SEARSMONT — It seems to appear out of nowhere.

The house at 7 Sirota Drive in Searsmont sits in the shadow of Levenseller Mountain, on the east side of Muzzy Ridge, invisible from the road and surrounded by gardens, open fields and thick woods. Find it, and visitors will discover it is also the home of one of Maine’s premier, and unique, performance spaces.

Welcome to the home of Robert and Victoria Sirota, co-creators of the Muzzy Ridge Concerts.

The concert series, held in an intimate space that adjoins the Sirotas’ home, features chamber music and is currently in its second season with plans for a third next summer. The artists, as well as the co-creators of the series, are internationally acclaimed performers and composers.

“It’s paradise,” Robert Sirota said of his concert venue. “In the evening you get the crickets and cicadas as background music.”

The Sirotas’ background is music.

Robert Sirota has served as the music department director at Boston University, New York University and the Peabody Conservatory. He retired in 2012 as the director of the Manhattan School of Music and is now a full-time composer.

Victoria Sirota is an acclaimed organist and choral director who was called to the clergy. Vicki served as an Episcopal priest in Maryland and New York before retiring last year. Their two children, Nadia and Jonah, are gifted viola artists.

The couple purchased their 10-acre parcel in Searsmont in 2010 and moved there permanently in June 2021. The performance space was waiting, having been built years earlier by local contractor/artist Tom Gick.

“When we bought the house there was this contractor’s barn that had to come down,” Robert said. “Tom suggested we use barn trusses to retain the shape of the old structure, which was perfect for my studio and what we planned for the space.”

The studio/performance space is approximately 1,500 square feet, some of which is taken up by a grand piano. The wood design of the space, combined with the barn trusses, enhances the musical experience.

Patrons use every inch of space at Muzzy Ridge concerts. Photo courtesy of Muzzy Ridge Concerts

“The trusses are resonators,” Robert said. “They are all different lengths, so they respond to different pitch frequencies, so there is a rich sound that is amplified by the wooden walls.”

Thus far the artists invited to perform agree.

“Our daughter, Nadia, performed with Nico Muhly the other day,” Victoria said. “They were ecstatic about the room, and how resonant it was, and how wonderful it was to play in. It’s a lovely space for chamber music.”

Acclaimed pianist/composer Nico Muhly performs at Muzzy Ridge concerts. Photo courtesy of Muzzy Ridge Concerts

Muhly, a pianist and composer, has written two operas for the Metropolitan Opera.

Chamber music, by definition, is music performed by a small ensemble, and designed for small spaces, such as palace chambers, or the home.

The performance area can be opened to a small, covered stone terrace that provides additional seating. Behind the terrace is a gentle slope that offers space for more patrons.

“Music is a means to an end. It is about getting everyone together,” Robert said. “That way they can share a beautiful, positive experience that we can talk about, and live with. We feel very blessed that we have this property so that we can share it.”

With the second season wrapping up on Aug. 28, the Sirotas look forward to sharing more melodies beside Muzzy Ridge next summer.