Pyle Organizes New Mexico Chamber Music Festival

by Carolyn Gonzales

Clas­si­cal music fes­ti­vals have been an impor­tant eco­nomic boon to places like Aspen, Buf­falo and Charleston. Pamela Pyle, asso­ciate pro­fes­sor of music, thinks New Mex­ico could reap the ben­e­fits of hold­ing one in Albuquerque.

Pyle is orga­niz­ing the New Mex­ico Cham­ber Music Fes­ti­val, which runs from Sun­day, June 2 through Sat­ur­day, June 8, with con­certs at the Uni­ver­sity of New Mex­ico Cen­ter for the Arts’ Keller Hall on Fri­day, June 7 at 7:30 p.m. and another on Sat­ur­day, June 8 at 2 p.m. at the Albu­querque Museum of Art and His­tory, 2000 Moun­tain Rd., NW. Tick­ets are not required for entrance.

The fes­ti­val has global rep­re­sen­ta­tion with stu­dents from Brazil, China, Korea, Tai­wan, Venezuela and the U.S. attend­ing. These stu­dents are study­ing across the coun­try at the East­man School of Music, New Eng­land Con­ser­va­tory, the Uni­ver­sity of Texas, Austin, Ari­zona State Uni­ver­sity and the Uni­ver­sity of North Dakota, plus some recent UNM graduates.

In addi­tion to Pyle, who teaches and per­forms piano and col­lab­o­ra­tive piano, the fac­ulty includes acclaimed vio­lin­ists Guillermo Figueroa, L.P. How and Dis­tin­guished Pro­fes­sor of vio­lon­cello at the East­man School of Music, Alan Harris.

For this inau­gural year, Pyle has hand selected 14 stu­dents, who will be divided into four cham­ber groups– two piano quar­tets and two piano trios, plus addi­tional con­fig­u­ra­tions of piano/string duos and a string quartet.

“It’s very excit­ing, as most of these stu­dents have not worked together before, so there will be very fresh col­lab­o­ra­tions afoot! I think they are an extra­or­di­nary group of young per­form­ers,” Pyle said.

Pyle said that she sees the via­bil­ity of the fes­ti­val catch­ing on and becom­ing a recur­ring event. “A music fes­ti­val is a unique expe­ri­ence for stu­dents and ulti­mately for the com­mu­nity that hears and sup­ports them. They work for a short but intensely focused period on spe­cific reper­toire, and their whole lives for that time revolve around the music and their work with the fac­ulty and other stu­dents. It is an immer­sion that allows them to learn and grow with the music, with the added bonus of get­ting to present their inter­pre­ta­tions to an audi­ence at the end of their explorations.”

Pyle has done exten­sive fundrais­ing. Donors from across the city have con­tributed, as have some of Pyle’s col­leagues within the Col­lege of Fine Arts and admin­is­tra­tors and oth­ers across cam­pus, and the Cul­tural Ser­vices offices of the City of Albu­querque. Piano Werkes has gra­ciously loaned the fes­ti­val the use of a Yamaha con­cert grand piano. As a result, the fes­ti­val is free to the stu­dent participants.

“The stu­dents will be stay­ing with us here on cam­pus. We were able to raise enough money to fly them, and four cel­los, in for the fes­ti­val,” she said. “I am so grate­ful for the sup­port we have received from so many mem­bers of the com­mu­nity. The econ­omy of a city can be pos­i­tively effected by host­ing such a fes­ti­val, but beyond this, the influx of inter­na­tional stu­dents and fac­ulty add to the vision of our city as a val­ued cen­ter for the arts and creativity.”

Media Con­tact: Car­olyn Gon­za­les (505) 277‑5920; email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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