Join the WFMT Radio Network on a musical journey to the foothills of New Mexico’s Sangre de Cristo Mountains as we present 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 by offering a varied repertoire of superbly recorded concerts by today’s greatest classical artists.
The 2020 Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival Radio Series features performances from the Festival’s 2019 summer season. Each broadcast hour typically contains two full-length works representing chamber music’s masterful repertoire. The Festival celebrates well-known core works, and remains dedicated to lesser known composers and compositions, and to commissioning new works. All of this carefully selected repertoire comes to us from a thoughtful mix of veteran performers and emerging artists.
The series host is long-time WFMT announcer Kerry Frumkin. Composer Marc Neikrug, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival’s artistic director, provides insightful commentary. Many of the musicians also discuss the music they play in each program and their experiences at this remarkable Festival.
Here are some highlights from the 2020 Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival Series:
- Timeless gems of the repertoire include Mendelssohn’s youthful work of genius, the Octet for Strings, which opens the series. The thirteenth and final program concludes with Schubert’s joyful and beloved “Trout” Quintet. In between, the season also includes Schubert’s Piano Trio in B Flat Major, and Johann Halvorsen’s Passacaglia in G Minor, a work for violin and viola based on music by Handel.
- Conductor David Zinman returns to Santa Fe to lead two magnificent chamber orchestras. A stellar ensemble of wind players delivers Mozart’s heavenly ‘Gran Partita.’ Tenor Paul Appleby and horn player Stephen Dohr are the featured soloists in Benjamin Britten’s Serenade, from 1943.
- Internationally acclaimed mezzo-soprano Susan Graham stands among the Santa Fe favorites returning to the program. She’ll sing Gustav Mahler’s gorgeous songs, the Ruckert Lieder, in her first-ever collaboration with Festival regular, pianist Jon Kimura Parker. Clarinetist David Shifrin joins forces with the Dover Quartet in the Brahms Quintet in B Minor. The Escher String Quartet delivers two twentieth century quartets: the String Quartet No. 3 that Korngold wrote in 1945, and also Webern’s Five Movements for String Quartet, from 1909. Violinists Benny Kim and Daniel Phillips, violists Steven Tenenbom and Guillermo Figueroa, and cellist Eric Kim play Anton Bruckner’s 1879 String Quintet in F Major.
- Notable musicians making their Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival debut include violinist Paul Huang, the recipient of the prestigious 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant and the 2017 Lincoln Center Award for Emerging Artists. Rising guitarist, Meng Su, performs Three Pieces for Guitar, a 2015 composition by Festival artistic director, composer Marc Neikrug. Hungarian pianist, Zoltán Fejérvári, gives a brilliant interpretation of Bach’s Concerto in D Minor for Keyboard Solo. He also joins Festival colleagues in a number of other pieces including the Piano Trio in A Minor by Ravel. The significant principal horn of the Berlin Philharmonic, Stefan Dohr, brings forth some of the masterpieces for his instrument. These include an Andante by Richard Strauss and a Nocturno by his father, Franz Strauss, performed in collaboration with the wonderful Israeli pianist Shai Wosner. Later, Benny Kim joins that duo for the Horn Trio in E-flat Major by Brahms.
- The music continues with the Trio élégiaque in G Minor by Sergei Rachmaninoff, Two Insect Pieces for Oboe and Piano by Benjamin Britten, Walden for Wind Quintet by Hans Abrahamsen, Konzertstück in F Minor by Felix Mendelssohn, Three Contrapuncti from The Art of Fugue by J.S. Bach, and the Sextet in B-flat Major by Ludwig Thuille.
- Other Festival “regulars” adding their artistry to these programs are flutists Tara Helen O’Connor and Joshua Smith; keyboard greats Haochen Zhang, Wei Luo and Paolo Bordignon; violinists Jennifer Frautschi, Harvey de Souza, Jennifer Gilbert, Joel Link, and Martin Beaver; violists Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt, Tien-Hsin Cindy Wu, L. P. How, Ida Kavafian, and Steven Tenenbom; cellists Clive Greensmith, Mark Kosower, Eric Kim, Timothy Eddy, and Joseph Johnson; clarinetist Todd Levy; and the Miami String Quartet.
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 Gold World Award as well as the top honor, the Grand Award, at the 2009 New York Festivals.