As we emerge from this surreal year of isolation and “virtual” music making, I can imagine nothing sweeter than our long-awaited return to the magical in-person concert experience that we all have come to cherish at Musical Masterworks. We have a marvelous cast of esteemed MM musicians returning to our stage this season—along with a couple of exciting Musical Masterworks debuts—to perform masterworks spanning from the early 18th Century to the present day. Our opening concert weekend in October will feature the debut of harpsichordist Paolo Bordignon, alongside violinists Jesse Mills and Tessa Lark in a program of Baroque delights that served as the inspiration for Stravinsky’s ballet, Pulcinella; in December, we will welcome back pianist Andrew Armstrong, violinist Amy Schwartz Moretti and violist Nicholas Cords for a program of glorious piano quintets; in February, celebrated guitarist Colin Davin will return to perform Bach, Schubert, and other gems; in March, we will celebrate the return of two Musical Masterworks veterans—flutist Tara Helen O’Connor and pianist Adam Neiman; and for a very special season finale on April 30 and May 1, I will be joined by pianist Jeewon Park, double bassist Michael Thurber, and violinist Tessa Lark.
And now for a bit of news. With mixed emotions and great love for this organization, I have decided after 15 fulfilling years of artistic leadership at Musical Masterworks to step down as Artistic Director after this concert season. It is my belief that every great arts organization must allow for renewal and fresh creative ideas in order to remain vibrant. To that end, I am thrilled to announce that my dear colleague and longtime beloved Musical Masterworks veteran, violinist Tessa Lark will take the reins as Artistic Director beginning in the 2022–23 concert season. Since Tessa’s triumphant Musical Masterworks debut nearly a decade ago, she has formed a bond with our audience unlike any other artist I have seen. She has delighted us not only with her exquisite violin playing, but also with her warmth and charm, and she has amazed us with her extraordinary range of musical interests and talents.
Tessa shares my values and reverence for the golden age of musical composition and all that we hold dear at Musical Masterworks, while also bringing fresh and wonderful ideas—including her own musical creations—to the table. This season, Tessa will assume the title of Artistic Director Designate, and she will be joining me onstage for four out of the five concert weekends.
As I celebrate my final year as Artistic Director, I will remind you frequently from the stage that I intend never to be a stranger. I will look forward to many happy returns to Musical Masterworks as a cellist and as a smiling audience member. And I will treasure every moment of this coming concert season filled with glorious music, extraordinary musicians, and the pure joy of sharing it with you all in the place that I will always call my musical home.