alan gilbert

Alan Gilbert, photo Peter Hundert

Chamber Music Festival announces 2021 season

The Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival announced its 2021 season, which is slated to run from July 18 to Aug. 23. All performances will take place at St. Francis Auditorium.

Eight commissioned works will receive their world or American premieres, including string quartets by Augusta Read Thomas and Helen Grime (Aug. 4 and 6), and a duo for piano and percussion by Huw Watkins, who performs it with percussionist Colin Currie (Aug. 10). Berlin Philharmonic principal horn Stefan Dohr offered superlative playing here during the 2019 festival; he returns in 2021 in programs featuring Mozart’s Quintet for Horn and Strings ( July 18 and 19), Schubert’s Octet in F Major (July 21), and György Ligeti’s Trio for Violin, Horn, and Piano ( July 25 and 26).

Alan Gilbert, former music director of the New York Philharmonic, leads two works for chamber orchestra: Toru Takemitsu’s Rain Coming ( July 21) and Igor Stravinsky’s Dumbarton Oaks ( July 24). Fans of J.S. Bach can take deep dives into the complete Goldberg Variations, played by pianist Juho Pohjonen (Aug. 3) and the six Suites for Solo Cello, played by Cleveland Orchestra principal Mark Kosower over two performances ( July 31 and Aug. 7).

Pianist Kirill Gerstein and violinist Leila Josefowicz are the soloists in Alban Berg’s Chamber Concerto for Piano and Violin with 13 Wind Instruments, conducted by David Robertson, the St. Louis Symphony’s former music director (Aug. 8 and 9). Gerstein also partners with chansonnier HK Gruber on a program of songs by Kurt Weill and Hanns Eisler (Aug. 12). A Song by Mahler, a new chamber opera composed by artistic director Marc Neikrug, will be performed by mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnson Cano and baritone Kelly Markgraf in a production directed and designed by Doug Fitch (Aug. 19).

The 2021 season has a total of 40 concerts, down slightly from the 45 that were planned for 2020. Unfortunately, the loss of a sponsor has meant the elimination of the Wednesday vocal music series, at least for the upcoming year. The festival currently plans to begin subscription renewals starting in early November and to put single tickets on sale in mid-February. Complete 2021 season information is available at — Mark Tiarks/For The New Mexican

New Mexico Humanities Council Awards $433,000 in Grants

The New Mexico Humanities Council (NMHC) has distributed $433,000 of grant money to 68 New Mexico organizations. The money originated with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) from the U.S. Congress and was then awarded at the state level by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The funds are meant to help New Mexico institutions continue to operate during the economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The NMHC dispersed all of their monies from the CARES Act and is no longer accepting applications. — Jason Strykowski 

The New Mexico Music Commission Foundation hosts Music Biz Monday

Musicians who normally rely on live performances to build their audience are learning to adapt to online strategies under current conditions. The New Mexico Music Commission Foundation (NMMCF) has a plan to help through Music Biz Monday, a monthly online workshop on virtual tools that musicians can use. At 5 p.m. on Aug. 24, a panel featuring recording studio managers discuss how studios can address safety protocols during the coronavirus pandemic. Guests include Jono Manson of The Kitchen Sink recording studio, Baird Banner of Kludgit Sound, and Ron Crowder of InCrowd Studio. NMMCF President David Schwartz serves as moderator. Email to register. — J.S.

Los Alamos Summer 2020 Concert Series online

Usually on Ashley Pond in the heart of Los Alamos, the Los Alamos Summer 2020 Concert Series is virtual this year. Performances continue until Aug. 28. Featured musicians include Jared & the Mill, Sim Balkey, Gabriella Salazar, and The Boom Roots Collective. Concerts begin at 6 p.m. on Fridays. Go to for performance links and more details. — J.S.

Wheelwright Museum director retires

Jonathan Batkin, who worked as the director of the Wheelwright Museum for 30 years, retired this April. Batkin will be the first former employee of the Wheelwright to be awarded a position as director emeritus. The board of the Wheelwright is beginning the search process for a replacement. In the meantime, Jean Higgins will serve as interim director and Batkin will continue in an advisory role. — J.S.

The National Dance Institute of New Mexico Recognized

Albuquerque Business First named the National Dance Institute (NDI) of New Mexico its New Mexico Nonprofit of the Year. The NDI runs school and after-school programs in Santa Fe and Albuquerque for children aged three to 18. Their wide variety of classes include tap dancing and musical theater. They’re currently offering online programs at — J.S.

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