Telluride Chamber Music Fest Turns 40: Overview

Telluride Chamber Music Fest Turns 40: Overview

chamber_poster2013 copyThey came. They performed. They conquered.

We are talking about Roy Malan and Robin Sutherland of the Telluride Chamber Music Festival, the nonprofit the duo founded in 1974, the same year Telluride Bluegrass and Film Fests came into being. And that was just after Joe Zoline opened the mountain to skiing (in 1972). Telluride officially had it all: snow and cultcha.

This year, the 40th annual Telluride Chamber Music Festival takes place Thursday, August 8 – Sunday, August 18, at the historic Sheridan Opera House, offering innovative programs performed by first-rate talent in a nonpareil intimate setting.

The Telluride Chamber Music Festival kicks off its 2013 Season with the free “Concert in the Park,” Thursday, August 8. Bring a picnic dinner and enjoy the music which starts at 6:00 p.m.

Friday, August 9, features the music Grieg, Mozart and Dvorak. At the Sunday matinee, August 11, the spotlight is on Brahms, Faure, and Dvorak. Friday, August 16, Brahms is back on the program, as is Schumann. Sunday, August 18, the Festival closes with the world premiere of a piece by Julian Waterfall Pollack, plus Arensky and Brahms once again.

All evening concerts start at 7:30 p.m. Sunday matinees start at 2:30 p.m.

Complete program as follows:

Friday, August 9, 2013 ~ 7:30  p.m.

Musicians:  Roy Malan, Robin Sutherland, Susan Freier, Nancy Ellis, Polly Malan, Stephen Harrison, Carlos Ortega, Barbara Martin

Concert sponsored by Elaine Fischer in honor of her mother, Shirley Cantor, and in memory of her husband, Mark Fischer.

Concerto in G major for Recorder, Two Violins and Basso continuo
Jacques-Christophe Naudot (1690 – 1762)

Sonata for Violin & Piano in c minor, Op. 45        Edvard Grieg (1843-1907)
Allegro molto et appassionato
Allegretto espressivo alla Romanza
Allegro animato

Quintet for Clarinet & Strings, K.V. 581        W.A. Mozart   (1756-1791)
Allegretto con variazioni


Quintet for Piano & Strings, Op. 81               Antonin Dvorak    (1841-1904)
Allegro ma non tanto
Dumka: Andante con moto
Scherzo: Furiant
Finale: Allegro

Sunday, August 11, 2013  ~ 2:30 p.m.

Musicians: Roy Malan, Robin Sutherland, Susan Freier, Nancy Ellis, Stephen Harrison, Carlos Ortega

Concert sponsored by Lael & David Fruen

Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, Op. 115        Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Presto non assai, ma con sentimento
Con moto

Quartet for Piano & Strings, Op. 15            Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924)
Allegro molto moderato
Scherzo: Allegro vivo
Allegro molto


Quartet for Piano & Strings, Op. 87              Antonin Dvorak (1841-1904)
Allegro con fuoco
Allegro moderato, grazioso
Allegro ma non troppo

Friday, August 16, 2013 ~ 7:30 p.m.

Musicians: Roy Malan, Susan Freier, Nancy Ellis, Polly Malan, Stephen Harrison, Miles Graber

Concert sponsored by Kristin & Luke Smith in Memory of Randy Brown

Quartet for Piano & Strings, Op. 60              Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Allegro non troppo
Scherzo: Allegro
Finale: Allegro comodo

Quintet for Strings, Op. 111                Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Allegro no troppo, ma con brio
Un poco Allegretto
Vivace, ma non troppo presto


Quintet for Piano & Strings, Op. 44            Robert Schumann (1810-1856)
Allegro brillante
In Modo d’una Marcia: Un poco largamente
Scherzo: Molto vivance
Allegro, ma non troppo

Sunday, August 18, 2013 ~ 2:30 p.m.

Musicians: Roy Malan, Susan Freier, Nancy Ellis, Stephen Harrison, Jonah Kim, Miles Graber

Concert sponsored by Laura & Jim Maslon

String Quartet (2013)                              Julian Waterfall Pollack (b. 1988)
Première performance
The Jig is Up

Quartet for Violin, Viola & Two Cellos, Op. 35                Anton Arensky (1861-1906)
Variations on a theme by Tchaikovsky
Finale: Andante sostenuto


Quintet for Piano & Strings, Op. 34                                Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Allegro non troppo
Andante, un poco Adagio
Scherzo: Allegro
Finale: Poco sostenuto

In order to preserve concentration, the musicians respectfully request there be no applause between movements.

What’s Chamber Music?

Chamber music has been popular for hundreds of years, first performed in the late 15th/early 16th century. The genre was originally intended for performance in small chambers or salons, as opposed to music written for larger audiences who attended church or theatre. Since the early 19th century, however, the genre has become part of the concert repertoire and is best parsed by Robin, still a frequent soloist with the San Franciso Symphony:

“Chamber means more than one and without a conductor.”

More on Telluride’s Chamber Fest history and Robin’s return:

In 1974, Roy talks about having played a fateful children’s concert featuring Beethoven’s Fourth in which Robin was featured. Briefly.

“He was clearly a brilliant pianist and he was from Colorado. After the concert, I leaned over and inquired about Telluride. Robin’s response was gung-ho in the extreme. I told him I had been given $200 for a chamber concert and that his share would be better than the $50 he had just received the the San Francisco Symphony (the money having been the reason he played only the aforementioned single movement.) Then the ladies who made it happen became involved: Barb Martin, Randy Brown, June Vass. By the 1980s, the Arts Council made them a separate committee and gave us a whopping $700 in seed money. Bill and Stella Pence, founders of the Film Festival, owned the Opera House and let us use the place for free as long as our performances were held early enough to allow time for them to run movies. By the mid-1980s we received our nonprofit status and were made honorary citizens of the town.”

Robin weighs in.

“In the early 1970s Telluride was just beginning to pulse, thanks to the chap from Beverly Hills named Joe Zoline, but half of Main Street was still boarded up. Lots of people were leaving town because the Idarado had closed for good. The Sheridan Opera House, now celebrating its 100th anniversary, was a camping ground for derelicts, with broken glass and upturned mattresses everywhere. We played there anyway and the crowd liked us. The first official year of our festival was 1974, when we shared the stage with Gloria Swanson, the Film Fest’s honored guest. I remember Gloria would peek from the side curtains and intone words like ‘You really should have been around when we said it all without a sound.’ She also wondered out loud who we were and what we were doing there.”

Fast forward 40 years and Robin and Roy, reunited once again after Robin took a time out, still look forward to bringing great performances to a great venue, the Opera House, which Robin lovingly describes this way: “As flawless an acoustical space as I know of in the country. It should be prized above a pearl. I am so glad to be back in Telluride playing and enjoying wonderful music as the composers intended, surrounded by friends and music lovers.We all feel we have come home.”

Robin Sutherland performs with Roy Malan and the other musicians over the first weekend only, on Friday, August 9, and Sunday, August 11.

Violin Parade Project:

Back by popular demand, the Telluride Chamber Music Festival has officially launched “The Violin on Parade Project” for  40th Festival. This year once again regional artists transformed 10 violins from wonderful instruments into wonderful and unique works of art. This very special fundraiser was designed to  support the Chamber Music Festival and participating artists.

Several of the violins will make their first public appearance the week of August 4th throughout venues in town. On Wednesday, August 7, the entire collection will be on display at the Telluride Gallery of Fine Art. The violins will make their final public appearance when they are silently auctioned off. Final bids will be accepted through Sunday, August 18, following the matinee, which ends at 4:30 p.m.


Tickets are available at, theTelluride Music Store, at the door prior to each concert or by calling the Chamber office at 728-8686.

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.