Once upon a time there was a group of people who lived in a small city in the middle of Mexico, and they loved chamber music. They invited their friends, musicians known the world over, to come to town to play and teach students.
Year after year, for over forty years, the most famous classical musicians in the world travelled to the town. People loved to hear their music and came from afar. Their master classes prepared generations of classical musicians in Mexico.
Scores of people and businesses and governments donated their time and talent and treasure to keep the music playing year after year. The town was known for its music throughout all of Mexico and the world.
Then a terrible plague hit the world. People were frightened to gather together. Musicians could not perform in person and were in dire straits. Those who had been so generous in the past felt the need to feed people or care for their health, rather than support music.
But there was a miracle, a new way of connecting, the internet and all struggled to use that to keep the music playing, all the while longing for what used to be.
After two years of darkness, fear began to subside for some, but not all. Things had changed, the city was different, the government was different, peoples’ lives had been changed, some new people came to the city and others left, theaters closed.
Brave groups took the risk of presenting live performance and some people again felt the joy of being together and feeling the power of music. But they did not come in the numbers necessary, and they did not give their time, talent or treasure as they had in the past.
Only you can write the end of this story.
This year is a critical year for the San Miguel Chamber Music Festival. Do we want to keep the music playing? To bring the highest quality music to San Miguel? To influence the next generation of Mexican classical musicians? Or not?
The Exciting 2023 Season Lineup
This August, the Festival, in its 45th season, will maintain its tradition of presenting the best chamber music for strings, along with a wider variety of music, instrumentation and format than ever before. This season, there will be 5 concerts between August 4 and 20; and in addition to string quartets and quintets by such composers as Schubert, Dvorak, Prokofiev, Ravel, Shostakovich and others, the Festival will present the following:- A chamber music and dance recital, featuring a Ballerina from the San Francisco Ballet, Julia Rowe. Solo works and sonatas for cello and piano by South Korean-born cellist Jonah KIM, proclaimed by the Washington Post as "the next Yo-Yo Ma."- Queretaro pianist Javier García-Lascurain and the newly named Cuarteto Bellas Artes, from Orizaba Veracruz, formerly known as Cuarteto Croma, consisting of Ilya Ivanov, violin, Carlos Quijano, violin, Félix Alanís, viola and Manuel Cruz, cello. In addition to the Allende Quartet formed by outstanding musicians such as: Adrián Barrera Ramos, violin, Clif Foster, violin, Madyline Alford, viola and Guillermo Sánchez Romero, cello.
San Miguel de Allende:
A Music Destination
Future Festivals will retain the best of the past, but we are working on some exciting changes. We are collaborating with the Consejo Turistico to promote throughout North America a travel program to San Miguel during the Festival.
It will be targeted to musical interest groups who already travel to enjoy music in interesting locations. As such, concerts and other events will be presented in various venues and clustered to provide a full experience to visitors and residents alike.
photo by Lander Rodriguez
Expanding Our Music Education Program
One of the successes of the pandemic has been the expansion of our music education mission. The virtual master classes with Curtis Institute of Music will resume monthly starting in September 2021. Our popular Education Week has been moved out of the Festival season and will be held in June 2022 with the return of Amit Peled and his Cello Gang. During 2022, young Mexican musicians will compete to have the opportunity to travel to San Miguel to hear and work with famous international musicians performing at the Festival.