May 6, 2020

Raritan River Music Festival Now Virtual

NEWMAN & OLTMAN GUITAR DUO: The co-founders of the Raritan River Music Festival will present an evening of Cuban dances and works from the past 100 years in a special virtual program on May 9 at 7:30 p.m. Visit for details.

Due to COVID-19, the 2020 Raritan River Music Festival will be held online, with links to every event available through the website. The festival is on Saturdays through May 23, at 7:30 p.m.

Guitarists Laura Oltman and Michael Newman founded the festival with the promise of bringing live chamber music to historic venues in Hunterdon County.

Co-Founding Artistic Director Newman said, “The past month has been the most difficult, challenging, and painful for the arts, artists, and lovers of art in anyone’s memory throughout the world. In the midst of cancellations, loss of livelihood, and dearth of cultural and social enrichment, Raritan River Music stands firm in its commitment to make the 31st Raritan River Music Festival a reality – a virtual reality.”

Oltman added, “We have continued to engage all the festival performers, who are right now developing special events for you to enjoy at home – live concert ‘watch parties,’ content provided exclusively for this festival event, and chat conversations in real time.”

On May 9, the Newman & Oltman Guitar Duo will present an evening of Cuban dances and works from the past 100 years in a special A la Cubana: A Century of Music from the Pearl of the Antilles program. The evening will include music from the duo’s new MusicMasters release The Book of Imaginary Beings, dedicated to the works of composer Leo Brouwer. This special release party for the duo’s recording will include the new duet composed for them and commissioned by Raritan River Music, as well as Brouwer’s arrangement of “The Fool on the Hill” and “She’s Leaving Home” by the Beatles, plus Música Incidental Campesina.

On May 16, the Meridionalis Instrumental and Vocal Ensemble, under the direction of Sebastian Zubieta, will perform Selva Musical/Transatlantic Baroque: Music of Spain and the New World, which includes works drawn from the Hispanic Society’s collection of music from the mid-1500s through the Baroque era.  Included will be “enigma” puzzle pieces, extravagant ornamentations, and music from the Spanish musical forest of times past.

Closing the festival is The Philadelphia Flute Quartet on May 23. The Music of the Ages for the Entire Family will feature the New Jersey premiere of Hidden River by Eric Sessler. The program offers a nod to the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment with music by award-winning American women.

Visit for details.