Music@Menlo returns to Atherton for 10th season | July 4, 2012 | Almanac | Almanac Online |


Arts & Entertainment - July 4, 2012

Music@Menlo returns to Atherton for 10th season

by Jane Knoerle

"Resonance" is the theme of the 10th-anniversary season of Music@Menlo, the lively chamber-music festival founded by pianist Wu Han and cellist David Finckel. The festival opens Friday, July 20, and continues through Aug. 11.

"Music is the art that resonates not only in our ears, but in our hearts and minds, the effect lasting long after the performance is over," artistic directors Finckel and Han wrote in the season brochures. They have assembled a program of 45 guest artists, 13 of whom will be making their festival debut.

The range of music represented in this summer's festival includes both commonly heard chamber composers such as Bach and Bartok, and modern composers new to Music@Menlo: Paul Schoenfield, Chen Yi, Bernard Herrmann and others.

Performances will be held at Menlo School in Atherton, at the Performing Arts Center at Menlo-Atherton High School, and at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Palo Alto.

Open house, open season

To give audiences a closer look at Music@Menlo, festival organizers have scheduled a series of open-house events at Menlo School on Saturday, July 21. The day kicks off with a "Q & A Coffee" at 8:30 a.m. with David Finckel and Wu Han. Open rehearsals — on this day only — and open coachings will allow audiences to observe festival artists and Chamber Music Institute students in the process of preparing to perform.

The day will also include the season's first Cafe Conversation, at 11:45 a.m. Held at the open house and on every weekday during the festival, the talks will feature artists mulling over many subjects related to music and the arts. In the evening, a "Prelude Performance" of young musicians starts at 6 p.m. in Martin Family Hall (free tickets required), followed by an 8 p.m. ticketed concert in Stent Family Hall. The program, "Sustained," features Schubert's Fantasy in C Major, Mozart's Quintet for Clarinet and Strings in A Major, and Beethoven's Piano Trio in E-flat Major.

The first in the festival's eight-part concert series, "Sustained: Finding Strength," includes Anthony McGill playing clarinet and Juho Pohjonen playing piano. The program will be repeated at 6 p.m. Sunday, July 22, at the Performing Arts Center at Menlo-Atherton.

The series continues with concerts in Atherton and Palo Alto featuring various combinations of the festival musicians. Returning artists include married singers Sasha Cooke and Kelly Markgraf, violinist Jorja Fleezanis and pianist Gilbert Kalish.

The final concert program will be "Delighted: Music for the Fun of It," to be presented at 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 10, at Stent Family Hall; and at 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11, at the Menlo-Atherton center. The celebratory music includes Trio for Violin Clarinet and Piano by Paul Schoenfield; and Felix Mendelssohn's "Allegro brillant" in A Major for Piano, Four Hands.

In addition, Music@Menlo will allow the public to attend master classes, gratis, on each weekday of the festival.

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