All posts by Patrick_McCarty

Formosa Quartet – Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Winners of both the First Prize and Amadeus Prize at the Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition, the Formosa Quartet is “one of the very best quartets of their generation” (David Soyer, cellist, Guarneri Quartet) whose playing has been hailed as “spellbinding” (The Strad) with “focused intensity and extraordinary musicianship” (San Diego Union Tribune). 

Formed in 2002 and based in Chicago and Los Angeles, the ensemble delights audiences with its diverse programs, ranging from classical string quartets to Taiwanese folk songs and swinging jazz. 

Formosa Quartet website

Parker String Quartet – Tuesday, March 8, 2022

 Luminous sound and exceptional musicianship are hallmarks of the Parker Quartet, Blodgett Artists-in- Residence at Harvard University. The Quartet’s recording of Ligeti’s complete works for string quartet won the 2011 Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance. Other honors include Chamber Music America’s Cleveland Quartet Award and the Grand Prix and Mozart Prize at France’s Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition. Hailed by the Washington Post for “exceptional virtuosity [and] imaginative interpretation,” the Parker Quartet has distinguished itself as a preëminent ensemble of its generation.

Parker Quartet website

 

Escher Quartet – Tuesday, February 1, 2022

The Escher Quartet has received acclaim for its profound musical insight and rare tonal beauty. In its home town of New York, the ensemble serves as Season Artists of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, where it has recently performed quartet cycles of Beethoven and Zemlinsky. The Escher Quartet, formed in 2005, takes its name from the Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher, inspired by Escher’s method of interplay between individual components working together to form a whole. 

Escher Quartet website

Horszowski Trio – Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Giving performances that are “lithe, persuasive” (The New York Times) and “eloquent and enthralling” (The Boston Globe), the Horszowski Trio has become a vital force in the international chamber music world. The New Yorker described the Horszowski as “the most compelling American group to come on the scene.” Based in New York City, the trio gave its debut performance in 2011 and has toured extensively, performing both the traditional piano trio repertoire and introducing audiences to new music that it has commissioned and premiered. 

Horszowski Trio website

Ariel Quartet – Tuesday, October 26, 2021

 Distinguished by virtuosity, probing musical insight, and impassioned, fiery performances, the Ariel Quartet has garnered critical praise worldwide. Formed in Israel and celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2020-21, the Ariel has won the prestigious Cleveland Quartet Award, the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition Grand Prize, and the Székely Prize, among other accolades. The American Record Guide described the group as “a consummate ensemble gifted with utter musicality and remarkable interpretive power.” The ensemble serves as the Faculty Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music. 

Ariel Quartet website

Adaskin String Trio w/Pianist Sally Pinkas – Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Opening the season are frequent collaborators Pianist Sally Pinkas and the Adaskin String Trio who will present an evening of iconic piano quartets and more. Israeli-born Pinkas, a “scintillating force” (Gramophone), has garnered universal acclaim for her performances as soloist and chamber musician and has been praised for her radiant tone and driving energy. The Adaskin, cited for its “instrumental power and eloquence” (Gramophone), has impressed audiences with exuberant playing and programming. Performances by the Pinkas and Adaskin partnership have been hailed as “ferociously gorgeous” (Audiophile Audition) and “nothing short of remarkable” (BlogsCritic). 

Adaskin String Trio website

Final concert of the season has been cancelled

Dear Friends of Chamber Music,

We regret to announce that the final two concerts of the CMSW six-concert series have been cancelled—the Parker Quartet on March 24, and the Quatuor Danel with pianist Lise de la Salle on April 21.  This was done in conformance with state, county and Williamsburg mandates to close public venues in an attempt to quash the spread of COVID-19, and with genuine concern for the health and wellbeing of our audience, artists, and broader community.

With an abiding faith that this too shall pass, please know CMSW will bring you another outstanding six-concert concert series next season.  Current subscribers will receive a descriptive brochure and subscription order form by mail soon.  Those who have yet to join our loyal audience and have requested such information will receive a similar mailing soon.  If you wish to be added to that list of recipients, please send an email with your address to info@chambermusicwilliamsburg.org.

Thank you for your patience and continuing support as we all work through this difficult time.  Stay safe, stay well, and plan to join us next fall!

Best regards,

Jim Coomer, president
Chamber Music Society of Williamsburg

March 24 concert with the Parker Quartet must be postponed indefinitely

Dear Friends of Chamber Music,

We announce with regret that our concert of March 24 with the Parker Quartet must be postponed indefinitely. Given the issues posed by COVID-19, and the closure of the Williamsburg Library Theatre for the immediate future, the health and wellbeing of our audience, artists, and the broader community warrant precedence. If current conditions abate, we will complete our season with pianist Lise de la Salle and Quatuor Danel on April 21.

Please stay informed through our website and Facebook page and check for updates with the Williamsburg Library and other government sources. As events evolve, we will be in contact with our performers, the library, and with you regarding concert dates and subscriptions for our 2020-21 CMSW concert series. Thank you for your patience and continuing support as we all work through these difficult circumstances.

Stay safe and well.

Best regards,

Jim Coomer, president
Chamber Music Society of Williamsburg

Parker Quartet – March 24, 2020

Inspiring performances, luminous sound, and exceptional musicianship are the hallmarks of the Grammy Award-winning Parker Quartet. Renowned for its dynamic interpretations and polished, expansive colors, the group has rapidly distinguished itself as one of the preeminent ensembles of its generation. The Quartet has appeared at the world’s most important venues since its founding in 2002.

The  Parker  Quartet has  distinguished  itself  with acclaimed  recordings  for  Nimbus,  Zig-Zag Territoires,  Innova  Records,  and  Naxos.  The  Quartet’s  most  recent  recording  featuring Mendelssohn’s Quartets Op. 44, Nos. 1 and 3, was widely lauded by the international press. The Quartet’s debut commercial recording of Bartók’s String Quartets Nos. 2 and 5 for Zig-Zag Territoires (July 2007) won praise from Gramophone: “The Parkers’ Bartók spins the illusion of spontaneous improvisation… they have absorbed the language; they have the confidence to play freely with the music and the instinct to bring it off.” Their Naxos recording of György Ligeti’s complete works for  string  quartet won the  2011 Grammy Award for  Best Chamber Music Performance (the last string quartet to win this category). In April 2016 Augusta Read Thomas’s world premiere recording of Helix Spirals for string quartet on “Of Being is a Bird” was released on Nimbus Records.

The Parker Quartet’s members hold graduate degrees in performance and chamber music from the New England Conservatory of Music and the Juilliard School, and the Quartet was part of the New England  Conservatory’s  prestigious  Professional  String  Quartet  Training  Program from 2006–2008. Some of their most influential mentors include the original members of the Cleveland Quartet, Kim Kashkashian, György Kurtág, Zakhar Bron, Robert Lipsett, Mark Steinberg, and Rainer Schmidt.

Parker Quartet website

Trio con Brio Copenhagen – February 25, 2020

“Glowing reports hold true. The Trio con Brio Copenhagen clearly occupies a lofty perch in today’s musical scene.” – Washington Post

Acknowledged as one of the world’s finest piano trios, the Trio con Brio Copenhagen are about to celebrate their twentieth anniversary. To mark the occasion, Orchid Classics will be releasing their multi-volume traversal of the complete Beethoven Piano Trios.

The Trio was born out of an idea of the coming together of ‘musical pairs’ – of the two Korean-born sisters, Soo-Kyung Hong (cello) and Soo-Jin Hong (violin), with Soo-Kyung and her husband, Danish pianist Jens Elvekjaer. They quickly gained a reputation for their fresh and contemporary approach to the core repertoire and won almost all of the majorcompetitions for piano trio. Today they are regularly heard at the world’s leading venues andconcert series, among them, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Wigmore Hall, Berlin Pierre Boulez-Saal, the Concertgebouw and many more.

Leading composers have dedicated works to the Trio, including Per Nørgård, BentSørensen’s and Sven-David Sandström. And reviews are fulsome. “One of the greatest performances of chamber music I’ve ever encountered,” praised American Record Guide.Gramophone wrote, “Superb…Any group would be hard-pressed to imitate this blend of verveand poise…” Their Mendelssohn album was chosen by the UK’s Classic FM as the Best Chamber Music Disc of the year.

The Trio are artistic directors of the Copenhagen Chamber Music Festival, the Chamber Music Festival on Lundsgaard Estate in Kerteminde and the Hellerup Chamber Music Society in Copenhagen. Soo-Jin plays an Andrea Guarneri violin, Soo-Kyung plays aGrancino cello, and Jens is Denmark’s first Steinway Artist. Both string players are endorsed by Jagar Strings and Thomastik-Infeld Vienna.

Trio con Brio Copenhagen website