It is only a few weeks since our season ended but all artists for our forthcoming 21ST ANNIVERSARY SEASON are booked and the programs agreed. I know that many of you make your travel plans around our concert dates, so I am taking this early opportunity of telling you about the roster of exciting musicians who will be performing for you from October, 2018 thru March, 2019. I have been told many times that last season was 'our best ever' and it is my aim to make every season that way, particularly in 2018/19, when we will be celebrating our 21st year of bringing world class classical music to San Miguel. To mark this milestone we have added an extra two weeks to the season so that it will continue until the end of March, thanks to funding from the Benefit event last month.

The coming season has a fantastic array of musicians and music to suit all tastes, including opera. You will hear a vast array of music not heard recently in San Miguel as we usually do not repeat a work within a two year timescale. As we also book most of the artists that far in advance, this is the reason why last season's new favourite artists won't return until 2020!

The season will follow the pattern of recent years, with the opening concert on Sunday 7 October, 2018 featuring the incredibly talented violinist Charles Wetherbee, making his San Miguel debut (" a consummate artist... with flawless technique” The Washington Post).

On Saturday 10 November we will stage the METROPOLITAN OPERA WINNERS CONCERT featuring the winners of the auditions that we held that week, and those receiving Encouragement Awards and Pro Musica's choice of Singer of the Future. This is a unique opportunity to hear the cream of Mexican voices before they go to the Regional Finals in New Orleans. (The San Miguel auditions are only open to the Founding Sponsors, with whom we will be in touch nearer the time).

December 7-9 brings our first two concert weekend when much loved pianist William Ransom will be joined by pianist Julie Coucheron ("exquisite ... breathless finale" The Washington Post) in our first four hands piano concerts for many years. Julie is the sister of violinist David Coucheron, and equally talented.

After the holiday break the New Year kicks off on January 4-6, 2019 with the unique RICHARD STOLTZMAN (" the world's most phenomenal clarinetist" The Boston Globe), and his equally charismatic wife, Mika on the 5 octave concert marimba and, for the first time in San Miguel, accompanied by son Peter John on piano. Expect a storm of music from classical to jazz and everything in between.

From then on we have two concerts every weekend until the end of March. Next up, January 11-13, features a return visit by the much loved Amernet String Quartet (“music making of exciting impetuosity and fervour” The Miami Herald) whose concerts for us are always outstanding.

January 18-20 features our annual ALL CANADIAN MUSICIANS concerts with violinist Laurence Kayaleh ("impeccable accuracy .. superb sound .. a luminous talent" Le Figaro - Paris) playing a 1742 Guarneri, once owned by Carl Flesch, and accompanied by Claire Ouellet, Professor of Piano at the Montreal Conservatory.

January 25-27 sees the San Miguel debut of pianist Ilya Yakushev of whom the San Francisco Chronicle said of his solo debut under Michael Tilson Thomas with the San Francisco Symphony: "astonishing .. unforgettable."

January 31st/February 1st brings one of the highlights of the season with the first visit for many years of the ATLANTA CHAMBER PLAYERS. Principally comprising artists from the first desks of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, this sextet of wind and brass will play concerts of favourite works such as the Brahms Horn Trio and the Mozart Quintet.

February 8-10 is OPERA WEEKEND featuring Giuseppe Verdi's masterpiece, Rigoletto. This will be preceded by our annual Gala Fundraiser on Tuesday

5th February, with the stars of the opera and the Pro Musica Youth Orchestra. More details will follow next month in a separate news letter.
On February 15/16 there will be the first appearance here of the explosive talent of violinist Stefan Milenkovich ("Milenkovich's recital at the Kennedy Center was .. magical ..dazzling virtuosity" The Washington Post). Still only in his 20s, he had played his 1,000th public concert by age 16!

February 22/23 features the first appearance in our city of The Telegraph String Quartet ("brilliance and subtelty" The San Francisco Chronicle) who are the Quartet in Residence at the San Francisco Conservatory. After concerts in two consecutive years at Carnegie Hall, the Quartet are on a high powered musical roll.

March 1-3 is another highlight of the season with the return of pianist RAN DANK. All who have heard Ran play for us over the last two years will surely agree with me that he is one of the world's finest young pianists. The Chicago Classical Review said it all describing his Chicago debut: "spectacular .. powerhouse performance .. dazzling in its pyrotechnics .. bravura .. extroverted brilliance".

On March 8-10 we welcome newcomers the Lysander Piano Trio who were formed at the Juillard in 2009. ("vivid and energetic .. nuanced musicianship .. finely hued collaboration" The New York Times). Their debut recording, After a Dream was acclaimed by the NYT for its “polished and spirited interpretations”.

March 15-17 sees the return of violinist DAVID COUCHERON ("a creamy .. highly expressive .. sound from his 1725 Stradivarious" The Fort Worth Star-Telegram). David was lauded in his first concerts here two years ago and will be accompanied by his sister, pianist Julie Coucheron.

March 19 (Tuesday) we celebrate PRO MUSICA'S 21st ANNIVERSARY with a

MUSICAL EXTRAVAGANZA to raise funds to extend our 2019-20 season until the end of March. The event will be similar in format to last season when a host of our much loved artists performed a full concert in a private home, preceded by a champagne reception in the garden, and food and drink in the house afterwards.

March 22-24 brings the San Miguel debut of ZUILL BAILEY, a world class performer and "one of the most exciting cellists to come along in years" (The Kansas City Star). He won a best solo performance Grammy Award in 2017 for his recording of Tales of Hemingway by Michael Daugherty, which he will play for us.

The season ends on Friday, March 29 with our famous GARDEN CONCERT in a magical private garden in Guadiana, including a long interval when unlimited champagne and thousands of canapés will be served. This year we present Broadway Nights, with three Broadway artists flying in specially from New York to entertain us with a wide variety of well loved classics from the musicals and popular composers, All seating will be covered to protect against sun and rain.

Staging music of this quality becomes more expensive each year and our ever-expanding Education Outreach Program needs extra resources, particularly with the growth of the Pro Musica Youth Orchestra, the founding of our Children's Orchestra and our music "Academy" program for young children. All this is only possible because of the generosity of you, our wonderful Patron Members. To help us maintain and exceed 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.

We also need more hosts for our ever popular post-concert cocktails and suppers. This is a wonderful way to enjoy getting to know the musicians in your own home and I would be delighted t 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

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