Sat. Feb. 9 – Salon Series Mirrors and Reflections with The Gryphon Trio 4 & 7:30 pm Villa Wolf Emiliano Zapata 124
The Gryphon Trio celebrated their milestone 25th anniversary this season with a busy world-wide touring schedule and the release of their 20th album, The End of Flowers. We are thrilled that they will be returning once again to the shores of Ajijic to captivate us with their innovative concerts and beautiful artistry. On this occasion they will offer a variant of a very successful program they recently presented at Carnegie Hall. The program opens with a grouping of popular solo, duo and trio movements that are bound together by the concepts of mirrors and reflections as each piece seamlessly morphs into the next.
The program concludes with Brahms’ 1st piano trio. Filled with zeal and ideas by his soaring fortunes, a young twenty-year old Brahms wrote what may be his most romantic creation. The piece is maybe best summed up by the musicologist and scholar Richard Specht “the whole twenty-year-old composer with all his inner stress, his fullness of heart, his ardent longing; all the apprehension, pride, restraint and expectation of a soul in flower”
Don’t miss this exciting opening to the festival with the world’s preeminent piano trio.
Tickets $600 pesos
Sun. Feb. 10 – Tea Time Concert 4 pm location TBA
The Tea Time Concerts are only available to patrons who purchase ticket packages. Their content and locations are always a surprise!
Mon. Feb. 11 – Special Event Rising Stars 4:00 pm, Haus Der Musik, Constitution #112, Ajijic
NOTE: This is a special event, not available in packages. Price: $300 pesos.
The first event of its kind at the Festival, our Rising Stars concert will feature our two chamber music ensembles in residence who both also attended our first ever Festival del Lago this past August. This special event is to help raise scholarship money for students attending the summer festival.
The Festival del Lago is an intensive two-week summer academy for advanced students that take place every August in Ajijic. Put together by the organizers of Northern Lights Festival de Febrero, we had our first season last summer and it was a huge success. We invited 10 faculty members from some of the most prestigious universities in the world, including the Royal Academy of Music in London England, the Scandinavian Cello School in Copenhagen, McGill University in Montreal, Cleveland Institute of Music and the University of Toronto. Students came from Canada, the United States, Mexico, Iceland, Holland, and South Korea. The positive impact it has generated among the students (especially those living in Mexico), and the audience that witnessed it cannot be overstated. The students left the festival with new friends from all over the world, inspired to practice harder and better and with a greater positive outlook for their future. At this event, we will feature two groups, one from Mexico and the other from Canada who both attended last summer’s Festival del Lago. The Walden Trio and the Janus quartet will perform alongside each other performing works by Haydn and Schubert.
The concert will feature our two chamber music ensembles in residence who both also attended our first ever Festival del Lago this past August. This special event is to help raise scholarship money for students attending the summer festival.
Tue. Feb. 12 – Festival Series The Richard Underhill Quartet,
7:30 pm Auditorio de la Ribera, Ajijic
The Festival jazz quartet will present a classic jazz program ranging from traditional favourites by Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington to the cool sophisticated jazz of Miles Davis and Dave Brubeck. Joining Juno award-winning and world-renowned sax man Richard Underhill will be celebrated bassist and composer Roberto Occhipinti, smooth as silk drummer Daniel Barnes and the virtuosic and stunning piano playing of Attila Fias. Also making an appearance in the program is the incredibly versatile and talented vocalist Bryce Kulak. Our jazz concerts are always fun, full of laughs and of course, some of the best jazz you can find!
Tickets $600 pesos centre $400 pesos sides
Wed. Feb. 13 – Salon Series The End of the World with the Manhattan Chamber Players 4 & 7:30 pm Haus Der Musik, Constitution 112, Ajijic
In 1940, the world was ablaze. As Hitler marched his armies across Europe and Northern Africa, death and destruction unlike the world had ever seen was taking place. For Richard Strauss, it was also the culmination of a “twelve-year reign of bestiality, ignorance, and anti-culture under the greatest criminals, during which Germany’s 2000 years of cultural evolution met its doom.” It was during these final years of WWII that Strauss began a creative period often referred to as his “Indian Summer” – in which he wrote some of his most self-effacing and poignant works, having grown old, tired, and jaded by what had transpired in the latter half of his life. His final opera, Capriccio (subtitled “A Conversation Piece for Music”) falls into this category. Harkening back to a more civil, elegant time in history, it is one of his most understated, nostalgic works. A year earlier, a shaky alliance still existed between Germany and Russia, but everyone knew the fight would eventually come. Dmitri Shostakovich brilliantly captured this calm before the storm in his Piano Quintet, a complex work filled with angst, paranoia, despair, and fleeting moments of joy and calm. Peppered in are sardonic references to military songs and Russian propaganda that would later become one of Shostakovich’s calling cards. This pairing of Shostakovich’s first truly great chamber composition and Strauss’s last one sees the world, as they knew it, at an end.
Richard Strauss (1864 – 1949): Sextet from Capriccio (1941)
Dmitri Shostakovich (1906 – 1975): Piano Quintet in G minor, Op. 57 (1940)
Tickets $600 pesos
Fri. Feb. 15 – Festival Series Gala Orchestra 7:30 pm Auditorio de la Ribera, Ajijic
With a triad, Bach lets off a festive opening volley. It could hardly be simpler. He could almost have pinched the catchy motif from his Italian colleague Vivaldi, who was seven years his senior and with whose music he was familiar with from the Weimar. The Concerto in E major has become one of the staples of violin repertoire and deserves to be paired with a violinist of incredible talent. We’re thrilled to have Grace Park return to perform this uplifting and breathtaking work for our audiences.
Following Bach’s E Major violin concerto will be a selection of operatic songs performed by our wonderful vocal team of tenor Andrew Fuchs, Soprano Amalia Avilan, Bass Alex Rosen and countertenor Daniel Moody.
In the late 19th and 20th centuries, as orchestras got larger and larger and symphonies longer and longer, composers sometimes felt the need to go in the opposite direction. The string orchestra represented a welcome change from the full symphonic ensemble and inspired a revival of the classical serenade-divertimento tradition. That was the tradition the eighteen-year-old Josef Suk, Dvořák’s favorite student, and future son-in-law. In the second half of the program, the festival orchestra will stir you with Suk’s cheerful and romantic Serenade for Strings
Tickets $600 pesos center $400 pesos sides
Sat. Feb. 16 – Conductor’s Circle Event The Art of Conducting with our resident conductor Bradley Thachuk 4 PM location Villa Ancira, Miguel Blanco 15
Have you ever wondered (we know you have) what exactly a conductor does? Conductors don’t make any sound, and why are their arms flailing around in the air have anything to do with music? Is there more to it than just arm movements? What else is expected of a conductor? What do these silent but apparently omnipotent maestros actually do?
Take a fascinating journey with our resident conductor Bradley Thachuk as he lifts the lid on the mysteries of conducting. Listen and watch him conduct a small ensemble we’ve put together for this presentation.
Sun, Feb. 17 –Festival Series, For the Love of Opera, 4 pm Auditorio de la Ribera, Ajijic
Come and enjoy a wonderful journey of operatic sampling featuring some of operas most delicious and dramatic moments from the early greats through to contemporary masters. The program is centered however around the most famous of opera composers,
Mozart but branches off in an earlier direction to Claudio Monteverdi and Händel, before taking a twist and turn to Benjamin Britten and Igor Stravinsky. Last year’s operatic stars, soprano Amalia Avilan and countertenor Daniel Moody are joined this year by tenor Andrew Fuchs and bass Alex Rosen for a full-fledged operatic adventure not to be missed!
Tickets $600 pesos centre $400 pesos sides
Mon. Feb 18 – Premier Event Noche de Ronda (Night Serenader) 4:00 pm location TBA
Experience the sensuous, bittersweet songs of Rodrigo, Lorca, Jobim, and Cohen, receiving a feminine touch in the hands of Canadian chanteuse, Patricia O’Callaghan. Her warm, crystalline voice, striking stage presence, and easy connection with the audience create an ambiance of intimacy that beautifully serves their music and poetry.
Blending classical music with boleros, bossas, pop, and folk songs, this haunting repertoire takes us on a musical journey through the complexities of the human spirit and celebrates the romantic soul inside us all.
“She’s one of the best singers ever to come out of Canada.” Vivascene
Tickets $1,000 pesos
Tue. Feb. 19 – Festival Series Bach: An Invitation with David Fung 4:00 pm, Auditorio de la Ribera, Ajijic
To hear Bach’s keyboard concertos is to witness the birth of a genre. Alternating bustling brio and the most heartfelt lyricism, Bach creates music that speaks across centuries. Recently praised for his “simply gorgeous” playing and “crystalline phrasing” by the Washington Post, pianist David Fung is an ideal match for the immaculate poise and effortless dexterity these wonderful concertos require. Accompanied by the festival orchestra, This is certainly not a concert to be missed!
“Bach’s keyboard concertos oscillate brilliantly between energetic playfulness and sublime beauty. Hubris deftly gives way to humility-and even vulnerability-where Bach comes face to face with God.”
Tickets $600 pesos centre $400 pesos sides