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.
Jim Coomer, president
Chamber Music Society of Williamsburg
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
“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
Harlem Quartet advances diversity in classical music while engaging new audiences with varied repertoire that includes works by minority composers. Their mission to share their passion with a wider audience has taken them around the world; from a 2009 performance at The White House for President Obama and First Lady, Michelle Obama, to a highly successful tour of South Africa in 2012, and numerous venues in between. The musically versatile ensemble has performed with such distinguished artists as Itzhak Perlman, Ida Kavafian, Carter Brey, Fred Sherry, Misha Dichter, Jeremy Denk, and Paquito D’Rivera. The quartet also collaborated with jazz masters Chick Corea and Gary Burton on the album Hot House, a 2013 multi-Grammy Award winning release.
New York-based HARLEM QUARTET, currently serving a three-year residency at London’s Royal College of Music, has been praised for its “panache” by The New York Times and hailed in the Cincinnati Enquirer for “bringing a new attitude to classical music, one that is fresh, bracing and intelligent.” It has also won plaudits from such veteran musicians as GRAMMY-winning woodwind virtuoso Ted Nash of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, who declared in a May 2018 Playbill article, “Harlem Quartet is one of the greatest string quartets I have ever heard. They can play anything.” Since its public debut at Carnegie Hall in 2006, the ensemble has thrilled audiences and students in 47 states as well as in the U.K., France, Belgium, Brazil, Panama, Canada, Venezuela, Japan, and South Africa.
Harlem Quartet website
Musica Pacifica has, since its founding in 1990, become widely recognized as one of America’s premier baroque ensembles, lauded for both the dazzling virtuosity and the warm expressiveness of its performances.
The press describes them as “some of the finest baroque musicians in America” (American Record Guide) and “among the best in the world” (Alte Musik Aktuell).
They have performed on some of the most prestigious concert series in the U.S. and abroad. Their appearance on the mainstage at the Boston Early Music Festival in 2015 was reviewed as “little short of sensational… astonishing… breath-taking throughout” (The Boston Musical Intelligencer).
Musica Pacifica website
Since forming in 2010, Neave Trio – violinist Anna Williams, cellist Mikhail Veselov, and pianist Eri Nakamura – has earned enormous praise for its engaging, cutting-edge performances. WQXR explains, “‘Neave’ is actually a Gaelic name meaning ‘bright’ and ‘radiant’, both of which certainly apply to this trio’s music making.” The Boston Musical Intelligencer included Neave in its “Best of 2014” and “Best of 2016” roundups, writing, “it is inconceivable that they will not soon be among the busiest chamber ensembles going,” and “their unanimity, communication, variety of touch, and expressive sensibility rate first tier.”
Neave Trio strives to champion new works by living composers and reach wider audiences through innovative concert presentations, regularly collaborating with artists of all mediums. These collaborations include performances with the Blythe Barton Dance Company; projection artist Ryan Brady; the interactive concert series “STEIN2.0,” with composer Amanuel Zarzowski; Klee Musings by acclaimed American composer Augusta Read Thomas, which was premiered by Neave; the upcoming premiere of Eric Nathan’s Missing Words V, sponsored by Coretet; and an upcoming short film based on the tango music of Astor Piazzolla.
Neave Trio website