The 36th festival season of Music from Angel Fire runs from Friday, Aug. 16 through Sunday, Sept. 1 with concerts in Angel Fire, Ranchos de Taos, Raton and Las Vegas, N.M.

For tickets visit or call the festival office at 575-377-3233.

By David Steinberg

A world premiere is on the Friday, Aug. 16 opening concert of Music from Angel Fire’s 36th festival season.

Premiering is Richard Danielpour’s “A Shattered Vessel,” the subtitle of a work for two violins, viola and two cellos.

The composer writes that the subtitle refers to “a great mystery of life, that in order for something of value to live something else must often die.

“In this way death can be understood not only as a part of life, but also as a part of nature,” he adds.

The concert is at 6 p.m. at the Angel Fire Community Center, Angel Fire.

On the same program are Franz Schubert’s Quintet in C major for Strings and Clara Schumann’s Three Romances for Violin and Piano.

A second performance of the program will be at 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug.17 at Old Martina’s Hall, in Ranchos de Taos.

“We do things on such a modest level,” festival artistic director Ida Kavafian said in a phone interview. “It’s such a coup to get somebody (as Danielpour) who is so renowned, so recognized.”

Kavafian predicted that “A Shattered Vessel” will have “a tremendous life. …I expect it will become standard repertoire. We had a preliminary reading of it in the spring at Curtis (Institute of Music). … When we did the reading it was really very touching. It’s extremely heartfelt, emotional, palpably poignant and truly a beautiful work.”

A string quintet of Curtis faculty and students will perform the Danielpour on tour. Curtis is one of cocommissioning organizations.

Danielpour will be attending the performances of “A Shattered Vessel” in Angel Fire and Ranchos de Taos.

Besides Music from Angel Fire, several other festivals and concert series that will present it.

The theme of Music from Angel Fire’s season is the 200th anniversary of Clara Schumann’s birth. “She was incredibly influential on other people’s lives – her husband’s music, Brahms’, that triangle,” Kavafian said. The festival includes works by Johannes Brahms and Robert Schumann.

Clara Schumann’s lieder for soprano and piano will be on the Aug. 24 program in Ranchos de Taos and her Trio in G minor for Piano and Strings will be on the Aug. 31 program, also in Ranchos de Taos.

Schumann, Kavafian said, championed Felix Mendelssohn. His compositions will be on these festival programs – Quintet in B-flat major for Strings at 3 p.m. Aug. 25 at the Shuler Theater in Raton; an all-Mendelssohn program 6 p.m. Aug. 28 at Angel Fire Baptist Church; and his famous Octet in E flat major for Strings will be presented at 6 p.m. Aug. 30 at United Church of Angel Fire.

At 3 p.m. Aug. 18 the festival will present a concert at Ilfeld Aiuditorium, New Mexico Highlands University, Las Vegas, N.M. The program includes music of Brahms, Victor Edward and Amy Beach, whom Kavafian describes as “The American Clara.”

The festival will also offer two earlier works by Danielpour – his 2009 “Remembering Neda” for flute, cello and piano at the Angel Fire Community Center at 6 p.m. Aug. 23; and his 2008 Kaddish for String Sextet on the Aug. 30 concert in Angel Fire. Kaddish memorializes his father who died in 1977.


The festival will present a special event at 6 p.m. Aug. 22 at the Angel Fire Community Center. It’s a celebration of Ida Kavafian’s 35th – and final – season as festival artistic director.

Violist Toby Appel, a Kavafian friend and colleague, will emcee the event.

“I’d like to just go out quietly. I hate all the big goodbyes. My focus is on the season and making it a success,” she said in a phone interview.

“Thirty-five is a long time and a nice round number. I want more time to myself. I’ve cut back on my playing.”

Kavafian has also quit her position on the faculty at the Juilliard School. But she will continue as a faculty member at the Curtis Institute of Music where she is the Nina von Maltzan chair in Violin Studies and instructs in violin, orchestral repertoire (strings) and chamber music (strings).

Her relationship to Curtis is evident in the array of young artists attending the school who annually play at the festival.

She also invites some of her fellow Curtis faculty members.

This season invitees include guitar teacher Jason Vieux, violist Steven Tenenbom, who is Curtis’ chamber music coordinator and teaches chamber music (strings) and Jonathan Coopersmith, who chairs Curtis’ musical studies.

“I’ll return (as a festival musician) in the future but not next year,” kavafian said. “I will be returning to the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival next year.”

Tickets for the celebration are $25 and are available at or by calling 575-377-3233.

–David Steinberg


An annual benefit concert in Albuquerque for Music from Angel Fire will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 3 at Robertson & Sons Violin Shop, 3201 Carlisle NE.

The concert, titled “Summer Soirée,” will have music by George Gershwin, Edward Elgar, Robert Schumann and Antonio Vivaldi.

Performers are violinist and festival artistic director Ida Kavafian, violist Steven Tenenbom and Pamela Pyle, a UNM music professor and a festival performer.

In addition to the concert there will be a reception with the musicians with refreshments.

Tickets are $100 per couple or $65 per individual. They’re available at or by calling 575-377-3233.