August 16 ‐ September 1, 2019
Token Creek 30th Anniversary
For our Thirtieth Anniversary season we wanted to look back, to recall some of our favorite weeks of the Festival, especially with performers who have been with us often, for the best of reasons—they represent the qualities we find most essential to musical performance. But we also wished to ask again the basic question, why did we want to do this festival, in the first place, at the beginning.
Our own experiences have helped in asking this question, since the impulse to make a very small, never expanding, insistently intimate event came from our work with very large and prestigious summer festivals in 1990 and 1991. This past summer we have re-experienced such grandly scaled institutions, again with respect, even awe for what they achieve, but with reinforced conviction that another path is still open.
There is a place always for the endless quest for greater projection, more choreographic embodiment of musical gesture, glossier publicity photos, and powerful appeals for name recognition and notoriety. Some of what is produced in such an environment has a presence and muscle unmatchable in a small country barn. We have always remained devoted to what we take to be the scale and address of much chamber music, which speaks as often in a whisper as in a shout.
Our larger musical institutions have been habitually frustrated by trying to live in the business model of growth, when the core audience seems determined to remain roughly stable, relative to the size of our population. We have remained devoted to the intensity of the experience, which explains why the music never goes away, rather than to claims of numbers, which begs the music itself to change its very nature.
Our conviction is that today’s composers, like Schubert and Mozart, are still striving to embody daily experience, make connection to the natural world, and ask philosophically and spiritually unanswerable questions, surrounded and interrupting silence, asking only for our most precious commodity, Time.
We continue to look for valuable ways to offer this transaction to our listeners, and are grateful for their interest over so many years.
John and Rose Mary Harbison