Fri. 3/21 10a: For 14 seasons, from 1999 to 2013, Steven Smith served as Music Director of the Santa Fe Symphony. On April 13, the Maestro returns for a final concert, leading the orchestra in Mahler's Symphony No. 7 at the Lensic Center. Spencer Beckwith speaks with Steven Smith about Mahler's Symphony and about his fondest memories of his years with the Santa Fe Symphony.
Thurs. 3/20 10a: For six days, from April 5 through April 10, the public is invited to concerts, workshops, panel discussions and master classes focused on new music in venues around Albuquerque and on the UNM campus. The centerpiece of the 2014 John Donald Robb Composers' Symposium is a new chamber opera, "Cuatro Corridos," presented on April 7 at the South Broadway Cultural Center. Spencer Beckwith speaks with the co-Artistic Director of the Symposium, UNM Assistant Professor of Composition, Peter Gilbert.
Fri. 3/14 10a: Young musicians from northern New Mexico will perform selections from Broadway and Bach, and from jazz and pop, on March 15 at the Scottish Rite Temple in Santa Fe. Joining the young performers will be Grammy-winning composer and pianist, David Grusin. Proceeds from the concert benefit the Santa Fe Youth Symphony Association. The SFYSA's Artistic Director, Dana Winograd, joins Spencer Beckwith for a preview.
Thurs. 3/13 10a: From March 23 through March 30 at Albuquerque's National Hispanic Cultural Center, Opera Southwest presents its first-ever production of Georges Bizet's romantic triangle set in colonial Ceylon, "The Pearl Fishers." Spencer Beckwith is joined by the opera's director, Nathaniel Merchant.
Wed. 3/12 10a: This month and next, New Mexico's theater community joins together in a celebration of Irish plays and playwrights. The Southwest Irish Theatre Festival opens on March 14 with a production of Seán O'Casey's "Juno and the Paycock" at Albuquerque's Vortex Theatre and continues with six other productions in both Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Spencer Beckwith is joined by the co-organizer of the Festival, UNM Professor Emeritus, and born-and-bred Dubliner, Alan Hudson.
Fri. 3/7 10a: Maxine Thévenot, Director of Cathedral Music at the Cathedral of St. John in downtown Albuquerque, joins Spencer Beckwith for a look at the Cathedral's series of Friday night concerts taking place during Lent, from March 7 through April 11. Featuring local and visiting musicians, the series uses both the Cathedral and its more intimate Kaseman Hall.
Thurs. 3/6 10a: John Corigliano's "Fern Hill," based on the poem by Dylan Thomas, is the centerpiece of a program looking at ideas of home, when Quintessence: Choral Artists of the Southwest performs on March 8 at Immanuel Presbyterian Church and on March 9 at St. John's United Methodist Church. Artistic Director Matthew Greer joins Spencer Beckwith for a preview of the Albuquerque concerts.
Wed. 3/5 10a: Founded in 1959 by retired Albuquerque Public School music teacher Kenneth Lloyd Higgins, the Hummingbird Music Camp will again this summer welcome young people ages 8 to 14 to in-depth musical instruction in the mountains north of Jemez Springs. Spencer Beckwith talks with the Camp's Music Director, the son of Kenneth Lloyd Higgins, horn player Elliott Higgins.
Fri. 2/28 10a: On March 8, Albuquerque guitar makers, Pimentel & Sons, continues its popular concert series at the National Hispanic Cultural Center with a solo concert by Cuban-born classical guitarist Manuel Barrueco. The public is also invited to a master class with Barrueco on March 7 at the NHCC. Spencer Beckwith talks with the President and Vice-President of Pimentel & Sons, guitar makers Rick Pimentel and Robert Pimentel.
Thurs. 2/27 10a: As part of its program, "Here and Now", on March 7 at the Scottish Rite Center, the chamber music ensemble Serenata of Santa Fe premieres works by two local composers, Kelvin McNeal and Ron Strauss. Spencer Beckwith talks with Kelvin McNeal about the new set of songs he has written for soprano Gail Springer.
Wed. 2/26 10a: Husband and wife, Frank Leto and Pilar Leto, along with his band PANdemonium and her Odara Dance Ensemble, are back on February 28 and March 1 with the annual Carnaval celebration at Albuquerque's National Hispanic Cultural. Spencer Beckwith talks with Frank Leto about the 2014 production, an original musical set on the streets of Brazil, New Orleans, Cuba, and Trinidad.
Fri. 2/21 10a: In addition to established performers like violinist Regina Carter, vocalist René Marie and saxophonist Joshua Redman, the spring season at Albuquerque's Outpost Performance Space, which opens on March 6, will showcase some exciting emerging musicians both from the national music scene and from here in the Southwest. Spencer Beckwith is joined by the founder and Executive Director of the Outpost, Tom Guralnick.
Thurs. 2/20 10a: Students in the University of New Mexico's Opera Theater program are joined by professional artists and the UNM Symphony Orchestra for a production of Mozart's "The Magic Flute," February 20-23 in Keller Hall on the UNM campus in Albuquerque. Spencer Beckwith is joined by one of the co-Directors of the Opera Theater, Leslie Umphrey.
Wed. 2/19 10a: On February 23 at Congregation Albert in Albuquerque, the Chamber Music Cooperative of the Southwest plays music with an expressionist kick by Hindemith, Mahler, Victor Ewald and contemporary Italian composer Caludio Dall'Albero. Spencer Beckwith speaks with one of the founders of ChamberCHOPS, flutist Suzzanne Bloom.
Fri. 2/14 10a: The New Mexico Philharmonic's Assistant Principal violist, Kim Fredenburgh, will be the soloist on William Walton's Viola Concerto when the Philharmonic presents one of its Classical Concerts at Popejoy Hall in Albuquerque on February 22. Also on the program is Dvorak's Symphony No. 8. Spencer Beckwith speaks with Kim Fredenburgh about the Walton Concerto.
Thurs. 2/13 10a: The premiere season of Albuquerque's Orchestra of Discovery features three Tuesday night "Discovery Concerts," designed to engage audiences through music and liberal arts presentations. The second Discovery Concert of the season, featuring a chamber orchestra arrangement of Mahler's Symphony No. 4, takes place on February 25 at the First United Methodist Church. Music Director David Oberg joins Spencer Beckwith for a look at the new organization.
Wed. 2/12 10a: Music Director Roger Melone joins Spencer Beckwith for a preview of the New Mexico Symphonic Chorus concert on February 23 at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque. The program features opera choruses of Verdi, songs by Debussy, Puccini and Brahms, and the world premiere of "Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal" by New Mexico composer Daniel Cummings.
Fri. 2/7 10a: Over President's Day Weekend, from February 14 through 16, Congregation Nahalat Shalom in Albuquerque hosts its 12th annual celebration of the music and dance of the Eastern European Jewish people. KlezmerQuerque 2014 features concerts with visiting and local performers, along with music and dance workshops and dance parties. Spencer Beckwith speaks with the organizer of KlezmerQuerque, cantorial soloist and music director at Congregation Nahalat Shalom, Beth Cohen.
Thurs. 2/6 10a: Violinist Cármelo de los Santos, cellist Joel Becktell and pianist Carla McElhaney are REVEL, with an informal and convivial approach to classical music. On February 9, REVEL joins Albuquerque's Chatter for two separate performances: REVEL performs in the morning for Chatter Sunday at The Kosmos, and in the late afternoon for the Chatter Cabaret at the Hotel Andaluz. Joel Becktell joins Spencer Beckwith for a preview.
Wed. 2/5 10a: Until his retirement in 2010, LeRoy Lehr spent 19 years as a soloist with the Metropolitan Opera. He now makes his home in New Mexico and on February 16, LeRoy Lehr performs Brahms' "Vier ernste Gesänge (Four Serious Songs)" in the New Mexico Philharmonic's Brahms chamber music program at Albuquerque's KiMo Theatre. LeRoy Lehr joins Spencer Beckwith for a preview of the concert.
Fri. 1/31 10a: Maestro Guillermo Figueroa leads the Figueroa Project Chamber Orchestra in music by Baroque masters Corelli, Vivaldi, Haydn and Bach, February 2 at the Cathedral of St. John in Albuquerque. Organist Maxine Thevenot is the Orchestra's guest soloist for Handel's Organ Concerto No. 3. Guillermo Figueroa joins Spencer Beckwith for a preview of the concert.
Thurs. 1/30 10a: Young people looking for an introduction to the Albuquerque Youth Symphony Program have several opportunities in early February. The annual PLAY-A-THON is February 1 at the Cottonwood Mall, the Youth Symphony performs on February 2 at Popejoy Hall, and two of the youth orchestras are in concert on February 4 at Albuquerque High School. Spencer Beckwith is joined by the head of the AYS Program, Gabriel Gordon.
Wed. 1/29 10a: Spencer Beckwith is joined by New Mexico playwright Rosemary Zibart. Rosemary's play, "The Jewel in the Manuscript," about an episode in the life of 19th Century Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky, is on stage at Warehouse 21 in Santa Fe from February 1 through February 16.
Fri. 1/24 10a: On January 25 and 26, the Santa Fe Pro Musica celebrates its annual Classical Weekend at the Lensic Performing Arts Center with the Beethoven Symphony No. 1 and Vaughan Williams' Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis. New Mexico violinist Cármelo de los Santos is the Classical Weekend's guest soloist for Samuel Barber's Concerto for Violin and Orchestra. Cármelo joins Spencer Beckwith for a preview.
Thurs. 1/23 10a: Spencer Beckwith is joined by Kenneth Knight, Artistic Director of Canticum Novum. On February 1 and 2 at the St. Francis Auditorium, the Santa Fe ensemble continues its pursuit of lesser-known works for chamber orchestra and chorus. The program includes Franz Schubert's Magnificat, Domenico Cimarosa's Concerto in G for Two Flutes, and The Prayer of St. Gregory by Alan Hovhaness.
Wed. 1/22 10a: The actors and writers of the Working Classroom poke fun at the personalities, politics and policies of the annual state legislative session with the "Roundhouse Comedy Revue," an annual evening of original sketch comedy, January 29 at The Lodge at Santa Fe and February 1 at the Paul Carpenter y Salazar Theater in Albuquerque. Spencer Beckwith is joined by the Founder and outgoing Executive Director of Working Classroom, Nan Elsasser.
Fri. 1/17 10a: On January 18, the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History welcomes families to the first in a series of explorations of the world of opera. The programs, presented by Opera Southwest, feature musical selections and opportunities for audience participation. Conductor and educator Oliver Prezant leads the series and he joins Spencer Beckwith for a preview.
Thurs. 1/16 10a: Spencer Beckwith is joined by Neal Copperman of AMP Concerts. Neal's Albuquerque-based non-profit music producing organization opens its 2014 season on the weekend of January 24 with concerts by the MarchFourth Marching Band, the Hawaiian slack key guitar master, George Kahumoku Jr., and rock n' roll legend Leon Russell.
Wed. 1/15 10a: The Tricklock Company welcomes performers from France, Australia, Spain, Tanzania and the United States to Albuquerque for the 14th annual Revolutions International Theatre Festival, which runs from January 14 through February 2 in venues all around the city. Spencer Beckwith is joined by Tricklock's Co-Artistic Director, Hannah Kauffmann Banks, for a look at the 2014 festival.
Fri. 1/10 10a: Jolie Sutton-Simballa, Artistic Director of the New Mexico Ballet Company, joins Spencer Beckwith to talk about the Company's most recent collaboration with the New Mexico Philharmonic. A new, fully-staged version of the classic 19th century ballet, "Don Quixote," with music by Ludwig Minkus, will be presented on January 11 and 12 at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque.