A New Generation of Stars Will Highlight This Year’s International Music Festival
By Dirk Bakker
Anyone who follows Olympic sports knows that every generation produces athletes who shatter existing records and set new standards of excellence. In the realm of concert music, however, the received wisdom is that the reverse is true. One is frequently told that the performers of today—the opera singers, concert pianists, orchestra conductors, and so forth—simply cannot hold a candle to their forebears. But received wisdom is not always wise, and this year’s San Miguel International Music Festival will showcase four young ensembles of indisputable excellence, musicians who can withstand any invidious comparison to the great performers of any previous generation.
The Hermitage Piano Trio, for instance, comprises three Russian soloists: violinist Misha Keylin, cellist Sergey Antonov, and pianist Ilya Kazantsev. They have triumphed as solo performers, a feat almost unknown in the world of chamber music. Keylin’s world premiere recordings of the Henri Vieuxtemps violin concertos have sold over 120,000 copies worldwide and won the New York Times Critic’s Choice award. Antonov has been hailed as “a brilliant cellist” by no less an authority than Mstislav Rostropovich. And Kazantsev, a winner of the International Chopin Competition in Moscow, has performed as a piano soloist throughout Russia, Europe, and the United States.
The Grammy-winning Parker Quartet (Daniel Chong and Ying Xue, violin; Jessica Bodner, viola; and Kee-Hyun Kim, cello) was formed in 2002. The ensemble recently became artists in residence at Harvard University and has performed all over the world.
The Los Angeles-based Calder Quartet (Benjamin Jacobson and Andrew Bulbrook, violin; Jonathan Moerschel, viola; and Eric Byers, cello) was formed in 1998 at the USC Thornton School of Music.
The newest of the young ensembles appearing in this year’s festival is the Chee-Yun–Paremski–Sutter Trio, perhaps the only other group of its kind, besides the Hermitage Trio from Russia, entirely made up of distinguished soloists. Violinist Chee-Yun Kim won the 1989 Young Concert Artist award and performs regularly with the world’s foremost orchestras. Moscow-born pianist Natasha Paremski has also been a featured soloist with major orchestras, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Wendy Sutter has been heralded by the Wall Street Journal as “one of the great leading cellists of the classical stage.”
General seating tickets to the eight concerts go on sale July 14 at the Teatro Ángela Peralta. Subscriptions and patron packages may be purchased starting in April at the festival office on the second floor of Bellas Artes, Hernández Macías 75, 10am to 4pm, 415 154-5141, or via email, firstname.lastname@example.org. Patrons get reserved seating at all eight concerts, invitations to four post-concert parties to meet the artists, and entrée to master classes. Patron packages start at US$600 and qualify for a charitable tax receipt. For music programs and group information, please visit www.festivalsanmiguel.com