Join the WFMT Radio Network on a musical journey to the foothills of New Mexico’s Sangre de Cristo Mountains via thirteen new, music-filled hours from the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival.
Founded in 1972, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival is one of the world’s leading performing arts festivals, earning both critical praise and dedicated audiences for its lasting commitment to tradition, artistic excellence, and vision. Our series reflects the Festival’s high standards through a varied selection of superbly recorded concerts featuring the finest classical musicians of our day.
Each broadcast hour typically contains two or three full-length compositions representing chamber music’s masterful and widely dynamic repertoire. You’ll hear beloved core works by well-known composers alongside less familiar discoveries, and new commissions, too. Every piece comes to life through virtuosic performances by both veteran and emerging musicians. The series host is eminent WFMT announcer Kerry Frumkin. Composer Marc Neikrug, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival’s artistic director, provides insightful commentary. Many of the players also share thoughts about their experiences at this remarkable Festival and the music they perform here.
As the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival enters its 50th anniversary season, the 2023-24 radio series features a sampling of the best performances from the 2022 summer concert season.
These are a few of the many performances your listeners will enjoy:
- The series opens with Franz Schubert’s masterful String Quintet in C Major in an extraordinary performance by collaborating virtuosi Martin Beaver & Leila Josefowicz, violins; Paul Neubauer, viola; and Peter Wiley & Paul Watkins, cellos. Also in this hour, the superb and elegant pianist Benjamin Hochman plays a 17th-century Fantasia by John Bull.
- After the Schubert, this season from Santa Fe includes another six quintets! We have Beethoven’s String Quintet in C Major, Op. 29, from 1801; Robert Schumann’s Piano Quintet in E-flat Major, Op. 44 composed in 1842, his prolific “year of chamber music”; César Franck’s highly emotional Piano Quintet in F Minor, completed in 1879; the lush, romantic String Quintet in G Major, Op. 111 that Brahms wrote in 1890; Amy Beach’s 1907 Piano Quintet in F-sharp Minor, Op. 67; and, the New Mexico Premiere of the Piano Quintet No. 2 by the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival’s longtime artistic director, Marc Neikrug.
- Large-scale works are a specialty of the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. Conductor James Gaffigan leads a Festival ensemble in the New Mexico Premiere of a Festival co-commission: Semafor for Eight Instruments by the highly lauded Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho. John Storgårds conducts soprano Tony Arnold and an ensemble of star players in Oliver Knussen’s homage to his wife, Requiem: Songs for Sue, Op. 33. Violinist Daniel Phillips, flutist Tara Helen O’Connor, and harpsichordist Gilles Vonsattel are the featured soloists in Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D Major, BWV 1050.
- And the non-stop flow of beautiful chamber music continues. For example: the Miami String Quartet plays the Haydn String Quartet in G Major, Op. 77, No. 1; The Escher Quartet delivers the Dvorak String Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 51; and the Dover Quartet performs both the “Dissonance” String Quartet in C Major, K. 465 by Mozart, and the String Quartet in F Major by Ravel. You’ll also enjoy violinist Ida Kavafian and pianist Soyeon Kate Lee in Three Romances, Op. 22 by Clara Schumann, as well as violinist Paul Huang, violist Che-Yen Chen, and cellists Eric Kim & Peter Stumpf in Anton Arensky’s double-cello Quartet in A Minor, Op. 35.
- The series includes high-caliber performances of poignant mid-20th century compositions. Clarinetist Todd Levy and pianist Haochen Zhang bring us Leonard Bernstein’s 1942 Sonata for Clarinet and Piano. For the Shostakovich Piano Trio in E Minor, Op. 67 our players are Nicolas Namoradze, piano; John Storgårds, violin; Peter Stumpf, cello. And pianist Kirill Gerstein, violinist Leila Josefowicz, cellist Paul Watkins, and clarinetist Carol McGonnell bring the season to its finale with their powerful performance of Messiaen’s transformational work from 1941, Quatuor pour la fin du temps (Quartet for the End of Time).
- Additional musicians of extraordinary artistry and reputation on this international roster include: pianists Gloria Chien, Zoltán Fejérvári; violinists Benny Kim, Cathy Meng Robinson, Soovin Kim, Jennifer Frautschi, and L. P. How; violists Paul Neubauer, Scott Lee, Steven Tenenbom, Che-Yen Chen, Theresa Rudolph, and Toby Appel; cellists Peter Wiley, Joseph Johnson and Alastair Eng; flutists Bart Feller and Rachel Blumenthal; horn players Jennifer Montone and Julia Pilant; bassoonists Theodore Soluri, Christopher Millard & Daniel Shelly; percussionist Gregory Zuber; harpist Grace Browning; and harpsichordist Kathleen McIntosh.
Music production for the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival radio series is by Grammy award-winning recording engineer, Matthew Snyder. The series producer is Louise Frank, whose Studs Terkel: Montage of a Life garnered the top honor at the New York Festivals, and whose extensive profiles of international music makers include programs about Chicago’s Music of the Baroque, the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra, the Jerusalem International Chamber Music Festival, Marilyn Horne, Renée Fleming, Twyla Tharp, and Philip Glass.