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SummerArts: Classical Music

Music@Menlo (Atherton, CA)

Multiple venues


(July 20 – August 11, 2012) Founded in 2004 by cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han – also Artistic Directors of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center – Music@Menlo is a comprehensive hub for chamber music. The festival features multiple program series, from the theme-laden Concert Programs to the String Quartet Programs series to Carte Blanche, a recital series curated by the artists themselves. Additionally, the Encounter Series adds a scholarly flair to the proceedings through multimedia presentations that further illuminate the festival’s primary themes. During the traditional fall/spring concert season is the Winter Series, which supplements the festival’s summer offerings.

Music@Menlo’s crucial educational component is the Chamber Music Institute for string players and pianists, comprised of the International Program for conservatory-level musicians and existing chamber ensembles (ages 18 through 29) and the Young Performers Program for pre-professional student musicians (ages nine through 18). Activities include ensemble rehearsals, coachings, master classes, and workshops. Artist-faculty who participate in both the festival proper and the Institute have included pianists Alessio Bax and Jeffrey Kahane, flutist Sooyun Kim, the Orion String Quartet, and soprano Erin Morley.

Outreach activities designed to make chamber music even more accessible include open master classes, the Café Conversations series with festival artists and special guests, Open House (which includes access to rehearsals), the Encounters series, and AudioNotes, an original series of pre-concert guides for listeners. (DK)

Music@Menlo Information

  • Venues: The Center for Performing Arts at Menlo-Atherton (555 Middlefield Road, Atherton); Stent Family Hall and Martin Family Hall at the Menlo School (50 Valparaiso Avenue, Atherton); St. Mark’s Episcopal Church (600 Colorado Avenue, Palo Alto)
  • Public Transportation: Very good (All venues are easily accessible by several bus routes and the Caltrain)
  • Handicapped Accessibility: Good at all venues
  • Performances/Programs: Over 60 events are presented during the festival, including concerts, masterclasses, talks with artists, and more
  • Ticket Prices: More than 40 events are presented free of charge. Ticketed events (around 25 events) range from $10–$75. Student discounts are available. When you pre-order tickets, you receive Audio Notes: Free Listener Guides, which includes interviews with festival artists, music samples, and more
  • Subscriptions: If you buy 4 or more tickets, you receive a 5–10% discount. Depending on amount of tickets purchased, subscriber benefits include priority ticketing; access to shows that sell out; best seats available; free ticket exchange; a complimentary CD box set of that years festival (approximately 7 CD’s); and more
  • Membership: Paganini ($100–$249); Joachim ($250–$499); Caruso ($500–$999); Bach ($1,000–$2,499); Haydn ($2,500–$4,999); Mozart ($5,000–$9,999); Beethoven ($10,000–$24,999); Esterhazy ($25,000–$49,999); Carnegie ($50,000–$99,999); Medici ($100,000+). Depending on level, member benefits include advance, first-class mailing of the festival brochure; advance ticket reservations; acknowledgment in the festival program book; a 10% discount on all Music@Menlo merchandise; invitations to a daytime conversation with the Artistic Directors; VIP ticket services, reduced handling fees, and priority ticketing; invitations to an intimate lunch and recital with Music@Menlo’s Artistic Directors; invitations to a post-concert celebration with festival musicians, staff, and members of the Music@Menlo community; the opportunity to host a private concert in your home with festival artists; and more.