Our season runs from September through March and comprises around 25 concerts, ranging from solo piano, violin and classical guitar recitals, through string quartets, to orchestra and opera.
It is only a few short weeks since the Pro Musica concert season ended but the artists for next season are already booked and I know that many of you make your travel plans around our dates, so I am taking this early opportunity of telling you about the roster of exciting musicians that will be performing from October, 2017 through March, 2018. First, let me tell you I have been inundated with comments from audience members that this was 'our best season ever'. It is my aim to make every season that way and there were certainly many wonderful concerts over this last half year, and our opera, Madam Butterfly which many, many people said was our most outstanding so far. Only a few weeks ago many of you were raving about violinist David Coucheron, who even seasoned concert goers and fellow professional pianists said was ‘the best violinist ever to perform in San Miguel. Cellist Amit Peled playing Pablo Cassals' cello was also much lauded: they will both be returning in future seasons!
This quality of music making will continue next season with a fantastic array of musicians and music to suit all tastes, including the opera. 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 that's why last season's new favourite artists won't return until 2019. The season will follow the pattern of recent years, with the opening concert on Sunday 8 October, 2017 featuring the incredibly talented pianist Jenny Lin making her San Miguel debut ("a .. beautifully executed ... deeply felt performance .. extraordinarily satisfying evening.") The Washington Post.
The November concert on Sunday 12th brings the uber-talented violinist, Nicholas Kitchen with piano accompaniment ("thrilling, vibrant and captivating" The New York Times), whom many of you will know from his playing with the famed Borremeo String Quartet.
The beginning of December (1st-3rd ) is our first two concert weekend when we celebrate CANADA'S 150TH BIRTHDAY with the Bravour Piano Trio, ("flawless technique..dazzling panache" The Toronto Star), three of that country's leading musicians, flying in especially from Ottowa. We hope that all Canadians in particular will join us this weekend to celebrate the diversity and talent of their wonderful country's musical talent
The New Year kicks off on the weekend of January 5-7, 2018 and features renowned Lithuanian pianist Edvinas Minkstimas, a young artists who is making waves wherever he plays ("a phenomenal virtuoso pianist" Michel Beroff, Professor, Paris Conservatory).
From then on we have two concerts every weekend until the season ends in the second half of March. Next up, January 12-14, features a return visit by the incredibly talented Macondo Chamber Players, a piano quintet (“Impeccable technique.. precise gestures .. poetic sounds” El País, Colombia) whom you raved about when they were here two years ago.
On January 19-21 we welcome Russian newcomers Dmitry and Yulia Kousov, cello and piano ("beautiful tone..exquisite dynamics and articulation" Palm Beach Daily News.) St. Petersburg born Dmitri studied with Rostropovich and has appeared at all the major Russian venues, including the Mariinsky Theater.
January 26-28 sees the return of the Catalyst String Quartet after an absence of several years ("wildly colorful and exploding with life" The Washington Post). The highlight of the concerts by these young, cutting edge musicians will be a performance of their own arrangement of Bach's Goldberg Variations, inspired by Glenn Gould, paired with Gould's only published work, his String Quartet.
February 1/2 (Thursday and Friday) feature the explosive talent of young Isreali violinist Itamar Zorman, with piano accompaniment (splendid playing .. the right mix of tenderness, agitation and spiritual succor." The New York Times). He was top prize winner of the International Tchaikovsky Competition in 2011 and made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2014.
February 9-11 is OPERA WEEKEND, with a Gala Fundraiser on Tuesday 6th February. Details will follow later in a separate news letter.
February 16/17 brings the San Miguel debut of the Jupiter String Quartet ("From beginning to end, the Jupiter Quartet play as if they were on fire, with passion and energy galore" Kansas City Star). Formed in 2001 the Jupiter and are a uniquely intimate group, consisting of violinists Nelson Lee and Megan Freivogel McDonough, violist Liz Freivogel (older sister of Meg), and cellist Daniel McDonough (husband of Meg, brother-in-law of Liz)! The result is a musical voice of unmatched cohesion and expressiveness.
February 23-25 brings one of the highlights of the season with the much requested return of the phenomenal pianist RAN DANK Ran gave his debut recital in Chicago a few weeks ago and the Chicago Classical Review had this to say about his performance: "spectacular .. powerhouse performance..dazzling in its pyrotechnics.. bravura.. extroverted brilliance" - I could go on!!
March 1/2 (Thursday and Friday) sees the return of another famed musician who wows audiences at every concert for us. ELIZABETH PITCAIRN with her Red Stradivarius violin. She and accompanist Louise Thomas have given sensational performances for us over the last few years and no doubt fireworks are in store again in 2018. Our audiences have taken them to their hearts and these are always two of the most popular concerts of the season.
March 9-11 is another highlight with the COPLAND HOUSE PIANO TRIO. The trio are the acclaimed resident ensemble at Aaron Copland's National Historic Landmark home in New York, now restored as a unique creative center for classical music. Acclaimed by audiences in San Miguel on their previous visits for playing of outstanding power, these two concerts are sure to thrill.
March 15/16 sees a unique occasion with the return of ever-popular pianist Richard Dowling, following his sell out concerts at Carnegie Hall playing the complete works of ragtime composer Scott Joplin for the first time ever. Spread over two performances Richard will re-create his Carnegie Hall epic for us with 52 different rags, waltzes and cake walks split between the two days.
The season ends on Sunday 18 March with our famous Garden Concert in a magical private garden in Guadiana with a long interval when unlimited champagne and thousands of canapés will be served. This year features the Hotlanta six piece Dixieland Jazz Band from the South who will set your feet firmly on Bourbon Street in Old New Orleans. All seating will be covered by tenting to keep sun and rain off the audience.
Staging music of this quality becomes more expensive each year and our ever-expanding Education Outreach Program always needs more resources, particularly with the growth of the Pro Musica Youth Orchestra and our music teaching program for young children, as well the work we do in the campo schools with Rhythm, Rhyme & Reason. All this wonderful music making and community involvement is only possible because of the generosity ofour wonderful Patron Members. To help us maintain and exceed our objectives I invite you to become a Patron Member with a donation from as little as US$100 per year and benefit from a generous package of benefits, including free tickets, priority entry to concerts, reserved seats and invitations to Meet-the- Artists suppers and cocktails. The Patron Member Benefits and the upgrade form can be found at the bottom of this newsletter.
We also need more hosts to accommodate our visiting musicians in their homes, which is a wonderful way to get to know these talented and wonderful people and through which many hosts have made life-long friendships with them. I would be delighted to hear from you if you think you might be able to host.
I look forward to seeing you all next season.
Warm regards, Michael Pearl, President, Pro Musica
Questions? Contact us.
The centrepiece of last season was our very own production of Verdi’s opera Un Ballo in Mascera, which included many of the most wonderful arias that he wrote. We brought together our outstanding production team of Stage Director Ragner Conde and Music Director Mario Alberto Hernandez. Rodrigo Garciarroyo sang the lead as King Gustavo of Sweden. 2017 Opera information coming soon! You won't want to miss this season's Opera performance.
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.