Chamber Music Society of Detroit Teams up with Oakland University

Oakland University, Chamber Music Society of Detroit partner for 6th Annual Concert Series

The Chamber Music Society of Detroit’s sixth annual series at Oakland University’s Varner Recital Hall opens at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday September 30 with the Grammy Award-winning Pacifica Quartet performing music of Beethoven, Bartok and Mendelssohn. It is the first of a four-concert series scheduled for the 2018-2019 season, presented in partnership with the University’s School of Music, Theatre and Dance.

Tickets are priced at $30 for adults, $25 for seniors and $10 for students, and are available at the Varner Hall Box Office one hour before the scheduled performance time, online or by phone at 313-335-3300. Series tickets, discounted at 20 percent below single ticket prices, are also available.

“With the support of the College of Arts and Sciences, we are thrilled to continue this educational partnership with the Chamber Music Society of Detroit,” said Joe Shively, associate professor of music education and interim director of the School of Music, Theatre and Dance. “Not only do the four performances bring world-class chamber music to Varner Recital Hall, but each event in the series has a related master class that provides our students the opportunity to learn from the artists.”

A group of four musicians pose with the sting instruments with a brick background

Pacifica Quartet – photo by Lisa Marie Mazzucco

September 30 opening concert features Grammy Award-winning Pacifica Quartet

Formed 25 years ago in 1994, the Pacifica Quartet quickly won chamber music’s top competitions, including the Naumburg Chamber Music Award and the Cleveland Quartet Award. It was appointed to Lincoln Center’s CMS Two in 2002, and in 2006 was awarded a prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant. In 2008 the Quartet won a Grammy-Award for Best Chamber Music Performance and in 2009, Musical America named it “Ensemble of the Year.”

The group has achieved international recognition over the last two decades as one of the finest chamber ensembles performing today. They are widely acclaimed for their virtuosity, exuberant performance style, and often-daring repertory choices. Named the quartet-in-residence at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music in March 2012, the Pacifica was previously the quartet-in-residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and was just appointed in 2017 to lead the Center for Advanced Quartet Studies at the Aspen Music Festival.

“Thanks to our principal partner, the Chamber Music Society of Detroit, Oakland University music students, as well as a handful of invited area high school string musicians, will have the exciting opportunity to not only attend the Pacifica Quartet’s recital on September 30, but to also work with the members of the Quartet during a mini-OU residence on September 29,” said Gregory Cunningham, professor of music and director of bands at Oakland University and music director for the Oakland Symphony Orchestra.

“To OU’s aspiring student musicians, these kinds of unique opportunities are extremely important and inspirational,” Cunningham added. “We are grateful to CMSD and to OU for providing this weekend of superb classical chamber music experiences.”

The concert series continues in October with the inaugural American tour of a new duo collaboration between Brazilian cellist Antonio Meneses and Scottish guitarist Paul Galbraith. In January, Franklin Cohen, principal clarinet emeritus of the Cleveland Orchestra, joins the award-winning Aeolus Quartet for Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet as well as American composer Ben Johnston’s String Quartet No. 4, Variations on “Amazing Grace.”

The first season concludes with the return of the young Canadian pianist Stewart Goodyear to the CMSD series, with a program that pairs a late Beethoven sonata with three colorful Ravel works and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. A complete series listing is included below:

  • Sunday, September 30 at 3:00 p.m.

Pacifica Quartet will perform Beethoven’s String Quartet in B-flat major, Op. 18, No. 6; Bartók’s Quartet No. 4; and Mendelssohn’s String Quartet No. 3 in D major, Op. 44, No. 1.

  • Sunday, October 28 at 3:00 p.m.

Antonio Meneses, cello, and Paul Galbraith, guitar, will perform Schumann/Arr. Galbraith’s Five Pieces from Album for the Young, Op. 68; Schubert’s Sonata in A minor, D. 821, “Arpeggione;” Clóvis Pereira’s Three Dances from Suite Macambira for solo cello; Radamés Gnattali’s Sonata for Cello and Guitar; and André Mehmari’s Brazilian Suite No. 2.

  • Sunday, January 20 at 3:00 p.m.

The Aeolus Quartet with Franklin Cohen on clarinet will perform Beethoven’s String Quartet in D major, Op. 18, No. 3; Ben Johnston’s String Quartet No. 4, “Amazing Grace;” and Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet in A major, K 581.

  • Sunday, March 10 at 3:00 p.m.

Stewart Goodyear on piano will perform Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 30 in E major, Op. 109; Ravel’s Pavane pour une infant défunte; Ravel’s Sonatine; Ravel’s Alborado del gracioso; and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.

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