Walter Rosen, an international banker, musician and art collector met Lucie Bigelow Dodge, a gifted musician in 1914 and it was love at first sight! They married 6 weeks later and shared the same interests, especially music and the arts. Both were passionate collectors and entertainers, hosting all kinds of soirees for their friends, many of whom were in the art world: painters, authors, directors, actors, composers and musicians. At some point, their Manhattan apartment just wasn’t big enough to accommodate all of the people who wanted to attend.
In 1928 they purchased an estate near New York City – Caramoor- which they could visit on weekends and spend their summers. Over 100 acres, the estate included an arts and crafts house and maginificent gardens where they could graciously entertain their growing circle of friends. And entertain they did!
The house was bequeathed after their deaths as a center for music and art in memory of their son, Walter, a fighter pilot for the Royal Canadian Airforce who died in battle during WWII. The Venetian Theater on the estate was initiated, in 1958, with a performance by contralto Marian Anderson. And, curators from the Metropolitan Museum of Art have catalogued the Rosen’s collections which include artistic masterpieces from the 11th Century through the 20th.
This summer, The Caramoor International Music Festival runs from June 22 – August 7. Season highlights include performances by The Emerson String Quartet, The Orchestra of St. Lukes and Verdi’s “Don Carlos”, Audra McDonald and Suzanne Vega, to name just a few. It’s just a 45 minute drive from Midtown Manhattan so it’s a perfect weekend spot to visit – tour the house, relax in the garden and listen to great music. We go at least twice every summer, with a blanket and a picnic to hear really great music and take in the extraordinary setting with all of our senses.