Malibu Coast Music Festival returns to in-person concerts • The Malibu Times
If Malibu had its own Hollywood Bowl, it would be the Montgomery Arts House for Music and Architecture (MAHMA), nestled in the foothills overlooking Zuma Beach. The artists in residence are delighted to perform in public again after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic. The venue is welcoming in-person guests for the upcoming Malibu Coast Music Festival 2022.
“We’re so thrilled to be back with friends in person,” said composer/violinist Maria Newman. “We welcome the most wonderful guest artists from all over the United States and some European artists.”
The festival opens on August 19 and runs on various dates until September 4. Later in the fall, MAHMA will begin its seasonal concert series.
Newman and his fellow musicians will perform a wide variety of music including classical, tango, jazz, South American and create some of his own new works.
The first week of the festival features time-honored classics by Beethoven, Brahms, Mendelssohn, Debussy and classics in the making.
“Wonderful gems from the standard classical repertoire we think our audience will be delighted to experience here live and in person with us,” Newman explained.
Music by Newman’s father, legendary composer Alfred Newman, will also be featured. “One of our must-haves,” said the composer-in-residence. Alfred was a nine-time Oscar-winning composer/conductor. Maria’s two uncles, her two brothers and her first cousin Randy Newman have scored hundreds of films among them. They are the most famous musical family in Hollywood history with a collective of 95 Motion Picture Academy, Emmy and Grammy nominations, including numerous trophies. Alfred Newman is also famous for writing the iconic 20th Century Fox fanfare that conjures up Hollywood movie premieres with spotlights illuminating the sky.
In the family tradition, Maria Newman composed more than 150 works. His daughters, vocal artists Martha and Isabella Thatcher, will join their family, including Newman’s husband, bandleader/violist Scott Hosfeld. Hosfeld is also president of the nonprofit Malibu Friends of Music, MAHMA’s presenting organization.
The bandleader and his family of musicians started a “Montgomery Arts House Presents…” YouTube channel to bring music to audiences around the world when the pandemic couldn’t bring them an audience. The family couldn’t be happier to perform in front of an audience again.
“You are able to share a breath and energy with them,” said Martha Thatcher. “Coming back to the in-person performances, we’re going to bring everything we’ve learned from our streaming series and add some extra spice to our performances.”
“Having an audience breathes new life into every track, so it feels brand new every time,” added Isabella Thatcher, who will also sing.
All concerts will take place outdoors in the garden of the magnificent hall with a limited number of tickets sold. “We want these concerts to be as special and as intimate as possible,” Newman said.
Festival concerts will not be filmed for the YouTube channel, however, as the festival unfolds, “we artists will gather in our indoor environment to record live some of the pieces on offer” as part of the festival. These performances will eventually be displayed “little by little” after the end of the festival.
Listening to live music under umbrellas and stars in the beautiful MAHMA in the Gardens venue is a treat.
“What’s exciting about our indoor/outdoor festival space is that it was purpose-built for classical music performance by our amazing architect Eric Lloyd Wright (grandson of the “Father of American Architecture “, Frank Lloyd Wright)”, explained Martha Thatcher. “It works like a miniature tape shell. It acoustically sends the sound into our garden, so it’s a very rich sound.
While the weather in Malibu should be perfect from late August through September, it can get a bit chilly at night “especially with the sea breeze since we’re so close to the ocean, but nothing a jacket can fix,” a added Martha Thatcher.
As the Newman family dynasty adds another generation of artists, Maria Newman commented on her collaboration with her immediate family.
“To work with my daughters and my husband together, the four of us created this set during the COVID isolation period,” she said. “We call it ‘Voices and Violas Chamber Music Ensemble’. We will play a few songs as festival hosts. Playing with these women (his daughters) is one of the most joyful experiences of my life and I speak for Scott as well.
Visit malibucoastmusicfestival.net for tickets.