Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival: 2019 Season

SANTA FE — During its 2019 Season, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival—which runs today, July 14, through Monday, Aug. 19, offers a wide range of works performed by longtime Festival-audience favorites as well as acclaimed musicians making their Festival debuts.
It also presents three dynamic and intimate recitals that feature solo works for the violin and the piano as well as masterpieces of the piano-vocal repertoire.
Week 2 (Sunday, July 21–Saturday, July 27) comprises eight concerts held in St. Francis Auditorium at the New Mexico Museum of Art, which is one of the Festival’s longtime Santa Fe venues.
The Escher String Quartet returns to the Festival for the first time in 11 years with a concert July 23 at noon in the New Mexico Museum of Art. The concert includes Schubert’s wonderfully frenetic Quartettsatz (the first movement of an unfinished string quartet), Webern’s finely distilled Five Movements for String Quartet, and Korngold’s String Quartet No. 3, which, like his popular Violin Concerto, draws on themes from the composer’s acclaimed film scores.
The New York City–based Escher String Quartet has received acclaim for its profound musical insight and rare tonal beauty. A former BBC New Generation Artist, the Escher has performed at London’s Cadogan Hall for the BBC Proms. During the 2018–19 season, the quartet tours the United States extensively, appearing in venues such as Alice Tully Hall in New York City; The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC; -more- Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival – 2019 Highlights – Week 2 page 2 of 6 the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California; the Harris Theater in Chicago; and many others. It also serves as season artists of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Internationally, the Escher returns for a season-long residency at Wigmore Hall, where it performs three self-curated programs highlighting American and American-influenced compositions.
July 24, at the New Mexico Museum of Art, the Festival launches the first of this season’s three pianovocal recitals, which celebrate iconic masterpieces of the art-song repertoire and are part of the brand-new, five-concert Music at Noon Wednesday Series. This inaugural recital features mezzo-soprano Christianne Stotijn (in her Festival debut) and pianist Kirill Gerstein performing Schumann’s emotional song cycle Frauenliebe und Leben (A Woman’s Love and Life) as well as a rich range of songs by Tchaikovsky and Richard Strauss.
Christianne Stotijn was born in Delft and studied violin and voice at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. After obtaining her solo violin diploma, she continued her vocal studies with Udo Reinemann, Jard van Nes, and Dame Janet Baker. Over the years, she’s won numerous awards, including a 2005 Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award, a 2005–06 ECHO Rising Stars Award, and the 2008 Dutch Music Award. In 2007, she was named a BBC New Generation Artist. Highlights of Ms. Stotijn’s 2018–19 season include performances of Thomas Adès’s Totentanz (which she premiered in 2013 at the BBC Proms in London’s Royal Albert Hall) with both the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestre de Paris; Berlioz’s La Mort de Cléopâtre with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra; Mahler’s Symphonies Nos. 2 and 3 with the Orchestre National de Lille; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Britten Sinfonia, conducted by Mr. Adès; a Dutch national tour of Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with the Netherlands Blazers Ensemble; and a recital in Strasbourg for Opéra national du Rhin.
Kirill Gerstein was born in Russia in 1979. He moved to the United States at age 14 to study jazz piano, and he subsequently became the youngest student to attend Boston’s Berklee College of Music. He later moved to New York, where he studied classical piano at the Manhattan School of Music with Solomon Mikowsky and earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degree by the age of 20. He also studied in Madrid with Dmitri Bashkirov and in Budapest with Ferenc Rados. Highlights of Mr. Gerstein’s 2018–19 season include giving the world premiere of Thomas Adès’s Piano Concerto with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the European premiere with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra (both times led by Mr. Adès as conductor); recitals in London, Stuttgart, Lisbon, Singapore, Melbourne, and Copenhagen; and chamber music performances in Lucerne. Mr. Gerstein’s honors include first prize at the Arthur Rubinstein Competition, a Gilmore Young Artist Award, a Gilmore Artist Award, and an Avery Fisher Career Grant.
Another highlight of Week 1 is the return of pianist Wei Luo, who gives a solo recital on July 25 at noon in the New Mexico Museum of Art. Ms. Luo opens her recital with a popular work by Mozart, the sparkling Sonata in C Major, K. 330, and closes it with a rarely heard gem by Schubert, Drei Klavierstücke (Three Piano Pieces). Her program also includes Chopin’s Scherzo No. 2 in B-flat Minor, Op. 31—which Schumann described as “overflowing with tenderness, boldness, love, and contempt”—and Two Polyphonic Pieces, an enthralling work by the Moscow-born composer Rodion Shchedrin.
Wei Luo made her orchestral debut in 2010, with the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra. Recent recital appearances include Sonoma State University, the Herbst Theatre (presented by San Francisco Performances), and Festival Napa Valley; concerto appearances include the Kansas City Symphony and the Denver -more- Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival – 2019 Highlights – Week 2 page 3 of 6 Philharmonic Orchestra. In August 2017, Ms. Luo made her debut in Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall playing a pre-concert recital at the Mostly Mozart Festival. She attends the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studies with Gary Graffman and Robert McDonald. Her honors include first prize in the eleventh Chopin International Competition for Young Pianists in Poland and the second Rachmaninov International Piano Competition for Young Pianists in Germany. In 2018, she was named a Gilmore Young Artist.
Closing out Week 2, violinist Soovin Kim, as part of the Festival’s long-standing Bach Plus Series, gives a solo recital that includes Bach’s Sonata No. 1, BWV 1001, and Partita No. 2, BWV 1004, as well as Ysaÿe’s dazzling Sonata in E Minor, Op. 27, No. 4, which features several Bach influences. Ysaÿe dedicated this sonata to Fritz Kreisler, who, like Ysaÿe, was a renowned violin virtuoso.
Soovin Kim enjoys a broad musical career, regularly performing Bach sonatas and Paganini caprices for solo violin; sonatas for violin and piano by composers ranging from Beethoven to Ives; world-premiere works; and, as a conductor, concertos and symphonies by Mozart and Haydn. When he was 20 years old, Mr. Kim won first prize at the Paganini International Violin Competition. His additional honors include an Avery Fisher Career Grant and a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award. Among his commercial recordings are his acclaimed disc of Paganini’s 24 Caprices as well as a two-disc set of Bach’s complete solo violin works that will be released in 2019. Mr. Kim is the founder and co-artistic director of the Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival (LCCMF) in Burlington, Vermont, and the recipient of an honorary doctorate from The University of Vermont in recognition of LCCMF’s great contributions to its community. In 2021, Mr. Kim and his wife, pianist Gloria Chien, will become the artistic directors of Chamber Music Northwest. Mr. Kim devotes much of his time to his passion for teaching at the New England Conservatory in Boston.
Throughout the season, the Festival presents four free, family-friendly Youth Concerts, which feature Festival artists engaging in musical storytelling and performing excerpts of repertoire drawn directly from the Festival’s regular programming. The second 2019 Youth Concert is on Monday, July 22, 10 a.m., at the New Mexico Museum of Art, and features percussionists Scott Ney, Steven White, and Gregory Zuber.
For a complete list of concerts, repertoire, and artists featured during Week 2, see the At a Glance section on page 4 or go to
Festival tickets are available in a variety of options and may be purchased with any major credit card by calling 505.982.1890 (or toll free at 888.221.9836, ext. 102); visiting, where seat selection is available; emailing; or stopping by the Festival Ticket Office in the lobby of the New Mexico Museum of Art at 107 West Palace Avenue in Santa Fe. The Ticket Office is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are nonrefundable; however, if you’re unable to use your tickets, you can donate them to the Festival prior to the performance in person, via email at, or online at Ticket exchanges are subject to fees and restrictions.