The ‘Wild Side’ of the Chamber Music Festival culminates in free concerts and recitals

By Camie Sands

Yes, there really is a wild side. It’s the wild enthusiasm, creativity and élan that university and post-graduate musicians bring to the San Miguel Chamber Music Festival, as each and every one of these advanced students arrives anxious to share his/her music with one another, audiences and the professional performing artists who provide inspiration and master classes to these rising stars.

The Academic Program of the San Miguel Chamber Music Festival
Tue & Wed, Aug 7, 8, 14 & 15, 7pm
Teatro Ángela Peralta
Crn Hernández Macías and Mesones
152-2200 / 154-8722

The guinea pigs are back!
Cuyos means guinea pigs in Spanish, and according to Carlos Cantu, cellist with the Cuyos String Quartet, “We began our group as an experiment and felt like guinea pigs, but it’s all worked out well.” They formed their group at the Conservatorio de las Rosas in 2008. In 2009 they won Best Student Group of the Festival’s Academic Program and from there were invited to New Haven, Connecticut, on a grant provided by the Haven Quartet who was impressed by The Cuyos during master classes they provided during the Festival. The Cuyos went in 2010. That year they also had the honor of representing Mexico in the international festival of Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, for their bicentennial.

According to Maestro Antonio Cabrero, Director of the Academic Program and also Executive Director of the Festival, “This year the Cuyos will interpret Jose Julio Diaz’ “Tamales Oaxaqueños” which the composer wrote last year during the Young Composers’ portion of the Festival’s Academic Program with the Cuyos in mind as his choice to present it at the Festival this year. They will perform it Wednesday, August 15 and Jose J. Diaz will be present.”

Another exciting group attending is the Oblivion Quartet, formed in 2011 at the Escuela Superior de Música y Danza de Monterrey. In October of 2011 they were selected to participate in a workshop of didactic concerts given by the Academy of Carnegie Hall. They have played concerts in diverse theaters in Monterrey including the Museum of Mexican History. Each is an accomplished musician in his/her own right. As an example, member Ana Karen was recently selected by the Forte Competition to play a recital at Weil Hall, Carnegie Hall, NY.

The Agitato Ensemble will return and mix it up by bringing six members to present piano trios, quartets, quintets and sextets for festival audiences during free recitals and concerts. This group was formed in 2009 when they were students at the University of Veracruz, with an objective to explore chamber music repertoire. Their recitals will include programs with works by Moncayo, Rubén Montiel, Robles Fernández, Haydn, Beethoven and Schubert.

“In addition to these gifted young ensembles we have accepted seven exceptional musicians who are not yet part of a chamber music ensemble but have a great desire to study chamber music.

We have accepted students who play with the Bellas Artes Orchestra in Mexico City, the Monterrey Symphony and Morelia Symphony Orchestra, as well as the Philharmonic of Queretaro,” said Cabrero. All students compete to attend on a scholarship from the Festival and are guests for the duration of the Festival in local host homes.

The San Miguel Chamber Music Festival’s Academic Program will present free Rising Star concerts featuring combinations of these musicians. Donations at the door for the scholarship Academic Program would be most appreciated to support these dedicated musicians poised on the brink of professional careers in music.
The 34th International San Miguel Chamber Music Festival opens Friday, August 3 with the Grammy-winning Pacifica Quartet and continues through Sunday, August 19. Find information and ticket sales at the Ángela Peralta box office open 10am-5pm. Professional musician concerts are 150 to 450 pesos.

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