Virtual 2020 Chamber Music Festival Continues July 22

The Taos School of Music Virtual Chamber Music Festival continues through Aug.9. Courtesy/TSM

Taos School of Music News:

TAOS — The Taos School of Music Virtual Chamber Music Festival continues in late July with a faculty seminar by the Shanghai Quartet, a faculty performance by Shanghai Quartet, a piano recital by pianist Robert McDonald, and two concerts by the school’s young artists.

All programs begin at 7 p.m. and are broadcast with live hosting by Taos School of Music Director Elizabeth Baker from the school’s website at, as well as on Facebook and YouTube. The performances are offered freely, with donations greatly appreciated.  

“The responses to our Virtual Festival have been overwhelmingly positive,” Baker said. “In addition, Performance Today and Your Classical FM reached out to cross post our weekend concerts on their Facebook pages. As a result of this collaboration we are reaching a much wider audience and sharing the magic of the Taos School of Music with them. We have had people listening in from as far away as Bogota, Colombia and Tokyo, Japan. So, we’re reaching a worldwide audience. All our hard work putting this festival together is paying off.” 

Wednesday, July 22, Robert McDonald performs a piano recital with the Brentano String Quartet. Works performed are the Claire de Lune movement of Claude Debussy’s Suite Bergamasque, Franz Joseph Haydn’s String Quartet in B Flat Major, Op. 50 No. 1, and Robert Schumann’s Davidsbündlertänze Op. 6 for piano solo. Recordings are from 2019 at Queens College, New York; 2015 in Morse Recital Hall at the Yale School of Music; and 2019 at the Olympic Music Festival in Port Townsend, Washington, respectively. Claude Debussy’s Claire de Lune is the most famous movement of his Suite Bergamasque. Haydn’s quartet is one of the “Prussian” Quartets the composer wrote. An early work, Davidsbündlertänze’s theme is based on a mazurka written by Clara Wieck, who deeply influenced Schumann’s compositions and would become Schumann’s wife in 1840.

Saturday, July 25, features a Young Artists performance. The program includes Benjamin Britten’s String Quartet #2 in C Major Op. 36 and Antonín Dvořák’s Piano Trio No. 3 in F Minor, Op. 65. The Britten performance was recorded in 2015 at SMU-Taos Fort Burgwin, and features violinists Claire Bourg and James Thompson, violist Stephanie Block and cellist Keith Williams. Britten wrote this string quartet in 1945 and it was premiered Nov. 21, 1945 to mark the 250thanniversary of the death of English composer Henry Purcell. The Dvořákperformance is a 2016 recording of a concert at the Taos Community Auditorium featuring violinist Emma Frucht, cellist Peter Eom, and pianist Hana Chu. Dvořák’s Piano Trio was written shortly after the death of his mother and was influenced by the style of his mentor, Johannes Brahms.  

Sunday, July 26, a second Young Artists concert includes Felix Mendelssohn’s String Quartet in E Minor, Op. 44 No. 2 and Tchaikovsky’s Piano Trio in A Minor, Op. 50. The performance of Mendelssohn’s piece was recorded in 2019 at the Taos Community Auditorium with violinists Abigail Hong and Yue Qian, violist Cara Pogossian and cellist Sterling Elliott.Mendelssohn composed the Op. 44 quartets from 1837 to 1838 and they are dedicated to the Crown Prince of Sweden. The Tchaikovsky performance was recorded in 2008 at the Hotel St. Bernard, performed by violinist Ying Fu, cellist Natalie Helm and pianist Andrew Tyson. This composition is considered one of Tchaikovsky’s finest works. 

The Taos School of Music’s mission is “to immerse young musicians in chamber music study with the finest faculty, in a creatively nurturing alpine setting, and to provide Taos audiences with exceptional chamber music performances.”

Virtual 2020 Chamber Music Festival 

  • Sunday, June 21- Borromeo String Quartet 
  • Saturday, June 27- Young Artists Concert
  • Sunday, June 28- Young Artists Concert
  • Thursday, July 2- Seminar with the Borromeo String Quartet
  • Sunday, July 5- Borromeo String Quartet with Thomas Sauer and Ara Gregorian
  • Saturday, July 11- Young Artists Concert
  • Sunday, July 12- Young Artists Concert
  • Thursday, July 16- Seminar with the Shanghai Quartet
  • Sunday, July 19- Shanghai Quartet faculty artist concert
  • Wednesday, July 22- Robert McDonald Piano Recital with the Brentano String Quartet
  • Saturday, July 25- Young Artists Concert
  • Sunday, July 26 – Young Artists Concert
  • Thursday, July 30- Seminar with the Daedalus String Quartet
  • Sunday, Aug. 2- Daedalus String Quartet 
  • Saturday, Aug. 8- Young Artists Concert
  • Sunday, Aug. 9- Young Artists Concert
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