(WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass.) – The Concertante Chamber Players kick off a four-week series of chamber music concerts at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute on Tuesday, August 6, 2013, at 8 pm. Upcoming concerts feature the Gryphon Trio (August 13), the Dover Quartet (August 20), and the Dorian Wind Quintet with pianist Spencer Myer (August 27). The chamber music series highlights the Clark’s continued commitment to showcase a variety of art forms and allows visitors to enjoy the renowned acoustics of the Clark’s auditorium.
The Concertante Chamber Players are a rarity in chamber music: as a full sextet rather than the more common quartet or trio, they are able to perform a range of challenging but sometimes overlooked chamber pieces. The sextet has performed in forty-one states and three foreign countries, including China, and also works with contemporary composers to increase the repertoire of chamber pieces for sextet. The ensemble is scheduled to play Elgar’s lush Serenade in E minor, Dvo?ák’s Sextet in A major, which was inspired by the folk music of his native Bohemia, and Brahms’s Sextet no. 2 in G major, Opus 36, a multi-layered and suspenseful piece.
The musically adventurous Gryphon Trio has performed with a range of musicians who push the genre of chamber music in new directions, including jazz musicians and operatic singers. The trio is highly regarded in their native Canada, where they have won two Juno awards — the Canadian equivalent of the Grammys. The trio is equally committed to education as they are to performance, and have taught several master classes at the University of Toronto, as well as an educational program aimed at younger students. The Gryphon Piano Trio will showcase their innovative approach to chamber music with a selection of two classic chamber selections: Haydn’s Trio in A major Hob. XV: 18 and Ravel’s Trio in A minor, as well as Two Tangos by Piazzolla and “Old Photograph,” a signature multimedia piece by composer Christos Hatzis.
Formed in 2008, when its members were just nineteen years old, the Dover Quartet is quickly becoming one of the most widely acclaimed chamber ensembles in the country. They have gained regular praise for their subtle and nuanced performance style, and treat their music with a level of professionalism that often belies their age. The quartet is currently in residence at Rice University and has embarked on a spring tour of Europe with renowned violinist Roberto Diaz. At the Clark, they will play Beethoven’s Quartet in E minor, Opus 59 No. 2, Brahms’s Quartet in A minor, Opus 51 No. 2, and “De Profundis,” a piece written by local composer Stephen Dankner in honor of Williams College Professor of Music Emeritus Irwin Shainman, who died in 2012.
The sole wind ensemble of this summer’s chamber music series, the Dorian Wind Quintet also has local roots: it was formed at Tanglewood in 1961. The first wind quintet to appear at Carnegie Hall, the Dorian Wind Quintet has circled the globe, playing in India, Africa, and Europe. They have won critical acclaim from a variety of sources, including the New York Times, which praised their “enthusiastic, incisive performance” (September 28, 1993). The quintet will be joined by Spencer Myer on piano. A graduate of the Julliard School, Myer has won numerous piano competitions and has collaborated with some of the nation’s top symphonic and chamber orchestras. The Dorian Wind Quintet will perform two of their favorite compositions, Bach’s Organ Works, arranged for Wind Quintet, and Reicha’s Quintet in E flat major. Myer will join the quintet for Thuille’s Sextet in B flat major.
Tickets are $25 ($20 members, $10 students) and can be purchased online at Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, by phone at 413.458.0524, or in person at the Museum Shop. All chamber music concerts will be held on Tuesdays and start at 8 pm.
Each performance is preceded by an optional three-course prix fixe meal served in the Clark Café, offering a variety of appetizers, entrées, and desserts for $29 per person. Reservations are required; call 413.458.0524. The galleries will also remain open until 6 pm.