Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival

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 selection of superbly recorded concerts by the greatest of classical artists.

Each broadcast hour typically contains two or three 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. These works come to life via 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 musicians share their thoughts about their experiences at this remarkable Festival, and the music they’ve played here.

Here are some highlights your listeners will enjoy:

  • With the concert cancellations in 2020 due to Covid-19, the 2021-22 syndication series features gems from the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival archives.  This provides the opportunity to look ahead to the Festival’s upcoming 50th anniversary by celebrating great performances of the past, and to honor three extraordinary musicians we lost in 2020: pianists Peter Serkin and Leon Fleisher, and cellist Lynn Harrell.
  • Internationally acclaimed tenor Paul Appleby and rising guitarist Meng Su open the series with a song by John Dowland. Pianist Kirill Gerstein, violinist Martin Beaver, violist Tien-Hsin Cindy Wu, and cellist Peter Wiley bring it to a close with the Brahms Piano Quartet in G Minor. In between, we have a non-stop flow of gorgeous, core chamber music. For example: Vivaldi’s Concerto in F Major for Three Violins, RV 551, with Jennifer Gilbert, Harvey de Sousa, and Soovin Kim as collaborating soloists; the Haydn String Quartet in D Minor, Op. 76, No. 2 with the stellar Miami String Quartet; Beethoven’s String Quartet in C Major, Op. 59, No. 3, “Razumovsky”, played by the magnificent Orion Quartet; and Schubert’s Fantasy in C Major for Violin and Piano as interpreted with depth and poignancy by violinist Daniel Phillips and pianist Haochen Zhang.
  • Pianist Marc-André Hamelin and the Johannes String Quartet deliver the emotional turmoil in Leo Ornstein’s Opus 92 Piano Quintet, from 1927.  Violinists Arnold Steinhardt & Ida Kavafian, violist Steve Tenenbom, and cellist Peter Wiley give a lively performance of Fritz Kreisler’s charming String Quartet in A Minor. Pianist Jeremy Denk joins forces with the Tokyo String Quartet as they play the Elgar Piano Quintet in A Minor. Soprano Tony Arnold and a Festival ensemble perform Oliver Knussen’s Requiem: Songs for Sue. Mezzo-soprano Christianne Stotijn sings a set of songs by Richard Strauss.
  • And the music continues with Contrasts for Violin, Clarinet, and Piano by Béla Bartok (1938); the String Quartet No. 3, Op. 46 by  Viktor Ullmann (1943); the Piano Trio, op. 24 by Mieczysław Weinberg (1945); Three Fragments for Flute & Harp by Witold Lutoslawski (1953); and a recording of the world premiere of a Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival co-commission, the Quartet for Oboe and Strings by Sean Shepherd (2011).
  • The high-caliber, international roster includes musicians of extraordinary artistry: Clive Greensmith, Anssi Karttunen, Gary Hoffman, Ronald Thomas, Felix Fan, Kajsa William-Olsson, Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir, & Eric Kim, cello; Chen Halevi & Todd Levy, clarinet; Leigh Mesh, Marji Danilow, & Mark Tatum, double bass; Bart Feller & Tara Helen O’Connor, flute; Lynn Gorman DeVelder & June Han, harps; Kathleen McIntosh & Paolo Bordignon, harpsichord; Julie Landsman & Julia Pilant, horns; Liang Wang, oboe :David Tolen, percussion; Marc Neikrug, Andrew Russo, & Juho Pohjonen, piano :Brett Dean, Lily Francis, Margaret Dyer Harris, L. P. How, John Largess, Cynthia Phelps & Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt, viola; Guillermo Figuero, Giora Schmidt, Owen Dalby, Benny Kim, Benjamin Beilman, Cho Liang Lin & Ariel Shamai, violin; The Dover Quartet & the Escher 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 New York Festivals.



Category: Chamber Music
Duration: 1-hour / 59:00
Frequency: 13-part
Availability: 03/24/2021 - 03/23/2022

PRX Subscribe



  • Host: Kerry Frumkin
  • Commentary: Marc Neikrug
  • Producer: Louise Frank
  • Executive Producer: George Preston
  • Recording Engineer: Matt Snyder
  • Underwriter: The Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival radio series is made possible, in part, by generous underwriting from the Festival’s supporters. For more information please visit