Salt Bay Chamberfest

‘GODDESS’ kicks off Aug. 8

Two weeks of concerts and free events for music lovers everywhere!
Tue, 08/01/2023 - 2:30pm

    Salt Bay Chamberfest (SBC), an annual chamber music festival centered in Damariscotta, is set to open its 29th season next week. This year’s festival, entitled “GODDESS,” celebrates five centuries of women in music as creators, storytellers, and muses. More information and tickets can be found at

    Running Aug. 8-19, the nationally recognized festival will feature a series of concerts as well as free community events. The first concerts will take place on Tuesday, Aug. 8 and Friday, Aug. 11 at 7:30 p.m. at Damariscotta’s Lincoln Theater. There will be free events in the community on Aug. 7 and 10, including a family concert.

    The first of the festival’s free presentations will take place on Monday, Aug. 7 at 3 p.m., when Baroque viola da gamba virtuoso Arnie Tanimoto gives an informal lecture/demonstration introducing and exploring his instrument at Skidompha Public Library, Main Street in Damariscotta. On Thursday, Aug. 10, the Brentano String Quartet will present two free events: an hour-long family concert hosted by Mark Mandarano at 3 p.m. at the Central Lincoln County YMCA in Damariscotta; and a lecture/demonstration on Fanny Mendelssohn at 5 p.m. at the Frances Perkins Homestead on River Road in Newcastle.

    Opening night, Tuesday, Aug. 8: At Lincoln Theater, 2 Theater St., Damariscotta.  Pre-concert talk at 6:30 p.m., concert at 7:30. Features tenor Nicholas Phan, who has recently received critical acclaim for his starring roles with the New York Philharmonic and San Francisco Symphony. The concert reaches back to the 17th century to works by pioneering Baroque female composers including “Hor che Apollo” by Barbara Strozzi, and songs by Antonia Bembo and Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre. That same evening offers Tonia Ko’s 2012 composition, “Still Life Crumbles,” which reimagines 17th-century instruments through a 21st-century lens. In addition to Nicholas Phan, performers are Riccardo Minasi and Mark Steinberg, violins; Arnie Tanimoto, viola da gamba; and Paolo Bordignon, harpsichord.

    Friday, Aug. 11: At Lincoln Theater, 2 Theater St., Damariscotta - Pre-concert talk at 6:30 p.m., concert at 7:30. The Naumburg Award-winning Brentano String Quartet returns to SBC with a performance that brings Purcell’s “Dido’s Lament” to the stage, along with Beethoven’s “String Quartet Op. 130” and Fanny Mendelssohn’s overlooked “String Quartet in E-flat major.” Sister of the famed composer Felix Mendelssohn, Fanny was a prolific composer in her own right, having written over 450 works. The Brentano String Quartet comprises Mark Steinberg and Serena Canin, violins; Misha Amory, viola; and Nina Lee, cello.

    Sunday, Aug. 13: Music on the River with Sean Lee, violin (5 p.m. at Riverside, Newcastle); Tuesday, Aug. 15: Festival Concert 3. 7:30 p.m. at Lincoln Theater, with a 6:30 p.m. pre-concert talk; Wednesday, Aug. 16: Festival Concert 3 - At the Strand Theatre in Rockland, with a 6:30 p.m. pre-concert talk, concert at 7:30; Thursday, Aug. 17 - Composer Talk & Performance featuring Dawn Avery - 1 p.m. at Wabanaki Public Health & Wellness in Bangor; Saturday, Aug. 19: Master Class with Sean Lee, violin at 1 p.m. at Skidompha Public Library, Damariscotta and Festival Concert 4 - 7:30 p.m. at Lincoln Theater, with a 6:30 p.m. pre-concert talk.