Artist Residencies

In 2008, Yellow Barn instituted its Artist Residencies, the first retreat program in the United States created specifically for performing musicians. The purpose of the Artist Residencies is to further the art of the performance of classical music by providing an environment conducive to undistracted study, an exchange of ideas and opportunities for performance. Their content is defined by artists’ proposals and Yellow Barn’s artistic vision, and musicians have come to Yellow Barn to create new repertoire, to prepare for major performances, to explore new interpretations of important works, and to stage theatrical events. Apply for an Artist Residency

Sunday, October 2

The World of the Spirit... the Consciousness of the Poetic Mind:
The String Quartets of Robert Schumann
Anthony Marwood, violin
So-Young Choi, violin
Julia Mirzoev, violin
Grace Park, violin
Natalie Loughran, viola
Rosemary Nelis, viola
Natasha Brofsky, cello
Edvard Pogossian, cello
Aaron Wolff, cello

3pm | The Big Barn
Free admission
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Haydn String Quartet in C Major, Op.20 No.2
Schumann Sketches
Mozart String Quartet in B-flat Major, K.589 
Mendelssohn String Quartet in F Minor, Op.80, III: Adagio
Schumann String Quartet No. 1 in A Minor, Op.41, No.1

7pm | The Big Barn - Note earlier start time!
Free admission
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Schumann String Quartet No. 3 in A Major, Op.41, No.3
Schumann Sketches
Beethoven String Quartet in E-Flat Major, Op.127, II: Adagio, ma non troppo e molto cantabile
Haydn String Quartet in F Minor, Op.55 No.2, I: Andante più tosto allegretto
Schumann String Quartet No. 2 in F Major, Op.41, No.2
Haydn String Quartet in F Minor, Op.55 No.2, IV: Finale. Presto

Attending both concerts and looking for a dinner option? Contact us at

Program Note

Over the course of two programs, the performance of Schumann's three quartets, intertwined with wisps of Schumann's own sketches for these works and the music of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven from which he took inspiration, sheds light on how we define what is "new" in art, and why that is important.

Of his string quartets it was written that Schumann had found a solution, “in which for a long time he himself did not believe, that of creating significant individual work in an artistic genre that has already been developed to the full and has reached its peak." 

Schumann had indeed pored over these "peaks" of string quartet writing, those of Beethoven, Mozart, and Haydn, and written of them and of the succession of artistic generations, "…we love the struggle of youth for what is new, and Beethoven, who struggled till his last breath, is for us a lofty model of human greatness. But in the orchards of Mozart and Haydn there are also trees heavy with fruit which cannot easily be ignored…"

On September 13th, 1842, Clara Schumann's birthday, her husband surprised her with the gift of his three string quartets. Of these (and her husband) she wrote, "My veneration for his genius, for his mind, for everything about him as a composer, grows with every new work! As for the quartets, I can only say that they delight me down to the smallest detail. Everything is new…"


[past event]
River Spirits

3pm | The Big Barn
Free admission
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This program is approximately 50 minutes in length.
Please note our Covid-19 safety protocols below.

Susan Botti, composer/soprano
Mary Bonhag, soprano
Lucy Shelton, soprano
Dan Meyers, recorders, Irish flute, bagpipes, sackbut
Tyler Neidermayer, bass clarinet
Jay Elfenbein, viola da gamba
Alice Robbins, viola da gamba
Sam Zagnit, contrabass
Ayano Kataoka, percussion

Three characters sit by a river. They are sentient and content and intertwined – until their sanctuary is altered by the arrival of "messages" from outside their world. In an allegorical fashion, the story portrays the tension of uncontrolled expression within a community, as well as the healing power of compassion and love.

What of our culture resonates through our language? The texts, which I have compiled or created, are a mix of languages, sounds, "nonsense", and music – in layers of fragmented meaning. From a musical standpoint, this word setting is reminiscent of Medieval motets (multiple texts to convey layered meanings); operatic aria (minimal text to express heightened emotions); and “grammelot” (the language of the Commedia dell’Arte).

My vocal writing incorporates aspects of motet, extended techniques, and bel canto, combining with instruments from different musical contexts, including early music and found sound, resulting in a sound world that is familiar yet otherworldly and "timeless". The music has been created in collaboration with my adventurous and magical vocal cohorts, Lucy Shelton and Mary Bonhag, as well as instrumentalists from the Folger and 21st Century Consorts, and from Yellow Barn.

 —Susan Botti

River Spirits is the result of a Yellow Barn Artist Residency and is made possible by a commission from the Fromm Music Foundation.

Covid-19 Safety Protocols

All attendees will be asked to show proof of Covid-19 vaccination, including recommended booster(s). In addition, we are requiring audience members to wear masks in the Big Barn, and they should be N95 masks or equivalent. Seating capacity is limited to 60%.

The Big Barn

Yellow Barn's concert venue is located at 49 Main Street in Putney, Vermont, just off of Exit 4 of I91. The Big Barn offers comfortable seating and air-conditioning, and is handicapped accessible. Should you have special needs, including those related to hearing or visual impairment, please contact Yellow Barn at (802) 387-6637 or prior to your visit and we will do our best to address your needs.