Salt Bay Chamberfest is a non-profit music festival in mid-coast Maine founded by cellist Wilhelmina Smith. The festival embraces the music of living composers and brings them together with their classic counterparts. The festival is a unique experience bringing world class musicians together performing in a barn in Damariscotta. The concerts are preceded by lectures that introduce and educate the audience about the music. The experience of attending these concerts is astoundingly powerful and intimate.
Review from Guidestar
I discovered Salt Bay Chamberfest when I first started summering in midcoast Maine thirteen years ago. The wonderful four-concert chamber music festival was founded in 1995 by Wilhelmina Smith, a cellist who had recently graduated from Curtis Institute of Music, as a way to gather her musician friends and have the fun of playing together. Since then the festival has been held every August in Damariscotta, Maine. I continue to be impressed by the talent of these musicians and the obvious pleasure they feel while making music together. Mina Smith's vision has made the festival a real attraction. People from up and down the Eastern seaboard even arrange their travels so they'll be in town for the concerts. Chamberfest brings top quality musicians such as the Brentano String Quartet, Ignat Solzhenitsyn, Jonathan Crow, and many others to perform programs around a theme, such as Spirituality in Music or Borders/Conflict/Music. Most concerts feature a combination of pieces from the Baroque, Classical and modern periods together with works by living composers. Often the composer is present for the performance and takes questions from the audience. The setting is an acoustically excellent former cow barn (truly!), where musicians and audience mingle easily and the atmosphere is relaxed. In 2010, the barn (over 200 seats) was full for every performance and Chamberfest had incredible reviews from Christopher Hyde in the Portland (ME) Press Herald. During the two-week festival, SBC also holds two master classes in which talented young music students from Maine are coached by the visiting musicians. These classes are open to the public and free. And this year, for the first time, there'll be a free one-hour family concert at our local Lincoln Theater. SBC is growing its audience and becoming more visible, while staying true to its mission. Please check us out at www.saltbaychamberfest.org!
Review from Guidestar