Letter from Artistic Director Rafael Popper-Keizer
Dear friends of Monadnock Music,
It is a true joy to welcome you to our 2022 Summer Season! This year is special for me: it marks not only our triumphant return to “business as usual” – and how we have missed the beauty of our local churches and meetinghouses – but also my 20th year performing with Monadnock Music. Over the course of these two decades, I have forged many lasting friendships, watched my two children grow to young adulthood, and witnessed firsthand the transformative power of music: to educate, to better understand ourselves and others, to allow us space to reflect and heal.
We are thrilled to add to our concert lineup this season a series of family concerts: three presentations of Chickasaw composer Jerod Impichchaachaaha' Tate’s Moonstrike, a retelling of American Indian legends for string quartet and narrator. We are also returning to the Peterborough Town House for the first time in several years to present two glorious large-scale chamber works, Franz Schubert’s Octet, and Josef Miroslav Weber’s Septet “From My Life”: both dazzlingly rich offerings with the grandeur and scope of a chamber orchestra. Our free village concerts – the core of our mission since Monadnock Music’s founding – continue to showcase both the old and new, as well as the familiar and unfamiliar. A few highlights for me: Richard Strauss’s piano quartet, a passionate early masterpiece in the vein of his violin sonata; Margaret Bonds’ ravishing setting of four Edna St. Vincent Millay poems; Louis Spohr’s gloriously suave Duo for two violins; a brilliant arrangement of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue for organ (!); the rich bass-baritone sonority of the low strings concert (that combination of viola, cello, bass – pure magic); and our final village concert, featuring string quartets by three extraordinary women from the 19th and early 20th centuries. Finally, our special presentation of Haydn’s Seven Last Words of Christ is something I had originally slated for our 2020 season. We now offer this searingly beautiful sequence of seven slow movements as a meditation on the hardships and losses of the past two and a half years.
As ever, we are grateful beyond words to the community that sustains Monadnock Music, without which we could not exist – to our musicians, our staff and board, and our supporters and friends. Thank you so much for your generosity and fellowship – I look forward to seeing you this summer!