Arthur Russell Week

It is with great regret that we have had to cancel Arthur Russell Week 2020 due to the ongoing health crisis and the intimate nature and logistics inherent to our program. All of us at ECMI have been looking forward to a new partnership with Camp Beech Cliff to make Arthur Russell Week even more exciting and accessible to young musicians from MDI and beyond.

ARW Director Noreen Silver said it well: “To say that we are disappointed is an understatement, and yet the disappointment is accompanied by acceptance, and ultimately hope for a better future… [we] look forward with renewed determination to bring our students together for a wonderfully enriching experience in 2021, and to cherish all opportunities to make music together.”

With high hopes for the future and wishes for your health and happiness.

A little history…

Arthur Russell Week (ARW), formerly known as Arthur Russell Strings, is the summer festival of ECMI.  Young musicians travel to Southwest Harbor on Mount Desert Island for a week of playing music together, receiving instruction, and performing for eager audiences.

In 1998, Arthur Russell Strings was founded as a way to honor the legacy of an avant garde cellist, composer, singer, and musician with ties to Mount Desert Island, Maine. Arthur’s work spanned the genres of classical, disco, folk and rock. He collaborated with artists like Allen Ginsburg, Talking Heads, and Philip Glass, to name but a few. He died from AIDS in 1992. ARS began as summer festival for young musicians to experience the wonders of musical collaboration in small groups. Our one-week festival is designed to encourage young musicians to experience the joy of musical collaboration, to form deep and lasting friendships, to benefit from professional mentors, and to share the wonder of performance.

Inspired by the impact of ARS, the Board of Directors decided to pursue their vision of making the ARS summer festival part of a larger, year-round commitment: hence the Ellsworth Community Music Institute was born.


Noreen Silver (new) (2)

Director and cellist Noreen Silver was born and grew up in Glasgow, Scotland. Her studies took her to London’s Royal College of Music and to Boston’s New England Conservatory as the recipient of a Rotary International Fellowship. She and pianist husband Phillip Silver form the internationally acclaimed Silver Duo, with two CD recordings on the Toccata Classics label. Noreen’s professional experience includes several years in Seattle’s Northwest Chamber Orchestra, the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Opera, Boston Opera, London’s BBC Symphony Orchestra, and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. She is principal cellist of the Bangor Symphony Orchestra and has often appeared as soloist with the orchestra.  Noreen has been on the University of Maine faculty since 1999, where she directs the chamber music program and teaches cello performance


Luke Fatora, violin
Nancy Colter, piano
Additional faculty TBD