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Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival Announces 2013 Season, 7/14-8/19

Related: Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival

The Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, with Artistic Director Marc Neikrug and Executive Director Steven Ovitsky, announces its 2013 season, which runs from July 14 through August 19, 2013.

Highlights of this summer include distinguished pianist Garrick Ohlsson as the Festival's 2013 Artist-in-Residence; a four-concert mini-festival entitled "Years of Wonder" that focuses on four exceptionally prolific years in the lives of Gesualdo, Mozart and Schumann, featuring the preeminent Santa Fe Desert Chorale in performances of Gesualdo's ethereal Book V madrigals; the launch of a week-long string quartet workshop for young composers that comprises daily rehearsals, mentoring by Marc Neikrug and top publishing executives, and world premiere performances of the resulting works; a commissioned premiere by Thierry Lancino and a co-commissioned premiere by Marc-André Dalbavie. Now in its 41st season, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, nestled in the breathtaking Sangre de Cristo Mountains, annually brings audiences a summer season filled with compelling chamber music programs performed by world-renowned artists. In addition to presenting the masterworks of the chamber music repertoire, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival is dedicated to supporting living composers and perpetuating the chamber music medium, which has resulted in the premieres of over 50 newly commissioned works since 1980.

"We are especially excited for this summer's Festival, because it is structured in such a way that clearly highlights the masters of the past, today's consummate artists, and emerging talent that will keep the chamber music art form alive for generations to come" observes Marc Neikrug, who celebrates his 16th season as Artistic Director of the Festival. "For instance, the 'Years of Wonder' mini-festival not only looks at the work of three revered composers-Gesualdo, Mozart and Schumann-but more specifically, four particular years in their lives that resulted in some of their most revered works. As part of this festival, we are extremely pleased to welcome back the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, one of the premier choral ensembles in the United States, who will perform Book V of Gesualdo's madrigals. These madrigals, written 400 years ago, are intensely expressive pieces that are guaranteed to move the audience, even more so because they are being performed by one of the best chorales in the nation."

Neikrug continues, "We are also thrilled to welcome Garrick Ohlsson as our Artist-in-Residence this summer. It has been 10 Years since Garrick debuted with the Festival in 2003, and it's so exciting for us to have him return for three separate concerts. Audiences rarely get to hear this incomparable pianist in a chamber music and recital setting."

Juxtaposing the performances of works by classical music masters at the Festival is the launch of a new program for young composers. The week-long workshop welcomes composers Reena Esmail, David Hertzberg and Elizabeth Ogonek who will each write a string quartet that the FLUX Quartet will rehearse with them daily, providing immediate feedback and suggestions for fine tuning. As an experienced composer himself, Marc Neikrug will oversee all rehearsals and counsel both composers and performers. Additionally, executives from publishing companies G. Schirmer and Boosey & Hawkes will meet with the three composers to discuss various aspects of the music business, and what is involved when young artists seek to have their works published, performed and recorded. The week culminates with the FLUX Quartet performing the world premieres of all three works in a concert that also includes Marc Neikrug's String Quartet No. 4.

In addition to the world premieres by the workshop participants, audiences will hear the world premiere of Thierry Lancino's String Quartet, a Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival commission that will be performed by the Orion String Quartet, as well as the New Mexico premiere of Marc-André Dalbavie's Piano Quartet, a co-commission between the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and La Jolla Music Society for Summerfest.

Additional highlights of the 2013 Festival season include:

"Bach Plus" celebrates J.S. Bach's timeless music, as well as works by his contemporaries and those that were later inspired by him. Figuring prominently in the series is "Reflection and Revolution: Music in the Time of Goya," a multimedia presentation hosted by guitarist Richard Savino that showcases the romantic Spanish painter's work alongside music written during the same time period. Also featured in this Saturday series are Samuel Baron's arrangements of Bach's monumental The Art of Fugue for string quartet and wind quintet.

Baritone Matthew Worth in Schumann's song cycle Dichterliebe (A Poet's Love) and Mahler's Songs of A Wayfarer conducted by Lawrence Foster, as well as soprano Lucy Shelton performing one of her signature roles in Schoenberg's melodrama Pierrot lunaire.

Mexican composer Mario Lavista's atmospheric Marsias for Oboe & Eight Crystal Glasses with surprise guest "crystalists."

7th Annual Chefs' Gala Benefit on July 16 begins with a performance by pianist Inon Barnatan, followed by a private dinner featuring 20 of Santa Fe's premier chefs each designing their own four-course menu and table décor.

The Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival's Albuquerque Series at Simms Auditorium has been expanded to four concerts, allowing audiences outside of Santa Fe to enjoy the superb programs and performers that the Festival brings to New Mexico every summer.

Additional composers featured in the Festival include Beethoven, Berg, Brahms, Chausson, Dohnányi, Dutilleux, Dvorák, Enescu, Schuloff, Shostakovich, Stockhausen, Stravinsky, Suk, Tchaikovsky, Vivaldi, and many more.

Returning artists include pianists Garrick Ohlsson, Jeremy Denk, Inon Barnatan, Anne-Marie McDermott and Shai Wosner; violinists Daniel Hope, Ida Kavafian and Lily Francis; flutist Tara Helen O'Connor; and the Orion, Johannes, Miami, and Shanghai String Quartets, among many others.

Artists making their Festival debut are pianist Soyeon Kate Lee, violinist Benjamin Beilman and clarinetists Carol McGonnell and Patrick Messina.

Subscription packages for the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival are on sale now. Ticket information is available through the Festival website at www.SantaFeChamberMusic.com, and tickets can be purchased by calling 888-221-9836 or 505-982-1890. Single tickets for individual concerts will be available for sale on Monday, February 25.

FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS IN DETAIL

Garrick Ohlsson - 2013 Artist-in-Residence

Internationally renowned pianist Garrick Ohlsson serves as the Festival's 2013 Artist-in-Residence, performing on two separate chamber programs in addition to a solo piano recital. These are Ohlsson's first Festival performances since making his debut in 2003. A consummate artist that regularly appears with the world's top symphony orchestras, Ohlsson seldom performs in a chamber music or recital setting, making his appearances with the Festival this summer a particularly exceptional treat for audiences to experience.

Garrick Ohlsson's first Festival concert this summer is on Sunday, August 11, in a performance of Ernest Chausson's Concerto for Violin, Piano & String Quartet in D Major, in which Ohlsson is joined by violinist William Preucil and the Orion String Quartet. On Thursday, August 15, Ohlsson performs a solo piano recital. And on Sunday, August 18, Ohlsson performs Ludwig Thuille's Sextet for Winds & Piano along with flutist Tara Helen O'Connor, oboist Robert Ingliss, clarinetist Patrick Messina, bassoonist Theodore Soluri and horn player Julie Landsman.

Since winning the 1970 Chopin International Piano Competition, pianist Garrick Ohlsson has established himself Worldwide as a musician of interpretive and technical prowess. Although long regarded as one of the world's leading exponents of the music of Frédéric Chopin, Ohlsson commands an enormous repertoire, which ranges the entire piano literature. A student of the late Claudio Arrau, Garrick Ohlsson is noted for his masterly performances of the works of Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert, as well as the Romantic repertoire. To date, he has at his command more than 80 concertos, ranging from Haydn and Mozart to works of the 21st century, many commissioned for him.

"Years of Wonder" Mini-Festival

This four-concert "festival within a festival" focuses on the masterpieces of Gesualdo, Mozart, and Schumann written in the years 1611, 1786, 1788, and 1842-each a particularly productive year in the composers' lives.

"When the Orion String Quartet told me they wanted to play all three Schumann quartets this summer, I noticed that all three of these works, in addition to his piano quartet and piano quintet, were written in the space of one year," Neikrug explains of the Festival's initial inspiration. "These are five of Schumann's greatest works. I found this spurt of creativity fascinating, so I decided to research other composers and see if there were similar patterns. I found that Mozart wrote his last five piano trios in about a year and a half, and the Italian prince and composer Carlo Gesualdo wrote his fifth book of madrigals-some of the most beautiful music I've ever heard, yet also some of the most difficult to perform-in the space of one year. I'm very excited to present these works side by side over the course of four concerts, as it will be a wonderful contemplation of the genius these composers accomplished over a short period of time."

The Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival welcomes back the Santa Fe Desert Chorale-one of the nation's premier choral ensembles-in the performances of Gesualdo's ethereal Book V madrigals, which will be spread out over the course of the four concerts on August 12, 14, 15 and 19. Over the course of the "Years of Wonder" mini-festival, Gesualdo's madrigals are joined by Mozart's Piano Trios Nos. 2, 4, 5 and 6; and Schumann's String Quartets Nos. 1 and 3, along with his Piano Quartet and Piano Quintet. The musicians performing the Mozart and Schumann works are violinists Ida Kavafian, William Preucil and Benny Kim; violist Steven Tenenbom; cellists Peter Wiley and Eric Kim; pianist Anne-Marie McDermott; and the Orion String Quartet

String Quartet Workshop for Young Composers

In keeping with the Festival's commitment to supporting living composers and contributing new works to the chamber music repertoire, Marc Neikrug introduces a new program this summer that will guide three young composers through the process of creating and revising a new work for a world premiere performance. The week-long workshop welcomes composers Reena Esmail, David Hertzberg and Elizabeth Ogonek. Each will write a string quartet that the FLUX Quartet will rehearse with them daily, giving the participants a chance to fine tune their works as they work together with the musicians.

"In my opinion, one of the most difficult things to compose is a string quartet, and I think it is nearly impossible if you do not have some kind of feedback," Neikrug observes. "Sometimes, the work is written and performed as is, and the composer might be so unhappy with it that he or she completely starts over. What we want to do with this new workshop is create a model where composers have the opportunity to write something and have a professional quartet rehearse it and refine it over the course of one week. This allows the composers to make adjustments each day based on what they are hearing, so, at every rehearsal they are bringing their work closer and closer to the final envisioned product. This is certainly a unique learning experience for emerging composers, and we're providing it at a point in their careers when they will benefit from the experience most."

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