April 2014


Chamber Music

Exploring the music

May 5, 2006

The Chicago Chamber Musicians ensemble members are some of the most accomplished and talented artists – they could easily prepare performances on just one or two rehearsals, but it was their conscious choice to go farther when they founded this organization.  They had a vision of spending significant time on repertoire in order to come to know a piece on a deeper musical level.  Another part of their vision was to share the fruits of their labor with many different audiences.Almost 20 years later, the CCM artists still adhere to these philosophies.  Last Sunday, they performed Shostakovich’s great Piano Quintet at the Self-Help Home in Uptown to a very appreciative audience of seniors.  On Monday, they performed Poulenc’s Trio for oboe, bassoon and piano in a free, First Monday noontime concert at the Cultural Center (during the immigration rights march!) to a diverse audience of over 300 that included three busloads of schoolchildren and was also broadcast on the radio.They will perform both of these works on CCM’s final subscription concerts this Sunday and Monday in Evanston and Chicago, respectively, along with Robert Schumann’s string quartet in A Major, “Clara,” written for his beloved wife.  Come join us for this great program, and stay to chat with the artists at the post-concert reception!

ET Phone Home

May 3, 2006

We are just a few weeks away from the Chicago Sinfonietta’s most ambitious concerts of the season (May 14th in River Forest and May 15th at Orchestra Hall) and I’m especially excited because we will be presenting two Chicago debuts.   Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR) will make his Chicago debut and will perform his Voodoo Concerto for electric violin.  There is a nice review of DBR on this site that will give you a good idea of what to expect from his performance.  I’m really interested to see how our audience reacts to this young, but definitely “outside of the box” performer/composer. The second half of the concert will feature a performance of Gustav Holst’s The PlanetsDr. José Francisco Salgado, a digital image artist and an astronomer with the Adler Planetarium, has created a never-before-seen video that will be projected throughout the performance.  I’ve seen excerpts from the video and it is spectacular.  Imagine Carl Sagan meets Stanley Kubrick. We will present a preview of the concert this Friday at 7 p.m. at the Adler and you are all invited! One last thing.  When this concert is presented at Lund Auditorium in River Forest, we will actually project the video images onto a screen that will sit in front of the musicians and Maestro Freeman.  It’s the only way we can keep the image large enough to have impact on the audience.  The sound will not be effected at all and we will light the orchestra and Maestro so that the audience will see them performing behind the screen. I have no idea how this will work so keep your finger crossed for us! 

Condoleezza Rice on Piano

Apr 10, 2006

That's right. Condoleezza Rice has not only had an extensive political career, she is also an accomplished classical pianist.This New York Times article offers an illuminating portrait of Ms. Rice the pianist and the other brilliant musicians in her chamber group.In response to whether playing music is relaxing, Ms. Rice explains, "It's not exactly relaxing if you are struggling to play Brahms, but it is transporting. When you're playing there is only room for Brahms or Shostakovich. It's the time I'm most away from myself, and I treasure it."

This article in no way reflects the political views of the author.

Going National

Apr 6, 2006

We are very excited that, beginning next spring, the WFMT Radio Network will syndicate a 13-week series of The Chicago Chamber Musicians  performances!  We expect that the series will be picked up by 140 stations across the country.  CCM’s series will be preceded by music from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and followed by the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival to constitute a wonderful year of chamber music for listeners around the U.S.Also, tune in to WFMT this Saturday morning from 9 am to noon for CCM’s 20th anniversary subscription drive for the 2006-2007 season.  CCM’s founding artists, Larry Combs, Joseph Genualdi, Deborah Sobol and Gail Williams, will share stories and talk with host Lisa Flynn, and we’ll air some terrific music and offer special premiums and giveaways. Some highlights of next season include an all-Schubert concert, a set of concerts with the fabulous clarinetist Eddie Daniels, the charming Brahms Liebeslieder Waltzes, the world premiere of a work by John Harbison for the entire CCM ensemble, and an all-Hungarian program.Speaking of Schubert, John Gibbons is offering a class on “Schubert and the Rise of Romanticism” through the U of C’s Graham School.  He seems to be extremely popular among his students and will also offer a course on Brahms this summer.

Perfection is...

Mar 16, 2006
It’s sort of curious to me to read all of the announcements about next season that are appearing in the papers these days when there is still so much of the current season left!

I’m particularly looking forward to The Chicago Chamber Musicians’ upcoming performances of one of my favorite chamber works – Schubert’s gorgeous Shepherd on the Rock, for soprano, clarinet and piano, the text telling a tale of a shepherd boy longing for his love.

Perfection is Benita Valente’s recording of the piece (along with Harold Wright and Rudolf Serkin) – an output of the Marlboro Music Festival. The soprano for CCM’s March 26 and 27 concerts will be Hyunah Yu, who has also participated in the Marlboro Festival, making her Chicago debut, with CCM ensemble artists, Larry Combs and Deborah Sobol. Ms. Yu recently performed the work earlier this month on the Metropolitan Museum’s concert series in New York.

The Marlboro Music School and Festival in Vermont is an institution for advanced musical studies, founded by Rudolf Serkin, that has fostered the development of chamber music in this country for more than 50 years.

Musicians who have participated speak almost reverentially about Marlboro, where junior and senior artists play and learn together side by side. And where else can a presenter not publicize its concert programs ahead of time and yet still have full houses at the performances?!