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About New Mexico Performing Arts Society (NMPAS)
New Mexico Performing Arts Society began in 2012 as a small concert series at the Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) Retreat Center in Santa Fe. Under the artistic leadership of Metropolitan Opera conductor emeritus Franz Vote, NMPAS has become one of New Mexico’s leading performing arts presenters. NMPAS regularly performs in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Las Vegas, Los Alamos, Carrizozo, and Las Cruces.
Currently in our 6th season, NMPAS presents:
• The Chapel Series at Immaculate Heart, an intimate chamber music series featuring music of Latin America, classical, jazz, zarzuela, Broadway/American songbook, as well as standard string quartet and woodwind literature.
• New Mexico Bach Society (NMBS) is dedicated to the vocal and instrumental music of Johann Sebastian Bach and his contemporaries.
• Santa Fe Flute Immersion (SFFI) is an annual educational program for ages 14 and up that includes flute and performance skills masterclasses. The latter are open to all singers and instrumentalists free of charge.
NMPAS is unique in several respects: Our tagline “World Class, Locally Sourced” expresses our Mission to present great performances by local professionals. Occasionally, NMPAS commissions works by composers outside of New Mexico and invites special guest artists to participate in collaborations involving New Mexico’s cultural traditions.
Collaboration is central to our work. To date NMPAS has initiated 30+ collaborations with educational, performing arts and social service nonprofits. Highlights include Bach and Mozart Festivals at New Mexico Highlands University, a Bach 330th Birthday Celebration with the New Mexico Museum of Art, several courses for Santa Fe’s Renesan Institute for Lifelong Learning, and choral, string and orchestral workshops with New Mexico School for the Arts and the Santa Fe Youth Symphony Association.
NMPAS also commissions and premieres new works. Within the past 3 years, we have commissioned three works by Carlsbad, CA composer Aaron Alter, two of which have already premiered in Santa Fe (see YouTube links under “I’m Listening To”). The third commission is part of the NMPAS 2018-2019 concert series. We are currently co-commissioning a new work by composer Karola Obermueller, co-artistic director of the John Donald Robb Composers’ Symposium and faculty member at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. Other collaborative partners for the co-commission are Anne Harley and Martha Gonzalez, who are members of the Scripps College faculty in Los Angeles. Concerning the collaboration, Music Department Chair Anne Harley writes:
“Obermüller will set texts from the Gospel of Mary from the original ancient Coptic Nag Hammadi scroll … and combine these with traditional son jarocho song texts portraying mourning women, zapateado percussion and dance, as well as elements of the baroque progenitors of the son jarocho genre. She will score the piece for voice, percussion/dance, classical string trio, and flute. The piece will last approximately 15-20 minutes, and be programmed with other related pieces from both the son jarocho and the classical contemporary traditions …”
This co-commission also involves the creation of a traditional retablo of Mary Magdalene, upon which Karola Obermueller will base her composition. Performers include Anne Harley, soprano, NMPAS executive director Linda Marianiello, flute, and Martha Gonzalez, son jarocho performing artist. The Chatter Albuquerque Trio of David Felberg, violin, Shanti Randall, viola, and James Holland, cello, will also take part in the New Mexico performances of the commissioned work.
Video Premiere of Aaron Alter’s “Homage to Josquin”
Aaron Alter’s “Homage to Josquin” premiered at the closing concert of Santa Fe Flute Immersion. The work is for two flutes and piano. Performers are Linda Marianiello and Susan Levitin, flutes and Steinway Artist Jacquelyn Helin, piano.
Premiere of Aaron Alter’s “Together We Create and Sing”
NMPAS commissioned Aaron Alter to write “Together We Create and Sing” for SATB choir, flute and piano in honor of Santa Fe artist Richard Kurman’s 90th birthday. The work was written in the style Haydn with a text by W. H. Auden, Kurman’s favorite composer and author, respectively.
The premiere took place, along with a small exhibit of Kurman’s recent paintings, on May 6, 2017 at the Immaculate Heart Chapel in Santa Fe. Artistic Director lead members of the New Mexico Bach Chorale with Linda Marianiello, flute and Jacquelyn Helin, piano.