The treatment of the DaPonte String Quartet is shocking

I am shocked by the dismissal of the DaPonte String Quartet (May 13).

A bit of history: In 1989 a 501c3 formed as Chamber Music South Bristol with the aim of bringing chamber music to the mid-coast.

In 1991, the DaPonte String Quartet was formed. They gave their first concert in Maine in 1992. In 1995, the quartet began a three-year residency in Maine, after which they decided to settle in Maine.

In 1998 Chamber Music South Bristol decided to commit to supporting the performance and teaching of the DaPonte String Quartet and changed its name to Friends of the DaPonte String Quartet (FDSQ). Thanks to the generosity of supporters and fans of the quartet, the FDSQ honored this commitment until May of this year. In February, newly appointed FDSQ Executive Director Erica Ball emailed quartet donors about plans for the quartet’s statewide performances and promised exciting news about the DaPonte Quartet’s 30th anniversary celebration that will be announced in the spring.

Well, spring has arrived and the good news is that the FDSQ is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the quartet by firing them, changing the name of the organization to Chamber Music Maine and taking the money that the quartet’s supporters donated. – the money raised with the understanding that it supports the quartet in its work – and offers to use this money in ways that the donors did not intend to do.

I encourage anyone who loves chamber music and admires the DaPonte String Quartet to refuse to have anything to do with an organization called Chamber Music Maine or run by Tommy Davis or Erica Ball. With friends like these, you don’t need enemies.

David H. Shipman


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