Pianist Kim Bakkum
The Taos Chamber Music Group’s 29th Season will begin with an opening concert at the Taos Community Auditorium at 5:30 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 26. TCMG, in collaboration with the Taos Center for the Arts, is returning to live indoor performances with caution and celebration.
“We are thrilled to put in place a fall series of concerts, but well aware of the changing pandemic landscape,” TCMG Director Nancy Laupheimer said. “Safety of our musicians and audience are front and center, so we are starting small with a solo recital and limited, socially distanced seating at the TCA. Masks and proof of vaccination will be required.”
TCMG’s featured artist is pianist Kim Bakkum who will be performing works from the solo piano repertoire on the TCA’s recently acquired Baldwin baby grand piano. Bakkum has appeared on several TCMG programs and is well-known in Taos as both a performer and teacher to students of all ages. Originally from Montana, she performed and coached in Europe and on the faculty at both University of Akron and Kent State University before moving to Taos in 2014.
Bakkum has titled her program “Lisle Joyeuse,” the name of a piece by Claude Debussy that she will play. “It seemed only fitting that joy be the theme of this program, hence the centerpiece, The Joyous Island,” says Bakkum. “This is not only a celebration of you, the long -awaited live audience, but also of passionate mentors I have had the rare opportunity to work with. This program was birthed whilst reflecting on those musicians’ remarkable exuberance for performing and teaching. Their generosity in sharing their artistry with humility and humanity has been priceless to me.”
Bakkum describes the rest of the program as follows: “I’ll start with two early ‘Sonatas’ by Domenico Scarlatti, which are playfully virtuosic in character. Frederic Chopin’s ‘Ballade, Op. 23’ (his first) exudes his genius with elegant, mournful melodies and an exuberant display of harmonic peaks and valleys. Maurice Ravel’s ‘Sonatine’ is a pianistic gem that portrays his poignant, refined style. It challenges the pianist to conquer scintillating textures, dramatic dynamic switches, and pristine, imaginative coloration inherent to his orchestral style.”
Bakkum continues, “Nancy and I are elated that we get to collaborate in Philippe Gaubert’s exquisite French ‘Romance’ for flute and piano”.
Bakkum and Laupheimer have enjoyed a close friendship through music and relish the opportunity to play together once again. They will also perform a short duo by the American composer Roy Harris that Laupheimer thinks of as a welcome back.
Following the Opening Concert Sept. 26, TCMG and the TCA will present the American String Quartet in two different programs Oct. 29 and 30. In December, pianist Gleb Ivanov will return to the Arthur Bell Auditorium at the Harwood Museum to perform in a solo recital Friday, Dec. 10, and then in a chamber music program Dec. 11 and 12 with TCMG members.
The Sept. 26 program is about an hour long and will be performed without intermission for safety’s sake. Tickets are available at tcataos.org/tickets, and more information can be found at taoschambermusicgroup.org.