Custom House Maritime Museum A View of the Museum from Water St.



View All Events
October 13, 2012 @ 6:30pm


The Newburyport Chamber Music Festival and Custom House Maritime Museum proudly present



An extraordinary evening program of classical and maritime chamber music featuring the World Premiere Performance of Captain Samuels speaks to the sea!, an historic commission in tribute to the famous Newburyport-built packet ship, Dreadnought, and her larger-than-life Captain, Samuel Samuels.


Saturday, October 13, 2012
6:30 pm
Custom House Maritime Museum


Ensemble Epomeo

This special event brings together trio Ensemble Epomeo’s Caroline Chin on violin, David Yang on viola and Kenneth Woods on cello, along with Australian composer Melissa Dunphy and British poet Peter Davison, all of whom will perform during the course of this unique Newburyport event.

Please consider joining us for an exceptional evening of champagne, hors d’oeuvres, chamber music, poetry, shanties, rum and incomparable memories!


Tickets $70 per person
Black Tie Suggested
Limited Seating








The evening begins at 6:30 pm

  • Reception with exquisite hors d'oeuvres, champagne, wine, beer and other beverages
  • Pre-performance tribute to Captain Samuel Samuels and Dreadnought narrated by poet Peter Davison with sea shanties sung by composer Melissa Dunphy
  • Concert featuring Ensemble Epomeo with intermission and refreshments
  • Desserts and Rum tasting celebration with the artists


Tickets $70 per person - Black-Tie Suggested
Limited Seating
Click here to download mail-in Order Form
or call 978-462-8681
or stop by the CHMM Gift Shop


A collaboration of the Newburyport Chamber Music Festival and Custom House Maritime Museum



About Ensemble Epomeo

Founded on the slopes of the legendary volcano Mount Epomeo in the Mediterranean in 2008 at the Festivale di Musica da Camera d'Ischia in Italy, Ensemble Epomeo consists of three virtuosi dedicated to the expansion of the string trio repertoire. Their inaugural tours saw them performing in Italy, the UK and the USA, with performances at the Newburyport and Ischia festivals, and broadcasts on New England Public Radio and WKCR Columbia University in New York City, where they were the subject of a three hour special showcase concert. Ensemble Epomeo are quickly becoming a favourite at international music festivals on both sides of the Atlantic. In addition to their affiliation with the Ischia Festival, they were the first artists invited back to the new Two Rivers Festival in Liverpool, a partner in the commissioning of "Captain Samuels speaks to the sea!" The trio recently made their first Canadian tour, with a residency at St. Thomas University and a highly praised debut at the Scotia Festival of Music/Music Room concert series in Halifax.  The group's premiere CD, the complete string trios of Hans Gal and Hans Krasa, in available on the Avie label.

Caroline Chin, Violin
Described by the Chicago Sun Times as "Riveting and insightful, who lights up in passages of violin pyrotechnics," Caroline Chin has concertized throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. She gave her solo debut at age 12 and has since performed with several orchestras throughout the United States. An avid chamber musician, Ms. Chin has performed at festivals around the world including the Consonances Festival (France), Schiermonnikoog Festival (Holland), Prussia Cove (England), Norfolk, Taos and Aspen and has collaborated with artists Gary Hoffman, Colin Carr, Nobuko Imai, and Charles Neidich. Ms. Chin received her degrees from Indiana University and the Juilliard School.

David Yang, Viola


Recipient of a recent fellowship from the Independence Foundation awarded to a small number of exceptional artists, native New Yorker David Yang has collaborated with members of the Borromeo, Brentano, Lark, and Tokyo String Quartets, amongst others. Recent highlights include concertos in Canada, Wales, and Italy and recitals in Italy, the U.K. and United States. David has commissioned dozens of new works and serves as Artistic Director of the Newburyport Chamber Music Festival and Director of Chamber Music at the University of Pennsylvania. As leader of Auricolae, he developed a composition program for public school students in Philadelphia.

Kenneth Woods, Cello


Cellist and conductor Kenneth Woods has performed concertos with orchestras in the US and Britain including the Aspen Fellows Orchestra, Oregon East Symphony, Grande Ronde Symphony, Cambridge Symphony, Boston Chamber Orchestra, Lancashire Chamber Orchestra, Blue Mountain Festival Orchestra, Madison Philomusic, UW Symphony, Gonzaga/Spokane Symphony and many others. He has been featured in radio broadcasts on NPR, the BBC and the CBC, and records for Vienna Modern Masters. Festivals include Sandpoint, Aspen, Great Lakes, Lucerne, Schloss-Weinberg, Chautauqua, Domaine-Forget, Wallowa Lake, Scotia and Round Top. Chamber colleagues include members of the Pro Arte, Audubon, La Salle and Tokyo Quartets.

Composer Melissa Dunphy


Melissa Dunphy has a Bachelor of Music (summa cum laude, Pi Kappa Lambda) from West Chester University, where she was a recipient of the Harry Wilkinson Music Theory Scholarship, the Charles S. and Margherity Gangemi Memorial Scholarship for Excellence in Music theory and composition, and the Janice Weir Etshied ’50 Scholarship for academic excellence. She is currently undertaking doctoral studies in composition at the University of Pennsylvania on a Benjamin Franklin Fellowship. Her teachers have included Robert Maggio, Larry Nelson, Van Stiefel, James Primosch, Jay Reise and Anna Weesner. More information about Melissa can be found at or on her music publishing website,

Poet Peter Davison


Peter Davison is a writer, poet, cultural commentator and initiator of creative projects. He has written a good deal of poetry, including Riverborn and In the Borders, exploring the mythical presence of landscape and Man's often troubled relationship with Nature. He has also thought deeply about music. In 2001, he edited Reviving the Muse, a collection of writings on the direction of new music, including two essays of his own and, in 2010, published Wrestling with Angels about the life and work of Gustav Mahler. Peter Davison has been artistic consultant to the major international concert venue, The Bridgewater Hall in Manchester, England, since it opened in 1996, and became co-founder and artistic director of the Two Rivers Festival in Wirral in 2008.






featuring the World Premiere Performance of

Captain Samuels speaks to the sea!

Saturday, October 13, 2012


Gyorgy Kurtag (b.1926)
Signs, Games, & Messages
With poetry by Robin Beth Schaer

I. Virag az ember, Mijakonak
("Flowers we are?" from the Sayings of Peter Bornemisza, III. 3.)

II. Perpetuum mobile

III. Ligatura Y

IV. Jelek VI
(Signs VI)

V. Virag -Zsigmondy Denesnek
(Flowers in Memory of Anneliese Nizzen-Zsigmondy)

VI. Pizzicato-keringo
(Plucked waltz)

VII. Hommage a Johann Sebastian Bach


Melissa Dunphy (b.1980)
Captain Samuels speaks to the sea!
*World Premiere*
Text and narration by Peter Davison


Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 - 1827)
String Trio in Eb Major, Opus 3
I.Allegro con brio
VI.Finale: Allegro




Captain Samuels speaks to the sea!

Commissioned in 2012 by
Newburyport Chamber Music Festival, USA
and Two Rivers Festival, England
for Ensemble Epomeo

In 2011, following a visit by Ensemble Epomeo to the Two Rivers Festival in Wirral, England, it was decided to co-commission a piece of music for the group in cooperation with the Chamber Music Festival in Newburyport, USA. The Ensemble's violist, David Yang, is the American festival's Artistic Director, and was eager to find an appropriate  historical link between the two locations.

In consultation with Michael Mroz, the Director of the Custom House Maritime Museum of Newburyport, it became apparent that the 19th century transatlantic shipping routes from Newburyport to Liverpool could serve this purpose well, since the famous British port sits directly opposite Wirral on the banks of the Mersey. Mroz suggested specifically focusing on the life of Captain Samuel Samuels, the famous American ship master and captain. The Artistic Director of Two Rivers Festival, Peter Davison, responded by creating a text for music, while, the musical commission was given to the Philadelphia-based composer, Melissa Dunphy.

The result is a twenty-minute chamber work for string trio and narrator titled Captain Samuels speaks to the sea! Samuels is an apt choice since, in 1853, he supervised the entire building of Dreadnought at Newburyport. It was the fastest three-masted packet ship ever constructed, breaking the record for crossing the Atlantic in 1859 by completing the journey to Liverpool in just over thirteen days. Samuels' successful career was spurred on by the intense rivalry between the American and British shipping lines at the time, but he also possessed an unquenchable sense of adventure and a deep affinity for the wind-blown seas. By the end of his life, the arrival of the steam ship had brought the clipper era to a close, so that his great feats of speed, skill and daring soon faded into history.


A collaboration of the Newburyport Chamber Music Festival and Custom House Maritime Museum


« Back to list