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San Juan Chamber MusicFest

San Juan Chamber MusicFest

The San Juan Chamber MusicFest, our flagship event, features a small group of musicians of international renown, under the artistic direction of pianist Max Levinson, producing a number of concerts and events throughout Ouray County.

MusicFest concerts showcase the full repertoire of chamber music classics by the great composers, as well as more contemporary and lesser-known pieces. Programs for our 2015 season include an informal Classical Café on Aug. 28 at the Ouray County 4-H Event Center, concerts in the schools, a traditional classical concert at the Wright Opera House on Aug. 30, master classes, and an intimate dinner salon concert in a private home on Sept. 1.

Levinson, as artistic director, is a constant presence at MusicFest with his sparkling piano virtuosity. The San Fransisco Chronicle has proclaimed him “one of the brightest, most intellectually fearless pianists of his generation.”

Each year, Levinson selects several guest musicians to perform with him at MusicFest. Last year’s guest musicians included violinist Nurit Pacht and classical guitarist Vami Ramos, and student musicians Julia Yang on cello and Emily Brandenburg on viola. Other featured guest musicians in recent years have included violinists Irina Muresanu and Catherine Leonard, violinist/violist Patrick Shaughnessy, cellists Allison Eldredge, Thomas Landschoot, Felix Fan and Brinton Smith, and clarinetist Caroll McGonnell.

Stay tuned for news about who will be coming in 2015!


Max Levinson – Artistic Director, Piano

Max Levinson

Max Levinson

Pianist Max Levinson is known as an intelligent and sensitive artist with a fearless technique. The Washington Post writes, “You can hear gasps in the audience – Max Levinson displays technical wizardry. His playing has solid, assured technique, clarity of vision and a sense of the permanent values in music that underlie surface variations.” He has performed as soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, St. Louis Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Utah Symphony, Oregon Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Colorado Symphony, New World Symphony, Boston Pops, San Antonio Symphony, Louisville Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, and in recital at New York’s Lincoln Center, Washington DC’s Kennedy Center, London’s Wigmore Hall, Zürich’s Tonhalle, the Musee d’Orsay in Paris, Jordan Hall in Boston, and throughout the US, Canada, and Europe.

Levinson’s international career was launched when he won First Prize at the 1997 Dublin International Piano Competition, the first American to achieve this distinction. He then received overwhelming critical acclaim for his two solo recordings on N2K Encoded Music, and was awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant in March 1999. Most recently he was awarded the 2005 Andrew Wolf Award, given biannually to a pianist for achievement as a chamber musician.

Max Levinson is a graduate of Harvard and the New England Conservatory, receiving an Artist Diploma and the Gunther Schuller Medal. His teachers include Patricia Zander, Aube Tzerko and Bruce Sutherland. An active chamber musician, Levinson has collaborated with such artists as Pinchas Zukerman, the Tokyo , Vermeer, Mendelssohn, and Borromeo Quartets, and regularly appears at major music festivals including Santa Fe , Marlboro, Tanglewood, La Jolla, Killington, and Switzerland ‘s Davos Festival.

He is currently on the faculty at Boston Conservatory and Brown University and is a Steinway Artist. He lives in Boston with his wife, cellist Allison Eldredge, and their daughters Natalie and Jessica.

»» Visit Max Levinson’s site