Nothing Comes from Nothing
By Barry Shiffman 

The 38th Annual Rockport Chamber Music Festival shines a light on the creative process with Source and Inspiration. In a wide range of programs, our audience will follow a path that peels back the layers, letting us peek into the artistic journey. Whether it is seeing a drawing, reading a text, hearing a rhythm, or even being enamored with a personality, inspiration abounds. The potential for inspiration is around us every day and the greatest composers have a knack to see this potential and use it as a seed for creativity.

My hope is that by exploring some of these often simple or seemingly obvious sources, we demystify the work of the composers, allowing you to feel connected in a deeper way to the music of the Festival. In some programs we have juxtaposed compositions alongside their musical source of inspiration, as in our opening night celebration where we present the music of French composers Ravel and Milhaud and their connection to the exploding jazz scene of the early 20th century. In other programs the entire concert derives from a single source (Take this Waltz), or it uses other media to bring an inspirational source to life (Hosted by Glenn Gould).

The guiding light in creating this Festival was to bring you, our devoted audience, closer to the music on the stage. The act of connection between performer and audience is what makes festivals special, and at Rockport, our history of connection is everything.