Just last month, Maverick Concerts received an award for Excellence in Historic Preservation from the Preservation League of New York State for the recent renovations to the beloved rustic music chapel on the outskirts of Woodstock. So that’s all the more reason to add some visits to the oldest continuous professional summer chamber music festival in America to your social calendar. Music in the Woods launches its second century this Saturday, June 25 at 11 a.m. with the first of five Young People’s Concerts, this one featuring Elizabeth Mitchell & Family. Admission is free for all young people under age 16; adults pay $5 each. At 8 p.m. on Saturday, Actors & Writers will perform a reading of Laura Shaine Cunningham’s screenplay based on her acclaimed memoir Sleeping Arrangements, with admission by donation.
The first in Maverick’s regular series of Sunday-afternoon chamber music concerts happens on June 26 at 4 p.m., when the Escher String Quartet returns to the hall with a program of music by Beethoven, Bartók and Dvorák. Named after M. C. Escher, the Dutch graphic artist whose trippy manipulations of perspective adorned many a dorm-room wall back in the psychedelic ’60s, the New York City-based quartet first attracted attention in 2005 when Pinchas Zukerman and Itzhak Perlman invited them to be quartet-in-residence at their prestigious summer festivals. Since then, the Escher String Quartet has performed at the world’s most renowned chamber music festivals and concert halls, and earned praise for a growing body of recorded work. The ensemble currently serves as artists of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.
Tickets for the Escher String Quartet this Sunday cost $45 for reserved seating, $25 general admission, $5 for students and are free for children under age 12. There’s also pay-what-you-can, bring-your-own-blanket lawn seating. Tickets can be purchased by calling (800) 595-4849 or visiting www.maverickconcerts.org online.
The Maverick’s 101st season continues next weekend with the Arturo O’Farrill Quartet performing a Young People’s Concert on Saturday, July 2 at 11 a.m. and then returning at 8 p.m. to play Afro-Latin jazz as part of the Jazz at the Maverick series. On Sunday, July 3 at 4 p.m., pianist Ilya Yakushev fronts the Jupiter String Quartet playing chamber works of Beethoven, Ligeti, Schubert and Shostakovich.
The Shanghai, Danish, Borromeo, St. Lawrence, Enso and Pacifica quartets will round out the Maverick’s chamber music concert series, which runs right into September. On August 21, the Borromeo String Quartet will present the world premiere of Mountain Interval, a string quartet composed in honor of the Maverick’s centennial by Russell Platt. This summer there’ll also be three piano trio concerts, more jazz, more concerts for kids, a seven-concert mini-festival-within-the-festival titled “New Century, New Voices,” world music, a return visit from Actors & Writers featuring works by Mikhail Horowitz and David Smilow and more.
Maverick is located at 120 Maverick Road, one mile west of Route 375, just outside of Woodstock. A complete schedule for the 2016 season and additional information are available at www.maverickconcerts.org.