Music@Menlo: The Next Generation of Musicians

Derek Han, pianist, David Finckel, cellist, Kevin Rivard, horn, Laurence Lesser, cellist, Gloria Chien, pianist. The Center for Performing Arts at Menlo-Atherton. July 19, 2013(Photo: Tristan Cook)
Derek Han, pianist, David Finckel, cellist, Kevin Rivard, horn, Laurence Lesser, cellist, Gloria Chien, pianist. The Center for Performing Arts at Menlo-Atherton. July 19, 2013(Photo: Tristan Cook)

There are many summer music festivals/music camps/series which can make the statement that they are working to train the next generation of musicians, but one in particular, Music@Menlo, resonates with me in ways the others do not.

There are two reasons for that…Wu Han and David Finckel.  They have performed many times in Central Ohio, both separately and together.  Never have they been anything but gracious, accommodating, and extremely generous with their time and talents.  From them you get a sense that there are new things for them to discover, as well as much to share with others, both musicians and non-musicians.  A prime example of that is their Music@Menlo Chamber Music Festival and Institute.

Menlo School, “an independent, coeducational college preparatory day school for students in grades 6–12,” was founded in 1915 to offer a “rigorous, engaging academic curriculum complemented by outstanding creative arts and athletics programs.”  No wonder, then, that Han and Finckel were attracted to the place to establish the festival.  In addition, the Summer Music Institutes and Art of Sound Festival offers daily training for aspiring brass and percussion players.

The Music@Menlo Festival is outside of San Francisco, but you don’t need to travel to California to enjoy what is happening there.  Music@Menlo Live is the official label of the festival, offering the opportunity to enjoy festival highlights.  In addition, selected events are streamed live and offered for viewing on a delayed basis, so you can see more of what the festival is all about.  Some of the Cafe Conversations and many of the Master Classes are available.

Whether you’re there in person or watching/listening on-line, this is an opportunity to witness the creative process, then see the results of the many hours put in by both seasoned professionals and young musicians.  The Music@Menlo Festival runs through August 10th.

An added bonus…Wu Han will be in Columbus early in 2014 with three other pianists - Anne-Marie McDermott, Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, and Soyeon Kate Lee as part of the Chamber Music Columbus series.

Watch Alessio Bax play and speak about his experiences at Music@Menlo

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