Music

Music from Angel Fire ends season on bittersweet note

This is the last for Artistic Director Ida Kavafian who has announced her retirement

By Tempo staff
tempo@taosnews.com
Posted 8/28/19

Music from Angel Fire's 36th season comes to a close with concerts this weekend in Angel Fire and Taos. Each takes a part in celebrating the 200th birthdate of Clara Schumann, her muses …

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Music

Music from Angel Fire ends season on bittersweet note

This is the last for Artistic Director Ida Kavafian who has announced her retirement

Posted

Music from Angel Fire's 36th season comes to a close with concerts this weekend in Angel Fire and Taos. Each takes a part in celebrating the 200th birthdate of Clara Schumann, her muses and influences, and the 35th and final season for Artistic Director Ida Kavafian.

Kavafian announced her retirement in May of 2019. MFAF Executive Director Bert Harclerode said in a statement her "leadership has led Music from Angel Fire with incredible artistic vision from education and commissioning of new works to superlative performances and accompanying artists. Her mastery of the chamber music field is unparalleled, her performances brilliant and her respect of fellow artists unparalleled."

The final week of the festival begins Friday (Aug. 30) with a concert beginning at 6 p.m. at the United Church of Angel Fire, 40 West Ridge Road in Angel Fire. Its focus will be on the theme "Prayer for a Departed One."

The centerpiece of this program is the "Kaddish" by Richard Danielpour. "He wrote the work in 2009 as a memorial for his father," Kavafian said in an announcement. "A kaddish is a Jewish prayer of mourning for the loss of a loved one. The beautiful 'Voyage for Flute and Strings,' based on a poem by Baudelaire, opens the program and the much-beloved joyous work by the 16-year-old Mendelssohn, his 'String Octet,' is the closer."

"Mendelssohn," she adds, "was a favorite composer of our season inspiration, Clara Schumann, as well as her husband, Robert, who dubbed him 'the Mozart of the 19th century.' The program will include a scintillating introduction by our festival host, Jonathan Coopersmith."

Performing artists will include flutist Tara Helen O'Connor, violinists Benny Kim and Theodore Arm, violist Ida Kavafian, cellist Arlen Hlusko and double bassist Peter Lloyd. "Kaddish" artists will include violinist Daniel Phillips and Cathy Meng-Robinson, violists Steven Tenenbom and Toby Appel and cellists Peter Wiley and Frankie Carr. Octet artists will include violinists Ida Kavafian, Daniel Phillips, Benny Kim and Theodore Arm, violists Toby Appel and Steven Tenenbom and cellists Peter Wiley and Arlene Hlusko.

The next concert's program theme is "Elegy for Beethoven," planned Saturday (Aug. 31), 2:30 p.m. at Old Martina's Hall, 4140 State Road 68 in Ranchos de Taos.

"Even though our 2019 dedicatee Clara Schumann wrote very few chamber works," Kavafian said, "her 'Piano Trio' is a much-loved, beautiful and wonderfully crafted work. Apparently, Schubert was a fan of Clara as well, inscribing a copy of his famous 'Erlkönig' to her. Our program will open with Schubert's 'Auf dem Strom for Soprano, French Horn and Piano,' written as an elegy to Beethoven. After intermission, [there] is a work by the most famous of Clara's muses, Johannes Brahms. His heroic 'Quintet for Strings Op. 111' is a sure-fire audience favorite."

Performing artists will include soprano Ashley Marie Robillard, hornist Amit Melzer and pianist Melvin Chen. Schumann trio artists will include violinist Theodore Arm, cellist Arlen Hlusko and pianist Melvin Chen. Brahms quintet artists will include violinists Daniel Phillips and Benny Kim, violists Steven Tenenbom and Ida Kavafian and cellist Peter Wiley.

The festival's annual Salon Concert is Sunday (Sept. 1), 3 p.m., at the Angel Fire Community Center, 15 CS Ranch Road in Angel Fire.

Always considered an audience favorite, the annual Salon Concert offers something for everyone, from serious works to hilarious skits to the traditional MFAF "Surround Sound," where the musicians are spread throughout the audience, the announcement reads.

Featured in the serious category will be the main stage artists and the young artists who will combine to offer an informal and fun closing to the 2019 season.

Toby Appel, violist and long-time friend of Ida Kavafian, will be master of ceremonies in the informal matinee concert.

"Ida's commitment to the art form is internationally acclaimed, and on the flip side is a wonderful humanitarian filled with a good sense of humor, a passion raising her beloved Vizslas dogs and an individual with a warm and gentle heart," Harclerode states. "The afternoon program will reflect this spirit and is a favorite for festival lovers. We expect a sold-out house."

Tickets for all concerts and special events are available online, and patrons are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance.

Music from Angel Fire exists to enrich the lives of Northern New Mexico residents and visitors through extraordinary musical performances and education outreach programs with sustainable means, a statement reads.

Music from Angel Fire is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts ARTWORKS, New Mexico Arts, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, and the Angel Fire Community Foundation. Music from Angel Fire is supported by hundreds of citizens and local and regional businesses.

For more information visit MusicfromAngelFire.org or call (575) 377-3233.

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