The mission of Chestnut Hill Concerts is to foster the appreciation and enjoyment of classical music for audiences on the Connecticut Shoreline by providing world-class chamber music in the summer months when no similar programs are offered in the area.

Chestnut Hill Concerts,Inc. is a 501(C)3 Corporation.


Chestnut Hill Concerts was founded in 1969 by Dr. Elsa Redlich in Killingworth, Connecticut. The concerts evolved from informal performances that were associated with Dr. Redlich's summer program, the Chestnut Hill Creative Arts Center for Children. She was eager to provide a venue for the then sixteen-year-old violinist Yoko Matsuda. Many of the performers were drawn from the Yale School of Music, who also served as faculty at the camp. From the beginning, the concerts sought to involve young people in experiencing fine classical music. That goal has persisted throughout Chestnut Hill's history.

Early on, Ms. Matsuda became the musical director, a post she occupied until 1978, when she and the flutist Ransom Wilson served as Co-Directors. As the series grew, it moved from the barn in Killingworth to the Hammonassett School, later to Andrews Memorial Hall in Clinton, and, in 1985, to the historic First Congregational Church in Madison. Beginning in 2010, Chestnut Hill Concerts moved to its current home, the beautiful Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center in Old Saybrook. Throughout the changes in leadership and venues, Chestnut Hill Concerts has become widely regarded one of the finest chamber music festivals in New England.

In 1981 the Theatre Chamber Players of the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., under the direction of Dina Kosten, was selected as the performing ensemble. Ransom Wilson returned as Director in 1984. Our present Artistic Director, Ronald Thomas, has led the series since 1989. He has brought musicians and programs of both musical excellence and broad appeal. As Artistic Director and co-founder of the Boston Chamber Music Society he has succeeded in enhancing Chestnut HillĂ­s growth, support and acclaim. In 1999 Chestnut Hill Concerts issued a 30th anniversary CD comprised of performances from the previous five years.