Violinist Benjamin Bowman and cellist Joel Noyes, among the most distinguished of the 27 musicians in this year’s Northern Lights Festival de Febrero, are set to arrive from New York in mid-February and be billeted in Ajijic homes for the duration of the series, which runs February 20 to March 5.
Joel plays assistant principal cello at the Metropolitan Opera Company Orchestra — the Met — probably one of top cello jobs in the world,” explained the festival’s Artistic Director Christopher Wilshere. “And Ben was recently appointed as concertmaster with the American Ballet Theatre Orchestra in New York. These are fantastic musicians — top of the line.”
Bowman and Noyes are set for two duet performances, one on Guadalajara’s far north edge and the other, of more interest to Ajijic audiences, on Tuesday, March 1, 4 p.m. at the Moon Estate. The duet program consists of pieces by Bohuslav Martinů, a Czech violinist and prolific composer of modern classical music, and Zoltán Kodály, an influential Hungarian composer and musical pedagogue (whose teaching method was referenced in the film “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”).
The program lasts just 50 minutes — “No time to get bored,” joked Wilshere — and will be accompanied by hors d’oeuvres, fruit, cheese and a glass of wine.
Bowman and Noyes will also play in the festival orchestra and take part in master classes and coaching awarded to five Mexican music students on full scholarships and to students from Ajijic’s CREM school, among others.
Wilshere happily noted that, although the two musicians are old friends and live in New York, this year’s Northern Lights Festival de Febrero will mark the first time they have played together.
Bowman and Noyes program “Dialogues” is presented Tuesday, March 1, 4 p.m., Moon Estate, Rio Zula 4, Ajijic. For the complete schedule of Northern Lights Festival de Febrero events, see www.festivaldefebrero.com.