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Bob Keyes

Bob Keyes has written about the arts in Maine since 2002. He’s never been much an artist himself, other than singing in junior high school chorus and acting in a few musicals. But he’s attended museums, theaters, clubs and concert halls all his life, and cites Bob Dylan as most influential artist of any kind since Picasso. He lives in Berwick.

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Posted: May 21, 2018

Don’t hesitate to get your tickets to the Bowdoin International Music Festival

Written by: Bob Keyes

Students and faculty will perform across Portland the midcoast this summer as part of the Bowdoin International Music Festival in Brunswick.
Photo by Acadia Mezzofanti/Courtesy of Bowdoin International Music Festival

The season is a month away and concerts are selling out for the Bowdoin International Music Festival. Already sold out are the Ying Quartet on July 2, the Ying and Jupiter quartets on July 23 and Peter Serkin on July 29. Last week, there were a handful of tickets available for the Brentano Quartet on July 16.

Which is to say, if you intend to attend the Bowdoin festival this summer, don’t sit on indecision. On the other hand, the festival has scheduled more than 175 free events at more than 30 venues, including several free concerts in Portland in late July.

Photo by Acadia Mezzofanti

The festival includes a series of ticketed and free public concerts and high-intensity training for international music students from late June through early August. The concert season begins June 25. Most ticketed concerts are at Studzinski Recital Hall on the Bowdoin College campus. There are only two concerts at the festival’s longtime home at Crooker Theater at Brunswick High School on Maquoit Road – a Tchaikovsky concert featuring Narek Hakhnazaryan on July 6 and a Dvorak concert on Aug. 6 with Itamar Zorman.

This year, the festival continues its foray into Portland with community concerts at the Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine (2 p.m. July 25), Portland Public Library (2 p.m. July 26), Rising Tide Brewing (8 p.m. July 28) and Portland Museum of Art (2 p.m. Aug. 1).

Photo by Acadia Mezzofanti

The free community concerts begin June 30 at Flight Deck Brewing, and the festival’s outreach includes free concerts in some of the midcoast’s most picturesque community churches: the Phippsburg Congregational Church, which modernist John Marin painted in 1932, on July 31; Orrs Island Union Church on July 21; and Day’s Ferry Congregational Church on July 10.

One of the most interesting concerts on the summer schedule is So Percussion, a modern percussion ensemble that performs 20th-century classics and new music that it commissions and writes itself, and creates concert experiences that are musical, theatrical and visual. The group performs at 2 p.m. July 8 at Studzinski.

On July 5, composer John Harbison will discuss his life and career in an 11 a.m. Meet the Composer talk at Studzinski.

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