The residence of Ron Brickman in West Point has had the pleasure of hosting many musicians from around the world, prior to the opening of the Blue Mountain Chamber Music Retreat. Many of these musicians have performed in concerts of the Mother Lode Friends of Music, which Ron has directed since its founding over twenty years ago. Here below are the verbatim comments of many of these guests.
“I have stayed several times in Ron’s home in the mountains of California. His home, property and the surrounding countryside are exceptionally beautiful. Ron is a gracious host and he prepares delicious meals for his guests. He is a first-rate pianist and organizer of musical concerts. He has introduced me to many wonderful and unusual selections of chamber music featuring the guitar. I strongly recommend that musicians from Europe and elsewhere make time to spend part of their visit in California with Ron at the Blue Mountain Retreat.”
Classical guitarist and composer
Barcelona, Spain December 21, 2015
“Imagine being in the middle of a natural paradise, where time stands still and the pleasure of making music is enhanced by “nature’s music.”
There is no better place to stop for any musician who wants to experience the enjoyment of playing with others during a relaxing vacation.
Ron is more than a great host, having a passion for classical music thant changes, influences and elevates people’s spirits, It has been always a great treat and pleasure to spend time at his place and rehearse together!
Last but not least, Ron being a passionate gourmet cook, you’ll never forget his creations!”
Romanian concert violinist
Hayward, CA December 13, 2015
“I have known Ron for about 15 years and feel privileged to have collaborated with him musically over the years. I perform with his MLFM Orchestra, a group of friendly professionals. Concert day usually starts with lunch with friends in the quaint town of Sutter Creek, Calif., where the orchestra performs, and concludes with high level music.
Ron accompanies my violin students on piano every year. I can relax knowing that he can handle the most difficult concertos or be gentle with the young beginner students.
My husband and I enjoy Ron’s cozy house concerts and at the same time are happy to contribute to the Orchestra.
One of our favorite outings is to head up to Blue Mountain Orchards in West Point, Calif. where Ron lives, to stock up on his delicious gourmet creations made from his orchards and gardens. Our pantry is always stocked, and we also shop for holiday gifts. A trip to West Point is truly special, both for historical reasons and for the rustic beauty of the area. And, of course, Ron’s unique home and surrounding 30 acres of orchards. A hike/walk through the property is always a must before settling in with a glass of Alsatian Riesling (one of Ron’s favorites) in front of the large stone fireplace, in the same room as the grand piano, which he loves to play for us. An overnight stay means very comfortable accommodations. We especially like the view through the French windows in the dining room.
This setting and Ron’s talent and professionalism make this the perfect musical retreat.”
Violinist, violin teacher
Granite Bay, CA October 29, 2015
“I’ve known Ron Brickman for many years that included many good chamber music sessions and performances. He is an enthusiastic ensemble partner with amazing sight-reading ability and an intrepid explorer of new music. He is unfailingly patient and polite so working with him is practically without friction. His knowledge of chamber music is both wide and deep as is his library. I am confident that everyone who is proficient in their instrument would consider themselves privileged to play with him and will find him to be a valuable resource as a chamber musician.”
Physician (retired), Kaiser Permanente
Milpitis, CA October 29, 2015
“Ron Brickman, his home, and his grounds are a unique destination in Northern California for serious musicians, professional and amateur. Ron himself is a gifted pianist and a fine performer with exceptional reading and accompaniment skills. But Ron’s musical world extends far beyond his chosen instrument in fostering energetic and imaginative programs. You will read elsewhere of the recital, chamber music, and symphonic events Ron has almost single-handedly originated, inspired, and promoted in the extended Bay Area and Sierra Foothills. The musical intelligence he offers these large scale events is no less available in the small setting down to one-on-one encounters with other musicians.
Musicians are overwhelmingly enthusiastic appreciators of fine and delicious food; Ron is a superb chef with first-rate culinary skills and an imaginative creator of menus that resonate with the musical programs he conceives. It is a pleasure to sup with Ron at his table.
Ron’s gifts are rare: fine music-making and fine food! what more could one ask? Well, a fine pastoral setting with lovely grounds, orchards, and garden and guest house, performance space—these too. Moreover, Ron’s abode is within reasonable driving distances to the heart of the Bay area for performances in its abundant musical life—and then an equally comfortable return back to the pastoral quietude of Ron’s retreat.
Lastly, let me say simply and colloquially that Ron is “one hell-of-a-nice-guy” with wonderful capacities to listen and intelligently share. These qualities are important in taking up even short residency in someone’s home (qualities not necessarily present in all serious musicians). Ron is a most gracious host in all its facets.”
David Anthony Oliver
Physicist, Author, Amateur Musician
Blue Ridge Mountains, VA October 29, 2015
“We have had the pleasure to perform several concerts accompanied by Ron Brickman, including a very wide variety of music. In fact, we are about to collaborate on another! This speaks for itself.
On one occasion, we were hosted at his unique West Point house for two days, enjoying excellent accommodations, delicious food, fine wine and productive rehearsals.
Recommendation: Two vocal cords up! (Thumbs, too!)”
International opera singer
Modesto, CA October 29, 2015
“I have stayed many times at Ron’s home, always while we prepared a program for imminent performance. It is a dream destination for me. Everything is perfection for me; I love the foothills and Ron’s house sits on a big expanse of land surrounded by apple orchards nestled within them. I look out my bedroom window and watch deer in the mornings, walk with Ron to gather fresh eggs from his hen house, regale myself with his extraordinary cooking and delicious wines. The house is a poem, composed over the course of many, many years and reaching back to other generations and times and to other musicians. After we eat leisurely breakfasts and lunches, all sumptuous, Ron and I settle in to work on music. He can sight read anything and has a vast knowledge of repertoire. I’ve come to know many, many pieces of beautiful music thanks to Ron’s expertise and research. He is a fantastic accompanist but also a pianist with fascinating life experience and the eloquence to share it. Not on all the earth is there a place I would rather be than in West Point making music with Ron.”
International opera singer
Chicago, IL October 29, 2015
“Our stay with Ron was heaven on earth. We had all the resources we needed to get as much work done as we wanted. The surroundings are gorgeous and inspiring and his home is lovely. Ron was a gracious host and it was extremely pleasant to stay with him. His cooking was excellent and he even shared a fantastic bottle of wine. I highly recommend staying with him.”
Cellist, Friction Quartet
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA October 29, 2015