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 Center for the Arts and Taos Chamber Music Group present
American String Quartet


Taos Center for the Arts partners with Taos Chamber Music Group to present the American String Quartet at the Taos Community Auditorium on Friday, October 29 and Saturday, October 30 at 5:30 p.m. for the next concerts of TCMG’s 29th Season.

“Following TCMG’s successful opening concert at the TCA in September, we are thrilled to welcome back the Americans, who have graced our roster for many seasons now,” says TCMG Director and flutist Nancy Laupheimer. “As with our first presentation, safety of musicians, staff, volunteers and audience remain foremost.” The TCA will accommodate limited, socially distanced seating for those wearing masks and providing proof of vaccination.

“During the pandemic,” Laupheimer continues, “the Quartet kept in touch via Zoom calls. As soon as I knew that they were ready to tour again, we made a plan for them to come to Taos. Says ASQ violist Daniel Avshalomov, “For all the reasons you can imagine Taos is one of our favorite places to play. Chief amongst those is that we know most of the audience by name - some have been attending our concerts for decades, and that makes just walking onstage such a comfort.”

The ASQ will perform two different shows. The first (Oct. 29) features Beethoven’s Quartets Opus 59, no. 3 and Opus 131 in a belated 250th birthday tribute that TCMG had originally scheduled with the Americans for 2020. The second program (Oct 30) will include works by Johannes Brahms, Dmitri Shostakovich, George Walker and, with Laupheimer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

When asked to describe their repertoire choices, Avshalomov wrote, “The Beethoven program harkens back to our very early seasons. Before we got established, some calls to perform were what might be called last-minute, and we had a short list of dependable fireworks we could offer on short order. Opus 59, no. 3 was our “party piece” and topped that list. And Op. 131 [the composer’s favorite] was the first one we learned - not that we had the wisdom or maturity to plumb its depths all those years ago, but our instincts guided us to begin studying routes up that particular mountain early on, so that later ascents could be mounted without injury, so to speak. A joy every time.

Speaking of joy - we will open the Saturday program joined by our dear friend and colleague Nancy for a Mozart flute quartet, then on to George Walker’s “Lyric,” an echo of Samuel Barber’s ubiquitous “Adagio,” followed by Shostakovich’s tersest quartet, No. 7 in F# Minor. He conceived of it and the somewhat overplayed No. 8 as a pair, like binary stars whose elements are of different sizes. And finally, Brahms’s A Minor Quartet, Op. 51 no. 2. Brahms, a notorious self-critic, reportedly destroyed countless early quartets, so we’re lucky the A Minor survived the cut. It’s luscious.”

The ASQ - Peter Winograd (violin), Laurie Carney (violin), Daniel Av¬sha¬lo¬mov (viola), and Wolfram Koes¬sel (cello) - is internationally recognized as one of the world's finest quartets. They have spent decades honing the luxurious sound for which it is famous. The Quartet celebrated its 45th anniversary in 2019, and, in its years of touring, has performed in all fifty states and has appeared in the most important concert halls worldwide.

Formed when its original members were students at The Juilliard School, the American String Quartet’s career began with the group winning both the Coleman Competition and the Naumburg Award in the same year. ?Resident quartet at the Aspen Music Festival since 1974 and at the Manhattan School of Music in New York since 1984, the American has also served as resident quartet at the Taos School of Music, the Peabody Conservatory, and the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.

The programs will run approximately 70-75 minutes with no intermission. Tickets are available at tcataos.org/tickets, and more information can be found at taoschambermusicgroup.org. For questions about these events, please contact info@tcataos.org

 


Life as a Musician During the Pandemic by Kim Bakkum


     September, 2021: I have observed the effect of the pandemic on my musical colleagues all over the world.  From Academia to orchestras, educators and chamber groups it’s been a huge blow to our musical psyches and naturally to the livelihood of making music. That being said, it has been beyond remarkable how we’ve all collectively pursued and insisted on a way to share music. For me personally to continue to teach music in my community. Has been critical. Music is that important to the human spirit.
    Musicians are resilient, persistent and curious and I’ve watched colleagues re-invent the ability to teach music at colleges, to stream concerts, and to insist that music continues to have a place in our communities. There has been incredible technical growth in this area for us all. We are entirely fortunate that we have the benefits of technology to bring performances into our living rooms, bring playlists to our cars, and Zoom, Skype or Facetime students.
    I’m especially proud of my individual private students who continued their pursuit of music online all last year. I never ever imagined that I’d be teaching via a screen, but we did it. The students did it and that was so critical to me, to continue to enhance and support their love for music. This week, I got to meet some students for the FIRST time in person for a lesson and was quickly reminded of the power of “in person” human connection. The glory of sound produced from an acoustic instrument that bathes us in energy and beauty is amazing. THAT, cannot be reproduced via a screen…
    There truly is nothing like it, and I have missed it, and I applaud my students, and their parents for knowing that music in their lives is a forever gift. So, during the pandemic, in lieu of collaborations, the pursuit of a solo program seemed natural and necessary. Music has a power to organize, create and feed the soul. Music is sound and heart. It’s part of the human condition and human connection!


 

 

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