The Norfolk Chamber Music Festival concert series is an iconic summer event in the Litchfield Hills that has taken place since 1906 that was established by Mr. & Mrs. Stoeckel. This festival was unique and became the first internationally known music festival of its kind in the United States. The musical society founded by the Stoeckels hosted hundreds of musicians in the music shed on their estate that was built by the famous New York architect, E.K. Rossiter. The shed was constructed of cedar and lined with California redwood that enhances its acoustics and gives it a rustic charm.
Today, a series of restoration projects have been planned and the festival has announced today that phase one of the restoration overseen by the architectural firm of John G. Waite Associates (Albany, NY), and General Contractor Kronenberger & Sons Restoration of Middletown, Connecticut has been completed. Phase one concentrated on the exterior of the music shed that is now 107 years old with the goal of making it stable for another one-hundred years. New siding, a new roof and the restoration of the cupola have been completed. Phase two of the restoration project will include restoring the building to its original state and to improve ventilation throughout this historic music hall. Future plans call for additional improvements in terms of access, new spaces for music, bathrooms and audience comfort.
This summer, to celebrate the completion of phase one of the restoration, the Festival is hosting an open house on the grounds of the estate on June 21 beginning at 1:30 p.m. The first event of the day will be a concert for children at 1:30 p.m. Tours of the Whitehouse, an architectural gem on the grounds where many famous musicians have stayed will also be offered. The music room in the Whitehouse is opulent and a real treat to visit for music lovers. The afternoon will feature an ice cream social and children’s games. A highlight of the afternoon will be a free concert by the 2014 Norfolk Alumni standouts called the Allant Trio.
This year, the Friday concerts series begins on Friday, July 10 and ends on August 14 and the Saturday Series begins on July 11 and ends on August 15. The idyllic and beautifully maintained grounds of the Ellen Battell Stoekel Estate are open to the public on concert days and many concert goers bring a picnic lunch to enjoy on the grounds before a concert. For a listing of concerts please visit the website http://norfolk.yale.edu. The Norfolk Chamber Music Series is located on 20 Litchfield Road in Norfolk. For event information on what to see and do in the Litchfield Hills visit www.litchfieldhills.com