ROCKPORT, MA (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) – The Rockport Chamber Music Festival celebrated its opening weekend in its new home in Rockport, the Shalin Liu Performance Center.
Since 1981 the Rockport concerts have taken place in a very modest community gallery space, but this summer the festival has moved across the street to a sleek new state-of-the-art concert hall, a $20 million venue built expressly for chamber music.
Pianist Garrick Ohlsson helped mark the event with an all-Chopin recital on Friday night, which gave the audience an opportunity to hear how the new space held up to the works of a single pianist.
The Borromeo Quartet along with pianist Gilles Vonsattel played Saturday night, but gave their version of Brahms’s F minor Piano Quintet a relatively intimate treatment in keeping with the nature of the space as it only seats 330.
Shalin Liu posed major challenges of its own when it was decided to leave the rear of the stage open to a panoramic view of the harbor through a two-story window.
In daytime the light coming through the window can be too bright for the comfort of performers and audience; after dark, typically all that can be seen in the window are the reflections of the lights in the hall. Therefore the design includes large standing screens of thin wood woven in soft wavelike patterns can be deployed as shutters, as they were some of this weekend’s performances according to the New York Times.
The Rockport Chamber Music Festival continues through July 18. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers