2021 Composer Fellow Quinn Mason paints a musical portrait of Door County.
Sister Bay, Wis. (August 23, 2021) – Midsummer’s Music is excited to present the world premiere of the Door County Concerto by 2021 Composer Fellow Quinn Mason on August 26. Mason’s piece, commissioned by Midsummer’s Music, paints a musical portrait of Door County, Wis., putting in perspective different activities someone on the Door County peninsula may encounter in three movements. Quinn’s all-time favorite composer is Igor Stravinsky, and he credits Stravinsky’s Concerto in E-flat “Dumbarton Oaks” piece as a significant source of inspiration for this concerto.
Further describing his Door County Concerto, Quinn said, “For years, I’ve heard nothing but magical stories about Door County and the activities that take place there, especially during the summer (courtesy of two of my mentors, who have played in the Peninsula Music Festival for many years). This work … puts in perspective the different types of goings on one may encounter.” Each year, his mentors share programs, pictures, and stories about Door County, reinforcing the idea of a fascinating place. When Quinn was awarded the Midsummer’s Composer Fellow title, he knew that he wanted to compose a piece as a tribute to everything he had heard about Door County.
The first movement is a happy, spirited look at the busyness of daytime activities, such as fish boils. The second movement describes the mystical atmosphere of a night at Jorns’ Sugar Bush, in which syrup, dripping into buckets at random times, creates a sort of pointillistic, music-like sound. Finally, the third movement witnesses a sunrise in which the vigor and energy of the first movement’s daytime activities return, starting very legato and building toward a fantastic climax.
Mason’s music has been performed in concert by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Utah Symphony Orchestra, South Bend Symphony Orchestra, West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, New England Conservatory Philharmonia, Orchestra Seattle, Mission Chamber Orchestra, loadbang, Voices of Change, Atlantic Brass Quintet, UT Arlington Saxophone quartet, the Cézanne, Julius and Baumer string quartets, and concert bands throughout the United States and Canada. Upcoming world premieres include his Symphony in C Major with the Heartland Symphony Orchestra, Symphony No. 4 “Strange Time” by the Meadows Wind Ensemble, Princesa de la Luna by the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, Changes/Transitions by the Utah Symphony Orchestra, Por Seis by One Found Sound and Reflection on a Memorial by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.
In March, Mason was named a 2021 Composer Fellow as part of Midsummer’s Music’s Emerging Composers Initiative, supported in part by the MMG Foundation. More than 140 composers submitted applications with written scores and sound recordings of three recent works, along with program notes and bios in the competition.
Quinn’s Door County Concerto world premiere happens in the second program of Midsummer’s Sultry Summer Concert Series called Make No Small Plans starting Thursday, August 26, at 7:00pm at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Sister Bay. The program also plays Friday, August 27, at 7:00pm at the Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor; Saturday, August 28, at 7:00pm at Hope UCC in Sturgeon Bay; and Sunday, August 28, at 4:00pm at Woodwalk Gallery in Egg Harbor.
Featured musicians in the Make No Small Plans program include JJ Koh, clarinet, Fritz Foss and Julie Thayer, horns, Davie Perry and Ann Palen, violins, Allyson Fleck, viola, James Waldo, cello, and David Scholl, bass.
Coffee Talks – free, informal presentations on music topics by Midsummer’s Music musicians and friends – resume starting Saturday, August 28, at 10:00am at the Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor with Quinn talking about his Door County Concerto. On Saturday, September 4, St. Louis 107.3 and SiriusXM’s John Nasukaluk Clare headlines the program, also at 10:00am at the Kress Pavilion. Clare is the first Native American to lead an all-classical radio station and Midsummer’s special guest narrator during the Celebrating Our First 30 Years program in early September.
Reservations for concerts and coffee talks are recommended. Before making plans or purchasing tickets, concertgoers should review Midsummer’s COVID-19 policy at midsummersmusic.com.
Tickets for all concerts are $30 for adults and can be ordered at www.midsummersmusic.com or by phone at 920-854-7088. All programs are subject to change.
Midsummer’s Music was co-founded in 1990 by Jim and Jean Berkenstock, long-time Door County summer residents and principal orchestral players with the Lyric Opera of Chicago. What began as two concerts among friends has become one of the Midwest’s most anticipated chamber music series, bringing thousands of chamber music