Levinson and Friends Return for San Juan Chamber Music Festival
by Watch Staff
Sep 05, 2011 | 1089 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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Carol McGonnell
Concerts and Master Classes in Ridgway Sept. 16-20

OURAY COUNTY – The San Juan Chamber Music Festival returns to Ridgway Sept. 16-20, with a trio of classical music stars headed by 10-year artistic director Max Levinson.

The Ouray County Performing Arts Guild, The Telluride Foundation, Alpine Bank, and Colorado Creative Industries combine to present three evenings of chamber music plus a day of master classes for serious music students taught by Levinson (piano) and his guest players, Felix Fan (cello) and Carol McGonnell (clarinet). 

Tickets are on sale now on-line at www.ocpag.org and will be available at the following locations beginning Sept. 2: Buckskin Booksellers and Mouse’s Chocolates in Ouray, at Cimarron Books & Coffee in Ridgway, and in Montrose at The Coffee Trader. 

The festival kicks off Friday, Sept. 16 with a casual Classical Café at the Ridgway 4H Center featuring “Musical Journeys,” including the Gershwin “Preludes,” Debussy’s "Claire de Lune,” a Beethoven Trio and more. On Sunday, Sept. 18, also at the Event Center, the trio will perform a formal concert featuring the “Music of Johannes Brahms.” On Tuesday evening, Sept. 20, the grand finale Home Salon event will take place featuring “American Journeys,” music of the Americas. The Home Salon includes fine cuisine, wine and beer at the High Creek Ranch in Ridgway. 

The Master Classes will take place on Saturday, Sept. 17. This is a wonderful chance for amateur musicians and students to train with world-class musicians. Tickets and scholarships are available through OCPAG. Please email mehralph@msn.com for details. 

 More information on the concerts and musicians can be found on the OCPAG website: www.ocpaginfo.org.

Concert Events Schedule and Details


Friday Sept. 16: Classical Cafe – “Musical Journeys”

4H Center, Ridgway, 7:30 p.m.

Experience the musicians in a one-of-a-kind informal café style setting and learn much more about the music of the evening.

Tickets: $20 (presale), $22 at the door, $5 students. Bring a friend who has never attended an OCPAG concert and their ticket is half price. Door prizes!

Saturday Sept. 17: Master Classes

Clarinet with Carol McGonnell

Piano with Max Levinson

Cello with Felix Fan

This is an opportunity for serious music students to work one-on-one with a world-class musician in perfecting a prepared piece.  Location TBD

Class Fee: $20. Scholarships are available; please email mehralph@msn.com with questions or to register.

Sunday Sept. 18: San Juan Chamber MusicFest Concert  

4H Center, 7:30 p.m.

“Music of Johannes Brahms,” Trio in A minor, and Cello Sonata in E minor

Tickets are $20 (presale), $22 at the door, $5 students.

Tuesday Sept. 20: Home Salon Concert & Dinner 

High Creek Ranch in Ridgway,"The American Century"

An elegant dinner in one of the most beautiful homes in Ouray County, and entertainment in the most intimate of settings. This is a very special event that happens only once a year.

Tickets are $75. Call 970/626-2970 for reservations. 


Musician Bios



San Juan Chamber MusicFest, Artistic Director, Piano

Celebrating his 10th year with the San Juan Chamber MusicFest, pianist Max Levinson is known as an intelligent and sensitive artist with a fearless technique. His passion, love for the piano and inspiration from the people of San Juans inspired this year’s collaboration with musicians and friends Felix Fan and Carol McGonnell.

The Boston Globe said of Levinson: "The questioning, conviction, and feeling in his playing invariably reminds us of the deep reasons why music is important to us, why we listen to it, why we care so much about it."

Strongly committed to nurturing young audiences, Levinson has been a participant in the Grammy-in-the-Schools program throughout the United States. He is on the faculty of the Boston Conservatory, where his students have achieved success in numerous competitions. He also teaches at the Killington Music Festival, and has recently become active as a conductor. His performances as conductor of the Killington Music Festival orchestra have resulted in standing ovations and return engagements. 



Felix Fan returns for the second time to the San Juan Chamber MusicFest with the versatility that has made him one of the most sought after cellists of his generation. As a chamber musician, he has performed with Yo-Yo Ma, Gil Shaham and Janos Starker, in venues such as Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Musikverein, and Royal Festival Hall. Fan's recent solo engagements include the San Diego and Pacific Symphonies, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Macau Symphony Orchestra, and the Munich Chamber Orchestra. 



First timer, Dublin-born Carol McGonnell brings a sophisticated talent on the clarinet to the San Juan Chamber MusicFest.  

Recently hailed as "an extraordinary clarinetist" by the New York Times, she is known for the expressive power of her playing of standard repertoire, and also enjoys exploring cutting-edge developments in new music. She recently performed as soloist in both John Adam's "In Your Ear Festival" at Carnegie Hall, and in L.A.'s "Monday Evening Concerts,” curated by Esa-Pekka Salonen. She has also participated at the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont, and performed at the inaugural concert of Zankel Auditorium at Carnegie Hall.

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