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Music@Menlo is an internationally acclaimed chamber music festival and institute in the San Francisco Bay Area. Founded by David Finckel and Wu Han as a program of Menlo School, Music@Menlo features unique immersive programming, a roster of world-class artists, and a Chamber Music Institute for emerging and pre-professional musicians. Intimate performance venues and signature offerings such as AudioNotes CDs, Café Conversations, and the Encounter lecture series offer a wide range of opportunities for aficionados and newcomers of all ages to connect with chamber music in new and innovative ways.
Music@Menlo was inaugurated in 2003 at Menlo School with concerts, lectures, a training program for aspiring professional musicians, Young Performers Concerts, open-to-the-public master classes, and a daylong Open House offering behind-the-scenes access for the entire community. Following the course charted by the inaugural season, and spurred by its great success, all festival seasons have been constructed around well-defined themes in chamber music history.
The mission of Music@Menlo is to engage and sustain an audience for chamber music, programmed, presented, and performed at the highest level of artistic excellence, and to provide deserving young musicians with comprehensive, festival-based educational opportunities.
Music@Menlo’s fifteenth season For its fifteenth anniversary, Music@Menlo focused on an instrument whose evolution in the hands of master makers and composers constitutes one of music’s richest stories: the violin. From the innovative composer-performers of the Baroque period, through the technical wizards of the Romantic era, to the pioneers of instrumental expression in the twentieth century, Music@Menlo’s 2017 season celebrated the synergies between immortal composers and the great violinists.
Music@Menlo’s fourteenth season illuminated the cultural dialogue between Russia and the West from which Russian classical music grew into one of the most powerful of all musical genres. The festival brought together Russian and Western composers to magnify the universal resonance of Russia’s musical culture and its enormous impact on the chamber music canon.
Music@Menlo’s thirteenth season offeed a deeply immersive journey through the remarkable life and musical works of the great Austrian composer Franz Schubert. The season’s innovative programs included virtually all of Schubert’s greatest chamber works alongside his Lieder, presented by a cadre of the world’s most exceptional musicians.
Music@Menlo’s twelfth season celebrated the self-described simple Czech musikant, Antonín Dvořák. Themed Around Dvořák, the season journeyed through the colorful world of Vienna and Bohemia and beyond as it explored the vast musical orbit of one of the nineteenth centuries quintessential voices.
Music@Menlo’s eleventh season, celebrated the timeless oeuvre of Johann Sebastian Bach, the composer whose profound legacy has shaped Western music over the two and a half centuries since his death. The season took an inventive approach to Bach by delving into the depths of his art from the perspective of the generations of composers who followed.
Music@Menlo’s tenth-anniversary season focused on music’s relationship with humanity and its capacity to nurture the mind, to transport listeners to new places, and, ultimately, to delight the ears and stir the hearts and souls of all people.
An exploration and celebration of the music and legacy of composer Johannes Brahms, showcasing his essential chamber works in the company of music by his chief influences, including Bach and Mozart, as well as those inspired by him, including Schoenberg and Leon Kirchner.
A multidimensional journey through several distinct musical cultures, the eighth season examined how music has reflected and defined the experiences of exceptional times and places.
A celebration of the Felix Mendelssohn bicentennial featuring performances by a roster of the world’s finest chamber musicians, the festival’s seventh season showcased Mendelssohn’s greatest chamber works alongside works by his predecessors, contemporaries, and artistic heirs.
Traversing nearly four hundred years of great music, we heard the world’s newest chamber work in the form of Music@Menlo’s first commission and world premiere.
An exploration of five critical sources of inspiration shared by chamber music composers across time and place.
A celebration of the redemptive qualities of Mozart’s chamber music through juxtaposition with music of other composers.
An in-depth study of Beethoven’s life, work, and contribution to Western classical music in his three major compositional periods.
A comprehensive overview of the geographic variety of Western chamber music in six units: Italy, France, Germany, Vienna, Russia, and Eastern Europe.
A comprehensive overview of the development of Western classical chamber music in five units: Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Early Twentieth Century, and Contemporary.