11-08 Land of Enchantment I: Taos School of Music

Welcome to America’s Music Festivals three-part mini-series from the Land of Enchantment.

This first season of our series, America’s Music Festivals, comes to you from beautiful destinations in the western states — California, Oregon, Colorado, Washington, Wyoming. And for the next three weeks we are spending time in the most unusual of them all: New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment.

This is a state that has more than 300 days of sunshine a year. Three different cultures have lived side-by-side here for centuries. New Mexico even has its own unique variety of chile pepper. In the fall, the pungent smell of roasting chiles fills the dry desert air, and the food is like no place else on earth.

The thing about New Mexico in the summer is that it is just bursting with music, all within a two-hour drive. This program was recorded at the Taos School of Music, in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, at the Taos Ski Valley. Then we travel down the King’s Highway, El Camino Real to hear the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, and on to Albuquerque, where Chamber Music Albuquerque presents the Shanghai Quartet.

For more information visit http://taosschoolofmusic.com/festival


Taos School of Music and Festival
Bach: Passacaglia and Fugue (Borromeo Quartet)
Brahms: Piano Quartet in A Major Op. 26 (students)

Santa Fe Desert Chorale
Francisco Guerrero: Surge Propera Amica
Jakob Handl: Trahe Me Post Te
Antognini: I am the Rose of Sharon
Matthew Harris: Tell Me, Where is Fancy Bred
Urmas Sisask: Confitemini Domino
Urmas Sisask: Benedicamus
René Clausen: Set Me as a Seal

Shanghai Quartet, from Chamber Music Albuquerque
Mendelssohn: String Quartet No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 13

You can listen to the entire program here:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Borromeo Quartet -

Yeesum Kim, Cello
Nick Kitchen, Violin
Mai Motobuchi, Viola
Kristopher Tong, Violin

Since their explosive debut in 1989, the critically acclaimed Borromeo String Quartet have become one of the most sought after strings quartets in the world, performing over 100 concerts of classical and contemporary literature across three continents each season. Audiences and critics alike champion their revealing explorations of Beethoven, Bartok, Schoenberg, Shostakovich, and Golijov, and their affinity for making even the most challenging contemporary repertoire approachable and enlightening. The Borromeo Quartet’s long-standing and celebrated residency at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum has been called “one of the defining experiences of civilization in Boston” [Boston Globe] and their ongoing concert series at the Tenri Cultural Institute in New York has been hailed as “one of New York’s best kept secrets” [New York Sun]. More

Michelle Cann, Piano – Pianist Michelle Cann was born into an extremely musical family. Her dad conducts a school band, chorus, bell choir and steel drum band, and her older sister is a concert pianist.

“From the age of 7, when I started piano, my parents pushed me to do all I could with music,” she says. “During the 18 years of my life, I’ve played trombone, violin, steel drums, bells, guitar, tuba and organ, in addition to piano.”

Music is at the heart of Michelle’s life, but she also has a variety of other interests. She loves working with children and she enjoys getting together with friends and socializing. She also loves amusement parks, especially roller coasters. More

Chamber Music Albuerquerque - CMA appeals to the diverse residents of central New Mexico, serving close to 10,000 people annually, ranging in age from high school students to senior citizens. CMA’s artistic profile provides an opportunity for intellectual and culturally relevant discovery. It provides an opportunity to understand how chamber music has evolved throughout history while offering new insights into the thinking of living artists and how they interpret and struggle with the process of musical creation and interpretation. More

Zenas Hsu, Violin - Zenas Hsu was born in 1991. He began violin at the age of five, and is currently studying violin with Wei He and Camilla Wicks. He is also studying chamber music with Susan Bates and Mack McCray at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Zenas has also been granted several scholarships, including full scholarships from 2005 to 2007 for the chamber music program at the Hotchkiss Summer Portals, 2005 [email protected] Summer Chamber Music camp, and San Francisco Conservatory of Music Prep. Division since 2003.

Zenas has won numerous competitions. He has performed extensively and has participated in several national and international competitions as well as master classes with prominent musicians, such as Pamela Frank, Kyoko Takezawa, Ida Kavafian, Axel Strauss, Ian Swensen, Jeremy Menuhin, and the Miami String Quartet.

Benjamin Lash, Cello – Benjamin Lash is a member of the Music Institute of Chicago’s Academy program for gifted pre-college musicians where he studies privately with artist faculty member Tanya Carey. Benjamin has studied the cello since he was six years old;  He has competed in numerous competitions, and his first place awards include the Society of American Musicians, Music Teachers National Association State and Regional Divisions, the North Suburban Symphony, the Oak Park Symphony, Kishwaukee Symphony, the Sejong Cultural Society, and Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra competitions. More

Sante Fe Desert Chorale - The Desert Chorale mainly performs a cappella (without accompaniment) and is renowned for its rich sound, seamless blend and wide-ranging programming, having performed more than 2,000 compositions by some 500 composers, spanning nine centuries of music. Founder Lawrence Bandfield (1933-2009) conducted the first season in 1983 and continued as Music Director until 1998. The values that he established sustain the Desert Chorale today: diverse repertory performed by top quality, professional musicians; an intimate rapport with audience members and donors; and strong relationships with the community of northern New Mexico – as evidenced by regular performances outside Santa Fe; tours of historic churches; and collaborations with Santa Fe New Music, Santa Fe Opera, Santa Fe Symphony and others. More

Shanghai Quartet -

Yi-Wen Jiang, violin
Honggang Li, viola
Weigang Li, violin
Nicholas Tzavaras, cello
The Shanghai Quartet melds the delicacy of Eastern music with the power of Western repertoire, from traditional Chinese folk music to the most challenging classical works.The Quartet regularly tours the great music centers of North and South America, Asia, and Europe. They have appeared frequently at New York’s Carnegie Hall, and their travels have taken them from London, Vienna and Prague, to Australia’s Sydney Opera House. More
Taos School of Music – Founded in 1963, and the subject of many feature stories including those on NBC’s “Today Show” and National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition,” Taos School of Music is one of the oldest and most respected summer chamber music programs in the country. Its alumni have served as members of such award winning chamber groups as the Alexander, Brentano, Chester, Lark, Muir, Shanghai and St. Lawrence quartets, the Eroica Trio, and Musicians from Marlboro. They have become principal players and members of the major orchestras  in the United States: Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Los Angeles, Metropolitan Opera, Milwaukee, National, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, St. Lawrence, and San Francisco. More