The Renowned Vega String Quartet Return to San Miguel for Two Concerts
Feb
26
to Feb 28

The Renowned Vega String Quartet Return to San Miguel for Two Concerts

Pro Musica is delighted to welcome the illustrious Vega String Quartet back to the stage after their stunning concerts for us last season! The New York Times gushed that their playing had a kind of clean intoxication to it, pulling the listener along…the musicians took real risks in their music making." The Quartet, consisting of Elizabeth Fayette and Jessica Wu, violins; Yinzi Kong, viola and Guang Wang, cello, returns to San Miguel for two concerts on Friday and Sunday, 26 and 28 January at 5pm at St. Paul’s Church, Calle Cardo.

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What does “Vega” mean, anyway? Yinzi told me “there is an old joke among string quartets that if you can pick a name without breaking up, everything else is easy! When we moved to New York City to continue our education, we studied with the Orion Quartet. We chose our name to also come from a constellation in honor of all we learned, as the Vega star is the brightest in the Lyra constellation.” Currently, the quartet in Residence at Emory, the Vega is inspiring budding chamber music lovers through the interactive community they’ve built and exhilarating performances.

On Friday, audiences will enjoy works by Mendelssohn, Beethoven, and the indelibly talented contemporary artist Tan Dun, among others. Mendelssohn describes his Quartet No. 3 in D Major as being with “passion” because of its vibrancy, intensity, and vitality. The composer first achieved fame with his teenage masterpieces, the Midsummer Night's Dream Overture and the string Octet, and for the rest of his life continued with an outpouring of masterful compositions that are notable for their wonderful melodic lines.  Beethoven’s Quartet No. 7, one of the highlights of the repertoire was commissioned by his patron Count Rasumovsky and incorporates Russian folk melodies at the Count's request. Tan Dun, composer of the cinematic sensation "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon", has also composed award-winning symphonic works, chamber music, and opera.  Influenced by classical Chinese instruments, the Vega will present his wondrous work, Eight Colors.

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On Sunday we will hear Haydn, Bartók, Beethoven and more. Haydn’s Quartet in B-flat Major, La chasse, was probably written in the late 1750's, although the original version of this lovely ABCBA palindrome no longer exists. La chasse earned its nickname for the hunting-horn melody in the first movement. Bartók’s Quartet No.1 shows his contrapuntal sophistication through beautiful organic forms, and is a compelling work. Beethoven’s Quartet No. 13 is monumental; the poet T.S. Eliot wrote, "There is a sort of heavenly …gaiety about some of [Beethoven's] later things which one imagines might come to oneself as the fruit of reconciliation and relief after immense suffering; I should like to get something of that into verse before I die."

Tickets for the concerts at St. Paul’s are $150, $300 and $400 pesos donation each, and are on sale at La Tienda in the Biblioteca Pública; La Conexión; only at Aldama 3; and at the concert 45 minutes before performance time.

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The Internationally Renowned Jupiter String Quartet Debuts for Pro Musica!
Feb
16
to Feb 17

The Internationally Renowned Jupiter String Quartet Debuts for Pro Musica!

“String Quartets, like fine wine, get better with age; the Jupiters are a very fine vintage indeed,” the St. Louis Post Dispatch said of the Jupiter String Quartet, and its star-studded players, Nelson Lee and Meg Freivogel, violins, Liz Freivogel, viola, and Daniel McDonough, cello. Founded in 2002, the ensemble has a mission to widen the love of chamber music to audiences of all ages and nationalities through their very accessible programming, exciting concerts and intimate teaching. San Miguel will host their Mexican debut concerts on Friday and Saturday, February 16 & 17 at 4 pm at St. Paul’s Church on Calle Cardo.

The Jupiter String Quartet is not only a group of gifted musicians, but a tight-knit family unit as well. Violinist Meg Freivogel and her sister, violist Liz Freivogel, and husband, cellist Daniel McDonough join with Nelson Lee to make up the group. The Jupiters are the Artists-in-Residence at the University of Illinois, running their string chamber music program when they aren’t touring the US or abroad. Outreach work is an important focus for them, as cultivating and connecting with the future audiences of classical music is part of their essence. Early exposure to chamber music brought these four passionate musicians together in the first place, and they want to return that gift to others.

On Friday, we will hear Schubert's Quartet No. 15 in G Major and Beethoven's Quartet in A Minor, and more. Schubert, died at the tender age of 31, but was impressively prolific during those short years and, even when close to death, the powerful drama in his last works, like the Quartet No. 15,  belie his poor health. Sickness also struck Beethoven and, in the spring of 1825, his doctor ordered him to leave his city home and moveto the fresh air of the famous Baden Spa area.  The illness continued to frighten Beethoven, and he believed he might die. It was at this time that he wrote the A Minor Quartet, a work almost twice as long as his First Symphony, that documents a journey from darkness into light.

On Saturday, the concert celebrates the 175th anniversary of Schumann's 'chamber music year' (1842) and the centenary of the completion of Bartok's Quartet No. 2, a work whose composition haunted him for two years. Dedicated to the Hungarian Quartet, the quartet artfully displays his extensive knowledge of that country's folk music. Schuman-lovers celebrate this anniversary of his Quartet in A minor, Op. 41, dedicated to his friend Felix Mendelssohn, one of his very few string quartets; they were composed after studying quartets by Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven.

Tickets for the concerts at St. Paul’s are $150, $300 and $400 pesos donation each, and are on sale at La Tienda in the Biblioteca Pública; La Conexión; only at Aldama 3; and at the concert 45 minutes before performance time.

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Sensational Israeli violinist Itamar Zorman Debuts in San Miguel
Feb
1
to Feb 2

Sensational Israeli violinist Itamar Zorman Debuts in San Miguel

Itamar Zorman and Kwan Yi debut in San Miguel in two concerts that are sure to be a highlight of the season. Zorman took the world by storm after winning the silver medal in the 2011 Tchaikovsky Violin Competition, where no gold medal was awarded and Kwan Yi is an equally gifted musician; and together they make magic. Don’t miss this magnificent duo perform with two different concerts, February 1st & 2nd, Thursday & Friday, both at 5pm at St. Paul’s Church on Calle Cardo.

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Zorman has a youthful sensitivity; delicate and precise, he connects with his violin as if they are one, leaning into it like a lover, peering upward with a holy gaze and emitting a cacophony of perfectly in-tune notes. There is a natural chemistry between Zorman and the immensely talented Yi; together they make a striking duo, performing often (including a recital in Carnegie Hall) and releasing an album together.

On Thursday, the program highlights include Brahms' Sonata No. 1 in G Majo. Each of the three movements of this sonata share common thematic ideas, and its title, the Rain Sonata, has the meaning of a unified shower of ideas - but expect a sunny performance! We will also hear Dvořák's "Songs my mother taught me", the fourth of seven from his cycle Gypsy Songs. These are set to poems by Adolf Heyduk in both Czech and German. The fourth song, more than any other, has attained far-reaching prominence. Hommage to Charlie Chaplin will be another featured work; it’s not well known that the comedic icon was also an accomplished composer. In fact he wrote, directed, acted, conducted, and scored many of his films. Chaplin began his life in London, growing up in unrelenting poverty with a mentally-ill mother and an absent father and went on to become the cinemas' first superstar who often played the music himself for his "talkies".

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On Friday, concertgoers will revel in works by Schubert and Bartók, among others. Schubert's Sonatina in D major for violin and piano was likely deemed a Sonatina to reduce the pressure on the 19 year composer, though he already had some wildly impressive compositions under his belt, such as the Lieder: Erlkönig and Gretchen am Spinnrade. After a 10 year hiatus from composing for piano and violin, he produced the Rondo Brilliant in B minor for the young violinist, Josef Slavík.  We will also hear Bartók's Rhapsody no. 2 with its powerful folk influences of strumming pizzicatos, but without using the actual folk tunes.  The composer was known for his in depth research and collecting of folk material and his Sonata No.1 in C-sharp minor for violin and piano also reflects this.

Tickets for the concerts at St. Paul’s are $150, $300 and $400 pesos donation each, and are on sale at La Tienda in the Biblioteca Pública; La Conexión; only at Aldama 3; and at the concert 45 minutes before performance time.

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Macondo Chamber Players, Piano Quintet, Return for Pro Musica
Jan
12
to Jan 14

Macondo Chamber Players, Piano Quintet, Return for Pro Musica

Pro Musica welcomes back the exceptionally talented piano quintet, the Macondo Chamber Players. Regarded as one of the most exceptional small ensembles in Latin America, the reputation of these young and talented musicians keeps them in high demand. There is “…something extraordinary, capable of setting new precedents in the musical panoramic of Latin-America,” about them (El Comercio). They will perform two different concerts for Pro Musica on Friday and Sunday, January 12 & 14 at 5 pm at St. Paul’s Church on Calle Cardo.

Four of the group hail from the Americas and one is from Russia. First violinist, St. Petersburg-born Daniel Austrich, integrates seamlessly with the youthful, eclectic group of Latin and North Americans, including Colombian violinists Jose Romero and Raúl García; Dominican pianist, Carlos Vargas; and from New York, cellist Thomas Mesa. Described as having “impeccable technique”, their comparatively young age seems “contrary to the quality of sounds, the precise gestures, the poetic sounds” of their playing (El Pais).

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The classical quintet was established in its most familiar form following the phenomenal success of Schumann's Piano Quintet in 1842, which combined the piano with a string quartet, changing the typical instrumentation of the time. His Quintet, which concert goers will hear on Friday, was created during a happy and prolific time, and dedicated to his muse, Clara.  Love treated Schumann so well he wrote three string quartets, a piano quintet, quartet, and trio in quick succession at this time. The Piano Quintet is an iconic composition which defines the quintet’s role in classical music.

Also on Friday, the Quintet will play works by Fauré, Shostakovich and Golijov. Fauré’s quest for innovation led him through breathtaking and heart-wrenching creations, including our piece, his Piano Quintet No. 1, that haunt listeners’ imaginations even to this day. Shostakovich’s Piano Trio No.1, written while he was still a teen, was inspired by a girl he met in the Crimea, and is a paean to young love. Golijov's Tenebrae, a multi-faceted work of many dimensions, provides contrasts between the macro and micro views of reality.

On Sunday, Franck's Piano Quintet, dedicated to his good friend Camille Saint-Saëns, will be featured. Heavily influenced by his time as an organist, Franck’s work is vivid and dynamic. Bartók's Piano Quintet will be another highlight of the concert in which the composer speaks of the creation of the piano quintet, finding inspiration after a period of stagnation, feeling drawn toward Hungarian folk music and his cultural roots. This is a virtuoso piece that Franck was told would be too difficult to be learned, but today it is part of the mainstream repertoire.

Tickets for the concerts at St. Paul’s are $150, $300 and $400 pesos donation each, and are on sale at La Tienda in the Biblioteca Pública; La Conexión; only at Aldama 3; and at the concert 45 minutes before performance time.

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Edvinas Minkstimas, Lithuanian Piano Sensation, plays for ProMusica
Jan
5
to Jan 7

Edvinas Minkstimas, Lithuanian Piano Sensation, plays for ProMusica

Hailed as one of Europe’s top emerging young pianists, Edvinas Minkstimas’ intuitive interpretation and honed keyboard skills have garnered him invitations to perform throughout Europe and North America, leading him to Mexico where he will make his San Miguel debut for Pro Musica with two different concerts in the intimate venue of St. Paul’s Church on Calle Cardo on Friday, January 5 at 5 pm and Sunday, January 7 at 4 pm.

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Edvinas made his professional debut at the age of 14 performing Grieg with The Lithuanian National Philharmonic Orchestra. He went on to earn his Musical Arts degree from Juilliard , where he received the illustrious C.V. Starr Foundation Doctoral Fellowship. Also the recipient of the Artist Diploma from the Paris Conservatory, his abundant accolades are legion. A Steinway artist since 2013, we are delighted to introduce this talented artist to Mexican audiences for the first time.

On Friday, we will hear Schumann, Brahms, Gershwin, and Liszt. Schumann's Davidsbündler is a musical love letter to Clara, his wife. A concert pianist, composer, and mother of his many children, Clara was his muse and guide. Brahms' Rhapsodies were dedicated to a young savant, Elisabeth von Herzogenberg, with whom he was infatuated. Later in life, they became friends and Brahms' Seven Fantasies, the masterful last works of his life, were composed after a series of tragic deaths, including that of Elizabeth. Gershwin's Preludes follow in the footsteps of Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Debussy, Rachmaninoff, and Shostakovich, a surprising departure for the young star from his expected genre. Liszt's Spanish Rhapsody is based on the melody of La Folia (madness or folly), a popular late fifteenth-century folk tune.

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On Sunday, concertgoers will enjoy works by Bach, Chopin, Schubert, Liszt, Čiurlionis and Dett. Bach's tremendous Chaconne inspires intense reverence in listeners and musicians alike. Chopin's Scherzo, dedicated to Thomas Albrecht, who persuaded him to stay in Vienna during political upheaval in Poland, is a reminder of the many compositions that might not exist today if he had returned. Liszt's exciting Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 is a perennial favorite of both musicians and their enraptured audiences. Čiurlionis, one of the pioneers of abstract art in Europe, was a Lithuanian painter, writer and composer, and greatly influenced modern Lithuanian culture. We will experience Čiurlionis's artistic vision through his composition Three Cycles. Nathaniel Dett, an African American composer, rose above racial bigotry because of the unique nature and soulful appeal of his compositions. An advocate of African American rights, Dett's “In the Bottoms," speaks eloquently to racial injustice.

Tickets for the concerts at St. Paul’s are $150, $300 and $400 pesos donation each, and are on sale at La Tienda in the Biblioteca Pública; La Conexión; only at Aldama 3; and at the concert 45 minutes before performance time.

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Celebrate Canada’s 150th Anniversary with Canada’s Bravour Piano Trio!
Dec
1
to Dec 3

Celebrate Canada’s 150th Anniversary with Canada’s Bravour Piano Trio!

Get ready to celebrate Canada’s sesquicentennial with the “flawless technique” and “dazzling panache” (as described by the Toronto Star) of the Canadian wonder: the Bravour Piano Trio! Composed of leading members of Canada’s great orchestras, we come together to celebrate the diversity and virtuosity of these phenomenal talents in two marvellous concerts on December 1st & 3rd, Friday at5 pm & Sunday at 4 pm, at St. Paul’s church on Calle Cardo.

The Bravour Piano Trio represents the collaboration of three of the most exceptionally skilled musicians in the country: Jethro Marks, principal viola with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Mauro Bertoli, Professor of Piano at Ottowa University, and Paul Marleyn, professor of Cello at Manitoba University. Friday’s concert includes the Brahms Trio, Piazolla's Grand Tango and Schuman's Marchebilder. Sunday's program showcases the Smetana Trio, Mendelssohn's Sonata and Prokofiev's Sonata, among other works.

Violist Jethro Marks was a founding member of the Zukerman Chamber Players, as well as the Principal Violist of the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa. Born into a musical family in Vancouver, Jethro studied violin as a child, debuting at 17 with the Loudoun Symphony in Virginia with a performance of Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto. Shortly thereafter, he changed instruments, inspired by the viola, and grew as both an independent artist and chamber musician, performing at prestigious festivals and music halls around the world such as Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and the Royal Albert Hall.  

Italo-Canadian Pianist, Mauro Bertoli, established his residence in Ottawa in 2009 after taking the international community by storm with his incomparable technique and sensational sensitivity.

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After receiving the first prize in several International piano competitions, he recently debuted at the illustrious International Piano Festival of Brescia and Bergamo. A very active international soloist and chamber musician, the Toronto Star Raved about Mauro’s performance, saying that the author felt "....dazzled by (the) up-and-coming pianist ...with deep musicality...Here is a newcomer to watch out for."

Cellist Paul Marleyn also resides in Ottawa, and mentors an award-winning studio of young cellists at the University. When he’s not touring in North America, Europe and Asia, he participates in a wide array of Summer festivals, including the International Cello Festival of Canada, and guides the Winnipeg’s Agassiz Chamber Music Festival as Artistic Director. A prolific recording artist, he has recorded with an abundance of music labels.

Tickets for the concerts at St. Paul’s are $150, $300 and $400 pesos donation each, and are on sale at La Tienda in the Biblioteca Pública; La Conexión; only at Aldama 3; the School of Arts at the Instituto Allende, Ancha de San Antonio 22, and at the concert 45 minutes before performance time.

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Canada’s Finest, the Bravour Piano Trio, Celebrate Canada’s 150th Anniversary in San Miguel
Dec
1
to Dec 3

Canada’s Finest, the Bravour Piano Trio, Celebrate Canada’s 150th Anniversary in San Miguel

Buzzing with excitement for Canada’s sesquicentennial, we are honored to participate in it with some of the greatest musicians in the country. Delight in the "flawless technique" of pianist Mauro Bertoli, the “burnished… tone” of Jethro Marks, and the "poise and sensitivity" of Paul Marleyn (Toronto star, Chicago Classical Review, The Guardian). Don’t miss this opportunity to celebrate Canada with the classic style of the Bravour Piano Trio on Friday, December 1st at 5 pm and Sunday, December 3rd at 4 pm, at St. Paul’s church on Calle Cardo!

As we dedicate these performances to Canada’s 150th anniversary, it’s interesting to reflect on the role of dedications in music. Of the works that will be played on Friday, Schumann’s Märchenbilder, or Fairy Pictures, has several unique dedications. One dedicatee was Wilhelm Joseph von Wasielewski, a respected violinist, composer, and writer. An intimate friend to the Schumanns, Liszt, and Brahms, the pages of history barely acknowledge him beyond this dedication. Chopin’s Polonaise was dedicated to Joseph Merk, a composer and cellist who had deeply inspired the young composer, claiming that Merk made songs “more beautiful than they really were by his playing, which is so full of soul." Piazzolla’s Le Grand Tango was dedicated to cellist, Mstislav Rostropovich, and was even premiered by him in New Orleans. Shortly thereafter, Piazzolla had a fatal stroke and we lost one of the greatest original musicians. All of these works and more will be featured in Friday’s concert.

On Sunday, we will hear Brahms’ Trio in A Minor, inspired by the beautiful clarinet playing of Richard Mühlfeld, who inspired him  to continue composing. The concert also features Prokofiev's Cello Sonata in C major.  The composer struggled with censorship all of his life because of  his conflicted relationship with the Stalinist government and their control over the arts and all his works are a paen to artistic freedom. The program also includes Mendelssohn’s Viola Sonata in C minor. A child prodigy with an eidetic memory; he played symphonies from memory and learned Greek for fun; the quintessential Renaissance man, writing this impressive piece at the age of 15. Smetana, like Mendelssohn, was also a child prodigy. Sadly, a series of tragic events, including the death of three daughters and his wife, as well as losing his hearing, marred the story of his life. His trio which the Bravour will play was written after the death of his oldest daughter; his incredible suffering seeps from this composition.

Tickets for the concerts at St. Paul’s are $150, $300 and $400 pesos donation each, and are on sale at La Tienda in the Biblioteca Pública; La Conexión; only at Aldama 3; the School of Arts at the Instituto Allende, Ancha de San Antonio 22, and at the concert 45 minutes before performance time.

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Nov
18
5:00 PM17:00

Vienna Kammersymphonie

The Vienna Kammersymphonie, loosely translated as the Vienna Chamber Symphony, will give one concert for Pro Musica on Saturday, November 18 at 5 pm at St. Paul's Church.  The Kammersymphonie is an elite ensemble of six Austrian musicians; string quartet, double base and piano; which specializes in playing full-scale symphonic works with their own arrangements. This is a strongly emerging trend in classical music as more people want to hear their favorite works, but not in an enormous hall and at the price of a visit to the symphony. Pro Musica has been lucky enough to secure the Kammersymphonie as part of their Latin American tour when San Miguel audiences will experience the unique, creamy sound of great Viennese string playing. 

 

The ensemble of impressively gifted musicians comprises Nadja Kalmykova (1st violin), Aya Georgieva (2nd violin), Ljuba Kalmykova (viola), Sergio Mastro (violoncello), Benedict Ziervogel (double bass) and Alvaro Siviero (piano). Founded in 2006, the “Year of Mozart”, they were hailed in Austria as the best performers in an epic year of music-making dedicated to the famed composer, and went on to tour worldwide.

 

As well as performing well known music by the great names, such as Beethoven and Mahler, the Kammersymphonie also specialize in reviving overlooked musical gems by composers whose works are less often performed, for example Erich Korngold and Hans Gál.  Pieces by all these maestros will be highlighted in the concert, including a movement from Mahler's Symphony No. 4. Mahler conducted both the Metropolitan Opera and the New York Philharmonic in the early 1900s, and in the Vienna Philharmonic he was unanimously voted to be the Music Director. This caused a stir (and spoke highly of his influence) as Vienna was traditionally anti-Semitic. Under Mahler’s guidance both the Vienna and New York Philharmonic led the world, and continue to do so . The concert will feature the first movement of Mahler's Symphony No. 4. Another beloved work, Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor will be performed in its entirety. The concerto was premiered in 1803 in a concert of his own works, spurned by a contest between Schickaneder'sTheater-an-der-Wien and von Braun's Kärtnertor-theater.  Expect fireworks from maestro Siviero at the keyboard!

 

Mahler's fellow countryman Hans Gál, fled Hitler, but was interned for a time by the British. A child prodigy, Gál was 13 when he composed the Five Intermezzos that we will hear. The concert also includes Erich Korngold's Märchenbilder, a fitting match to complement Gál's Intermezzi. Korngold was a sensation even among contemporary masters like Mahler, and one reviewer raved about his, “...astounding feats of composition and of piano-playing, in which the composer's age is not to be taken into consideration."

Tickets for the concerts at St. Paul’s are $150, $300 and $400 pesos donation each, and are on sale at La Tienda in the Biblioteca Pública and online through our website on the Buy Tickets tab at the top of the Home Page; and at the concert 45 minutes before performance time.

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Nicholas Kitchen of the Borromeo String Quartet Performs Beethoven Violin Sonatas
Nov
12
5:00 PM17:00

Nicholas Kitchen of the Borromeo String Quartet Performs Beethoven Violin Sonatas

Why is Beethoven such a powerful force, hundreds of years after his death? Widely considered the greatest composer to have lived, Beethoven’s music evokes deep personal responses, and has inspired listeners for two centuries. On Sunday, November 12th at 5 pm at St. Paul’s Church on Calle Cardo, Nicholas Kitchen, revered violinist, will perform an all-Beethoven concert, focusing on some of his best known works.

Nicholas Kitchen’s eclectic musical interests inspired him to create the Borromeo String Quartet, a now world famous ensemble; Living Archive, a project documenting the nature of live music and living classical artists; and MusicKitchen, a program to promote creativity and inspire through music. Currently in Boston, he teaches at the New England Conservatory of Music. A great innovator and performer, he is captivating performer to hear and watch.

Ludwig van Beethoven was the predominant musical figure between the Classical and Romantic eras, establishing his name in music history as no one has since. Nicholas will perform several of his Sonatas for piano and violin. Rooted in the techniques of Hayden and Mozart, he superseded these  delving into concepts of humanism and nationalism, inspired by the literary works of Goethe and Friedrich von Schiller, which he transformed into music of sublime meaning and in so doing brought musical enlightenment to the mysteries of life .

It’s commonly known that Beethoven was nearly deaf by the end of his life. Beginning in his twenties, his hearing loss led him from the spotlight of performance and conducting to composing in private, with many of his most admired works composed during the contemplative and serene period at the end of his life. Known as a virtuoso pianist, few realize that he was a skilled viola player as well, working with the finest group in Europe at the time, the Bonn Court Orchestra.

Beethoven dedicated many works to friends and patrons. His first three violin sonatas were dedicated to Antonio Salieri. Technically impressive and unusual in the equal emphasis of both piano and violin, these sonatas would not have fitted in well with the popular salon music of the time. He pushed the equality of the “duo sonata” a step farther in the Sonata in G Major, dedicated to friend and patron, Archduke Rudolph (as was the so-called "Archduke Trio".) At that time the piano was transitioning into our modern pianoforte and we will hear the wider dynamic range well illustrated by this work. This is all true of the famous and powerful Kreutzer Sonata, dedicated to Rodolphe Kreutzer, a fellow violinist who proved unable to meet the works' technical challenges.  While modern violin students still battle to execute its complex etudes, this is one of Kitchen's favourite works and no violinist living plays it with more passion and virtuosity.

Tickets for the concerts at St. Paul’s are $150, $300 and $400 pesos donation each, and are on sale at La Tienda in the Biblioteca Pública; La Conexión; only at Aldama 3; the School of Arts at the Instituto Allende, Ancha de San Antonio 22, and at the concert 45 minutes before performance time.

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Nicholas Kitchen, First Violinist of the Boromeo String Quartet Make His San Miguel Solo Debut
Nov
12
5:00 PM17:00

Nicholas Kitchen, First Violinist of the Boromeo String Quartet Make His San Miguel Solo Debut

Violin master Nicholas Kitchen will make his San Miguel solo debut with Pro Musica on Sunday November 12th at 5 pm Praised by the New York Times as "thrilling, vibrant and captivating," he is an outstanding virtuoso player. Kitchen is not only a chamber musician, but also teacher, filmmaker, technical innovator and arts administrator, not to mention the founder of the Borromeo String Quartet, and two music education and conservation programs, Living Archive, and MusicKitchen. Amazingly accomplished and wildly talented, this is a unique all-Beethoven concert not to be missed!

Originally from Durham, North Carolina, Kitchen was raised by a family of passionate musicians: his mother, a violinist, founded the String School at Duke and worked closely with the Greensboro Symphony; his father, a choir-master and organist, founded a chamber orchestra at

St. Stephen's Episcopal Church and was also a professor at Duke. Setting the stage for a bright future, Nicholas preformed often at Duke as a child, nurtured by the path of his parents. At the tender age of 16, he began his studies at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia.

Upon completing his college experience, an inspired Nicholas founded the Borromeo String Quartet, which skyrocketed in popularity, receiving the Cleveland Quartet Award from Chamber Music America, the Martin S. Segal Award from Lincoln Center, and the Avery Fisher Career Grant.  They now play over 100 concerts a year and are the quartet in residence at the New England Conservatory of Music, where Nicholas teaches.

Nicholas has been given a special charge to play and travel with the Goldberg violin "Guarneri del Gesù", on loan to him from the Library of Congress with the intention of moving Mr. Goldberg’s artistic vision forward. For many years, he also played the A.J. Fletcher Stradivarius, but now shares it with his friend, the Borromeo second violinist, Kristopher Tong. He will bring the Guarneri with him to San Miguel.  Kitchen particularly enjoys the Beethoven violin sonatas, which will be strongly featured in his concert on Sunday.

Like most living classical masters, Nicholas has recorded extensively and given concerts in some of the world’s greatest concert halls, premiering new works such as the violin concerto by Stephen Jaffe, which was written for him. But unique to Nicholas are his forays into world music, such as collaborations with Turkish traditional musician Erkan Ogur in Istanbul, drawing animations to accompany live classical performance, and creating a new classical media library to preserve performances of the living artists of today called, appropriately, the Living Archive.

Tickets for the concerts at St. Paul’s are $150, $300 and $400 pesos donation each, and are on sale at La Tienda in the Biblioteca Pública; La Conexión; only at Aldama 3; the School of Arts at the Instituto Allende, Ancha de San Antonio 22, and at the concert 45 minutes before performance time.

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Jenny Lin, Internationally Acclaimed Pianist, plays Liszt, Schumann and Scriabin
Oct
8
5:00 PM17:00

Jenny Lin, Internationally Acclaimed Pianist, plays Liszt, Schumann and Scriabin

Jenny Lin is a surprising and eclectic talent! An immensely gifted Steinway artist, she is also a captivating performer, a world-renowned pianist and an out-of-the-box thinker. This Taiwan-born New Yorker has received rave reviews from the New York Times and the Washington Post (among many others) praising her “remarkable technique” and calling her “one of the most interesting pianists in America right now.” Don’t miss her San Miguel debut at St Paul’s Church, on Sunday, October 8 at 5 pm.

Franz Liszt was the first pop superstar. Mobbed by the music public of his day, he was a greatly revered artist, known for his free spirit, inspiring “Lisztomania”, a term coined by the poet Heine to describe how women reacted to his recitals with absolute hysteria.    All the works featured in Lin’s concert are really fantasies, despite their varying titles. Liszt's Sonata in B minor is no exception, with a long, free-form composition but with thematically connected movements. This structure, coupled with liberty of form, needs a pianist with a phenomenal technique and great inner inspiration to bring out the genius of the piece, allowing the decorative details to meld effortlessly with the overall theme. 

In her concert, Lin will also perform Schumann’s famous, Fantasie, which was dedicated to Liszt, who was also one of the few pianists able to execute the technical challenges of the work.  Liszt never performed it, although he did teach it; but Clara, Schumann’s wife, added it to her repertoire.  Liszt and Schumann were close friends, sharing musical inspirations and dedicating many works to one another, traces of which can be seen peppered throughout their works. The Fantasie was intended as a tribute to Beethoven; but was only completed thanks to a large donation from Liszt. Premiered in 1845, Schumann was too ill to attend its opening and Liszt, who was present, wrote to him: "The Fantasie that you have dedicated to me is a work of the highest rank. I am truly proud of the honour you have done me in dedicating so grand a composition to me…It is a noble work, worthy of Beethoven, whose career… it is supposed to represent".

Scriabin's "Sonata-Fantasy", the second of his piano sonatas, represents 10 individual moments in his stylistic development. The early sonatas were inspired by Chopin and Liszt, although the later ones diverged significantly from the familiar form, allowing for radical exploration. Even in the earliest sonatas, including this, we can see Scriabin’s development of a strong individual voice.

Tickets for the concerts at St. Paul’s are $150, $300 and $400 pesos donation each, and are on sale at La Tienda in the Biblioteca Pública; La Conexión; only at Aldama 3; the School of Arts at the Instituto Allende, Ancha de San Antonio 22, and at the concert 45 minutes before performance time.

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The Great Piano Sonatas in concert with Steinway Artist Jenny Lin
Oct
8
5:00 PM17:00

The Great Piano Sonatas in concert with Steinway Artist Jenny Lin

This is a one off opportunity to hear what the Washington Post describes as “one of the most interesting pianists in America". Jenny Lin has been hailed for her “gift for melodic flow” and “remarkable technical command” by The New York Times. A renowned Steinway artist, Lin’s “confident fingers” and “spectacular technique”;  will make their San Miguel debut at St Paul’s Church, calle Cardo on Sunday, October 8 at 5 pm.

Jenny Lin embodies a surprising amalgamation of qualities and talents. This Taiwan-born New Yorker grew up in Austria; she is as elegant as she is accessible, and in her technique, she is as powerful as she is refined. Gramophone Magazine called her an “an exceptionally sensitive pianist”, however she’s equally known for her charisma and strong stage presence. Additionally, she holds a bachelor’s degree in German Literature from The Johns Hopkins University. Clearly a fascinating woman beyond her immense musical talents, this year will include international tours, including accompanying Phillip Glass in his Piano Etudes, her debut in Lincoln Center’s Great Performers Series, and the release of Melody’s Mostly Musical Day, her illustrated album for children.

To name her accolades would overwhelm the page, but among them are concerts in Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, the Kennedy Center, and MoMA, and a multitude of international festivals and concerts. Her discography includes over 30 recordings, and a central role in “Cooking for Jenny” by Elemental Films, a musical documentary about her journey to Spain to meet and work with composer Javier López de Guereña. Recent and popular recordings include, Get Happy, a Broadway tribute with arrangements from many of piano’s greats and “The Spirio Sessions”, a two-piano disc with Uri Caine, and epic renditions of Liszt’s Sonata and Schumann’s Fantasie, both of which will be featured in her San Miguel concert.

All-Music Guide described Lin’s technique as “nothing less than superhuman”. Inspiration and dedication produce Lin’s incredible recordings and performances and Lin is so deeply inspired by the music she interprets that it’s no wonder she leaves her audiences spell-bound. Performing some of her favourites, like Scriabin, Schumann and Liszt for her Pro Musica debut, we know our audiences will feel as inspired as she does. As Gramophone Magazine said of Lin’s recordings of Stravinsky’s solo piano music, it is “another notable achievement from this gifted and imaginative artist.” We can’t wait for you to share in her imaginative gifts as well.

Tickets for the concerts at St. Paul’s are $150, $300 and $400 pesos donation each, and are on sale at La Tienda in the Biblioteca Pública; La Conexión; only at Aldama 3; the School of Arts at the Instituto Allende, Ancha de San Antonio 22, and at the concert 45 minutes before performance time.

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