In the early 1960’s in the mountain community of Taos, New Mexico a group of musicians gathered to play chamber music, a passion of theirs.
These musical meetings brought them together to collaborate, play and share their love of classical music. It is from this unassuming beginning that a summer chamber music festival was established.
Chilton Anderson, one of the founders and executive director, never imagined the school would be one of the leading chamber music institutions in the country. He certainly never anticipated the organization would flourish for over half a century. His passion was the school and assisting young musicians who were embarking on their musical careers. He wanted a place where students could immerse themselves solely in chamber music. This was his labor of love. As he said in a Today Show segment, “I can get very emotional about the way the kids play sometimes and the youthful vitality that goes with it. It’s gratifying to know you were successful in a small way.”
In 2007 Kathleen Anderson took over for her father as Executive Director, continuing the mission he believed in so strongly. Spending time with the students and getting to know them on a personal level was one of the highlights of her year. In 2018 Kathleen passed the directorship of the school over to Elizabeth Baker, a Taos alum, who writes: It is an honor to continue the mission established by Chilton back in 1963. The lives of the young artists who come to the school every year are transformed, creating memories they will cherish for years to come. The warmth and camaraderie that develops among these accomplished young artists, during their time in the charming Hotel St. Bernard, owned by Taos Ski Valley Legend Jean Mayer, in the idyllic setting of Taos Ski Valley, is unmistakable.
I welcome you to savor this special musical experience with us.
In 1989, producers with NBC’s Today Show came to Taos to create a program about the founder, Chilton Anderson, and Taos School of Music. They spent countless hours filming and interviewing culminating in this six-minute segment which highlights the essence of the school and its founder. Nearly 30 years later the heart, focus and mission of the festival remains the same.
“Music is the social act of communication among people, a gesture of friendship, the strongest there is.”