Caramoor Katonah NY

The Caramoor International Music Festival takes place on a 90-acre estate of Italianate gardens, picnic grounds, winding paths, outdoor theaters and an architecturally disparate country villa. The villa, cobbled together by Lucie and Walter Rosen, includes rooms from European palaces that they shipped over from Europe in the 1930s and filled with artifacts they had collected, among them a 14th-century Florentine tapestry and a bed that belonged to Pope Urban VIII.

In 1946 the Rosens opened their estate as a performing arts center and began a concert series that evolved into the festival in the 1950s. For decades Caramoor offered classical music exclusively, but since 2003, when Michael Barrett took over as chief executive and general director, the program has expanded to include generous offerings of jazz, pop, Latin music and gospel among its orchestral, chamber, indie, classical and opera evenings.

But the classical repertory remains this festival’s heartbeat. When the current edition opened on Saturday evening at Caramoor’s Venetian Theater, the program was devoted to Mendelssohn, with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s onstage and Roberto Abbado conducting. On this balmy evening, after a few days of uncomfortably hot weather, Mendelssohn’s gossamer textures and breezy melodies seemed the perfect fare for an outdoor summer concert.

The Caramoor International Music Festival runs through Aug. 8 at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, 149 Girdle Ridge Road, Katonah, N.Y. Tel: 914-232-1252, www.caramoor.org

ABOUT CARAMOOR - “We built a home, my husband and I, not to be old or new, just to be beautiful.  And we built it for music.” ~  Lucie Rosen

Caramoor, the country estate of Walter and Lucie Rosen, was where they built their home and filled it with treasures.  Enjoying the pleasure their friends took in the beauty of Caramoor with its art collection, gardens, and musical programs, in 1946 the Rosens established a public trust to open Caramoor to the community. Their musical evenings were the inspiration for the Caramoor International Music Festival, now in its sixty-eighth year, and the ongoing Music in the Rosen House series.

Since its founding, Caramoor has gained international renown as a cultural institution, presenting music of all types and inspiring artists and audiences alike.

Caramoor enriches the lives of its audiences through intimate, innovative and diverse musical performances of the highest quality.  Education is a valued component of Caramoor’s mission, and Caramoor offers programs for the mentoring of young professional musicians as well as curriculum-based programs for school children emphasizing music, history and visual and decorative arts. Caramoor is often described as “a Garden of Great Music,” where audiences are invited to explore the beautiful grounds and gardens, discover the fascinating collection of period rooms and antiquities, and enjoy beautiful music in the Music Room, Spanish Courtyard and Venetian theater.

Concert Venues and Gardens - Summer concerts take place in two outdoor theaters: the 1,714-seat, acoustically superb Venetian Theater and the more intimate, romantic 558-seat Spanish Courtyard.  In the fall and winter all concerts are presented in the magnificent Music Room in the Rosen House. Caramoor’s gardens, also used for concerts, are also well worth the visit and include nine unique perennial gardens.  Among them are a Sense Circle for the visually handicapped, the Sunken Garden, a Butterfly Garden, the Tapestry Hedge, and the Iris and Peony Garden.

GETTING TO CARAMOOR - By car from the West Side of Manhattan and New Jersey, take the Saw Mill River Parkway north to Katonah.  Exit at Route 35/Cross River.  Turn right and, at the first traffic light, make a right turn onto Route 22 south.  Travel 1.9 miles to the junction of Girdle Ridge Road.  Follow the signs to Caramoor. (For detailed directions call 914.232.5035 and press 4, or online at www.caramoor.org). Parking at Caramoor is free.

By train, take the Harlem Division of the Metro-North Railroad to Katonah, New York.  Taxi service from the station to Caramoor (5 minutes away) is available.

Caramoor Center 2013 Events Schedule