What is the history of the Mount Kisco's Copland House?
Founded in 2009 on a 130-acre county park in Mount Kisco,Copland House at Merestead“represents an enormous expansion and extension of our musical, public, and educational programming,” says artistic director Michael Boriskin. The name derives from composer Aaron Copland, who lived in nearby Cortlandt Park, and who has long been a source of inspiration to the world of music.
“The process of putting together a season is very complex. It’s a lot like putting together a menu,” says Boriskin. “You want to make sure there’s a vibrancy and a dynamic that’s not weighted toward one variety of music.” Boriskin notes that too often the concert-going experience favors composers who are featured ad infinitum. He will present a program that explores Chinese migration and melds Chinese and Western instruments.
The 2011-12 season of Copland House, which runs from September through June, will kick off with “Late Night with Leonard Bernstein,” featuring music that Bernstein, a well-known insomniac, played when he couldn’t sleep. The evening will be hosted by Bernstein’s eldest daughter, Jamie. “My father and Aaron Copland were great friends, so to have this concert at his place is such a beautiful way to bring them together again.”
In April, Jennifer Higdon, a winner of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize in Music, will speak about her exploration of visual arts and music. Another visual-arts concert will take place in May with “Portals,” featuring violinist Tim Fain and a piece written by Phillip Glass specifically for Fain. The afternoon will also feature dance films, one shot at Merestead.
Copland House features three unique settings for its concerts. The Music Room, a salon-like setting, seats approximately 100 people; The Barn seats around 200; and the formal garden can be tented and seats around 200 as well. “Our spaces are just another way of breaking out of the formal concert experience,” says Boriskin.