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
Taos Chamber Music Group’s 26th Season Concludes with “Play It Forward!”

The Taos Chamber Music Group’s twenty-sixth season comes to a close with performances on Saturday and Sunday, May 11 and 12, 5:30 p.m. at the Harwood Museum of Art. Capping off a series of compelling and celebratory concerts, TCMG’s annual program highlighting younger musicians and newer music, “Play It Forward,” features 24-year-old violist Alice Norris in works by her favorite living composer, Kenji Bunch. She joins TCMG musicians Elizabeth Baker, violin, Sally Guenther, cello, Nancy Laupheimer, flute, and Pamela Viktoria Pyle, piano for Robert Schumann’s “Piano Quartet in Eb Major” and Eric Ewazen’s “Bridgehampton Suite” for flute and strings, which is inspired by Mozart whose “Piano Trio in G Major” is also on the program.

“It seems fitting that we should end our season looking forward,” says Laupheimer who is also TCMG’s director, “and in fact, plans for our twenty-seventh season are quickly taking shape. We are especially looking forward to continuing to highlight exceptional young artists playing contemporary music.”

Norris lives in Santa Fe, where she moved from Alaska at the age of 13. She started on Suzuki violin at age 6 and switched to viola at 11 “in order to give myself a new challenge in school ensembles.” Norris recently completed both Undergraduate and Graduate degrees in Viola Performance at McGill University, and now is back in Santa Fe where she appears frequently as a member of Santa Fe Pro Musica, Montage Music Society and Serenata of Santa Fe. She has attended the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music, Centre d’arts Orford, and the Banff Center, and participated in master classes with the Brentano String Quartet, Steven Tenenbom, and Rachel Podger, among others.

When asked to choose music by a living composer, Norris picked a fellow violist, Kenji Bunch, and will perform two of his short solo viola pieces with the evocative titles of “The 3 Gs” (2005) and “The Eternal Return” (2011). Bunch was Music from Angel Fire’s composer-in-residence a couple of summers ago and has made a name for himself as a sought after composer who combines a wide array of American musical genres and techniques. “The 3 Gs,” for example, is a mash-up of classical virtuosity and bluegrass music. Bunch’s compositions are informed not only by non-classical musicians but, as a frequent collaborator, by artists of other disciplines. A graduate of the Juilliard School and a 20-year veteran of the New York City music scene, Bunch returned in 2013 to his native Portland, Oregon, where he has served as Artistic Director of Fear No Music Young Composers Project and teaches viola and composition at Reed College and Portland State University.

Another 21st century composition on TCMG’s program is the delightful 2006 composition “Bridgehampton Suite” for flute, violin, viola and cello. Commissioned by the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival in New York for the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birth, it skillfully and playfully references Mozart’s quartets for the same instrumentation, using direct quotes from the “A Major Flute Quartet” in the exuberant final movement.

Because of this connection, TCMG’s program will open with Mozart’s effervescent “Piano Trio No. 6 in G Major, K. 564” written in 1788 for violin, cello and piano. The transition that had been occurring from harpsichord to the more dynamic pianoforte keyboard provided fertile ground for Mozart, and it was thought that this last of his piano trios started off as a sketch for a piano sonata. TCMG welcomes back pianist Pamela Viktoria Pyle who will be featured in this work as well as Robert Schumann’s immortal “Piano Quartet in Eb Major” for violin, viola, cello and piano.

As an award-winning soloist and chamber recitalist, Pyle has performed at Carnegie Recital Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Jordan Hall and Wolftrap, and with the Lincoln Center Great Performers Series and the Casals Series in Puerto Rico. Pyle is currently Professor of Piano and Collaborative Piano at the University of New Mexico and Artistic Director of the New Mexico Chamber Music Festival, which brings young pianists and string players from around the world for an intensive week of chamber music study and performances. Pyle served as a principal pianist in the studios of Dorothy DeLay and then Itzhak Perlman at the Juilliard School of Music for more than a decade. This immersion in the piano and string repertoire led to collaborations with members of the Juilliard, American, Ying and Mendelssohn String Quartets. During the summers, Pyle has also been a regular performer at the Aspen Music Festival and Music from Angel Fire.

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. Lambert's Doc Martin's, Martrys and the Gorge Bar and Grill restaurants offer TCMG ticket holders dinner discounts after the concerts.

TCMG’s annual Contributors Thank You Concert and reception will be Saturday, August 10 at a private home. Its 2019-2020 concert series at the Harwood Museum will begin on October 5 and 6 and continue with concerts on November 9 and 10 and December 13, 14 and 15, 2019. The season goes through May of 2020. Check the website for more information as it becomes available.


taoStyle Interview 2015

Taos News 10 Questions 2015