in Wu Han’s words…
This past week, we had the wonderful opportunity of traveling to California for Music@Menlo’s annual Winter Residency at Menlo School. The Winter Residency provides an opportunity to bring the best of our educational resources into the classroom, giving Menlo School students the chance to absorb the rich chamber music repertoire through close interaction with world- class artists. It’s also an incredible opportunity for our Chamber Music Institute alumni to enhance their teaching skills and share their passion for chamber music with a new generation of listeners. Music@Menlo is proud to be a program of Menlo School, whose uncompromising commitment to education and dedication to the arts have created an ideal setting for Music@Menlo since the festival’s inception in 2003. Through benefit concerts and educational performances at Menlo School, the Winter Residency is truly a celebration of Music@Menlo’s educational vision. The Winter Residency brought back several outstanding alumni from the Chamber Music Institute’s International Program to take part in the week’s activities. Sean Lee, violin; Michelle Ross, violin; Areta Zhulla, violin; Eric Han, cello; and Chamber Music Institute director and pianist, Gloria Chien; all performed brilliantly in the array of concerts and events throughout the week.
One of the highlights for us was witnessing several in-class performances at Menlo School by the musicians and Music@Menlo’s Artistic Administrator, Patrick Castillo. These presentations were brilliantly prepared and executed by Patrick, and took great chamber music into several classes contextualizing the music within the framework of what each course was studying. For example, one of the classes was entitled World Religions—in this particular presentation, Patrick and the musicians focused on Olivier Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time. Written in a response to the awful atrocities of World War II, Messiaen’s own faith and deeply felt Catholicism greatly influenced this piece and how he viewed the incredible scenes around him. It was amazing to witness the engagement and interest among Menlo School students throughout these presentations. I want to thank the amazing musicians who performed so professionally and nurtured countless students through these in-class presentations. They are certainly equipped and poised to take our art form into the world and create new communities of appreciation. We would also like to thank Menlo School for being such a spectacular home for Music@Menlo, and we thank the school’s exceptional faculty for their participation in this amazing program.
In addition to all these educational events, we were thrilled to announce the 2011 Music@Menlo season, including this coming summer’s theme: Through Brahms. After many months of planning, brainstorming, and conceptualizing, it is always a fulfilling experience to see the culmination of these efforts come to fruition in front of our eager and supportive audience. This summer’s theme will explore the creative genius of one of the towering musical figures of the nineteenth century, Johannes Brahms, through the lens of the musical figures that inspired him, as well as the composers that he himself subsequently inspired. We are thrilled to be welcoming back many of Music@Menlo’s favorite artists as well as welcoming several artists who will be making their Music@Menlo debut. To learn more about the upcoming season, please visit Music@Menlo’s website: www.musicatmenlo.org
Photo Credits: Pete Zivkov and Cynthia Yock