Program Notes

August 6, 2023: Joshua Bell + Mahler 1

The Elements Suite for Violin and Orchestra Between concerto appearances, chamber music, film projects, and conducting, Joshua Bell has periodically found time in his wide-ranging career for science projects. Early on, he collaborated with physicists and engineers at...

August 3, 2023: Joshua Bell + Debussy’s La Mer

The Elements Suite for Violin and Orchestra Between concerto appearances, chamber music, film projects, and conducting, Joshua Bell has periodically found time in his wide-ranging career for science projects. Early on, he collaborated with physicists and engineers at...

August 1, 2023: Beethoven, Debussy & Dvořák

String Trio in C Minor, Op. 9, No. 3 Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) When Beethoven embarked on his first chamber works, he initially avoided the string quartet, a form that Haydn and Mozart had effectively monopolized in 1790s Vienna. Instead, he offered the Opus 9...

July 30, 2023: Schumann’s Piano Concerto

Cantus Arcticus, Op. 61 (1974) Einojuhani Rautavaara (1928-2016) Einojuhani Rautavaara (1928-2016), often regarded as the most significant Finnish composer since Jean Sibelius, charted a long and shape-shifting compositional career. He was always a free spirit, drawn...

July 27 & 28, 2023: Brahms 2 + Shostakovich

The Rhapsody of Steve Jobs (2021) Mason Bates (b. 1977) In the six years since Santa Fe Opera presented the world premiere of Mason Bates’s debut opera The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs (2017), the piece has steadily gained a foothold in the modern repertory. A debut...

July 25, 2023: Brahms, Britten & Poulenc

Phantasy Quartet for Oboe and Strings, Op. 2 Francis Poulenc (1899-1963) Years before he cemented his place in history with operas about troubled outsiders (Peter Grimes, Billy Budd) and a War Requiem steeped in pacifist ideals, Benjamin Britten was a prolific...

July 23, 2023: All Mozart: “Linz” & Violin Concerto No. 3

The Impresario Overture, K. 486 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) Mozart composed the one-act Der Schauspieldirektor (The Impresario) for a competition organized by none other than Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II. Presented before a princely audience at Vienna’s...

July 20 & 21 2023: Michael Christie Conducts Tchaikovsky 4

Piano Concerto in G Major Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) Maurice Ravel was a master of artful contradictions — in conversation and in music. In a 1931 interview with London’s Daily Telegraph, he declared that the music of a concerto should be “lighthearted and brilliant,...

July 18, 2023: Brentano String Quartet

String Quartet in D Major, K.499 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) Mozart’s K. 499 Quartet is subtitled the “Hoffmeister” Quartet, after his friend (and sometime publisher) Franz Hoffmeister.  A more apt, descriptive title for the work might be the “Figaro” Quartet,...

July 16, 2023: JFK: The Last Speech – World Premiere

Flatiron Escapades Jordan Holloway (b. 1999) Flatiron Escapades is a musical tribute to the Colorado Chautauqua, composed in commemoration of its 125th anniversary, and is a reflection of my experiences in the park and the surrounding Flatirons. For three years, I...

July 13, 2023: John Corigliano: Living Legend

Gazebo Dances John Corigliano (b. 1938) Gazebo Dances was originally written as a set of four-hand piano pieces dedicated to certain of my pianist friends. I later arranged the suite for orchestra and for concert band, and it is from the latter version that the title...

July 11, 2023: JACK Quartet: New York Stories

Structures for String Quartet (1951) Morton Feldman (1926-1987) by Lejaren Hiller Although Morton Feldman's best-known innovation is the devising of graphical scores that permit a range of choices (of, say, pitches to be made by the performer), the present composition...

July 2, 2023: Family Concert: Peter and the Wolf + Goodnight Moon

Carmen Suite No. 1 for orchestra Georges Bizet (1838-1875) There are several reasons why Georges Bizet’s 1875 opera Carmen endures as a modern favorite. It is, after all, the fourth most-produced work in the Metropolitan Opera’s history, following only La bohème,...

June 29 & 30, 2023: Joshua Bell + Mussorgsky’s Pictures

“Motherboxx Connection” from Tales: A Folklore Symphony for orchestra (2021) Carlos Simon (b. 1986) For generations of Americans, comic books were the first real page-turners: exciting, cheap, and easily available at any newsstand or drugstore. But for many Black...

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