Mission of the Organization:

The mission of Raritan River Music is to enrich the community through music presentation, creation, and programs of educational, therapeutic, and cultural enrichment—to date, over 1,000 presentations have served over 100,000 residents, plus millions more through media and Internet broadcasts.

Founded in 1989 and now celebrating its 22nd year of service to the community, Raritan River Music has received awards and recognition for its innovative programs from The Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey, Chamber Music America, The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, Warren County Human Relations Commission, and Hunterdon County Cultural & Heritage Commission.

Overview of the Organization:

Founded in 1989, the goals of Raritan River Music are three fold:

* Artists-in-the-Community Residency Program: to use music as a conduit for discovering the world around us and to offer the joy and cultural fulfillment of music to those in the community not often exposed to live performances of classical music. Established with a grant from Chamber Music America, Merck & Co., Inc., and Ethicon, along with technical assistance from the Hunterdon Medical Center, this on-going program focuses on educational institutions (grades K-12) and health care facilities throughout the region—including rehabilitation and developmental centers, hospitals, nursing homes, and senior centers—designed in collaboration with elementary and high school educators and health care professionals. The educational component of this community outreach—the Merck Educational Enrichment Program—is supported by Merck & Co., Inc., along with support from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and the Hunterdon County Cultural & Heritage Commission.

* Raritan River Music Festival: to present in concert throughout Northwestern New Jersey many of America’s finest musicians, performing chamber music in intimate, historic venues located in picturesque rural and village settings during the annual Raritan River Music Festival each May. Some of the artists heard at the festival have included the Lark, Brentano, and Turtle Island String Quartets, Anonymous 4, The Newman & Oltman Guitar Duo, The Amadeus Piano Trio, Chatham Baroque, harpsichordists Kenneth Cooper and Edward Brewer, Four Nations Ensemble, Arabic oudist Simon Shaheen, and Celtic artists Seamus Egan and Eileen Ivers.

* New Music Commissioning Program: to enrich the ensemble literature with new compositions funded through the New Music Commissioning Program. Each year a composer is chosen to create a new work, the world premiere performance of which is recorded and performed at the Raritan River Music Festival. Outreach programs offered by the composer and musicians foster a sense of appreciation and participation in the music’s creation within the community. All premieres have been broadcast on public radio and webcast worldwide on WNYC, America’s most listened to public radio station. Commissioned composers include Dušan Bogdanović, Lowell Liebermann (Composer-in-Residence with Dallas Symphony), Michael Karmon, Augusta Read Thomas (Composer-in-Residence with Chicago Symphony), Paul Moravec (Pulitzer Prize winner), and Arthur Kampela (commissions by New York Philharmonic).


The programs of Raritan River Music—the Raritan River Music Festival, the Merck Educational Enrichment Program, the Artists-in-the-Community Residency Program, and the New Music Commissioning Program— are funded through ticket sales at concerts, as well as through grants and contributions from individuals nationwide, local and state agencies, corporations, and national foundations. The programs are presented in part with support from the Merck Company Foundation, Terminal Velocity Video, The Augustine Foundation, Meet The Composer, New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Hunterdon County Cultural & Heritage Commission, The Large Foundation, the Stover Foundation, CITISPOT Tea and Coffee, Hampton Inn Clinton, and Zidster.com. Funding has been made possible in part by the Hunterdon County Board of Chosen Freeholders, through funds administered by the Hunterdon County Cultural & Heritage Commission. Funding has been made possible in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, through funds administered by the Hunterdon County Cultural & Heritage Commission.

National Winner
The ASCAP-Chamber Music America Award for Adventurous Programming

Outstanding Achievement Award
Hunterdon County Cultural & Heritage Commission

Award for Diversity Achievement
Warren County Human Relations Commission

Honored by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey as
“a highly esteemed cultural organization within the Garden State”
and “a distinguished member of the New Jersey cultural community.”