The age of Geoff Nuttall. One day we'll get to a point where we stop mentioning Charles Wadworth, the esteemed chamber music director who retired in 2009 and passed the baton to Nuttall, an accomplished maestro in his own right who founded the St. Lawrence String Quartet in 1989. This is Nuttall's third season at the helm of Spoleto's chamber music series, and he's proven to be a capable steward of tradition as well as a shrewd non-traditionalist.
It's no secret anymore. Wadsworth relished keeping the programs secret and unveiling them the day of the performance, infusing the chamber program with an air of mystery. Nuttall does things differently (with the urging of Festival Director Nigel Redden), announcing his program right there on the festival's website for all to see. It seems to work just as well, if not better, allowing patrons to decide for themselves what they get to hear.
Old with a bit of new. The chamber music series isn't just a place to hear your favorite dead white guys like Debussy, Haydn, Stravinsky, Beethoven, and the like. There are plenty of modern composers in the mix, and there's even a world premiere of a piece for clarinet and piano by the young Iranian composer Hooshyar Khayam (June 5 and 6). And take note, woodwind fans: there will be a special emphasis on chamber gems for reeds this year courtesy of an expanded artist roster that includes meisters of the oboe, bassoon, and horn on top of the resident flute and clarinet virtuosos.