Romanze for cello and piano, historian and annotator Steven Ledbetter will discuss Chadwick’s place in the history of American music. The concert will conclude with Chadwick’s stunningly romantic Piano Quintet. American Music Magazine wrote of the PSQ and Eskin’s CD of this work: “Their sensitive, skillful performance should contribute decisively to reestablishing Chadwick’s chamber music as part of the concert repertory.”

Due to seating limitations, reservations for all Festival events are suggested.

Ticket information:
Adults .................. $25 per concert
Seniors ................. $20 per concert
Students 21 and under.... Free
Master Class ............ Free to the public
Players’ workshop fee ... $50

Checks should be made payable to “The United Society of Shakers”.

For further Festival information contact:

United Society of Shakers
707 Shaker Rd
New Gloucester, ME 04260
Web site:

Photo by Woody Leland
Photo by Woody Leland 

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"(The Portland String Quartet) has the resonant mastery of great European quartets....a power greater than the sum of perfect parts surfaces..."

-The Daily Freeman(N.Y.)




      copyright Portland String Quartet 2001