Bay Chamber Concerts offers an exciting lineup of award-winning international artists this summer as part of the 2012 Summer Music Festival. This season’s concerts offer a broad range in musical style including classical, ragtime, jazz and Haitian folk-rock.

In July and August, Bay Chamber Concerts’ Summer Music Festival will present world-class musicians at a variety of Midcoast venues including the Rockport Opera House and Pascal Hall in Rockport; Camden Harbor Park; and the Farnsworth Art Museum’s Wyeth Center and the Strand Theatre in Rockland. New this year, Bay Chamber is offering a scaled-price ticketing option for concertgoers interested in attending more than one event. With scaled ticket pricing, the more concerts attended, the greater the savings.

Tickets to most Summer Music Festival events are $30 for value seating, $40 prime seating; tickets for students younger than 19 are $8.  Discounts available with subscription. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Bay Chamber Concerts at or by calling the box office at 236-2823 or (888) 707-2770.

A pair of free concerts

Bay Chambers’ Young Stars of Maine prizewinner concert will take place Friday, June 29 at 7 p.m. at the Rockport Opera House, 6 Central St. For 50 years, Bay Chamber Concerts has had an annual prize program to recognize, encourage and reward young Maine music students who are serious in their study and performance of music. Each of the prizes has different parameters with varying age ranges from 12- to 25-yearspold. This concert will feature the winners in seven prize winning categories. It is free and open to the public.

On Wednesday, July 4 at 7:30 p.m., Bay Chamber Concerts will offer it annual free holiday concert in Camden Harbor Park, held in conjunction with the town’s celebration and fireworks (9:15 p.m.). The Engagements, Brooklyn, N.Y.’s best party band, will play danceable tune from classic funk and soul covers to 1980s favorites.

Summer Music Festival — July

Bay Chamber officially opens the 2012 Summer Music Festival Thursday, July 5 at 8 p.m. at the Rockport Opera House. The Opening Night program features Anna Polonsky with her talented husband, Orion Weiss, a duo who will perform some of the greatest four-hand piano masterpieces ever composed, as well as works for two pianos. The program includes Schubert’s Variations on an Original Theme in A Flat Major, D. 813; Dutilleux’s Fugures de Resonance; Ravel’s Rapsodie espagnole; Shumann’s Bilder aus Osten, Op. 66; and Ravel’s La Valse.

The season continues Thursday, July 12 at 8 p.m. with Vienna — City of Music at the Rockport Opera House. Concertgoers will be musically transported to old Vienna, where Mozart and Schubert produced two of the most popular works of chamber music, both of which will be performed. Featured long-time favorite Bay Chamber artists James Campbell and Marc Johnson will perform with the series debut of the award-winning Afiara String Quartet.

On Friday, July 13, Bay Chamber will present a pair of one-hour concerts separated by a dinner hour in the Wyeth Center gallery. At the first (6 p.m.), a unique transcription of a famous Schubert sonata will be performed.  The second concert (8:15 p.m.) will include a rarely heard duo by Beethoven. The concert features James Campbell, clarinet; Marc Johnson, cello; and the Afiara String Quartet.

The series annual Music & Movies night is Wednesday, July 18 at 8 p.m. at the Strand Theatre. The Paragon Ragtime Orchestra will perform the original film scores for “The Adventurer,” starring Charlie Chaplin; “Never Weaken,” starring Harold Lloyd; and “The Playhouse,” starring Buster Keaton.

The Thursday, July 19 Evening of Mendelssohn at the Rockport Opera House at 8 p.m. will feature the composer’s two string quintets, performed by Shmuel Ashkenasi and David Ehrlich, violins; Kirsten Johnson and Beth Chu, violas; and Marc Johnson, cello.

Emeline Michel, the reigning queen of Haitian song, will perform Wednesday, July 25 at 8 p.m. at the Strand. Michel is a captivating performer, versatile vocalist and one of the premier Haitian songwriters of her generation.  The audience may find it impossible to sit still as she sings and dances and invites the audience to be part of the show.

Three of Beethoven’s most enduring sonatas will be performed by violinist Elissa Lee Koljonen and pianist Max Levinson will be performed Thursday, July 26 at 8 p.m. at the Rockport Opera House.

Summer Music Festival — August

Bay Chamber will welcome back a legend of American jazz, the Brubeck Brothers Quartet, Wednesday, Aug. 1 at 8 p.m. at the Strand. Audiences will enjoy Brubeck standards they have always loved plus new works they will treasure.

A Musical Rendezvous will offer a crossover concert not to miss Thursday, Aug. 2 at 8 p.m. at the Rockport Opera House. Sospiro Winds joins the Brubeck Brothers Quartet to perform Chris Brubeck’s Vignettes for Nonet and also will perform some of the classical literature for woodwind quintet.

Vivaldi’s Four Seasons will be performed by some of Bay Chamber’s favorite artists Thursday, Aug. 9 at the Rockport Opera House Performers are Geoff Nuttall, Matthias McIntire and Livia Sohn, violins; Johnathan Vinocour, viola; Christopher Costanza, Marc Johnson and Nicole Johnson, cellos; Anthony Manzo, bass; and Paolo Bordignon, harpsichord.

On Friday, Aug. 10, Bay Chamber will present another pair (6 and 8:15 p.m.) of one-hour concerts at the Wyeth Center.  This time, the program is a survey of Baroque composers with both familiar and little known masterpieces. Performing will be Geoff Nuttall and Livia Sohn, violins; Christopher Costanza, cello; and Paolo Bordignon, harpsichord.

Pianist Stephen Prutsman will join Nuttall, Sohn and Costanza Thursday, Aug. 16 at 8 p.m. at the Rockport Opera House for Dreams and Passions, a rich program includes works from the classical, romantic and modern periods.

On Thursday, Aug. 16 at 8 p.m. Bay Chamber will present a delightful evening of cocktails and music in lovely and intimate Pascal Hall, a renovated historic church in Rockport village.  Four members of the Bay Chamber family return to play two familiar masterpieces and a little known gem by Spanish composer Joaquín Turina. This special event, including libations and dessert, has been aptly titled An Uncommon Affair.

Bay Chamber Concerts’ First Chair All Star concerts are not only immensely popular with audiences, they are also popular with the musicians who make all kinds of adjustments in busy schedules to be part of them. In addition to featuring Joseph Silverstein, the Boston Symphony’s long-time concertmaster, the feature principal players from America’s great orchestras. On Thursday, Aug. 23 at 8 p.m. at the Rockport Opera House, First Chair All Stars is devoted to favorite chamber music works by Antonin Dvorak. On Friday, Aug. 24, Bay Chamber Concerts will honor Silverstein’s 80th birthday as he celebrates his birthday in style with works of Rossini, Mozart and Brahms.

On Thursday, Aug. 30 at 8 p.m. at the Rockport Opera House, Bay Chamber’s 2012 Summer Music Festival will close with the combination of First Chair All Stars and Curtis on Tour. Two powerful wind serenades on a single program with a star-studded cast of musicians from the Curtis Institute of Music and America’s great orchestras comprise this season’s finale.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or