PARMA Music Festival Recap


The inaugural PARMA Music Festival kicked off Thursday August 15th in accordance with the Society of Composers, Inc. and Classical Music by the Sea at North Church in Portsmouth NH and set a wonderful tone for the rest of the weekend.

The North Church concerts had strong attendance and featured breathtaking works by PARMA and SCI composers. Festival goers witnessed works for solo piano, electronics, cello and a variety of small ensembles. Right down the street, members of the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra (John Page, conductor) performed Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf” in front of a packed crowd.

Stephen Marotto performing “Two Minutes Walking” by Garrett Hecker
Peter and the Wolf – Great Bay Academy of Dance

The day concluded with a concert at the Thirsty Moose Taproom in downtown Portsmouth to a full house.  Performers included Mac Ritchey, fiveighthirteen, cellist Ovidiu Marinescu, and Tan Vampires.
Ovidiu Marinescu at the Thirsty Moose Taproom


The second day featured two concerts up the street at St. John’s Church. Pieces were performed by Karolina Rojahn, the Boston New Music Initiative with Yhasmin Valenzuela, players from the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra, the Larksong Trio and many more.
Friday concluded with a soiree at the Martingale Wharf on the docks in Portsmouth with performances from Gregory Hall, Paul Dykstra, Qwill, and Wheel of Awesome.
The Larksong Trio
Qwill at Martingale Wharf


The final day of the festival took place at the Music Hall Historic Theater and the Music Hall Loft.  Festival goers were treated to a PARMA Licensing artist showcase, a panel presentation as well as scholarly papers and electro-acoustic works.
Saturday’s Main Event at the Music Hall Historic Theater saw premieres from PARMA Student Composer Competition winner Tina Tallon’s “selective defrosting” by the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra String Quartet, Lukas Foss’ “Elegy for Clarinet and Orchestra” by the Portmouth Symphony Orchestra with Richard Stoltzman, and PARMA Artist Martin Schlumpf’s STREAMS by the PSO with soloists Matthias Müller (clarinet) and David Taylor (bass trombone).  Stream a segment of Schlumpf’s STREAMS below:

Keep your eyes peeled for next year’s dates in the coming weeks.  We will see you soon!
Matthias Müller, Martin Schlumpf, and David Taylor
SCI Paper Sessions
John Page (Conductor) and the PSO Brass and Percussion Ensemble

 All photographs copyright David Murray

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