In The Press

Praise for the Taos Chamber Music Group!

"One of the great treasures of Taos" -The Taos News
"Big magic...silken ensemble playing"
-Albuquerque Journal
“A remarkable concert of juxtaposed styles”
-Horse Fly
“Depth, vitality and inventiveness”
-Spencer Beckwith, KUNM
Press Release
Taos Chamber Music Group presents "Shadow & Light"

The Taos Chamber Music Group’s 26th Season continues on Saturday and Sunday, November 10 and 11, 5:30 p.m. at the Harwood Museum of Art with “Shadow and Light,” featuring music that is informed by the natural world. Works include Tina Davidson’s “Blue Curve of the Earth,” Einojuhani Rautavaara’s “Notturno & Danza,” Katherine Hoover’s “Summer Night,” Melissa Hui’s “Trace,” Johannes Brahms’s “Horn Trio” and Bohuslav Martinu’s “Promenades.” Musicians are Elizabeth Baker, violin, Jeffrey Rogers, horn, Nancy Laupheimer, flute, and Kim Bakkum, piano.

“The inspiration for this program was the incredible visual, almost numinous, qualities of shadow and light that we experience all around us in Taos. That became a jumping off point for music that contains shadow and light in sound, as well as music that expresses the shadow and light of the emotional landscape,” says TCMG Director Nancy Laupheimer.

TCMG has frequently programed compositions that connect to the landscape over its 26 years. The group’s website says: “There is something different about making music in New Mexico - its endless vistas and open landscapes infuse creativity with a sense of spaciousness and possibility.” This weekend’s concerts will open with the spacious invocation of Katherine Hoover’s “Summer Night” for flute, horn and piano. Its expansiveness is well conveyed by the French horn, played by TCMG’s newest member Jeffrey Rogers, who will also be featured in the second half of the program in Brahms’s stirring “Horn Trio.”

“TCMG is very excited to have a horn player of Jeff’s caliber living nearby,” says Laupheimer. “His sensitive musicianship and silky sound are a great addition to the group.” Rogers has recently moved to Taos after a career performing with symphony orchestras and chamber music groups in Mexico and Chile. He has played principal horn in the Mexico City Philharmonic Orchestra, Mineria Symphony Orchestra, the Jalisco Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Chilean National Symphony Orchestra in Santiago. Rogers also had an extensive chamber music career, performing with the Mexico City Woodwind Quintet, Mexico City Brass Quintet, Camarata Mazatlan and the contemporary music ensemble CEPROMUSIC. He has served on the faculty of the Ollin Yolitzli Music Conservatory as well as the FOMENTO National Music School, both based in Mexico City.

TCMG violinist Elizabeth Baker, former member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, will also be featured with Taos pianist Kim Bakkum in two evocative works. Tina Davidson’s “Blue Curve of the Earth” widens the lens with a musical perspective from space. It has been described as “a lyrical world that seems capable of embracing the horizon.” “Now, more than ever,” Laupheimer says, “music that evokes the beauty and fragility of our precious planet needs to be heard.”

Another night piece is Einojuhani Rautavaara’s “Notturno,” followed by a “Danza.” A Finnish composer who died in 2016, Rautavaara thought enough of this sublime melody for violin and piano to use it the following year (1994) for his “Angel of Light Symphony.” The “Danza” is a glittering, ascending, light-filled romp.

Returning to shadow, the next work will be Melissa Hui’s “Trace” for flute and piano. Hui’s music is inspired by the haunting music of African pygmies and Japanese gagaku court music. Writes Hui: “The Japanese sense of space and silence or ‘ma’ is as integral to the music as the events that envelope it.” Within this suspended space, the flute and piano explore two musical motives that Hui describes as intimately ethereal and raucously violent.

Sunlight fills “Promenades” for flute, violin and piano. “Composed in 1939 in a neo-Baroque style, the four movement frolic is whimsical and witty. The Brahms “Horn Trio” that concludes the program explores darker terrain as a commemoration of the composer’s mother who had died earlier in 1865, the year the piece was written. Originally intended for natural (as opposed to valve) horn, Brahms was interested in the more melancholic and open quality of its sound, as well as its association with nature and the hunt. Brahms played the natural horn, himself, and said that the opening theme of the “Horn Trio” came to him while he was walking through the woods.

As always, audiences will be treated to memorable performances of familiar and new sounds in this wide variety of music. For tickets and more information, visit the Taos Chamber Music Group website at Tickets are also on sale at the Harwood Museum, 758-9826, where there is a discount for museum members. Make an evening of it and receive dinner discounts at Lambert's Doc Martin's, Martrys and the Gorge Bar and Grill restaurants after the performance.

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