Elizabeth Pitcairn plays the Stradivarius Red Violin in San Miguel

By Michael Pearl

Pro Musica presents American violinist Elizabeth Pitcairn, playing the famous Stradivarius Red Violin, accompanied by Louise Thomas on piano, on Friday and Saturday, February 1 and 2, at St. Paul’s Church, calle Cardo 6, at 5pm. Ms. Pitcairn plays the red Mendelssohn violin, built in 1720 by Antonio Stradivari in Cremona, Italy. The story of this famous instrument, owned by Elizabeth since she was a child prodigy, was famously told in the Academy Award-winning film The Red Violin, inspired by the 1990 Christie’s auction of the instrument, when it was bought for Elizabeth.

Pro Musica presents violinist Elizabeth Pitcairn
Fri, & Sat, 1 & 2, 5pm
St. Paul’s Church
Cardo 6

The Red Violin
Thu, Jan 31, 5pm
Teatro Santa Ana
La Biblioteca
Reloj 50A
60 pesos

Elizabeth is one of few soloists who perform the Red Violin Chaconne, for which composer John Corigliano won his Oscar for the movie. She appears on the 10th anniversary edition of The Red Violin – Meridian Collection DVD in a documentary feature interview. We will be showing the movie and the interview at Teatro Santa Anna at the Biblioteca Pública, Insurgentes 25, Thursday, January 31, at 5pm.

I met Elizabeth and Louise for the first time two years ago in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean aboard the Queen Mary II. At two packed concerts she and her superb accompanist received massive standing ovations, and Elizabeth was mobbed afterwards by people buying CDs signed by her. Later, I had high tea with the two ladies in the QM2’s magnificent ballroom, served by white-gloved waiters. By the time we reached the scones with Devonshire cream, they had agreed to play for Pro Musica in San Miguel!

Last year I attended Elizabeth and Louise’s recital in London, which was the first time the Red Violin had been played there since the Christie’s sale. Elizabeth says of it that it has an extraordinary “…clarity of sound, ease of execution and great power, and the violin has become my most inspiring mentor and companion over the years.” Louise Thomas, a concert pianist in her own right, is the best accompanist for violin that I have ever heard.

Elizabeth’s two concerts will both feature the same major works, including Beethoven’s Sonata for Violin No. 8 in G major, written in 1801, and dedicated to Tsar Alexander I of Russia. After the innovative music of Beethoven, we will hear Brahms’ Sonata for Violin No. 2 in A major, nicknamed the Meistersinger, written in 1886.

These concerts will be a unique occasion to hear world-class musicians playing on the timeless combination of the Pro Musica Steinway and the most famous of all violins.

Tickets for the Elizabeth Pitcairn concerts may be purchased at any of our ticket sales outlets: La Tienda in La Biblioteca, Insurgentes 25; Solutions, Mesones 57; St. Paul’s Church, calle Cardo 6, Monday to

Friday, 10am-4pm.

The quality of musicians we bring to San Miguel and our unique Education Outreach program costs increasing amounts. The best way to help us fund our activities is to become a patron member. Annual membership begins at as little as US$100, is US tax deductible and includes many benefits, like complimentary concert tickets and Meet the Artists suppers and cocktail parties. For additional information, visit our website at promusicasma.com.

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