Telluride Chamber Music: New Concert Series + Sutherland Tribute!

Telluride Chamber Music: New Concert Series + Sutherland Tribute!

Professional flutist (and ski instructor) Claire Beard has assumed the position of managing director of the Telluride Chamber Music Festival. The following provides information about the inaugural events Beard has planned, including a collaboration with Telluride Arts and the Transfer Warehouse. 

For further information go here or email Beard at

Note: Details about the first formal Telluride Chamber Music program under Beard to be announced soon. Those concerts will take place in early December.

For more on Chamber Music past, go here.

Telluride Chamber Music and Telluride Arts have teamed up to bring a new concert series to town: “Chamber Music Happy Hours.” The series will feature local classical musicians and run weekly through September.

The early fall concerts will provide a great opportunity for Telluride’s talented locals to perform and for the audience to experience classical music in a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere.

With no admission fee and without the usual concert formalities, this series hopes to break down some of the traditional barriers of classical music, making it suitable for all ages and levels of chamber music knowledge.

Audience members can expect lively programs with a mix of well-known music and some longer works.

Come to relax, enjoy a glass of wine – and exceptional local talent.

Doors open at 5pm; music from 5.30pm – 7pm.

Admission is FREE to all.

Telluride Chamber Music/Telluride Arts series program:

Wednesday, September 1, Lyrica Smolenski, viola

Wednesday, September 8, Claire Beard and Travis Fischer, flute and piano

Tuesday, September 14, Anneke Dean and Travis Fisher, violin and piano

Tuesday, September 21, Annie Foxen and Colby Morrison, violin and piano

Wednesday, September 29, Donavan Dailey, classical guitar

Artist Bios:

Lyrica Smolenski – viola

A Kalamazoo native, violist Lyrica Smolenski is at home in orchestra playing. At age 20, Lyrica joined the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra. She has been a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center, the Music Academy of the West, and the National Orchestral Institute.

Lyrica earned her bachelor’s degree at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University where she studied under Ed Gazouleas.

Claire Beard – Flute (and new Chamber Music managing director)

Claire graduated an award-winner from the Royal Academy of Music in 2008 where she studied with Michael Cox, Clare Southworth and piccolo with Patricia Morris.

Orchestral work has taken Claire as far as China and India and included her playing with world-class ensembles such as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London Contemporary Orchestra and London Mozart Symphony Orchestra.

Claire has also performed in shows such as “Phantom of the Opera,” “The Lion King” and “Wicked!”

As a passionate educator Claire has run many workshops including with English National Ballet, the Symphony Orchestra of India, YMAT program in London’s underprivileged schools. She also worked as the flute tutor for the Kenya National Youth Orchestra.

Claire has always enjoyed the variety of a freelance career, which has taken her everywhere from playing in the BBC proms to Beethoven with Sir Colin Davis, jazz with Ronnie Scotts, backing pop stars, playing for prime ministers and royalty, even coaching musicians for a BBC TV series with Top Gear’s James Mae.

Claire Beard now lives in Telluride where she combines her love of mountains and skiing with her passion for music. Recently she became the Managing Director of Telluride Chamber Music and is very excited about her new opportunity.

Travis Fischer – piano

Travis was raised in the California desert and studied classical and jazz piano in Los Angeles. He has played for dozens of theatrical productions in LA and Seattle and recorded nine albums of original music.

Travis moved to Telluride in 2018 where he is now teaching, performing and recording music.

Anneke Dean – violin

Anneke grew up in Denver, Colorado and started playing the violin at the age of eight. From 6th-12th grade, she studied at Denver School of the Arts under the tutelage of the Moscow String Quartet’s first violinist, Eugenia Alikhanova.

Anneke holds a bachelor’s degree in violin performance from the Chicago College of Performing Arts where she studied with Almita Vamos, MingHuan Xu, and Frank Almond.

Anneke was exclusively playing classical music for most of her career but while in Chicago, the musician started exploring other genres including jazz and mariachi. She then continued to broaden her genres, taking any available opportunity to play with other musicians.

Since moving to the Telluride area in 2018, Anneke has worked with numerous local musicians exploring country, bluegrass, jazz, blues, improvisation, classical, and more.

Anneke joined the local band, “Birds of Play,” during the summer of 2020 and tours part-time with the group. When she is not on the road, Anneke plays weddings with Donavan Dailey, and sits in on shows with other local musicians.

Annie Foxen – violin

Annie Foxen has been playing the violin for 18 years. A graduate of Carleton College, she continued to develop her musicianship while also earning a degree in studio art.

Annie was concert mistress of the Carleton College Symphony Orchestra and participated in classical chamber, bluegrass, Chinese, and world music ensembles on campus. Later, she performed as an active member of the South Shore Symphony Orchestra and DC Strings.

Notably, Annie played with the The Long Island Vegetable Orchestra, where her primary instruments were the butternut squash and the cucumber. Although the group started out as a way to get kids excited about music, they made an appearance on the Rachel Ray Show and were featured at the Green Space for WQXR’s Classical Beer Jam.

In Telluride, Annie teaches private lessons and performs with the Telluride Camerata.

Colby Morrison – piano

Colby Morrison has been playing the piano for over 10 years, studying throughout his youth and in college.

Colby also has a wealth of experience in theater, on stage and in the orchestra pit, and as a musical director. For several years, he has also enjoyed singing choral music.

Colby moved to Telluride several months ago and is excited to be performing with the Telluride Chamber Music Association.

Donavan Dailey – guitar


Guitarist Donavan Dailey is an innovative classical/jazz guitarist, composer, arranger and teacher. He has carved out an interesting niche as a nylon string guitarist.

Donavan holds a degree in Classical Guitar Performance from Middle Tennessee State University where he studied under Dr. William Yelverton and Roger Hudson and performed in master classes with  Anna Vidivich, William Kanengaiser and Jason Viuex.

Donavan’s studies in composition have brought forth many original pieces for solo guitar inspired by travel, culture, and world music.

Over recent years, he has pursued his passion for teaching by starting the Telluride Music School.

Donavan can be found teaching and performing regularly in the Telluride, Colorado region.

Honoring Robin Sutherland… Memorial Concert to be held for Telluride Chamber Music Festival co-founder:

Robin Sutherland, Roy Malan and featured performers from the good old days of the original Telluride Chamber Music Festival.

The Telluride Chamber Music Association  (TCMA) will be holding a memorial concert on September 12 in memory of Robin Sutherland, co-founder of Telluride Chamber Music Festival and an exceptional pianist.

Sutherland passed away on December 18, 2020 at his home in San Francisco.

The Memorial Concert will be held at Christ Church on September 12, 4pm. Roy Malan, a dear friend of Robin’s and co-founder of TCMA, will be performing Bach solos. That concert will be followed by a selection of the “Goldberg Variations” from Sutherland’s pinnacle recording.

A reception follows the concert. The event will be free and open to all.

Robin Sutherland, more:

Robin Sutherland was born in Greeley Colorado in 1951. He received his music education at New York’s Juilliard and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

In 1972, while still an undergraduate, Sutherland was appointed principal pianist of the San Francisco Symphony, a position he held for 46 years until his retirement in 2018. Sutherland often joked that it was the only real job he had ever had.

Composers dedicated works to Sutherland, who was the recipient of numerous awards throughout his long, impressive career. A lover and master of J.S. Bach, his recording of “The Goldberg Variations” is a true legacy.

Sutherland started the Telluride Chamber Music Festival with violinist Roy Malan in 1973.

The story goes that Malan had been offered $200 and a place to stay and, on impulse, invited Sutherland to join him. In the early days the two musicians were known to don sandwich boards and hand out tickets at “The Buck” to promote their nascent festival. Together Malan and Sutherland performed countless exceptional concerts over the next 47 years.

Along with his sensational musicianship, Sutherland was known for his sense of humor and unique collection of Hawaiian shirts in which he would frequently perform. 

Robin Sutherland was undoubtedly one of the reasons that the Telluride Chamber Music Festival lasted as long as it did, which is why the board felt a concert in his honor was a must. 


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