Each year, the Mount Desert Festival of Chamber Music features several international musicians during its five-week stint. On Tuesday, Aug. 3, Grammy-nominated all-female string quartet Aizuri is scheduled to perform. PHOTO COURTESY OF MOUNT DESERT FESTIVAL OF CHAMBER MUSIC

All female quartet shares music of friends at festival 

MOUNT DESERT — Chamber music has been described as the music of friends because of its intimate quality. When the all-female quartet, Aizuri, performs on Aug. 3, the audience is sure to feel the connection. 

This year, the Mount Desert Festival of Chamber Music is taking place in person for those who purchase a ticket and virtually for anyone who has subscribed to be a member. Performances take place each Tuesday evening at 7:30 p.m. at the Neighborhood House in Northeast Harbor from July 20 to Aug. 17. 

On Aug. 3, the Grammy-nominated female quartet Aizuri will be featured. Aizuri is a Japanese form of woodblock printing that uses primarily blue hues. When audiences hear the synchronistic symphonic style the women achieve with their two violins, a viola and a cello, it may have the power to elicit colors and feelings, but blue may not be one of them.  

“We try to have one concert that’s really, really different,” said Sarah Levesque, executive director of the Mount Desert Festival of Chamber Music. “I think they’re really cool because we’ve got a bunch of international women performing.” 

In an environment largely dominated by male performers, Aizuri brings a different dynamic.  

“We try to have a mix of well-established ensembles, as well as ones that are new and fresh,” said Levesque. “We have musicians that come from all over the world.” 

Last year, all five performances for the music festival were virtual and open to the public. This year, the Mount Desert Festival of Chamber Music is returning with cautious optimism. Guests are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance of a show and those who are not vaccinated are being asked to wear a mask. Subscribers of the organization enjoy certain benefits, including being able to view performances online for those who aren’t comfortable attending in person or haven’t begun their summer season in the area yet. 

There are three remaining performances for this season. They include Aizuri Quartet on Aug. 3, Borromeo String Quartet on Aug. 10 and the Brentano Quartet on Aug. 17.  

Doors open for all performances at 7 p.m. and concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. General admission tickets are $30 each. Tickets can be reserved through the website at mtdesertfestival.org, by emailing [email protected] or by calling (207) 266-2550. The box office inside the Neighborhood House is open Mondays from noon to 4 p.m. and Tuesdays from noon to 7:30 p.m. 

Sarah Hinckley

Sarah Hinckley

Former Islander reporter Sarah Hinckley covered the towns of Southwest Harbor, Tremont and neighboring islands.

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