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Love Notes musician photo collage

Salon Series

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Love Notes

Sunday, February 14 | 5:00 PM

Online | YouTube Premiere + Zoom

Click here for the official 

Love Notes Recipe Book!

Love is boundless, and takes many forms... just like this Valentine’s Day concert experience. Enjoy beautiful music from the Baroque era to the present moment, by composers of all ages and diverse cultures, recorded and performed exclusively for the Portland Chamber Music Festival. Learn how to mix up your very own Love Potion, dig into culinary pairings with cooking demonstrations by the artists, then join with musicians and fellow music-lovers for a live Zoom reception following the performance.

Add a little extra sweet and heat to your evening with Love Potion No. 9 from our friends at Vena's Fizz House. It's the perfect recipe to get you in the mood for a fabulous Valentine's Day filled with culinary inspirations and chamber music, and 10% of sales from this limited-edition kit* will be donated to PCMF!

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4:45 PM  |  Love Potion No. 9 mixology class on Zoom 

Have a jigger, shot glass or measuring spoons on hand...and ice! You'll learn about bitters and how they enhance and add complexity to the drink. For those who prefer to enjoy it as a cocktail, vodka or tequila can be added. Join here at 4:45 PM.


5:00 PM  |  concert & culinary inspirations on YouTube


"Love Notes" will premiere promptly at 5 PM on PCMF's YouTube channel. Subscribe to receive advance notice when new videos are posted!


6:15 PM  |  reception & cocktails with the artists on Zoom

Zoom link will be sent to ticket-holders in advance.

Antonio Vivaldi Sonata in A Minor for Cello and Harpsichord, RV 43 (1720-1730)

         James Wilson, cello; Carsten Schmidt, harpsichord

                   Staunton, VA
                   Culinary pairing: pasta aglio e olio and grilled radicchio

John Corigliano The Red Violin Caprices for Violin (1999)

         Tai Murray, violin

                   Berlin, Germany
                   Culinary pairing: vanilla ice cream with truffle oil, salt, strawberry jam, mint leaf

Quinn Mason In Memory for Solo Viola (2020)

         Melissa Reardon, viola

Iman Habibi Relics for Viola and Cello (2019)
         V. Of the Northern Breeze

         Melissa Reardon, viola; Raman Ramakrishnan, cello
                   Rhinebeck, NY
                   Culinary pairing: Filipino lumpia

Jean Ahn Blush for Solo Oboe (2008/2019)

         James Austin Smith, oboe
                   London, UK
                   Culinary pairing: sun blushed tomatoes

Ludwig van Beethoven "Kreutzer" Sonata for Violin and Piano (1803)
         I. Adagio sostenuto

         Jesse Mills, violin; Rieko Aizawa, piano
                   Manhattan, NY
                   Culinary pairing: chicken liver mousse


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Antonio Vivaldi

Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) was an Italian composer, violinist, teacher, impresario, and Roman Catholic priest. Born in Venice, he is regarded as one of the greatest Baroque composers, and his influence during his lifetime was widespread across Europe. The Sonata in A Minor is from a set of six cello sonatas he wrote between 1720 and 1730, when cello was still a new voice in the solo instrumental world.

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John Paul Corigliano (b. February 16, 1938) is an American composer of more than one hundred works of classical music. He has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize, five Grammy Awards, Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition, and an Oscar for his score for the 1999 film, The Red Violin. “These Caprices … take a spacious, troubadour-inspired theme and vary it both linearly and stylistically. These variations intentionally evoke Baroque, Gypsy, and arch-Romantic idioms as they examine the same materials (a dark, seven-chord chaconne as well as that principal theme) from differing aural viewpoints.”

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Quinn Mason (b. 1996) is a composer and conductor based in Dallas, TX. “[In Memory] wasn't written about a specific time or person. It is meant to be a contemplation of memories past, which could be anything the listener/player desires - the viola acts as the voice that recalls these memories and reflects on them with tranquil, yet occasionally tumultuous introspection. Thus, this composition can speak to and work in any occasion.”

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Iman Habibi (b. 1985) is an Iranian-Canadian composer and pianist. He has received commissions from The Philadelphia Orchestra and Orchestra of St. Luke's, twice attained the First Prize at the SOCAN Awards, as well as International POLYPHONOS award, and The Vancouver Mayor’s Arts Award. Relics was composed for Melissa Reardon and Raman Ramakrishnan. “’Of the Northern Breeze’ captures something of the beautiful walks I used to take with my family during sunsets by the Caspian Sea in Northern Iran.”

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A native of Korea, composer Jean Ahn (b. 1976) has written works ranging from solo instruments and chamber music to full orchestra, as well as choral, dance, and electroacoustic music.

"When daisies blush, and windflowers wet with dew…”

                      ~ Ebenezer Elliott (1781-1849)


“This piece is based on this image of flowers, shy to express fully with words but cannot help blush. The overall tempo and mood may be freely interpreted by the performer. The grace notes and glissandi evoke Korean traditional music."

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Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) remains one of the most admired composers in the history of Western music; his works rank amongst the most performed of the classical music repertoire. The Violin Sonata No. 9, Op. 47 in A major is notable for its technical difficulty, unusual length (around 40 minutes), and emotional scope. It is commonly known as the “Kreutzer” Sonata after the violinist Rodolphe Kreutzer, to whom it was ultimately dedicated, but who thoroughly disliked the piece and refused to play it.

Meet the Artists

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Tai Murray


Described as “superb” by The New York Times, violinist Tai Murray has established herself a musical voice of a generation.“ Winner of an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2004, Tai Murray was named a BBC New Generation Artist (2008-2010). As a chamber musician, she was a member of Lincoln Center’s Chamber Music Society II (2004-2006). She has performed as guest soloist on the main stages world-wide, performing with leading ensembles such as the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Symphony Orchestra, and all of the BBC Symphony Orchestras. She is also a dedicated advocate of contemporary works, and performed the world premiere of Malcolm Hayes’ violin concerto at the BBC PROMS in the Royal Albert Hall. Tai Murray’s critically acclaimed debut recording for harmonia mundi of Ysaye’s six sonatas for solo violin was released in February 2012. Her second recording with works by American composers of the 20th century was released by the Berlin-based label eaSonus, and her third disc with the Bernstein Serenade on the French label mirare.

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James Austin Smith


Praised for his “virtuosic,” “dazzling" and “brilliant” performances (The New York Times) and his “bold, keen sound” (The New Yorker), oboist James Austin Smith performs new and old music across the United States and around the world.  Mr. Smith is an artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) and Decoda, co-principal oboist of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and Artistic and Executive Director of Tertulia, a chamber music series that takes place in restaurants in New York and San Francisco (and is one of PCMF's favorite collaborators!). He is a member of the oboe and chamber music faculties of Stony Brook University and the Manhattan School of Music. Mr. Smith’s festival appearances include Marlboro, Lucerne, Music@Menlo, Spoleto USA, Bowdoin, Bay Chamber Concerts, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Orlando; he has performed with the St. Lawrence, Parker, Rolston and Orion string quartets and recorded for the Nonesuch, Bridge, Mode and Kairos labels.


Melissa Reardon


Grammy-nominated violist Melissa Reardon is an internationally renowned performer whose solo and chamber playing spans all musical genres. Melissa is the Artistic Director of the Portland Chamber Music Festival, Artist in Residence at Bard College and Conservatory and a founding member and the Executive Director of the East Coast Chamber Orchestra (ECCO). As a member of the Ensō String Quartet from 2006 until its final season in 2018, Melissa toured both nationally and internationally, with highlight performances in Sydney, Melbourne, Rio de Janeiro, New York’s Carnegie Hall, and Washington, DC’s Kennedy Center to name a few. Lauded by Classical Voice for her “elegant” and “virtuosic” performances, Melissa won first prize at the Washington International Competition, and is the only violist to win top prizes in consecutive HAMS International viola competitions. Melissa has appeared in numerous festivals across the United States and around the world, and has toured with Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble, and with Musicians from Marlboro. Melissa is married to the cellist Raman Ramakrishnan and they live in NYC with their seven-year-old son Linus.

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Raman Ramakrishnan


As a member of the Horszowski Trio for nine years, cellist Raman Ramakrishnan performed across North America, Europe, India, Japan, and in Hong Kong, and recorded for Bridge Records and Avie Records. For eleven seasons, as a founding member of the Daedalus Quartet, he performed around the world. Mr. Ramakrishnan is currently an artist member of the Boston Chamber Music Society. Mr. Ramakrishnan has given solo recitals in New York, Boston, Seattle, and Washington, D.C., and has performed chamber music at Caramoor, at Bargemusic, with the Chicago Chamber Musicians, and at the Aspen, Bard, Charlottesville, Four Seasons, Kingston, Lincolnshire (UK), Marlboro, Mehli Mehta (India), Oklahoma Mozart, and Vail Music Festivals. He has toured with Musicians from Marlboro and has performed, as guest principal cellist, with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. As a guest member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble, he has performed in New Delhi and Agra, India and in Cairo, Egypt. He has served on the faculties of the Taconic and Norfolk Chamber Music Festivals, as well as at Columbia University.

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Carsten Schmidt


Carsten Schmidt made his professional debut with the Essen Philharmonic in Germany in 1984, and has performed extensively throughout Europe, North America, and Japan. Active both as a pianist and harpsichordist, his repertoire ranges from the early seventeenth century to contemporary works, of which he has premiered more than one hundred. He has appeared at such venues as the German Mozart Festival, Ravinia Festival in Chicago, Schubert Festival in Amsterdam, Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, Merkin and Weill Recital Halls in NYC, the Moscow Conservatory, and the Kuhmo Festival in Finland. Since 2003 he has also been increasingly active as a conductor, leading productions of operas by Handel and Purcell, and orchestral repertoire ranging from Marais to Mahler. Carsten Schmidt joined the faculty at Sarah Lawrence College in 1998, and is Artistic Director of the Staunton Music Festival in Virginia.

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James Wilson


For more than thirty years, cellist James Wilson has enjoyed an exciting and varied career as a performer and educator, bringing the joy of music to audiences around the world. Acclaimed for his singing tone, the Los Angeles Times described Wilson as a musician “with something to say and a commanding way of saying it.”As a recitalist and chamber musician, he has appeared in many of the world’s most illustrious performing spaces, including America’s Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, the Sydney Opera House, and the Musikverein in Vienna. Mr. Wilson is a Member of the acclaimed Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and regularly serves as guest principal cellist of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. He is a former member of the Shanghai and Chester Quartets, and the DaCapo Chamber Players. In 2004, he founded the Chamber Music Society of Central Virginia and remains the group's Artistic Director. He currently teaches cello and chamber music at Columbia University in New York, and at Sarah Lawrence College.

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Jesse Mills


Two-time Grammy nominated violinist Jesse Mills enjoys performing music of many genres, from classical to contemporary, as well as composed and improvised music of his own invention. He has been a soloist with the Phoenix Symphony, the Colorado Symphony, the New Jersey Symphony, Juilliard Chamber Orchestra, the Denver Philharmonic, and the Aspen Music Festival's Sinfonia Orchestra. As a chamber musician, Jesse Mills has performed throughout the U.S. and Canada, including concerts at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall, the 92nd Street Y, the Metropolitan Museum, the Kennedy Center, Boston's Gardener Museum, Chicago’s Ravinia Festival, and the Marlboro Music Festival. Mills is co-founder of Horszowski Trio and Duo Prism, a violin-piano duo with Rieko Aizawa, which earned 1st Prize at the Zinetti International Competition in Italy in 2006. With Ms. Aizawa, Mills became co-artistic director of the Alpenglow Chamber Music Festival in Colorado in 2010. Mills is also known as a pioneer of contemporary works, and earned Grammy nominations for his performances of Arnold Schoenberg's music, released by NAXOS in 2005 and 2010. Mr. Mills lives in New York City, and he is on the faculty at Longy School of Music of Bard College and at Brooklyn College.

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Rieko Aizawa


Praised by the NY Times for an “impressive musicality, a crisp touch and expressive phrasing”, Japanese pianist Rieko Aizawa has performed throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe, including New York City’s Lincoln Center, Boston's Symphony Hall, Chicago’s Orchestra Hall, Vienna’s Konzerthaus, and Wigmore Hall in London. At the age of thirteen, Ms. Aizawa was brought to the attention of conductor Alexander Schneider on the recommendation of the pianist Mitsuko Uchida. Schneider engaged Ms. Aizawa as soloist with his Brandenburg Ensemble at the opening concerts of Tokyo's Casals Hall, and later that year, presented her in her United States début concerts at the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall with his New York String Orchestra. Ms. Aizawa is also an active chamber musician. The youngest-ever participant at the Marlboro Music Festival, she has performed as a guest with string quartets such as the Guarneri Quartet and the Orion Quartet. She is a founding member of the Horszowski Trio and of the prize-winning Duo Prism. Ms. Aizawa became artistic director of the Alpenglow Chamber Music Festival in Colorado in 2010. Ms. Aizawa lives in New York City, and is on the faculty at Longy School of Music of Bard and at Brooklyn College. Ms. Aizawa is a Steinway Artist.

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