Concerts at Farmstead Arts 

Concerts at Farmstead Arts range from classical chamber music to folk and jazz. The setting is one of our beautiful galleries in the historic Farmhouse at Farmstead Arts which is transformed into an intimate concert hall.  Limited seating  allows the audience to hear and see the performers up close in a traditional “house concert” atmosphere.  A reception is held after each concert with refreshments and an opportunity to meet and talk with the musicians. In the warmer months we also host concerts in the English Barn.

Upcoming Concerts:

The Gaels’ Honour:  Early Celtic Music for voice and harp from Gaelic Scotland and Ireland

‘S ged a thigeadh iad uile, bu leat urram nan Gàidheal’
‘and even if they all gathered, yours was the Gaels’ honour’
– Elegy for Mac Gille Chaluim of Raasay, 1671

James Ruff 2

James Ruff, tenor and harper

Sunday, November 18, 2018 at 2pm

Tenor, James Ruff, turns his love and long experience of early music in the direction of the Highlands and Islands:  transcribing and arranging early courtly music from Irish and Scottish manuscripts and from Oral Tradition, and presenting an evening of rarely heard gems – centuries-old love songs and formal laments sung in both Scottish Gaelic and Irish, while accompanying himself on the high art-music instrument of the Gael: the wire-strung Clarsach.  Played for a thousand years until its dénouement around 1800, this instrument, technique and repertoire have been brought back to life only in recent decades.  You’ll relish the bell-like tones of the Clarsach, bringing to life the music of Turlough O’Carolan and other harper composers, and enjoy its historic kinship with the evocative Pibroch of the Highland Pipes.  A magical afternoon you won’t forget!

Since 2005, tenor James Ruff has focused his energies on researching and performing both the Early Scottish Gaelic Song and the Early Gaelic Wire Harp repertoires, as well as learning the Scottish Gaelic language.  He is particularly interested in the “Classical Music of the Gael” of both Scotland and Ireland;  He has presented concerts of this music at such venues as the Scoil na gCláirseach Festival of the Early Irish Harp in Kilkenny, Ireland, the Boston Early Music Festival Fringe, Gotham Early Music Scene Midtown Concerts in New York, Beacon Hill Concerts, Stone Church Arts Concert Series, and the Mount Holyoke College and Vassar College Concert Series.  He played and taught again this August at the Kilkenny Scoil na gCláirseach, and presented a lecture/demonstration on Restoring the Repertoire to the Early Gaelic Harp at the US Historical Harp Society’s conference in June.

He has studied Scottish Gaelic Song with award winning Scottish singers Kenna Campbell and Mary Ann Kennedy, and Early Gaelic Wire Harp with noted Irish harpist Siobhan Armstrong.  In both 2016 and 2017, James won the Gold Medal: First Place/Men’s Division and Highest Overall Score in Gaelic Song at the U.S. National Gaelic Mòd as well as at the ACGA North Carolina Gaelic Mòd.  He was a finalist in the Silver Pendant Gaelic Song Competition at the 2009 Royal National Mòd in Oban, Scotland.

He has performed as tenor soloist with such early music groups as the Handel and Haydn Society, Newberry Consort, King’s Noyse, Aradia Ensemble, New York Collegium, Early Music New York, and Music of the Baroque.  He has toured the U.S. and abroad singing the title role in the medieval Play of Daniel with EMNY and GEMS.  He has sung at the Spoleto Festival: Italy, the Tanglewood, Ravinia and Rockport Chamber Music Festivals, the Boston and the Connecticut Early Music Festivals, as well as with the NY City Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Glimmerglass Opera, St. Louis Opera and the Boston Academy of Music.

Tickets: (Click here to purchase in advance)
General Admission $15 in advance, $20 at the door
Seniors, students and Farmstead members $10 in advance or at the door

Holiday Concert

Stearns Matthews, vocals and Jimmy Horan, piano


December 9, 2018 at 3pm

The popular duo returns for more holiday fun!  Come prepared to sing along.

Stearns Matthews is a MAC and Bistro Award winning vocalist based in New York City whose recent appearances include The Town Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Feinstein’s/54 Below, and The Metropolitan Room. Awards: 2015 Bistro Award for Outstanding Recording; 2015 MAC Awards for Best Male Vocalist and Best Recording for SPARK. Newest album: first-ever male recording of December Songs, words and music by Maury Yeston. BM, Music Theater, Westminster Choir College.

A Plainfield resident, James (Jimmy) Horan has served as musical director, conductor, pianist, and arranger in New York (Meet Me in St. Louis, The Producers) and New Jersey theater venues (Paper Mill Playhouse) for over three decades. Jim recently arranged, musically directed, and accompanied “King (Carole) For A Day” in New York City, a benefit for Lifebeat, Inc. Jim has composed music and lyrics for three original theater pieces, most notably Chopin and Sand about the love affair between the great composer and the notorious writer. Holiday is based on the award winning Philip Barry play, which starred Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn on film. Jim is currently developing the book and score for Esquires, a satirical dark comedy based on his decade of experiences as a practicing attorney. Jim has performed as a singer and accompanist at leading New York City venues such as Danny’s Skylight, Feinstein’s 54 Below, The Metropolitan Room, The Duplex, Don’t Tell Mama, Rose’s Turn, and The Stonewall. His vocal and instrumental arrangements have been featured on critically acclaimed solo artist recordings, choral gospel and pop concerts on both the East and West coast, and by the Washington DC gay men’s chorus.

Tickets: (Click here to purchase in advance)
General Admission $15 in advance, $20 at the door
Seniors, students and Farmstead members $10 in advance or at the door

Happy Birthday Mozart!


Brennan Sweet, violin

Allison Brewster Franzetti, piano

Sunday, January 27, 2019 at 7:00 PM

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Salzburg, Austria on January 27, 1756.  He began composing at the age of 5 and quickly became known throughout Europe as a piano prodigy.  He went on to become, and remains to this day, among the most popular of classical composers, exerting a profound influence on subsequent Western art music. Violinist Brennan Sweet and pianist Allison Brewster Franzetti will lead us in celebrating the Maestro’s 263rd birthday with a concert of music that was written at the time the Farmstead was being built!  The program will include works by Mozart and his contemporaries.


Born in New York City, Brennan Sweet began violin studies at two years of age in Edmonton, Alberta. In 1977 he studied violin at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, Hungary. Sweet earned a bachelor of music degree from Indiana University, and served for three years as teaching assistant to Distinguished Professor Emeritus Josef Gingold before joining the faculty for another two years as a lecturer. Concertmaster of several orchestras during his time in Indiana, including the Evansville Philharmonic and Owensboro Symphony Orchestras, Sweet was also a founding member of the Evansville String Quartet. He performed two seasons as assistant concertmaster of the Colorado Music Festival in Boulder under Maestro Giora Bernstein, and in 1994 he won the position of associate concertmaster with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. Subsequently, he led the orchestra for three seasons as acting concertmaster under Maestro Zdenek Macal. Sweet was a founding member of the Mostly Mozart at Monteux Festival in Hancock, Maine, and has served as coach and performer at the Raphael Trio Chamber Music workshop in New Hampshire and ASTANJ’s Chamber Music Institute. After holding the position of concert artist faculty member at Kean University for seven years, Sweet began teaching at the Mason Gross Extension Division at Rutgers University in 2013. In 2015 he was invited to join the collegiate faculty at the Mason Gross School.

Allison Brewster Franzetti

Grammy® Nominee for Best Instrumental Soloist and Best Classical Crossover Album and Latin Grammy® Nominee for Best Classical Album and Best Tango Album, pianist Allison Brewster Franzetti is acclaimed for stunning virtuosity and musicality.  Performance highlights include the Grammy® Awards ClaHe is among the most enduringly popular of classical composers, and his influence on subsequent Western art music is profoundssical Music Tribute to Earl Wild and Lang Lang at Walt Disney Concert Hall, American Classical Music Hall of Fame, Campeche Festival in Mexico, VI International Festival of Music at the Teatro Colon, and tours throughout the US, Mexico, Europe, Argentina and Japan.  Her latest CD, Luminosa, recorded with Carlos Franzetti and the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, is available on Sunnyside Records.

An accomplished collaborative pianist, she has worked with Sir James Galway, John Corigliano, Stephen Paulus, Carlos Franzetti, Lowell Liebermann, Robert Aldridge, Herschel Garfein, David Maslanka, Ransom Wilson, Robert White, Eugenia Zukerman, and Julius Baker, amongst others.  Dr. Brewster Franzetti holds degrees from Manhattan School of Music, the Juilliard School and Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University.  She is Director of Chamber Music at Mason Gross, Extension Division.

Tickets: (Click here to purchase in advance)
General Admission $15 in advance, $20 at the door
Seniors, students and Farmstead members $10 in advance or at the door

Alexander Hamilton Concert

Featuring Anne and Ridley Enslow

Sunday, February 17, 2019 at 2:00 PM

Enslows 2

The overwhelming success of the musical “Hamilton” has brought about a resurgence of interest in America’s first Treasury Secretary. But what music did Alexander Hamilton himself listen to?Alexander Hamilton Wickimedia Commons

Try starting with the hymn he wrote as a teenager. It was published in a newspaper in St. Croix. There are other songs that we know were among his favorites, thanks to written accounts by his son and grandson.

In this program, Anne Enslow and Ridley Enslow present a narrative of Hamilton’s life, interspersed with 18th-century music that’s relevant to key episodes in his life. (Despite what they say in a certain musical, there is no good evidence that the British troops played “The World Turned Upside Down” as they left Yorktown. But there are other songs that show just how unimaginable it was that America should win the Revolution.)

Anne and Ridley appear in period dress, and play instruments that are appropriate to the colonial period. For Ridley, that’s an 18th-century violin built in France in 1776. For Anne, it’s the hammered dulcimer, a trapezoidal instrument with nearly 100 strings that are struck with little wooden hammers. Both Ridley and Anne sing. And of course, they bring along the star of the show—a little wooden dancing figure called a limberjack. Their limberjack has been painted to look like Hamilton’s mentor and ally, George Washington.

This show was first performed for Celebrate HAMILTON, the annual two-week program of lectures, tours, exhibitions, and concerts sponsored by the Alexander Hamilton Awareness Society. (Visit the Enslows site)

Tickets: (Click here to purchase in advance)
General Admission $15 in advance, $20 at the door
Seniors, students and Farmstead members $10 in advance or at the door

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with

Celtic Music Journey

Starring Heather Mulvey

Heather MulveySunday, March 17, 2019
2:00 PM

Heather Mulvey plays finger-picking acoustic guitar and sings traditional Americana, Celtic, and contemporary folk songs, entertaining audiences of all ages.  In the Celtic Music Journey the audience will learn about the history of these beloved songs and be encouraged to sing along! 

  Heather has performed at community events, cultural and heritage commissions, festivals, schools, First Nights and libraries throughout New Jersey and New York and has been a Featured Artist at the New Jersey Library Association Annual Meeting and at the Garden State Storytellers’ League “Tellabration” event. Heather has performed at venues such as the American as Apple Pie Festival, East Jersey Olde Towne Village, First Night Morris County, First Night South Orange/Maplewood, Waterloo Village, Sunrise Assisted Living communities, Chester Library, Ocean County Library, Milltown Library, Princeton Library, Watchung Library, Westfield Library, and Haverstraw Library. She also enjoys playing kirtan music with friends. (Visit Heather’s website)

Tickets: (Click here to purchase in advance)
General Admission $15 in advance, $20 at the door
Seniors, students and Farmstead members $10 in advance or at the door

Palisades Virtuosi

Margaret Swinchoski, flute
Donald Mokrynski, clarinetRon Levy, piano

Palisades Virtuosi

Sunday, April 7, 2019 at 2:00 PM

Dubbed “The Commissioners” by Chamber Music America magazine, Palisades Virtuosi has established an enviable presence in the chamber music world since its inception thirteen years ago. The founders are three friends, all who had hitherto enjoyed considerable success as individual performers, and who also shared a love of ensemble playing. After performing a few concerts together as a trio, they discovered that they had virtually exhausted the existing repertoire for flute, clarinet and piano. In the midst of gathering frustration an idea presented itself:  why not begin commissioning new works [by American composers] for their instrumental configuration? The concept was enthusiastically embraced and implemented. Now, to date, PV’s portfolio boasts nearly seventy-five new pieces, acquired either directly through PV’s “Mission to Commission”, or by a work being gifted to PV by several and various composers. The collection, taken as a whole, exhibits an astounding richness and depth; the ages of the composers range from sixteen to eighty, displaying a staggering array of styles and approaches.  (For a comprehensive listing of the “Honor Roll,” you are invited to visit PV’s website).

The geographical “home-base” of PV is Bergen County, NJ, where they have performed their subscription concert series for the past 13 years. They have also travelled extensively, appearing at important venues which have included Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall, the Bruno Walter Auditorium/NY Public Library at Lincoln Center, the venerable Stratford Summer Music Festival (founded by Glenn Gould), the University of Hawaii, Honolulu (where they have an informal “residency”), and the New York Flute Club, to name a few. Recently, PV has been named “Visiting Artists” at Bergen Community College (NJ).

An important part of Palisades Virtuosi’s mission is to record and disseminate its new compositions. With the assistance of substantial grants from the Argosy Foundation Contemporary Music Fund, the Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University, and private donations, five volumes of CDs have been recorded and released [by Albany Records]. These recordings have garnered rave reviews from such publications as Fanfare Magazine, American Record Guide, and Living Music Journal. Equally passionate about more traditional music, PV has recorded an album [“Palisades Virtuosi in Recital”/High Point Records], which features music of Bloch, Gaubert, Debussy, Scriabin, Saint-Saens and Danzi. (

Tickets: (Click here to purchase in advance)
General Admission $15 in advance, $20 at the door
Seniors, students and Farmstead members $10 in advance or at the door


Young Artist Concert

Featuring New Jersey’s finest teen classical musicians, chosen by audition at the Farmstead Arts Center.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

3:00 PM

Free admission

The Farmhouse and English Barn are wheelchair accessible.  Anyone anticipating the need for additional accessibility services may make a request by sending an E-mail to in advance.

Funds for these events have 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 the State/County Partnership Local Arts Program Grant administered by The Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission.