ARTISTIC DIRECTOR’S MESSAGE
Welcome to the Festival’s 16th season! It is still hard for me to look back to our humble beginnings in 2002 and imagine that today the original dream would be so successfully realized. From twelve young enthusiastic musicians to today’s ensemble of nearly thirty world-class masters of their art, we truly have come a long way. And without a shred of doubt, I can absolutely say that it would never have happened without the committed and passionate support of this community. We are grateful to all – the festival committee, the volunteers, our donors, and of course the audiences, through to the Jalisco Secretary of culture, and all of our local business support. Without this huge “team”, the festival simply would not exist. So thank you all!
The 2018 Festival de Febrero has some real musical treats in store for you, with a multitude of concerts from February 16th through to March 2nd. We’re very excited that Julian Rachlin, recognized as one of the leading violinists of his generation will be joining us again this season and will perform Mozart’s beloved Sinfonia Concertante alongside one of the worlds fastest rising stars on viola, Sarah McElravy. Alexander Sebastian, a literal world champion of accordion will perform an all Bach program he just recorded and that was recently featured on CBC. Another exciting addition is tenor and soprano couple Ernesto Ramirez and Michele Bogdanowicz. Michele was one of the founding members of the Northern Lights Festival de Febrero in 2002 and we’re happily nostalgic about her return. Of course many familiar faces will be back as well! David Fung will be returning to perform Mozart’s Piano Concerto k. 488, Quartetto Gelato will re-open the festival again this year, Luke Fleming’s Manhattan Chamber Players will surely dazzle, and we’re once again honoured to have back one of the worlds finest ensembles, The Gryphon Trio. Our jazz greats with Richard Underhill at the helm are mixing it up this year with a new jazz guitarist, and vocalist Genevieve Marentette’s beautiful sultry voice will make you jump to your feet as the jazz band performs at The Avocado Club this year!
Some of you may not be aware of the ambitious non-performance activities that are conducted in parallel with the festival. Every year in February we invite about 10 young talented students from Mexico to study at and experience the festival, taking lessons and coachings with master artists. This kind of immersion into a musical environment with this level of musicianship for such an extended period of time is an invaluable experience for any young musician and the improvements we see in the students who attend at the end of the two weeks has inspired us at the festival to do even more. So we are excited to announce that this summer will be the inaugural year of Festival del Lago, a two week summer academy for advanced studies in the art of string playing. We are actively looking for people to help support the summer festival this year through volunteerism or financial donations. We encourage you to visit out new website at www.festivaldellago.com.
Once again, thanks to all our supporters, to our board members and volunteers both past and present, and most notably to all our patrons and audience members who have enthusiastically supported both the festival and the student training over these years. If you love music and wish to see this festival and it’s teaching program continue into the future we urge you to enjoy the benefits of becoming a patron. So come and enjoy 2 weeks of total music immersion with the best classical and jazz musicians in the world, and even if you’re hesitant about one or the other of these wonderful music genres give the music a try, you’re going to be surprised!