Music in the Mountains celebrates its 29th season featuring orchestra, chamber and conservatory performances of classical and world music starting Sunday.
Two Music in the Mountains concerts are coming to Bayfield, one an acoustic-folk duo, and one classical performance.
Pine River Run, Conservatory Orchestra
The first classical performance in the center is entitled "Pine River Run" by the conservatory orchestra and is at 7 p.m. Friday, July 17.
The orchestra will play:
.Beethoven "Overture to Coriolan"
.Dvorak "Legends," Opus 59, numbers 1 and 9
.Ives "The Unanswered Question" and
Matt Albert is the conservatory's artistic director and plays the violin and viola. The conservatory orchestra is comprised of high school and college orchestra students and members of their faculty.
"There are some beautifully lyrical pieces, some new, some old, and it's a wonderful learning opportunity for our students," Albert said via telephone from Dallas, where he is the director of chamber music at Southern Methodist University. He said he chose the pieces for next week's performance for their complexity and variety of styles. The students arrive at Music in the Mountains on Sunday, and this will be the conservatory's first performance of the season.
"It's exciting," he said of the 50 students who arrive for a week of hard work at rehearsals. "It's a very intense first week."
What's unique about a festival orchestra is that throughout most of the year, the musicians are busy with school, sports and other activities on top of their music. During their three weeks at Music in the Mountains, all they focus on is music.
"They do this one thing passionately and exceptionally well," he explained. "They're motivated and excited."
Albert said he's honored to be preparing the orchestra for the first classical musical performance in the new performing arts center, which he visited last year.
Andres Moran will conduct on Friday. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students.
Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion will play at 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 16, also at the Performing Arts Center.
Guthrie's musical legacy is a long one. She is the youngest daughter of '60s folk icon Arlo Guthrie and the granddaughter of one of the founding fathers of American folk music, Woody Guthrie.
Irion also has a unique pedigree - his granduncle is literary giant John Steinbeck. Together, they have created a signature pop-fused folk-rock sound on a series of critically-acclaimed albums, Exploration, Folksong, Bright
The duo has not played at Music in the Mountains before, but enjoys playing at festivals, Irion wrote last week via email.
They have performed in Italy, Germany and France during a recent European tour.
"We learned some very old German folk songs on a documentary we are shooting at the moment," Iron wrote, noting "These melodies are so ancient!"
The duo owns their own record label, and their most recent album, Wassaic Way, was produced by Wilco's Jeff Tweedy. Guthrie and Iron have spent two decades performing together on the road in in the studio.
Tickets for Thursday's concert are $29 for adults and $15 for students.
Music in the Mountains is one of the longest-running music festivals in the southwest, and this week's concerts are the first festival performances to be held in Bayfield.
Tickets are available at www.musicinthemountains.com, in person at the Festival Office at 1063 Main Avenue in Durango or by calling 385-6820. Office hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
More information about the season, including the three-week schedule, is available online at the festival website.