Our 5th Annual Chamber Music Festival features ten of the world’s finest musicians who will inspire you with extraordinary performances set in the relaxed atmosphere of The Ranch. In addition to daily concerts, you can enjoy talks by the musicians, participate in music workshops and perhaps even encounter “random acts of music” in unexpected places throughout your day.
The highlights of the festival are performances that combine “Carnegie Hall” artistry with relaxed discourse. Whether held at La Cocina Que Canta, Oaktree, Bazar del Sol or the Dining Hall, you will leave feeling invigorated, inspired and possibly transformed.
Sunday, 8 PM: “Opening Night” Festival week kicks off with a high-energy concert by the Miró Quartet joined by Monique Mead and Sandy Yamamoto.
Monday, 8 PM: “Piano Night” with internationally acclaimed pianist, Orion Weiss, performing an array of brilliant virtuoso works.
Tuesday 8 AM: Breakfast hike and concert with festival musicians.
Tuesday 5 PM: “Artist Spotlight” features renowned clarinetist, Anthony McGill presenting music and stories from his life as Principal Clarinet of the Met Opera and New York Philharmonic.
Wednesday 8 PM: “Stellar Quintets” highlights beloved quintets by a brilliant constellation of festival artists: Anthony McGill, Miro Quartet, and Orion Weiss.
Thursday 8 AM: Breakfast hike and concert with festival musicians.
Thursday, 8 PM: “Festival Finale” brings the week to a close with all festival strings performing the joyfully exuberant Mendelssohn Octet.
Friday, 5 PM: “Encore!” Relax with a glass of wine as festival artists bid farewell with some favorite encores at Bazar del Sol.
Offering a peek behind the scenes, musicians invite you to listen in during two open rehearsals with time for questions at the end.
Festival musicians present three musical talks to share their perspectives on the music scene today and offer insights into the music they’ll be performing.
Random Acts Of Music
This week, it’s likely that you will be disarmed by the beauty of music when you least expect it, perhaps on a hike, during yoga, or at the labyrinth. Festival musicians are dedicated to enhancing the serenity of the Ranch in their own delightful ways.
Formed in 1995, the Miró Quartet is consistently praised for their deeply musical interpretations, exciting performances, and thoughtful programming. Each season, they perform throughout the world on the most important chamber music series and on the most prestigious concert stages, garnering accolades from critics and audiences alike. Based in Austin, Texas, the Miró Quartet took its name from the Spanish artist, Joan Miró, whose surrealist works — with subject matter drawn from the realm of memory and imaginative fantasy — are some of the most original of the 20th century.
Concert highlights of recent seasons include a highly anticipated and sold out return to Carnegie Hall to perform Beethoven’s complete Opus 59 Quartets; collaborations with award-winning actor Stephen Dillane as part of Lincoln Center’s White Lights Festival; Miró Quartet took first prizes at several national and international competitions including the Banff International String Quartet Competition and the Naumburg Chamber Music Competition. In 2005, the Miró Quartet became the first ensemble ever to be awarded the coveted Avery Fisher Career Grant.
Clarinetist Anthony McGill is one of classical music’s most recognizable and brilliantly multifaceted figures. He serves as the principal clarinet of the New York Philharmonic — that orchestra’s first African-American principal player — and maintains a dynamic international solo and chamber music career. Hailed for his “trademark brilliance, penetrating sound and rich character” (The New York Times), as well as for his “exquisite combination of technical refinement and expressive radiance” (The Baltimore Sun), McGill also serves as an ardent advocate for helping music education reach underserved communities and for addressing issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in classical music. He was honored to take part in the inauguration of President Barack Obama, premiering a piece written for the occasion by John Williams and performing alongside violinist Itzhak Perlman, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and pianist Gabriela Montero.
McGill appears regularly as a soloist with top orchestras around North America including the New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera, and San Diego Symphony. As a chamber musician, McGill is a favorite collaborator of the Brentano, Guarneri, Miró, Pacifica, and Tokyo Quartets, as well as Emanuel Ax, Inon Barnatan, Yefim Bronfman, Gil Shaham, Midori, and Lang Lang. He has led tours with Musicians from Marlboro and regularly performs for the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society.
A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, McGill previously served as the principal clarinet of the Metropolitan Opera and associate principal clarinet of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. In-demand as a teacher, he serves on the faculty of the Juilliard School, the Curtis Institute of Music, and Bard College’s Conservatory of Music. He also serves as the Artistic Advisor for the Music Advancement Program at the Juilliard School, on the Board of Directors for both the League of American Orchestra and the Harmony Program, and the advisory council for the InterSchool Orchestras of New York.
One of the most sought-after soloists in his generation of young American musicians, the pianist Orion Weiss has performed with the major American orchestras, including the Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and New York Philharmonic. His deeply felt and exceptionally crafted performances go far beyond his technical mastery and have won him worldwide acclaim.
Named the Classical Recording Foundation’s Young Artist of the Year in September 2010, in the summer of 2011 Weiss made his debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood as a last-minute replacement for Leon Fleisher. In recent seasons, he has also performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra, and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and in duo summer concerts with the New York Philharmonic at both Lincoln Center and the Bravo! Vail Valley Festival. In 2005, he toured Israel with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Itzhak Perlman.
Also known for his affinity and enthusiasm for chamber music, Weiss performs regularly with the violinists Augustin Hadelich, William Hagen, Benjamin Beilman, James Ehnes, and Arnaud Sussman; the pianist Shai Wosner; and the cellist Julie Albers; and the Ariel, Parker, and Pacifica Quartets. As a recitalist and chamber musician, Weiss has appeared across the U.S. at venues and festivals including Lincoln Center, the Ravinia Festival, Sheldon Concert Hall, the Seattle Chamber Music Festival, La Jolla Music Society SummerFest, Chamber Music Northwest, the Bard Music Festival, the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, the Kennedy Center, and Spivey Hall. He won the 2005 William Petschek Recital Award at Juilliard, and made his New York recital debut at Alice Tully Hall that April. Also in 2005 he made his European debut in a recital at the Musée du Louvre in Paris. He was a member of the Chamber Music Society Two program of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center from 2002-2004, which included his appearance in the opening concert of the Society’s 2002-2003 season at Alice Tully Hall performing Ravel’s La Valse with Shai Wosner.
A native of Lyndhurst, OH, Weiss attended the Cleveland Institute of Music. In February of 1999, Weiss made his Cleveland Orchestra debut performing Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1. In March 1999, with less than 24 hours’ notice, Weiss stepped in to replace André Watts for a performance of Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. He was immediately invited to return to the Orchestra for a performance of the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto in October 1999. In 2004, he graduated from the Juilliard School, where he studied with Emanuel Ax.
Violinist Sandy Yamamoto has dazzled audiences in concert performances around the globe for the past three decades as a soloist and as a member of the Miró Quartet.
Ms. Yamamoto began her violin studies at the age of 4. At 11, she made her solo debut with the North Carolina Symphony and has since appeared with orchestras throughout the US and Europe to critical acclaim.
With the Miró Quartet, she performed on the major concert stages of the world, regularly concertizing in North America, South America, Europe and Asia. As a member of the Quartet, she was a recipient of the Naumburg Chamber Music and Cleveland Quartet Awards, won First Prize at the Ban International String Quartet Competition and was one of the first chamber musicians to be awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant. She has shared the stage with many prominent musicians including Leif Ove Andsnes, Joshua Bell, Eliot Fisk, Lynn Harrell, Midori, Jon Kimura Parker and Pinchas Zukerman.
Since leaving the Quartet in May 2011, she has been appointed Associate Professor of Practice in Violin Performance at the Butler School of Music at the University of Texas at Austin. She also founded the Butler Trio with Miró Quartet cellist, Joshua Gindele and pianist, Colette Valentine.
She has since been enjoying a versatile performing career, playing concertos and recitals as well as leading noted chamber orchestras throughout the United States. In 2016, she was the recipient of the Butler School of Music Teaching Excellence Award. Ms. Yamamoto was invited as a guest speaker and role model for the winners of the 2003 Glamour Magazine’s Top Ten College Women Award in New York City.
In the past two years, she has given a lecture titled the “Juror’s Ear” for the Menuhin International Violin Competition as well as adjudicated for the Coleman International Chamber Music Competition. When she is not busy teaching and performing, Ms. Yamamoto enjoys spending time with her husband, Daniel, her two sons, Adrian and Brian, and her cat, Poko.
An engaging performer and inspired educator, Austin native Leah Nelson has become a highly sought-after violist. Leah has performed throughout the United States including Carnegie Hall and Walt Disney Concert Hall. As a chamber musician she performs and collaborates regularly with other artists in the Austin Texas area and was a founding member of the Left Coast String Quartet and Felix Quartet. Leah enjoys working with a wide variety of musicians. Not only has she had the pleasure of sharing the stage with musicians such as Yo Yo Ma, Sarah Chang and Anne Akiko Myers, but she has toured with Andrea Bocelli and Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Having the chance to perform with Barry Manilow, Willie Nelson, and recording with the Grammy nominated band Devotchka have been highlights of her career. Here in Austin Leah works frequently with composer Graham Reynolds. In addition to numerous performances with Graham, she can be heard on Graham’s commissioned work by Ballet Austin, Exit Wounds, as well as on the soundtrack to the movie Bernie, directed by Richard Linklater. For 2 years, Leah has had the opportunity to work with composer Catherine Davis as a featured violist on the Illusory Impressions Project, a series of performances that bring art, dance and music together in audience interactive concert experiences. Leah regularly performs with the band Nori, and can be heard on their latest album and music video. In recent years Leah has been a featured performer on Forklift Danceworks production of Solo Symphony at the Long Center. As an orchestral musician, Leah has performed regularly with the Austin Symphony, Austin Lyric Opera, the New West Symphony and the American Youth Symphony.
Leah began her professional studies at the University of Texas at Austin where she received a Bachelor of Music in Viola Performance under the tutelage of Roger Myers. Ms. Nelson holds a Master of Music degree as well from the University of Southern California where she studied with the world-renowned performer and pedagogue Donald McInnes. In addition, Leah has also studied at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy under the great Russian violist Yuri Bashmet.
Leah is passionate about serving young people with access to high quality music education. She believes in the power of music study to deepen young people’s artistic skills, minds and hearts. While in Los Angeles, Leah was Director of the American Youth Symphony Educational Outreach Program and on faculty with Education through Music Los Angeles. Currently she is Executive Director and Director of Education for Salon Concerts, a nonprofit based in Austin. Leah continues to coach chamber music ensembles and has held a thriving private studio for over a decade. www.leahcelestenelson.com
Monique Mead, Violin and Artistic Director
A passionate ambassador of classical music, violinist Monique Mead enjoys a rich career as a performer, educator, and innovator. Inspired and mentored by Leonard Bernstein, Mead has devoted her performing career to nurturing new audiences and deepening the musical experience for seasoned concertgoers. Her programs with major orchestras and festivals in the United States and Europe have drawn international acclaim for their popular appeal and innovative approach.
Interweaving live music with education and audience engagement at the highest level, her programs have reached millions through television appearances, a six-year radio series with the Munich Radio Orchestra, and nearly 20 years of concerts with the Cologne Philharmonic, Munich Symphony, Düsseldorf Symphony, Berlin Radio Orchestra, RIAS Chamber Choir, Neue Philharmonie Westfalen, Pittsburgh Symphony, San Diego Symphony, and the Mainly Mozart Festival, among others.
In 2012 Mead founded the Music Entrepreneurship program at Carnegie Mellon University. With a focus on experiential learning, she collaborates with world-class musicians in helping students develop a broad range of skills and take an innovative approach to professional life.
She currently performs on a 1717 Stradivarius, graciously made available by Carnegie Mellon University.
Spend a week at Rancho La Puerta, one of the world’s top destination wellness resorts, set on thousands of acres of wildlands and landscaped gardens. Customize an ideal routine to energize your body, calm your mind and lift your spirits. In addition to extraordinary musical experiences throughout your week, we offer:
Guided hikes on 40-miles of mountain trails each morning.
More than 50 daily fitness classes, including Pilates, Pickleball, Barre, TRX, Hydro-Fit, yoga, and Zumba.
Three farm-to-table meals, sourced from our organic garden and other local farms.
Eleven gyms, four pools, a running track, as well as tennis, Pickleball, basketball and volleyball courts.
Three full-service spas offering massage, facials, wraps, scrubs and other holistic therapies.
Art classes, including painting and sculpting.
Presentations on music-making, nutrition and brain health.
Mind-body classes such as mindfulness, meditation, Feldenkrais and sound healing.
Live evening concerts and entertainment with world-class performers.
To find out more or make a reservation during Chamber Music Festival Week please fill out the form below.
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Deborah’s latest book, “100 Lessons from a Grasshopper,” debuts on her birthday. This little artful, tree-green book contains various aphorisms, epigrams, and humorous sayings gathered from her many talks with Rancho La Puerta guests.
The book will be available starting May 3, 2022. All profits will go to Our Green Umbrella in Tecate.