The Maine Festival of American Music -
Fifth Annual Season, June 23 - 26, 2010
Presented by
The United Society of Shakers, Sabbathday Lake,
and The Portland String Quartet

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 and Gerschwin expert Paul Posnak, soprano Christina Astrachan and Brother Arnold Hadd join the Portland String Quartet in a celebration of our musical heritage.

Wednesday, June 23rd, 7:00 p.m.
We've Got Rhythm! - The Music of George Gershwin

Pianist Paul Posnak of the University of Miami, Coral Gables, joins the Portland String Quartet in a celebration of the composer who forever changed the sounds and rhythms of the concert stage both at home and worldwide. Of Posnak's Gershwin, the Washington Post wrote: "Remarkably like having Gershwin himself."

Thursday, June 24th, 7:00 p.m.
In the Shaker Tradition: Shaker Music and Historical Commentary.
Soprano Christina Astrachan joins the Portland String Quartet in a special presentation of Shaker hymns. Brother Arnold Hadd of the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Community will speak about each of the hymns that were composed by or received as gift songs from earlier members of the community.

Friday, June 25th, 9:15 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Workshop Day
With emphasis on Ernest Bloch and other American composers, chamber music players from throughout New England will be coached by the Portland String Quartet with a culminating Master Class in the Meeting House - 3:30 - 5:30 p.m.

Saturday, June 26th, 7:00 p.m.
Celebrating Ernest Bloch's Other Music

Pianist Paul Posnak joins the Portland String Quartet in a performance of Bloch's monumental Piano Quintet No. 1. Their recording was named Best Chamber Music Recording of the Year by The New York Times. Music by Mozart and Dvorak will add context to Bloch's rarely performed Meditation for Viola and Piano and Piano Quintet. Maine craftsmen Chris Becksvoort, Robert Cariddi and John Stass will bring their exquisite music stands for a marriage of craft and music!

Please click here for additional information and brochure.

Concert tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for Seniors, free with advance reservation for students 21 and under. Workshop participants: $60. Checks should be made payable to "The United Society of Shakers". The June 25 Master Class is free and open to the public.

Contact the United Society of Shakers, 707 Shaker Rd., New Gloucester, ME 04260, (207) 926-4597. E-mail:

For further information:

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