Monadnock Music Artistic Director Gil Rose Brings Rising Stars and Renowned Artists in Debut Season; Makes Local Conducting Debut

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Monadnock Music Festival is already beginning a new era with the announcement of its 2012 season.

As it closes in on a half century of presenting classical music to New England, the Monadnock Music Festival is already beginning a new era with the announcement of its 2012 season.

“We’ve been energized by the appointment of our new artistic director Gil Rose, who comes to us with a stellar resume as artistic director of BMOP and Opera Boston,” said William Chapman, executive director of Monadnock Music. A three-time Grammy Award nominee, Rose is reinvigorating the festival’s programming in harmony with the vision of the festival’s founder James Bolle.

“I am thrilled to begin my inaugural season as Monadnock Music’s artistic director following in the great tradition of the last 46 years,” said Rose. “I am looking forward to a fabulous season with great repertory, incredibly gifted artists, and unforgettable performances. We have a wonderful artistic legacy here in New Hampshire, and an exciting future.”

“What has always made Monadnock Music special is the intimacy of our venues and the quality and range of offerings across a spectrum of periods, styles, and genres,” said Chapman. Highlights of the 2012 season include the Monadnock Music conducting debut of artistic director Rose at the opening event of the festival season, on July 6 at the Peterborough Town House. Rose will lead the Monadnock Sinfonietta in a program of music commissioned by Martha Graham for her dance company, including Aaron Copland’s masterpiece, Appalachian Spring.

Opera will return to Monadnock Music with two one-act chamber operas The Bear and A Water Bird Talk by American composer Dominick Argento on July 29 at the Colonial Theatre in Keene, NH.

Grammy and Emmy award-winning baritone Sanford Sylvan (honored for his role as Chou En-Lai in Nixon in China) will appear in Schubert’s beloved Winterreise on August 4th at the Peterborough Town House.

The Lorelei Ensemble, rising stars in the classical music scene, will make its first appearance with Monadnock Music, performing new and early music for women’s voices in the historic stone ambiance of Peterborough’s All Saints’ Church on Friday, August 10th.

"This season, and in coming seasons, we intend to focus on the chamber music repertory of important American composers, with a featured composer each season,” said Rose. “This year we are thrilled to present a comprehensive look at often-overlooked chamber works of American icon Virgil Thomson."

Voices New and Noted
This year the festival will also debut the Monadnock Quartet, comprised of renowned and highly-accomplished Monadnock Music regulars: cellist Raphael Popper-Keizer, violinist Gabriela Diaz, violinist Charles Dimmick and violist Wenting Kang. The quartet will perform on August 8 in Jaffrey and August 11 in Dublin.

The season will also feature distinguished artists and ensembles such as acclaimed Romanian violinist Irina Muresanu, the Claremont Trio, baritones James Maddalena and Aaron Engebreth,, tenor Frank Kelley, and soprano Heather Buck. Internationally acclaimed pianist (and former Monadnock Music Artistic Director) Alan Feinberg will return to the Peterborough Town House in a recital that ranges from Scarlatti to Kagel.

Building on the contribution to music of the neighboring MacDowell Colony, Monadnock Music will also feature works composed by current MacDowell colonists such as Stewart Wallace, Sebastian Currier and others.

As it has for nearly half a century, Monadnock Music will continue to present its free Village Concert series of chamber music in the historic meeting houses of the Monadnock region throughout the summer.

Investing in the future
Strengthening the position of Monadnock Music as a showcase for the finest classical music while maintaining a commitment of service to the community is a challenge in tight economic times, but one made easier by a number of recent grants and challenges. “We have received at $40,000 grant from an anonymous national foundation to fund a five year strategic plan that will take us through our 50th anniversary season in 2016,” said Chapman. “We’ve also been awarded a grant from the Virgil Thomson Foundation to perform and record the chamber music of American composer Virgil Thomson. We envision this recording project as the first of a series on our own record label for eventual commercial distribution.”

Monadnock Music also stands to benefit from challenge gifts. “We have been awarded a dollar-for-dollar challenge for $40,000 from an individual to be used for enhanced programming in 2012,” said Chapman. “We have until July 31 to meet the challenge and we’ll need to match it with new or increased gifts to receive the gift.” Generous donors have already contributed $15,000 to the challenge, including a $5,000 gift from the Merrill Family Charitable Foundation, Inc. “All of us at Monadnock Music are deeply grateful to the foundations and the individuals who are investing in our future by making the strategic plan and the enhanced programming possible,” said Chapman.

Monadnock Music president Michael Petrovick is upbeat. “The restructuring, the new artistic leadership, the greater diversity in our programs, the launching of a five–year strategic plan culminating in our 50th anniversary in 2016, and the challenge grants all testify to the vigor of Monadnock Music’s new direction and to the community’s support for it.”

For a complete schedule of Monadnock Music Festival’s 2012 season, go to http://www.monadnockmusic.org.

ABOUT MONADNOCK MUSIC
Founded in 1966 by James Bolle, Monadnock Music enriches lives and deepens a sense of community by means of diverse classical programming throughout the Monadnock region of New Hampshire. It annually mounts a summer festival situated in iconic and intimate New England settings less than two hours from Boston.

Among the many distinguished artists whose work Monadnock Music has presented or commissioned are Elliott Carter, John Adams, Virgil Thomson, Aaron Copland, Peter Sellars, James Maddalena, Lorraine Hunt, Richard Goode, Sanford Sylvan, Craig Smith, Ursula Oppens, and Russell Sherman.

In addition to its Peterborough Town House Series, Monadnock Music also presents a series of Village Concerts bringing distinguished artists to historic meeting houses throughout the region free of charge, making some of the greatest classical music accessible to all.

During the school year, Monadnock Music provides vital music education support to the region’s elementary schools through its Lend an Ear! program. Since its establishment, LAE! has enriched the lives of over 25,000 children.

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William J. H. Chapman
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