Our season ended on a triumphant note with a wonderful Garden Concert in idyllic weather when a sold out house were entertained by the hugely talented Mexican Brass, and we celebrated six months of music making with rivers of champagne and mountains of botanas. There have been many outstanding concerts over this last half year, and our opera, Un Ballo in Maschera, which many, many people have told me was our best yet. Only a few weeks ago many of you were raving about pianist Ran Dank, who even seasoned concert goers and fellow professional pianists said was ‘better than Horowitz’.
This quality of music making will continue all next season with a fantastic array of musicians to suit all tastes. Usually we do not announce the details of our next season until well into the summer. However, to ensure the presence of the world class artists that we bring to San Miguel, we now have to book them two years or more in advance. So, the whole of next season is already in place, and I want to share the details with you, as I know that many of you plan your time in San Miguel around our concerts.
The season will follow the pattern of recent years, with the opening concert on Sunday, October 9, 2016 with the incredibly talented violinist Gil Morgenstern
(“a brilliant artist .. rich, penetrating tone” The New York Times), with piano accompaniment.
The November concert on Sunday the 13th sees the return of pianist Brian Ganz (“The ravishing sensual beauty of Ganz’s sound” The Washington Post) whom you took to your hearts when he played for us at the end of our 2014-15 season. You may remember that he has a ten year project to play every one of Chopin’s works for piano in public from memory and he is a great communicator with his audiences.
December 3rd and 4th brings the first weekend of two concerts with Nicholas Tzavaras, cellist (“richly singing .. beautifully nuanced” The New York Times) for 15 years cellist of the internationally famous Shanghai Quartet, and pianist Reiko Aizawa.
Our first concerts of the New Year on January 7th and 8th, 2017 will be charged with energy as Richard Stoltzman (“Richard Stoltzman is the world’s most phenomenal clarinettist” The Boston Globe) and his equally stupendous marimbist wife Mika, and pianist Will Ransom, return for two concerts of classical and jazz arrangements that will have you sitting on the edge of your seats.
From then on we have two concerts every weekend, with the season running for two weeks more than last year right until the end of March. January 14 and 15 features the ever more talented violinist Andrew Sords (“his energy spilled out in a glittering encore” The Age – Melbourne) with his wonderful accompanist Tim Durkovic, both of whom you loved last season.
On January 21 and 22 we welcome the Cuarteto Latinoamericano (“Any quartet we’re likely to hear will be hard pressed to .. surpass the playing of the Cuarteto Latinoamericano” The Los Angeles Times) who last played for us about five years ago and since then have gone on to win a shower of Grammy´s for their incomparable playing of Latin American music, which both programs will feature.
January 27 and 29 (Friday and Sunday) brings two recitals by our first ever female solo pianist, Mizuzu Tanaka, from Japan (“a rare combination of poetic sensitivity and breathtaking virtuosity” The Messenger Gazette - New Jersey) She is a supremely talented musician and radiates joy in her playing.
February 3 and 4 features the cello/piano duo of Amit Peled (“blazing performance crackling with virtuosic energy, humor and delight” Palm Beach Daily News) and Alon Goldstein. Isreali-American Amit was handed Pablo Casals’ 1733 cello after the maestro’s death by his widow and is his natural successor. At 6’ 5” tall. and a great communicator with his audience, these will be must-see concerts.
February 10 and 11 is OPERA WEEKEND, with a Gala Fundraiser on Tuesday, February 7th. Details will follow later in a separate news letter.
February 17 and 18 brings a San Miguel debut by violinist David Coucheron (“a creamy highly expressive.. highly focused sound [from] his 1725 Stradivarius.” Fort Worth Star-Telegram.) with piano accompaniment. In 2010, at age 25, he became the leader of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the youngest concertmaster of any major U.S. orchestra. He is an established soloist and has given recitals at venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Wigmore Hall and the Kennedy Center.
February 24 and 25 sees the return after several years of the young and uber-talented Amernet String Quartet (“music making of exciting impetuosity and fervor.” The Miami Herald) whom our audiences loved when they last appeared for us.
They will be followed on March 3rd and 5th (Friday and Sunday) by newcomers to San Miguel, the Pacific Piano Trio (“A concert by the Pacific Trio was a special treat, as the trio demonstrated in convincing manner why it should be considered one of the best.” Los Angeles Times.)
March 11 and 12 sees another San Miguel debut, highly rated pianist Anton Nel (“plays with the authority and artistic strength of someone who can go the whole way to the highest goals.” Chicago Sun Times). Nel’s career, spanning four decades, has seen him play with all the major US orchestras, and we will enjoy some of his encyclopaedic repertoire of chamber music.
March 17 and 19 (Friday and Sunday) brings one of the highlights of the season with a piano quintet comprising the Vega String Quartet (“a single-minded and relentless concentration ... and a compelling sense of authority...It glowed with musicality” The Los Angeles Times) and one of your favorite pianists, William Ransom. The Vega brought the house down with their playing for us two seasons ago and these five artists have played together so many times so that their playing is seamless and their tone flawless.
The season ends on Sunday, March 26 with our renowned Garden Concert in a magical private garden in Guadiana with a 45 minute interval when unlimited champagne will flow and 2,000 delicious canapés will be served.
Staging classical music of this quality becomes more expensive every year and our ever-expanding Education Outreach Program always needs more resources, particularly with the formation of the classical Pro Musica Youth Orchestra All this wonderful music making and community involvement is only possible because of the generosity of you, our wonderful Patron Members. To help us achieve our objectives I invite you to upgrade your Membership to the next level, and benefit from an even more generous package of benefits. If you cannot quite manage that jump, consider donating more than the minimum amount in your existing category.
I look forward to seeing you all next season.
2017 Opera information coming soon!
Our Patrons’ and Members’ subscriptions make all this possible, and we believe in providing benefits for you which are second to none. Next season we will have an artists supper/cocktail after nearly every concert and, from as little as US$500 per season, you have reserved and named seats for every concert. With the ever increasing costs of artists fees, and to provide an efficient administrative process, we need members to upgrade to maintain the quality of our concerts and the concert going experience. When you are about to make out your check, look at the benefits of the next level up and consider upgrading; or add something above the minimum subscription at your existing level. We are now seeing members coming into the Beethoven level at US$5,000 and up, and we have added a new benefit to that category: THE EXACT SAME SEAT OF YOUR CHOICE GUARANTEED FOR THE WHOLE SEASON.