Jonathan’s Beethoven project

Pianist and CMW adviser Jonathan Biss will return to Providence next month to present the second of nine annual all-Beethoven recitals that he is very generously donating to CMW. Over nine years, he will eventually record all 32 Beethoven sonatas for Onyx Records; the first disc, containing music performed in Providence last May, has already been released. Jonathan has been writing about his experience with this ambitious recording project, and you can find his thoughtful essays on his website.

We have had a long and fruitful relationship with Jonathan, dating back to his first visit to Providence in November 2004 when he performed the Brahms Piano Quintet with the Providence String Quartet at the West End Recreation Center Gym and also at The RISD Museum. Fortuitously, music critic Alex Ross was in the audience for the gym concert and wrote about his experience as part of his essay on the state of American music education in The New Yorker in September 2006.

Jonathan rehearsing with the PSQ in 2004. Photo by Arthur Zachai.

If you would like to join us for Jonathan's performance on Sunday, May 20 at The RISD Museum, please visit CMW's website calendar for more event information.

-Heath Marlow, Managing Director

Welcoming Juna Maya!


Minna and I would like to announce the arrival of our baby daughter, Juna Maya Ruth, born on Wednesday evening April 18, a bit earlier than expected but healthy all the same. Minna and baby are doing well, and Juna Maya is hanging out with the good folks in the hospital until she's become accustomed to the world a bit more.

-Sebastian Ruth, Founder & Artistic Director

Kelley Memorial Scholarship Fund Concerts

Over Easter weekend, concerts in Providence and Amherst (MA) by Jesse and Heath, with old friends Jeff Louie and Dmitry Kustanovich, raised more than $3,000 for CMW's Fred Kelley Memorial Scholarship Fund. As Jesse told those who had turned out to hear a program of Brahms, Mozart and Schubert, this fund will help pay for four CMW students to attend the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music this summer. As a pre-formed string quartet, they are already hard at work on a Shostakovich string quartet to perform in New Hampshire in July.

Enjoy some Mozart, as performed by Jesse and Dmitry at the Bell Street Chapel.

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-Heath Marlow, Managing Director

Boston Youth Arts Evaluation Project


For over three years, the Boston Youth Arts Evaluation Project (BYAEP) has worked on developing the framework and tools that identify and effectively measure the three main outcome areas characteristic of youth arts programs. These areas relate to artistic expression (I Create), identity (I Am), and community (We Connect).

The result of thousands of hours of research, discussions, experimentation, and analysis of results can be found in this downloadable 168-page handbook and workbook. We welcome other youth arts organizations to use our framework, adapt our tools, and to track, articulate, and improve their own youth development outcome areas. Through the challenge of an intense multi-year collaboration, BYAEP now offers the youth arts field a rich guide filled with resources and tools.

Visit the Boston Youth Arts Evaluation Project's website here.

-Kathe Swaback, BYAEP Project Leader

Bring Him Home

i LOVE this song but it's a little sad but the song is beautiful. i'm in LOVE with this song. i can't wait until we play this song. i listened to the song about ten times while i was writing this WHOLE comment. i'm so happy we get to use vibrato for this song. it's going to sound soooooooooo good. i listened a lot today. even my sister LOVES this song. i never thought i would write this much. i think i wrote a paragraph. i'm looking foward to playing this song for my class on my share day. i like the parts that use vibrato. they sound cool. this is the first song we play with vibrato. my baby brother is trying to eat the jelly beans in my (vibrato) egg but i don't let him. i don't know why i wrote a lot.

-Lizbeth (posted on the Media Lab website)

Update from Aaron

From Aaron's most recent report, sounds like things are going well for his El Sistema-inspired program up in New Brunswick, Canada.


Music is Sistema’s means, not its end. “I don’t even necessarily want them to be musicians, I just want them to be able to excel at something and, by doing that, be able to dream,” McFarlane said. Read the article in its entirety here and here.

Bartok goes to school


Emmy (pictured) played the part of Bela Bartok on April 5 at three shows we performed for the Paul Cuffee Elementary School and TAPA (Trinity Academy for the Performing Arts), in which Bartok gets mad when musicians don't play his music with feeling. Helped by the students in the audience, the musicians do a better job bringing his music to life, and then finish the show with an original composition created by the students. Bartok's accomplices included Sara, Minna, and Sebastian.

-Sebastian Ruth, Founder & Artistic Director