The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Chamber Players series returns to the Mayerson Theater at the Erich Kunzel Center for Arts and Education for an exciting 2013-2014 season with a finale featuring world-renowned violinist Midori. The CSO Chamber Players series offers a more intimate space for audiences to experience the individual and collaborative artistry of CSO musicians up-close. This season audiences will also witness up close the virtuosity of Midori, a frequent guest artist of the world’s top orchestras, and who often sells out the 3,417-seat Music Hall. Midori also performs Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 1 with the full CSO in Music Hall the same weekend.
This season, the CSO Chamber Players will present concerts on November 1, 2013 and January 17, February 7 and March 28, 2014. All performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. The season kicks off on November 1, celebrating German composers Reger, Schumann and Brahms. CSO Concertmaster Timothy Lees performs Reger’s Serenade in G Major with flutist Amy Taylor and Principal Viola Christian Colberg. Ron Aufmann, clarinet, Paul Frankenfeld, viola, and Donna Loewey, piano, then bring to life Schumann’s Märchenerzählungen (“Fairy Tales”). Brahms’ broad and emotional Piano Trio No. 1 in B Major, Op. 8 closes the program with violinist Rebecca Culnan, cellist Daniel Culnan and pianist Frank Weinstock. This performance is also part of the Constella Festival of Music and Fine Arts.
The January 17, 2014 program, dubbed “Hallowed Grounds,” begins with two hauntingly poignant works for cello and bass, as performed by the CSO’s Principal Cello Ilya Finkelshteyn and Principal Bass Owen Lee: Schnittke’s Hymn II and Bukink’s Fantaisie. Also on the program is Tchaikovsky’s String Quartet No. 1 in D major, the second movement of which (largely based on folk tunes) is said to have brought Leo Tolstoy to tears. Violinists Michelle Dugan and Chika Kinderman, violist Julian Wilkison, and cellist Susan Marshall Petersen interpret this popular chamber standard.
Rounding out the program is Nielsen’s Quintet for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Horn and Bassoon, which aptly display the wind section; Joan Voorhees, flute, Christopher Philpotts, oboe, Ron Aufmann, clarinet, Thomas Sherwood, horn, and Hugh Mitchie, bassoon, perform this work.
On February 7, 2014, three unique musical minds merge. The concert opens with Joe Drzwiecki Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird, based on the poem by Wallace Stevens. Christopher Philpotts, oboe, Steven Rosen, viola, and Julie Spangler, piano, perform this work, which will also be narrated. Jonathan Gunn, clarinet, Alan Rafferty, cello, and Michael Chertock, piano, then tackle Beethoven’s Trio in B-flat Major, Op. 11, one of the composer’s earlier chamber works. Dvořák’s Piano Quintet No. 2 in A Major, a masterwork incorporating the composer’s signature lyricism and Czech folk style, will be performed by violinists Scott Mozlin and Kun Dong, violist Denisse Rodriguez Rivera, cellist Matthew Lad and pianist Julia Siciliano.
The Chamber Players series concludes on March 28, 2014 with a dynamic program starring one of the Orchestra’s most popular guest artists, violinist Midori. She performs Dohnanyi’s progressive yet romantic Serenade for String Trio alongside CSO musicians Marna Street, viola, and Theodore Nelson, cello, giving audiences a rare opportunity to experience an artist of Midori’s stature in a chamber setting. Also on the program is Kodály’s Duo for Violin and Cello (with violinist Kun Dong and cellist Susan Marshall Petersen), Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 4 in D Major (with violinists Janet Carpenter and David Moore, violist Paul Frankenfeld and cellist Norman Johns), and Piazzolla’s 5 Tangos (with violinist Anna Reider and bassist Boris Astafiev).
Single tickets for these concerts go on sale September 5. Subscriptions will be available beginning Monday, August 26 and are available by calling the CSO Box Office at 513.381.3300. More information can be found at www.cincinnatisymphony.org/chamber.