The Rotunda at Shadowbrook
“A Galaxy of musicians have performed in this room. His associates have spanned the gamut, from classical musicians such as Andres Segovia to the most avant‐garde, such as Chick Corea, the pianist, and Airto Moreira, percussionist. The music room has served as an impromptu concert hall for artists whose names are synonyms for celebrity In an American music: Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Benny Goodman, Buddy Rich, Dizzy Gillespie, John Hendricks, Erroll Garner, among others.”
The New York Times described its famous music room as “a 19th‐century rotunda in Greek Revival style, with a domed ceiling and Corinthian columns; a room in which, according to local lore, Washington Irving had his last glass of wine before he died.” The late Mr. Getz reportedly called it “one of the best gifts I ever gave myself,” noting “the acoustics are unbelievable.”
Mr. Getz has used the music room perhaps more than any other owner of the mansion. His entire household—consisting of five children, ranging in age from 14 to 28, two golden Labrador retrievers, named James Blonde and Charles Crusader of Shadowbrook, and two black cats, one named Colombina and the other addressed simply as cat —seems to orbit around the space when Mr. Getz is at home.
So, too, does a galaxy of musicians. Mr. Getz has been described by Albert Goldman, the jazz critic, as “an American institution too swinging to be called established, but brilliant, celebrated and legendary enough to justify the accolade classic.” His associates have spanned the gamut, from classical musicians such as Andres Segovia to the most avant‐garde, such as Chick Corea, the pianist, and Airto Moreira, percussionist. The music room has served as an impromptu concert hall for artists whose names are synonyms for celebrity In an American music: Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Benny Goodman, Buddy Rich, Dizzy Gillespie, John Hendricks, Erroll Garner, among others.
The room has also been a magnet for politicians. Mr. Getz has long been a supporter of the Democratic Party, and his associations extend from the Kennedys to the Carters. He campaigned “in vain” for Hubert H. Humphrey when the Minnesota Senator ran for President, and traveled to Thailand with Lyndon B. Johnson at the request of King Phumiphol, whom Mr. Getz describes as “a saxophone player who became a personal friend.” As recently as last spring, W. Averell Harriman was host for a party at Shadowbrook for J. Edward Meyer, a candidate for Congress last November.
“The music room attracts politicians,” Mr. Getz says. “It’s like a miniWhite House.” As he says the words, musicians arrive. They begin to set up their instruments. Soon the room is filled with cacophonous sound. There is to be a rehearsal, one of a stream of rehearsals that go on regardless of birthdays and holidays. “I bought the house for the music room and the showers,” he says, the whole place resonating with his voice.
“They’re fantastic,” he says.“They’re the only place I feel inspired to sing.”
This is the room where legendary pianist, Tom Jobim wrote the timeless hit, “The Girl from Ipanema”. The list of legendary musicians is nearly too many to be believed. The following is information (what we hope to become a complete list), has been provided by Monica Getz herself, who often enjoyed listening to Joao Gilberto play his guitar while wearing pajamas.
The rotunda is quite literally an enchanted musical room.
Mr. Getz’s fascination with the music room is shared by his wife, who has traced the history of the property to 1816 when it was owned by Thomas Thornton, an Irishman. Mrs. Getz is a granddaughter of Count Eric von Rosen, an explorer in Africa and South America who wrote on the Incas. She grew up in a castle at Sparreholm, south of Stockholm and, albeit twice the size, the castle bore many resemblances to Shadowbrook. She is also the founder of The Coalition for Family Justice – Click Here to learn more information.
Artists who have performed in the Rotunda at Shadowbook Manor: Stan Getz, Irving Berlin, Tony Bennett, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, George Gershwin,