SANTA FE, N.M. — The winter season brings an immense variety of music to our area and our state, as talented artists come to the Land of Enchantment to share their passion and talent.
Performance Santa Fe!
Performance Santa Fe!, formerly known as the Santa Fe Concert Association, has an inspiring lineup in December. First, on Dec. 9, Anonymous 4 performs masterpieces of the Middle Ages as well as contemporary works at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi.
Another holiday delight arrives just in time for Christmas. The Christmas Eve Concert features two of the most adored orchestral works of all time: Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 performed by the Performance Santa Fe Orchestra and conducted by Joseph Illick, as well as Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue played by 13-year-old virtuoso pianist and composer Emily Bear.
As the merry season draws to a close, take in the New Year’s Eve Concert and enjoy Beethoven’s glorious 1st Symphony with the incomparable violin soloist Vadim Gluzman playing the Bruch Violin Concerto, and soprano Ava Pine in selections by Handel and Lehar.
In the beginning of January, as part of the Community Opera series, Engelbert Humperdinck’s fairytale opera “Hansel and Gretel” will come to the Greer Garson Theater. It’s a true family event you won’t want to miss.
Later in the month, the jazz band Hot Sardines will heat up the night on Jan. 21.
And in February, mark your calendars for the acclaimed pianist Andras Schiff who will be appearing for a special one-night engagement, performing late works by Hadyn, Mozart and Beethoven.
Santa Fe Pro Musica
Celebrating its 33rd season, Santa Fe Concert Pro Musica presents “A Baroque Christmas,” with mezzo-sopranos Deborah Domanski and Drea Pressley in collaboration with Pro Musica musicians in an opulent musical celebration featuring selections by Bach, Handel and Vivaldi, as well as traditional carols.
Santa Fe Desert Chorale
Santa Fe Desert Chorale heats up the music offerings this winter with its Winter Festival. “Christmas & Cabaret: The Lighter Side of Christmas” is not to be missed. It headlines singers Sarah Weiler and Jay Hill and is a benefit performance featuring jazz and cabaret versions of holiday and wintertime favorites.
“Carols & Lullabies,” an annual program, begins Dec. 16 at both the Cathedral Basilica and Cristo Rey Church in Santa Fe and at Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Albuquerque.
Also, don’t forget “Endings & Beginnings,” which will be performed at The Lodge at Santa Fe, featuring VOASIS, beginning Dec. 27 and ending with a special New Year’s Eve performance on Dec. 31.
Santa Fe Symphony
The Santa Fe Symphony in December will present “Christmas Treasures” enchants with a magnificent collection of holiday favorites, including “White Christmas” by Irving Berlin.
Later in the season, “Winter Dreams” showcases Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, Handel’s “Water Music” and Vivaldi’s Concerto for Two Cellos, with guest conductor Guillermo Figueroa.
Santa Fe Women’s Ensemble
In its 34th season, the Santa Fe Women’s Ensemble will perform “Songs of Peace” in mid-December, with selections from chant and early Latin music to African-American spirituals.
Around the state
The rest of New Mexico is not to be out-sung. The Taos Chamber Music Group will touch you with “Remembering Ralph,” a tribute to Ralph Guenther, composer, professor, flutist and Taos School of Music board member for over two decades.
Later in the season, “A Russian Holiday” transports you from Azerbaijan to St. Petersburg, with the incredible Russian pianist Gleb Ivanov in solo piano works by Rachmaninoff on Dec. 13 and 14.
Taos Chamber Music Group continues its season with “Jazzin’ Around,” a new work for flute, saxophone and cello by the young composer Corey Dundee in January, as well as “Ravel-ation,” featuring the works of Maurice Ravel, in March.
The Los Alamos Concert Association presents Red Priest in January, fusing baroque pieces with a modern improvisational twist.
And in March, Latin Grammy winner Cuarteto Latinoamericano teams up with Daniel Binelli, composer and acclaimed bandoneón musician.
Later in the spring, The Ethos Percussion Group will perform “Rhythms of the Silk Road,” giving audiences a taste of music with roots in East Asia, Africa, and the Mediterranean.
Albuquerque doesn’t disappoint with its share of fabulous musical offerings.
Check out Popejoy Hall at the University of New Mexico for some fantastic entertainment this winter season. “Mariachi Christmas,” a festive tradition, will put you in a high-spirited mood with mariachi music and dance. Get folksy over the holidays with “The Kingston Trio Christmas” on Dec. 14, or enjoy “An Irish Christmas” on Dec. 19.
The New Mexico Philharmonic has a full program planned for their winter season.
On Dec. 20, enjoy “Home for the Holidays Pops!” with the New Mexico Philharmonic and the Manzano Day School and Bosque School Choirs.
To round out the winter season, The New Mexico Philharmonic offers “Fumi Plays Tchaikovsky” in January, “Wolfgang Amadeus: A Night of Mozart” in February, and Mahler’s Colossal 5th in March.
The New Mexico Symphonic Chorus presents their “2nd Annual Holiday Festival of Voices” on Dec. 12 at Popejoy Hall. With the Albuquerque Youth Symphony Chorus, the New Mexico Symphonic Chorus will perform and celebrate the 300th anniversary of Vivaldi’s “Gloria.”
So get out your calendar and start planning. You don’t want to miss the incredible music offerings this winter season!