As I write this, we are at the height of the application season for our Norfolk 2014 session. Instrumentalists, composers, singers and choral conductors from around the world are applying to be resident Fellows in one of our three programs next summer: our New Music Workshop (with a special focus on chamber music with guitar this year), Chamber Music Session, and Chamber Choir and Choral Conducting Workshop.
We are also facing an imminent deadline: if we can reach $2,000,000 by the end of the calendar year, an anonymous donor will contribute an additional $1,000,000 to the campaign to restore our magnificent concert hall, the Music Shed. We hope to begin work on the first phase of the project this spring, but we need your help. Please consider making a contribution. You may do so by online or calling 203 432 1966. More information about the Restoration also is available. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to call Jim Nelson (203.432.8779) or myself (203.645.3646).
If it is going to continue to be home to great music for another hundred years, we must act now to save the Music Shed. A study completed by the engineering firm of Wiss, Janney, Eistner Associates in April, 2009, confirmed that the building will not survive beyond a decade without major repairs to the excavation, roof, exterior walls, windows, electrical and hot water. And all of us who survived the heat this July, climbed the crumbling stoops, squeezed into the ladies restroom, or paused at the discolored and cracking shingles will agree that audience comfort and maintenance issues abound. The initial phase of the restoration will replace the roof and restore the original cupola as the first step toward a natural, environmentally friendly cooling system for the building.
In closing, I want to say how delighted we are that the Brentano String Quartet will be joining our resident Artist/Faculty beginning in 2014. If you had a chance to hear their Norfolk concert and meet them last summer, you already know what exciting performers and wonderful people they are. As The Times of London wrote: "The Brentanos are a magnificent string quartet." We are very fortunate to have them with us and we are looking forward to many great seasons of their performances and teaching.