Strings Music Directors Andres Cardenes, left, and Monique Mead will say goodbye to the music festival at the end of the 2014 concert season.

Cristin Frey/courtesy

Strings Music Directors Andres Cardenes, left, and Monique Mead will say goodbye to the music festival at the end of the 2014 concert season.

Steamboat Strings music directors enter last season

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— Strings Music Directors Andres Cardenes and Monique Mead will say goodbye to the music festival at the end of the 2014 concert season.

But the co-directors will never totally say goodbye to Steamboat Springs. And maybe not totally to the festival.

“It’s our last season as music directors,” Mead said, “but it’s certainly not our last time in Steamboat.”

The couple became co-classical music directors in 2009. Their contract runs up at the end of 2014 and the sides decided it was time to part ways.

“We love Steamboat,” Cardenes said. “We don’t have to be in Steamboat just to make music. We like being there. We own property there and our objective has always been to be part of that community. We hope to continue, even if it’s not music.”

Cardenes has a long history with Strings. The renowned musician first came to Steamboat in 1992 and served as the artistic director from 1994 to 2003.

In 2009, he and Mead took over as co-music directors.

“Oh heavens, I think it’s just the comfort level we’ve established over many years working together and the friendship we’ve created,” Executive Director Kay Clagett said about what she will miss most about having Cardenes and Mead part of Stings. “I’m sure they’ll return as performance artists in the future. They’ve just brought wonderful music to Strings over the years.”

Clagett, Cardenes and Mead all said the decision was amicable and that each agreed it was time to go in a new direction.

Clagett said they hoped to name a new director soon but wouldn’t commit to a timetable.

“Their contract had expired at the end of this year,” Clagett said. “I think there comes a time where you’ve accomplished as a team what you set out to do. I think it was time to create some new goals.”

Cardenes and Mead said they are not sure what they will do next but said they have several projects they are working on and have interest from other places to direct.

The two also have two small children, 10-year-old Isabel and 9-year-old Tino.

The couple will return in March to play with the Steamboat Springs Symphony Orchestra.

“I think we can both say we are very tied to the Steamboat community,” Mead said. “We’ll always come out to ski and play.”

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229, email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @LukeGraham

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