Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center offers all-Brahms program at Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts

Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center offers all-Brahms program at Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts

The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center will play an all-Brahms program in its second concert of the season at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts on Saturday, Feb. 19, at 8 p.m. Journalist Robert Sherman, a classical music writer for The New York Times, will lead a pre-concert Art-to-Heart discussion from 7 to 7:40 p.m.

The Chamber Music Society, the resident company of Lincoln Center and one of the world's premier chamber ensembles, is known for its extraordinary repertoire of classics and its commitment to the commission of new works. Its reputation precedes it wherever it goes. One critic dubbed the ensemble "the jewel in this nation's musical crown."

The Feb. 19 program features Brahms' "Clarinet Quintet in B minor, Op. 115" and "Piano Quintet in F minor, Op. 34a."

Society musicians performing in the Feb. 19 concert are: David Shifrin, clarinet; Ani and Ida Kavafian, violins; Paul Neubauer, viola; Fred Sherry, cello; and Anne-Marie McDermott, piano.

Shifrin said the members have a strong sense of their importance in the future of chamber music.

"The Chamber Music Society didn't invent chamber music, but it did give it a home," he told Musical America, which named the Society its 1999 Ensemble of the Year. "We have to remind ourselves constantly what our mission is - the finest performers, playing the greatest repertory, with the most thorough preparation - and to invite the great canon of chamber music, reexamining it to see what might be overlooked, and expanding it by commissioning new works. The important thing is that we remain on the front line."

Two of the performers in the Feb. 19 concert have been on that front line for years. Though they both have active solo careers, Ani Kavafian, who has been a member since 1979, and her sister, Ida Kavafian, who has played with CMSLC for about 12 years, both cherish their time with this ever-evolving ensemble. Sharing the stage is a special treat for both the sisters and their audiences.

"Playing with Ida is about as pleasurable as anything I do," said Ani Kavafian, a past recipient of the coveted Avery Fisher Prize. "There's no rivalry between us; we're proud of each other. We can whip each other up or tone each other down because there's an inexplicable connection."

A self-described workaholic, pianist Anne-Marie McDermott will likely attack the Brahms piano quintet with her usual zeal. Though she often performs as a soloist and guest in up to 150 concerts a year, she has said she loves the connection of working with a chamber ensemble.

"Playing a New York recital program, it's easy to get into your own little world, and that can be dangerous," she said. "Chamber music balances things out. I adore solo playing but with chamber music you simply can't be so selfish; you have to listen to the people around you and there's a constant communication."

A different line-up - this time a trio - will offer the final Chamber Music Society concert of the Quick Center season on Saturday, April 2. That program features two Schubert piano trios with Andre-Michel Schub at the keyboard.

Tickets to the all-Brahms program are $30. For tickets, call the Quick Center box office at (203) 254-4010 or toll free at 1-877-ARTS-396. For more information, visit

Posted On: 01-23-2005 10:01 AM

Volume: 37 Number: 144