By Ronald Feuchs
The community is invited to the free Oyster Bay Music Festival (OBMF), which is codirected by Great Neck’s Pippa Borisy and features 35 gifted classical music students ages 12 to 24 from throughout Long Island and greater New York who will spend their days coaching with expert faculty, rehearsing solo and chamber music, and performing nonstop in multiple venues throughout Oyster Bay from July 23 to 30. The festival will also feature a performance and workshop by world-renowned guest artist SHUFFLE Concert.
Borisy, a pianist, along with codirector Lauren Ausubel, a flutist, and former codirector Sarah Hoover, created OBMF in 2012 to present classical music in new ways, making it more accessible and available.
OBMF has a jam-packed performance calendar in traditional and nontraditional settings, such as Sagamore Hill, Teddy Roosevelt’s house of worship Christ Church, Raynham Hall, the Historical Society, Oakcliff Sailing Center and Spinnakers restaurant, among others.
“Classical music has a long history of passion, breaking boundaries and community engagement,” said Borisy, who’s also director of the Great Neck Music Conservatory. “There is no reason for a classical music concert to ever be boring. Our goal is to create an experience of live performance, rooted in the community of Oyster Bay, that is fun, enlightening and full of surprises.”
OBMF provides these students with the chance to practice performing and engaging audiences, and provides the community with opportunities to experience beautiful music in intimate gatherings. The festival approaches concerts with a sense of whimsy and fun. Every concert is themed and often offers the unexpected.
Mozart Shipwrecked will be held in the boatyard at Building Lot J at the Western Waterfront and audiences will be surprised to find a 6-foot Steinway adjacent to the ongoing construction of a replica of the boat, Ida May.
The festival will also have a presence at Oyster Bay’s famed Cruise Night on Audrey Avenue on July 25, where Steinway & Sons will park a concert grand in front of 20th Century Cycles for Cruising to the Classical Beat.
Young children will even be able to make and play instruments from vegetables at the family event, Clarinets, Clavichords…Carrots and Cucumbers? at Raynham Hall Museum, a one-of-a-kind indoor salon-concert and outdoor vegetable orchestra workshop with Dale Stuckenbruck, who recently performed on the musical saw with the New York Philharmonic.
“Our students will often perform two or three times a day, giving them an unparalleled opportunity to develop their performance skills,” said Ausubel. “The level is extremely high this year [with] many of our students coming from top music institutions such as Juilliard, Manhattan School of Music, Yale School of Music and Oberlin Conservatory.”
All concerts are free and open to the public with support provided in part by Steinway & Sons, The Joel Foundation and a Community Arts Grant from the New York State Council on the Arts. Complete concert listings are available at www.oysterbaymusicfestival.org.