View From the Plaza

The Month of Love in Santa Fe

ArtFeast should help whet your appetite for the ultimate foodie extravaganza: Santa Fe Restaurant Week, which has a growing list of restaurants (including La Plazuela) that will offer fine dining at a fixed-price. And to satisfy your sweet tooth, join chocolate historian Mark Sciscenti for a lecture and tasting in conjunction with the Museum of International Folk Art’s exhibit, New World Cuisine.

Enjoy Valentine’s Day a week early at the Sweetheart Auction from the Cancer Foundation for New Mexico, featuring a French dinner buffet, cash bar, silent and live auctions of glamorous events and artwork, plus a Dream Vacation raffle, all for a great cause.

The O’Keeffe Museum opens a touring exhibit of photos by Annie Leibowitz that presents a different side of one of America’s best-known photographers. Pilgrimage consists of work Leibowitz made for herself, rather than for commercial clients. She will give a talk about the exhibit, and her work will be the subject of a Breakfast with O’Keeffe lecture.

At SITE Santa Fe, California art is the theme for three new exhibitions, while eight contemporary Southwest artists are featured in the biennial juried show Art on the Edge at the New Mexico Museum of Art.

Innovative classical concerts this month include international sensation Gabriela Montero, who delights with improvisation. Hilary Hahn, named “America’s Best Young Classical Musician” by Time magazine in 2001, is the winner of two Grammies. And the versatile Brentano String Quartet performs Haydn, Bartok, and Brahms. The Santa Fe Symphony presents “Birds and Brahms,” featuring David Felberg on violin.

Enjoy classical music for free at Santa Fe’s unique St. John’s College, where pianist Chip Miller performs an evening of solo piano, including Bach and Beethoven. The Atrium String Quartet from Russia performs Beethoven, Debussy, and Shostakovich. And the school’s musician-in-residence Peter Pesic continues his series of free piano explorations, on Chopin and Schoenberg.

Opera fans get an innovative take on the classics via Met Opera: Live in HD this month at the Lensic Performing Arts Center. Catch director Michael Mayer’s version of Verdi’s Rigoletto, set in 1960s Las Vegas, and Francois Girard’s reinterpretation of Wagner’s Parsifal.

Also at the Lensic Performing Arts Center, hot contemporary-music tickets include Habib Koite and Eric Bibb, a guitar player from Mali and an African-American bluesman, performing as “Brothers in Bamako.” Singer-songwriter Martin Sexton performs his unique blend of soul, gospel, country, rock, blues, and R&B. And the legendary Wynton Marsalis comes to town with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.

The Lannan Foundation’s speaker series presents climatologist James Hansen discussing Tar Sands oil, followed by a conversation with Subhankar Banerjee, a scientist and advocate for indigenous rights. Lannan also hosts actor David Mills performing an odyssey of poems and stories by Harlem Renaissance writer Langston Hughes.

For more variety, political comedian Bill Maher, host of HBO’s Real Time, performs at the Santa Fe Convention Center. Historian Don Bullis speaks on “New Mexico on the Eve of American Occupation” at the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art. Cistercian monk and Catholic priest James Lehrberger speaks on “Nietzsche and Aquinas” in a free lecture at St John’s College. Historical re-enactor VanAnn Moore performs “Westward Ho! The Lives and Diaries of the Women Going West” as part of the New Mexico History Museum’s Brainpower & Brownbags Lecture Series. And the Santa Fe Botanical Garden presents a tribute to John Bartram, America’s first botanist, in its ongoing series of winter garden talks at the Museum of International Folk Art.

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