Now Hiring! Violist and Co-Artistic Director


Garth Newel Music Center (GNMC) seeks to hire a violist to be part of the resident ensemble—the Garth Newel Piano Quartet (GNPQ)—whose members serve as Artistic Directors of the organization […]

Infamous orchestral works at Garth Newel?


As some of you might have seen, I’ll be playing a duet concert this Saturday at Garth Newel, Feb.22, with Jeremy Thompson. And as some of you who have seen […]

Congratulations to 2020 Garth Newel International Composition Competition Winner, Jordan Kuspa!


From all around the world works were submitted to Garth Newel Piano Quartet’s 9th International Composition Competition by composers who wanted to share their new piano quartets. The selected composer […]

Inside the Music: Lera Auerbach


In 2016, I wrote an excited post about Lera Auerbach for this blog, in which I gave a very subjective listing of some facts of her life that I had […]

Inside the Music: Stylefinder edition


by Jeannette Fang Categories are quick, but they are not always accurate, and more often than not they can be misleading. Just take a look at iTunes, where the “Classical” […]

Inside the Music: Getting to know Harold Meltzer’s Piano Quartet


by Jeannette Fang I was first introduced to the music of Harold Meltzer through his 2 Songs from Silas Marner, which stayed in my mind for its simple beauty, the […]

Caption Contest!


In looking over pictures from recent concerts, we came across some shots of the ridiculous variety. In trying to remember what made us do this or that bizarre thing onstage, […]

Recording Release


Our long awaited recording of Paul Moravec‘s Piano Quartet is finally out! We commissioned Paul Moravec to write us this work a few years back and have had a blast […]

On the upcoming pub concert: Colla, Coors, and Corn Chowder:


Every time I try to describe on this blog a piece of music we’re going to perform, two things happen. I test out a bunch of words that eventually morph […]

Announcing the winner of the 8th Annual Garth Newel Composition Competition


download press release for 2018 comp winner After receiving over 90 entries from all over the world, the members of the Garth Newel Piano Quartet are pleased to announce Balázs […]

Literally, so many wrong notes


Why are we so hung up on wrong notes? After this year’s 10-week summer season, while I did all the whoops and high fives of getting to the end without […]

When pianists play something not written for the piano


Despite the staggering wealth of repertoire written for the piano, there comes a time when someone asks you (esteemed keyboard player) to play something written for another instrument. There’s this […]

4 pianists walk into a bar…


Every summer at Garth Newel’s there’s a keyboard weekend. It a tradition that started before my hire, and it involves 3 pianists descending onto Garth Newel to join me and […]

Putting a face to what you hear


This summer is shaping up to be one full of visits from the composers of programmed pieces. This is significant because we live in a time where this doesn’t actually […]

Garth Newel featured on NPR podcast Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer


We’re so fortunate to have been featured in a series of episodes on Lowell-award winning podcast Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer. Listen to all 5 of the episodes in […]

Unapologetically Yours


by Jeannette Fang I’ve been noticing more and more musicians saying that they don’t enjoy the spotlight. I don’t know if this is becoming a trend or not, it’s just something […]

A Man with a Passion: the 6 degrees of William Cobbett


Walter Willson Cobbett may not have composed symphonies or even picked up an instrument as a child, but his influence in the world of chamber music is so far-reaching that […]

2017 Amateur Chamber Music Workshop Photos


Photos from the Amateur Chamber Music Showcase (3.26.17) Chet Swartz – violin, Doris Swartz – piano Beethoven Serenade for Flute, Violin and Viola: Debbie Stephenson – flute, Karan Wright – […]

On musical memories and Faure’s Piano Quartet no.2 op.45


The hardest thing to put into words is the feelings you’ve forgotten about that only surface when listening to music. Clouded with the dust of the everyday mechanics, your brain […]

On Mark Carlson’s Piano Quartet


Piano Quartet by Mark Carlson: Composer, Teacher, Performer and Music Lover When I was a sophomore at UCLA and struggling with, among many things, the anxiety that comes with trying […]

On Steven Stucky’s Piano Quartet


by Jeannette Fang It was on Valentine’s Day of last year that Steven Stucky passed away.  Brain cancer, they reported. “Steven Stucky, Composer Who Won a Pulitzer, Dies at 66” […]

On “Cruel ragtime” and Chopin nocturnes


Sometimes musical kinship between two vastly different composers isn’t readily apparent until you start practicing for a concert that you’ve programmed them on.  One wouldn’t naturally find similarities between the […]

On Dohnanyi’s Piano Quintet no.2 in E-flat


In our first rehearsal yesterday of Dohnanyi’s op.26 Piano Quintet, Juliette, who was unfamiliar with the work, remarked on how nostalgic it seemed. “Was it a late composition?” Meh, more […]

On Edgar Allan Poe’s influence on Music


Richmond homeboy Edgar Allan Poe will get the spotlight this coming Sunday with a couple of very cool works that you may not know about. More than a few composers […]

On the Artwork that inspired Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition (part 2)


Okay, so the thing I find super cool about the pictures that inspired Mussorgsky’s composition is that they were mostly related to other works of art. Viktor Hartmann was an […]

On Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition


Pictures at an Exhibition is probably Mussorgsky’s most popular work, though he never had the satisfaction of knowing that.  Plagued by severe depression, the composer basically drank himself to an early […]

On Schubert’s Piano Trio in E-flat, D929


Before I start waxing poetic on Schubert’s great E-flat piano trio, I wanted to give you a quote from Stanley Kubrick, who had used this piece in scenes of Barry […]

Summer 2016 Finale: “All’s well that ends well”


I always have a hard time starting these posts because there are about 5000 thoughts and feelings buzzing around my head after a concert, and nearly zero that can really […]

Summer update: 8/22 – 8/28


this was me this weekend: because …. piano piano piano! but also…. 50 billion notes! 4 pianos + over-the-top epic rep = broken strings and lots of scampering The pianos […]

Summer Update: 8/14 – 8/21


One of my favorite chamber music memories was during my first semester as a masters student, where I was assigned to play the Poulenc Sextet for wind quintet and piano. […]

Summer update: 8/8-8/14


When I moved to Bath County at the beginning of September 2015, I was there just in time to catch the blowout string extravaganza that was last summer’s finale.  Always […]

Summer Update: Aug 1-7


I’m terrible with goodbyes.  Because how do you encapsulate your appreciation for someone in a hurried moment?  It’s one of those instances where words fail me, but oh well, goodbyes […]

Summer Update – July 25-31


You know, I have never met a less complain-y group of 18-25 year olds than this one.  Not one whiner in the bunch.  It’s remarkable, really.  Maybe they’re being real […]

Summer Update: 7/18 – 7/24 Parker Qt Residency


Smush. I’m typing this at 1:26am in a darkened room, so bugs are flying on the sole light that is my computer screen.  And, being lazy, I’m smushing them against […]

Summer update – 7/11-7/17/16


  So the Emerging Artists have all arrived.  Which means our normally quiet grounds are full of life and laughter.  It’s been wonderful; instead of shutting off the lights at […]

On the start of our 2016 summer season


The summer shenanigans at Garth Newel are now in full swing.  Technically, we started July 4th weekend, with Rene Marie packing Herter Hall on Saturday, and with us resident musicians at […]

On Lera Auerbach


This week I annoyed the quartet by asking them if we could start programming next year’s pub concerts.  (Sorry guys!)  This is way ahead of when we usually do it, but […]



It’s too much.  One of the deadliest, most horrific mass shootings in US history occurred yesterday morning at Pulse Orlando.  A MASSACRE of innocents by a MONSTER whose evil is beyond all comprehension.  There […]

What kind of Garth Newel fan are you?


So, I don’t know if you know about this yet, but Garth Newel is not only on Facebook, but on Twitter, Youtube, Soundcloud, Instagram, and Google + (which…does anyone use Google +? […]

Mom’s Chopin


Like a typical teen, I tried to do the opposite of everything my mom did.  Chopin was her thing, so I went in the spikier direction of Bartok, Prokofiev, and […]

Garth Newel RVA


We are 2/3ds of the way through our Richmond tour, and wanted to update everyone with how its going so far.  But because Richmond is so ravishingly beautiful, it seemed […]

On what musicians are thinking about when they perform


The following thoughts occurred on March 9th, during our concert at VMI   Are we all ready to bow yet?  I’m having trouble standing without falling over – Jeannette You guys, wait for […]

On audiences here at Garth Newel


Last night was a revelation to me. Herter Hall was packed. PACKED.  Shawn was gleefully pulling out more and more chairs for people, his stentorian “Welcome!” on rapid repeat throughout […]

On working with composers


The thing that hooked me into new music was my addiction to solving puzzles.  Rapidly oscillating 9ths up and down the keyboard with too small a hand?  Regroup and quickly […]

String Envy


At college, I wound up mostly hanging out with string players.  There were a multitude of reasons why I was drawn to them; they shared and encouraged the same geeky […]