Chamber Music Festival 2024 - Rancho La Puerta

Rancho La Puerta Presents:

Chamber Music Festival Week

February 3 – 10, 2024

Our 7th Annual Chamber Music Festival features eight 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, watch rehearsals, and perhaps even encounter “random acts of music” in unexpected places throughout your day.

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The Week

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.

2024 Program:
Sunday, February 4
8 PM Opening Night with Miró Quartet
The festival opens with a poetry-inspired program featuring string quartets of Dvořák, Schubert, Shaw, and Mozart.

Monday, February 5
8 PM Fandango with Friends
All festival artists join forces for a lively evening of Spanish flair that sparkles with Boccherini’s Fandango, Hubay’s Carmen Fantasy, and Rodrigo’s beloved Concierto de Aranjeuz.

Tuesday, February 6
6:05 AM  Hike & Breakfast in the Balkans
Hike up to the Organic Gardens and enjoy “Breakfast in the Balkans” with an upbeat set of dances for guitar and violin from the homeland of Ranch founder, Professor Szekely.

5 PM Trout ‘fore Dinner
This pre-dinner concert serves up Schubert’s delightful “Trout” Quintet, enticing you to come back for more music after dessert.

8 PM Aprés Dessert
Partners in life and music, Elena Urioste and Tom Poster present a program of romantic music featuring violin sonatas by Felix Mendelssohn, Amy Beach, and Mélanie Bonis.

Wednesday, February 7
6:05 AM  Hike & Jukebox Breakfast
Hike up to the Organic Gardens and enjoy a Jukebox Breakfast with Elena Urioste and Tom Poster featuring popular songs from their pandemic project, in which they posted a new performance to their online Musical Jukebox every day, inspired by suggestions from their fans.

Thursday, February 8
4 PM Mindful Music Stroll
Begin at either the Labyrinth with Monique or Gazebo with Jill to set the tone for your own mindful stroll toward the Villas Pool and encounter lighthearted solos and duets in scenic places along your path. Choose your own adventure! 

8 PM Festive Finale & Champagne Toast
Our final concert in Oaktree ends on a festive note with Dvorak’s Piano Quintet and a champagne toast to great music at Rancho La Puerta!

Friday, February 9
5 PM Sunset Encores at the Bazar del Sol
Wind down at the Bazar del Sol as Mak Grgić and Monique Mead perform Piazzolla tangos and legendary music from the silver screen.

Engage with the Music

In addition to evening concerts, Chamber Music Week offers some unique opportunities to engage with music and musicians. Whether you visit an open rehearsal, attend a musical talk, relax in Monique’s Sound Healing, stroll the musical gardens, attend Yoga with Musicians, or experience a “random act of music,” we hope these moments add some magic of your week at the Ranch.

Sound Healing with Monique
Having discovered sound healing at the Ranch in 2017, Monique Mead now has her own thriving studio in Pittsburgh, where she combines meditative violin music with her musicianship on the singing bowls. She leads two sessions this week.

Movement with Elena
Elena Urioste is not only a renowned violinist but also a certified yoga instructor who helps musicians cope with stress and prevent injury through mindful movement. Join Elena for a special movement class and learn how this ancient practice informs her life as a musician.

Mindful Music Stroll
Thursday, 4 PM  Labyrinth or Gazebo (weather permitting)
Begin at either the Labyrinth with Monique or Gazebo with Jill to set the tone for your own mindful stroll during the golden hour. You’ll encounter lighthearted solos and duets by all of our festival musicians in scenic places along your path. The experience concludes with Miró Quartet performing at the Villas Pool.

Open Rehearsal

Wednesday 4-6 PM Oaktree
Drop in/walk out anytime during this interactive rehearsal where festival musicians practice for the Festive Finale.  You’ll get a chance to ask questions as well.

Musical Talks

Gaze into the inner workings of the music with a talk by MIró Quartet violist, John Largess, who sheds light on the program for Opening Night.

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.

Elena Urioste

Elena Urioste is a musician, yogi, writer, and entrepreneur, as well as a lover of nature, food, animals, and connecting with other human beings.

As a violinist, Elena has given acclaimed performances as soloist with major orchestras throughout the United States, including the Philadelphia, Cleveland, and Minnesota Orchestras; the New York, Los Angeles, and Buffalo Philharmonics; the Boston Pops; and the Chicago, Boston, Dallas, San Francisco, San Diego, National, Atlanta, Baltimore, and Detroit Symphony Orchestras, among many others. Abroad, Elena has appeared with the London Philharmonic, Hallé, Philharmonia, CBSO, Orchestra of Opera North, and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestras; the BBC Symphony, Philharmonic, Scottish Symphony Orchestra, and National Orchestra of Wales; as well as the Chineke! Orchestra, Malaysian Philharmonic, Orchestre National de Lille, Edmonton Symphony, Würzburg Philharmonic, and Hungary’s Orchestra Dohnányi Budafok and MAV Orchestras. She has collaborated with celebrated conductors Sir Mark Elder, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Vasily Petrenko, Christoph Eschenbach, Robert Spano, Karina Canellakis, and Gábor Takács-Nagy. She has performed as a featured soloist in Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium, the Concertgebouw, and the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall; and has given recitals at the Wigmore Hall, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, Kennedy Center, Konzerthaus Berlin, Sage Gateshead, Bayerischer Rudfunk Munich, and Mondavi Center. Elena is a former BBC New Generation Artist (2012-14) and has been featured on the covers of Strings, Symphony, and BBC Music magazines.

Recent musical highlights include the release of two new studio albums with pianist Tom Poster, THE JUKEBOX ALBUM and From Brighton to Brooklyn, released on Orchid Classics and Chandos Records, respectively; critically acclaimed debuts with the Dallas and San Diego Symphony Orchestras and with the CBSO at the BBC Proms; a residency at the Aldeburgh Festival; and a Norwegian debut at the Bergen International Music Festival. 2022 saw the release of two new studio albums for the Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective: a disc of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s Nonet, Piano Trio, and Piano Quintet; and an album of lesser-known chamber works by Fanny and Felix Mendelssohn, both for Chandos Records. Elena also features as soloist on Max Richter’s The New Four Seasons: Vivaldi Recomposed, recorded on period instruments; and in Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s Violin Concerto and Romance, released on Chineke! Records in autumn 2022.

An avid chamber musician, Elena is the founder and Artistic Director of Chamber Music by the Sea, an annual festival on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. She has been a featured artist at the Marlboro, Ravinia, La Jolla, Bridgehampton, Moab, and Sarasota Music Festivals, as well as Open Chamber Music at Prussia Cove, the Cheltenham Music Festival, Switzerland’s Sion-Valais International Music Festival, and the Verbier Festival’s winter residency at Schloss Elmau. Elena has collaborated with luminaries such as Mitsuko Uchida, Kim Kashkashian, and members of the Guarneri Quartet, and performs extensively in recital with pianists Tom Poster and Michael Brown. She is the co-director of the Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective, appointed Associate Ensemble at Wigmore Hall in 2020.

Elena is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and The Juilliard School. Notable teachers and mentors include Joseph Silverstein, David Cerone, Ida Kavafian, Pamela Frank, Claude Frank, Choong-Jin Chang, Soovin Kim, and Ferenc Rados. The outstanding instruments being used by Elena are an Alessandro Gagliano violin, Naples c. 1706, and a Nicolas Kittel bow, both on generous extended loan from the private collection of Dr. Charles E. King through the Stradivari Society of Chicago.

Elena has been practicing yoga since 2009 and received her RYT-200 hour certification from the Kripalu Center in June 2019. She is the co-founder of Intermission, a program that combines music, movement, and mindfulness, aiming to make music-making a healthier, more holistic practice for students and professionals alike through yoga and meditation.

Miscellaneous accomplishments include first prizes at the Sphinx and Sion International Violin Competitions; an inaugural Sphinx Medal of Excellence presented by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor (they immediately bonded over their matching red formalwear); a 2022 BBC Music Magazine Award for THE JUKEBOX ALBUM; spreads in Latina and La Revista Mujer magazines; a 2020 Royal Philharmonic Society “Inspiration Award” and a 2021 RPS Enterprise Fund Trailblazer Grant for her #UriPosteJukeBox project with Tom Poster; and the 2015 Brooklyn Film Festival’s Audience Choice and Best Original Score awards for But Not For Me, the independent feature film in which Elena acted as the lead female role. Writing is another passion for Elena — you can find many of her musings on her website’s blog.

In addition to her love for hiking in lush forests, swimming in the ocean, and marveling at the stars, Elena’s heart melts around corgis, vibrant vegetarian and southern Italian cooking, and beautifully crafted literature. She enjoys knitting the occasional scarf to keep her fingers busy on airplanes. Finally, Elena believes that we should all strive to spend less time looking at screens, that Oxford commas should be required, and that people should clap whenever they feel moved to do so during concerts.

Tom Poster

Tom Poster is a musician whose skills and passions extend well beyond the conventional role of the concert pianist. He has been described as “a marvel, [who] can play anything in any style” (The Herald), “mercurially brilliant” (The Strad), and as having “a beautiful tone that you can sink into like a pile of cushions” (BBC Music).

During the 2020 lockdown, his #UriPosteJukebox series with Elena Urioste – featuring Tom as pianist, arranger, multi-instrumentalist, writer, backing dancer and snowman – brought a staggeringly diverse selection of music to audiences across the world through 88 daily online performances, for which the duo won the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Inspiration Award. Their subsequent recording, The Jukebox Album, received glowing reviews and a BBC Music Magazine Award.

Tom is co-founder and artistic director of Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective, appointed Associate Ensemble at Wigmore Hall in 2020. With a flexible line-up featuring many of today’s most inspirational musicians, and an ardent commitment to diversity through its creative programming, Kaleidoscope broadcasts regularly on BBC Radio 3 and has recently enjoyed residencies at the Aldeburgh, Cheltenham and Ischia festivals. Its debut album for Chandos Records, American Quintets, was awarded Editor’s Choice in Gramophone, and immediately led to an invitation to record a series of albums for the label. Tom has performed over forty concertos from Mozart to Ligeti with Aurora Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, BBC Scottish Symphony, Bournemouth Symphony, China National Symphony, Hallé, Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic and Scottish Chamber Orchestra, collaborating with conductors such as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Nicholas Collon, Robin Ticciati and Yan Pascal Tortelier, or sometimes directing from the piano.

He has premiered solo, chamber and concertante works by many leading composers, made multiple appearances at the BBC Proms, and his exceptional versatility has put him in great demand at festivals internationally. He regularly features as soloist on film soundtracks, including the Oscar-nominated score for The Theory of Everything.

He studied with Joan Havill at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and at King’s College, Cambridge. He won First Prize at the Scottish International Piano Competition 2007 and the keyboard section of the BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition in 2000. Tom’s compositions and arrangements have been commissioned, performed and recorded by Alison Balsom, Matthew Rose, Yo-Yo Ma and Kathryn Stott. His chamber opera for puppets, The Depraved Appetite of Tarrare the Freak, received an acclaimed three-week run at Wilton’s Music Hall in 2017. He is a lifelong fan of animals with unusual noses.

Miró Quartet

Daniel Ching, violin
William Fedkenheuer, violin
John Largess, viola
Joshua Gindele, cello

The Miró Quartet is one of America’s most celebrated string quartets, having performed throughout the world on the most prestigious concert stages. Based in Austin, TX, and thriving on the area’s storied music scene, the Miró takes pride in finding new ways to communicate with audiences of all backgrounds while cultivating the longstanding tradition of chamber music.

The Miró celebrates its 25th anniversary this season, performing a wide range of repertoire that pays homage to the legacy of the string quartet and also looks to the future of chamber music and string quartet playing in the U.S. In honor of the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, the Quartet concludes its recording cycle of Beethoven’s complete string quartets, with a box set released on Pentatone and performs the composer’s complete string quartets at Chamber Music Northwest. The Miró continues its Archive Project, honoring the American string quartet tradition by recreating historic programs by the Flonzaley, Kneisel, and Kolisch Quartets, with performances at Carnegie’s Weill Hall and the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, and in other cities. The Miró also premieres a new work, written for them, by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Kevin Puts at Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival, Chamber Music Detroit, and Chamber Music Tulsa. Since 2003, the Miró has served as faculty string quartet-in-residence at the Butler School of Music at the University of Texas, Austin. In 2005, the Quartet became the first ensemble ever to be awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant.

Mak Grgić

Touted as a “gifted guitarist” by the New York Times, 2-time Grammy­-nominated artist Mak Grgić [GER-gich] is a star on the worldwide stage. An expansive and adventurous repertoire attests to his versatility and wide-ranging interests. From the ethnic music of his native Balkans to extreme avant-garde and microtonal music, his roles as soloist, collaborator, and Grammy-nominated recording artist are fueled by curiosity, imagination, and boundless energy. As a testament to his versatility and wide-ranging appeal, in 2018 Mak was invited by legendary singer-songwriter k.d. lang to perform as the opening act for the North American leg of her Ingénue Redux Tour.

Recent engagements include performances and residencies at the Musikverein and the Konzerthaus in Vienna; the Konzerthuset in Stockholm several venues in Portugal; Teatro Cervantes de Bejar in Castilla-Leon/Spain; the Sarajevo Music Academy; several venues in Slovenia; the Paris Guitar Foundation; Zurich University of the Arts; Taipei National Theater; Shanghai Grand Theater; and the Hong Kong International Guitar Festival.

An enthusiastic recording artist, Mak’s latest recordings, “Balkanisms” for Naxos Music plus “MAKrotonal” and Grammy®-nominated “Mak|Bach” for MicroFest Records, explore a vast repertoire spanning ethnic music, microtonal, new music and early music on re-fretted instruments, such as a “zig-zag fretted Bach prototype guitar” that allows him to create a “well- tempered guitar” for “Mak|Bach.”

Born in Ljubljana, Slovenia, in 1987, Mak studied guitar in Zagreb with the revered Ante Cagalj at the Elly Basic Music Academy. By the age of 14, he was balancing his world champion status in karate with his love for the guitar. Following an injury to his left thumb, he made the decision to focus solely on a career in music, going on to complete a bachelor’s degree with Alvaro Pierri at the University for Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. In the fall of 2017, he began the Artist Diploma program at USC, the first guitarist in the university’s history to be admitted to this elite program. Mak currently holds a full time teaching position at University of South Carolina, and is a founder and CEO of Notey, a startup building a mobile music education game.

Nicholas Arredondo

Double bassist Nicholas Arredondo is the Resident Bass Fellow of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Mr. Arredondo was born in Los Angeles and grew up in Portland, Oregon, where he began studying bass with Don Hermanns and Ted Botsford before attending the Colburn Conservatory of Music, continuing his studies with Peter Lloyd. Mr. Arredondo has been a finalist and won top prizes in major competitions including the Sphinx Competition, YoungArts, and the Vancouver Symphony Concerto Competition. With a great passion for orchestral music, Mr. Arredondo has had the opportunity to tour around the world as principal double bass under the batons of conductors such as Valery Gergiev, Stéphane Denève, and Esa-Pekka Salonen and in major halls such as Suntory, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Usher, and Ozawa. He has performed as orchestral, chamber, and solo musician in the Pacific Music Festival, Taipei Music Academy and Festival, Edinburgh Music Festival, Perlman Music Program, and the National Arts Centre Young Artists Program and with renowned artists such as Noah Bendix-Balgley, Martin Chalifour, and Scott St. John.

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, Monique has devoted her performing career to nurturing new audiences and curating extraordinary musical experiences. 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 over 20 years of concerts with the Cologne Philharmonic, Munich Symphony, Düsseldorf Symphony, Berlin Radio Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, San Diego Symphony, and the Mainly Mozart Festival, among others.

Since 2012 Monique has served as Director of Music Entrepreneurship at Carnegie Mellon University, where she trains musicians in community engagement, peak performance, and professionalism as she helps them forge new paths as professional musicians.

Monique performs on violin made in 1860 by J.B. Vuillaume which was gifted to her at age 19. She enjoys hiking, yoga, homegrown cuisine, and performing with her talented teens, Isabel and Tino.

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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