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Musical Partnerships at Play:

The Marlboro Music Festival
Hands of pianist Rieko Aizawa and cellist Paul Tortelier at the piano, 1992. Photo by Peter Checchia. Marlboro Music School and Festival Records, Kislak Center
Hands of pianist Rieko Aizawa and cellist Paul Tortelier at the piano, 1992. Photo by Peter Checchia.

On exhibit July 21, 2017 - June 21, 2019

Every summer in the rural foothills of southern Vermont, Marlboro Music forms a warm and closely-knit community of exceptional young professional musicians and master artists from around the world, staff members, spouses and children. Fostering a uniquely egalitarian spirit, Marlboro pairs the generations of artists for in-depth rehearsals and performances of chamber music. The musicians also live together throughout the seven-week season, sharing insights, ideas and experiences not only in rehearsals but at meals and social events. They have the rare luxury of unlimited time to explore works from the vast chamber music repertoire in great depth, including infrequently-heard pieces and works by a composer-in-residence.

Marlboro is widely credited for developing a new approach to leadership training in the performing arts, for igniting the explosion of interest in chamber music in the U.S., and for developing generations of musical leaders. The objects we've chosen to display reflect the joyousness, inspired playfulness, and history of this influential summer program. Marlboro was founded, in 1951, by the legendary pianist Rudolf Serkin—who served as its artistic director until his death in 1991—together with his father-in-law Adolf Busch (violin), Herman Busch (cello), and Blanche, Louis, and Marcel Moyse (violin/conducting and flutes, respectively). The world-renowned pianist Mitsuko Uchida is the artistic director today and has served in a leadership role at Marlboro for more than twenty years.

Marlboro participants have gone on to influential solo careers, to form or join many of today's leading chamber ensembles, to principal chair positions in major symphony orchestras, and to become highly sought-after teachers. Eminent figures such as Pablo Casals (cello) and Marcel Moyse (flute) mentored countless musicians who went on to form the fabric of musical culture worldwide. Chamber groups that formed at Marlboro include the Guarneri, Galimir, Emerson, Mendelssohn, Cleveland, Brentano, Johannes and Orion string quartets, and the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio. Other Marlboro artists are now members of the Juilliard, Takács, and Daedalus quartets and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, to name just a few. Musicians from Marlboro touring ensembles have graced the world's stages for fifty-three seasons and have introduced artists including Murray Perahia, Benita Valente, Richard Stoltzman, Paula Robison, and more.

Materials here reflect the Marlboro's enormous impact on the musicians who have attended and the audiences who listened, forming lasting personal and musical connections. The Marlboro Music School and Festival Records came to Penn in 2013 and includes administrative files, publicity, correspondence, photographs, and audio-visual materials spanning the years 1950-2013. It is housed in the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, University of Pennsylvania.

Installation views of Musical Partnerships at Play exhibition

A Music in the Pavilion Concert
Friday, September 28, 6:15-9:00 PM

An Evening Celebrating Marlboro Music

6:15-6:45 pm:

Lecture by Christopher Serkin on Marlboro History

7:00-8:00 pm:

Concert by Musicians from Marlboro

Schubert: Trio in B-flat Major, D.471
Webern: Langsamer satz
Mendelssohn: Octet in E-flat Major, Op.20

This 50-minute concert is played without intermission.



  • Artists

    Catherine Cho, violin;
    Pamela Frank, violin;
    Harumi Rhodes, violin;
    Scott St. John, violin;
    Ulrich Eichenauer, viola;
    Melissa Reardon, viola;
    Julia Lichten, cello;
    Karen Ouzounian, cello