When I first moved to Riverdale, Maryland, in 2012, I was immediately enchanted by the beauty of the Riversdale House Museum. This wonderful house, built in 1806, seemed like the perfect location for a concert series. Within days I approached the director of the mansion about creating a performance series and I was delighted to find that there was interest. Fast forward six years: In 2018 the Riversdale Chamber Music Society celebrated its sixth season at the mansion and we are now releasing this recording, our first-ever produced in this historic space. We have presented many remarkable concerts featuring military band and orchestra members, University of Maryland School of Music students and local musicians. This recording features the Mellifera String Quartet, an extremely flexible, dynamic and highly skilled group that has performed throughout the United States. It was a joy to work with them as we prepared for this recording. Many of the works have been performed at the mansion during our concert series, and I hope you will enjoy this small sampling of some of the great music performed there.
About the Mansion
Home to the Riversdale Chamber Music Society, the Riversdale House Museum, a gracious Federal-era mansion, was built in the early nineteenth century. It was home to Rosalie Stier, an immigrant from Antwerp, and her husband, George Calvert, a descendant of Maryland’s founding family. Mrs. Calvert wrote to her brother that her busy life as the mistress of a large estate left her with little time to play music, but, she added, “music makes me more sociable.” According to Riversdale History and Museum Specialist Ann Wass, PhD, one of the Calverts’ sons founded the Maryland Agricultural College on part of the estate. This institution evolved into the University of Maryland, College Park. The Riversdale House Museum continues to value its ties to music and to the university, and is the proud host of the Riversdale Chamber Music Society.