Announcing Friends of Chamber Music’s 69th Season 2016-2017

April 6, 2016


Escher Quartet

Tuesday, September 13, 2016, 8:00 pm

Franz Schubert
Quartettsatz in C minor, D703

Arnold Schoenberg
Quartet No.1 in D minor, Opus 7

Felix Mendelssohn
Quartet No.3 in D major, Opus 44 No.1

We are pleased to welcome back the Escher Quartet for a second time. Our audience was overjoyed with their music-making, and we bring them back by popular request. Championed by the Emerson Quartet, this young American group now has the attention of key musical figures worldwide, making a distinctive impression throughout Europe and their home country. Taking its name from Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher, the group was inspired by Escher’s method of interplay between individual components working together to form a whole.


Israeli Chamber Project - Friends of Chamber Music

Israeli Chamber Project

Tuesday, October 18, 2016, 8:00 pm

Aram Khachaturian
Trio for Clarinet, Violin, and Piano

Erwin Schulhoff
Duo for Violin and Cello

Gilad Hochman
Slightly Disturbed (Clarinet, Violin, Cello)

Johannes Brahms
Clarinet Trio in A minor, Opus 114

The Friends are thrilled to present a first visit by the Israeli Chamber Project, with an exciting and varied programme. This dynamic ensemble of piano, clarinet and strings have garnered rave reviews while on tour on both sides of the Atlantic.

“These players have to be heard to be believed.” –American Record Guide

“A band of world-class soloists… in which egos dissolve and players think, breathe and play as one.” –Time Out New York


Concert 3 CMS

A Night in Vienna CMS String Sextet

Sunday, November 13, 2016, 3:00 pm

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Quintet for strings in C minor, K.406

Arnold Schoenberg
Verklärte Nacht (Transfigured Night) for string sextet, Opus 4

Johannes Brahms
Sextet for strings in B flat major, Opus 18

Joining David Finckel, CMS co-artistic director, for this program of Viennese string sextets are violinists Sean Lee and Alexander Sitkovetsky, violists Matthew Lipman and Richard O’Neill, and cellist Keith Robinson.

For centuries, Vienna stood as the cultural epicentre of Europe, a rich melting pot of music, art, and literature; a city that always cherished tradition while pressing toward the artistic future. This program traces the evolution of musical expression in the “city of dreams” through music by three of its greatest voices.



Takács String Quartet

Sunday, December 4, 2016, 3:00 pm

Ludwig van Beethoven
Quartet in A major, Opus 18 No.5

Quartet in F minor, Opus 95

Quartet in E flat major, Opus 127

The Takács Quartet is a perennial favourite with our audience, and in 2012, Gramophone announced that the group was the first (and only) string quartet to be inducted into its first Hall of Fame. Their irresistible blend of virtuosic technique and engaging personality offer a window into the Hungarian quartet tradition. This all-Beethoven programme will give us the opportunity to hear an early, middle and late period quartet in one concert, played by a group acknowledged as one of the definitive Beethoven interpreters of our time.


Concert 5 CMS

Fauré and Brahms CMS Piano Quartet

Tuesday, January 24, 2017, 8:00 pm

Johannes Brahms
Scherzo, WoO 2, from “F-A-E”

Gabriel Fauré
Piano quartet in G minor, Opus 45

Johannes Brahms
Piano quartet in A major, Opus 26

Aaron Copland called Fauré the ““French Brahms” –an apt analogy when considering the dense textures, rhapsodic stringing together of ideas, fastidious craftsmanship and emotional, yet restrained, musical expression of both composers. But while Brahms sweeps us away with earthy passion in works like his second Piano Quartet, Fauré’s magic resides in the luminous, sensuous and elusive beauty of his music.

Pianist Alessio Bax, praised by Gramophone for his “hypnotic intensity”, is joined in this not-to-be-missed programme by superb artists, violinist Ani Kafavian, violist Yura Lee, and a favourite cellist of ours, Paul Watkins, also with the Emerson String Quartet.



Pražák Quartet

Tuesday, February 21, 2017, 8:00 pm

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Quartet in D major, K.499 “Hoffmeister”

Leoš Janáček
Quartet No. 2 “Intimate Letters”

Ludwig van Beethoven
Quartet in C sharp minor, Opus 131

The Pražák Quartet has been an audience favourite for 30 years; they provided the core of the concert series celebrating the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Friends of Chamber Music in 1998. And now this group, that brings us the best of the burnished string sound of the Bohemian tradition, play a farewell concert of Mozart, Janáček and Beethoven, music that allows us to revel in their special sound and feeling.


Concert 7 CMS

Parisian Elegance CMS Piano & Strings

Sunday, March 19, 2017, 3:00 pm

Jean-Marie Leclair
Concerto for violin, string quartet & continuo in E minor, Opus 10 No.5

Jean Françaix
Trio for strings

Maurice Ravel
Tzigane for violin & piano

Amédée-Ernest Chausson
Concerto for violin, piano & string quartet, Opus 21

The music of France has for centuries been vibrant, colourful and elegant. In this thrilling program of better and lesser known Gallic classics, CMS co-artistic director, pianist Wu Han, heads up a cast of six CMS artists that are sure to dazzle and delight with gems from the City of Light set off by their incomparable virtuosity: violinists Kristin Lee, Yura Lee and Arnaud Sussman; violist, Richard O’Neill, and cellist Nicholas Canellakis.



Emerson String Quartet

Sunday, March 26, 2017, 3:00 pm

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
String Quartet in D minor, K.421

Dmitri Shostakovich
String Quartet No. 4 in D major, Opus 83

Edvard Grieg
String Quartet No. 1 in G minor, Opus 27

The Emerson String Quartet has been our top returning ensemble for many years – years in which to integrate their playing so perfectly that eight hands seem to be directed by a single superb musical intelligence. Remarkably, each return concert exhibits a new vitality and freshness, most recently exciting our entire audience into a standing ovation in 2016. Accolades include nine Grammy Awards and three Gramophone Awards – unprecedented honours for a chamber music group. This concert will bring out new treasures in the music of Mozart, Shostakovich and Grieg.


Concert 9 Han Finckel Setzer

Han Finckel Setzer Trio

Tuesday, April 11, 2017, 8:00 pm

Ludwig Van Beethoven
Trio in B flat major, Opus 97 “Archduke”

Franz Schubert
Trio in E flat major, Opus 100

Cellist David Finckel, violinist Philip Setzer, and pianist Wu Han make as fine a piano trio as the world knows. Given their résumés, this is no surprise: Finckel spent more than thirty years with the famed Emerson String Quartet; Setzer is a founding and continuing member of the Emerson Quartet; and Han has an outstanding career as an orchestral soloist and chamber player, as well as a close artistic relationship with Finckel. It is no surprise that we are bringing this trio back for a fifth performance, featuring music by contemporaries Beethoven and Schubert.


Concert 10_CMS

Redemption: Mozart + CMS Clarinet, Piano & Strings

Tuesday, May 2, 2017, 8:00 pm

Béla Bartók
Contrasts for violin, clarinet & piano, Sz.111, BB116

Dmitri Shostakovich
Trio for piano & strings in E minor, Opus 67

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Quintet for clarinet & strings in A major, K.581

A final Mozartian treat! For centuries, listeners have found refuge in the music of Mozart during times of transition, social upheaval and personal anguish. Looking to his music as a bridge between the earthly and divine, this program celebrates the redemptive qualities of Mozart’s music and its legacy in music by Shostakovich and Bartók. Esteemed clarinetist David Shifrin leads extraordinary young artists: violinists Kristin Lee and Danbi Um, violist Mark Holloway, cellist Dmitri Atapine, and pianist Gloria Chien.