Sometimes, even musicians who make it in the big city need a breath of fresh air. For some of the world’s finest chamber musicians, Concordia Chamber Players’ upcoming ChamberFest will be a welcome breather of beautiful music in a beautiful setting; a respite from the manic pace of New York City and Philadelphia.
ChamberFest 2016 will take place Friday, September 16, through Sunday, September 18, at the Barn at Glen Oaks Farm, 6871 Upper York Road in Solebury. The event features seven extraordinary musicians: Anna Polonsky on piano; Romie de Guise-Langlois on clarinet; Philippe Djokic and Emily Daggett-Smith on violin; Molly Carr and Juan-Miguel Hernandez on viola; and Michelle Djokic on cello.
The doors open Friday at 6:30 p.m. with music by Aldolphe, Mozart, and Beethoven beginning at 7. A cocktail reception follows.
Saturday features two open rehearsals, from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., and again from 2 to 5 p.m. On Sunday, the doors open at 2:30 p.m., with music by Bach, Copland, and Schumann beginning at 3. A reception will close out the festivities.
Tickets for Friday only are $75. Tickets for Saturday, $10. Tickets for Sunday, $50. Tickets for all three days, $125. Visit ConcordiaPlayers.org.
Michelle Djokic, one of ChamberFest’s organizers, says the event began as a way to give her colleagues a place to relax while they play, among the rustic beauty of Bucks County. The Barn at Glen Oaks, she says, is the perfect setting ‒‒ simple, elegant, pastoral, and yet crackling with the kind of energy and character chamber musicians and fans thrive in.
“It’s that bare bones feeling,” she says. “It’s experiencing something so rich. The barn is rock solid, but it still looks old and rustic. You can feel the breeze and hear the birds.”
It is, in other words, authenticity. “You can’t make that stuff up,” she says. “It’s that perfect bubble where you can step into another world.”
Adding to the event, of course, is the impressive lineup of world-class musicians. Each, says Djokic, has a stunning resume. “The level of their artistry is what you’d have to go to the world’s great halls to find,” she says.
One of those world-class musicians is her own brother, Pierre, with whom Djokic is looking forward to playing beside for the first time in years. The siblings are two of seven children in an all-music family, but they’ve rarely played a concert together. Her role as artistic director for the concert has that as its main perk, she jokes ‒‒ “I can hire whomever I want.”
With the exquisite music and the exquisite lineup set to play in such an exquisite place, Djokic almost wishes she could sit back and watch, because nothing compares to the live show.
“It’s like watching a painter paint live,” she says. “It’s amazing.”