The Houston Symphony is excited to present a new Chamber Music Series, featuring members of the orchestra and some of this season’s most acclaimed guest soloists. With luminaries like Gil Shaham, John Storgårds, Alisa Weilerstein, and Cédric Tiberghien, the Chamber Music Series brings Houston Symphony musicians to the greater Houston community, up close and personal in interesting, intimate spaces.
“Chamber music is one of the most intimate forms of music making, allowing audiences to experience the outstanding musicians of the Houston Symphony in smaller settings, up close,” said Houston Symphony Executive Director/CEO, and holder of the Margaret Alkek Williams Chair, John Mangum. “We’ve been very thoughtful about choosing a variety of different intimate settings.”
Asked why the Houston Symphony is embarking on this new artistic venture, John explained: “It’s critical for the artistic growth of our musicians…strengthening their ensemble skills in ways that complement their work in the orchestra. There is an intuitive level of communication among the musicians in chamber music, a kind of musical ESP. This is part of what makes chamber music so exciting for audiences.”
The first concert in the series takes place Friday, December 6 and features violinist Gil Shaham with members of the Houston Symphony performing a program that includes Brahms’ Clarinet Quintet in B minor at MATCH (Midtown Arts and Theater Center Houston) in Matchbox 4. The series continues at Live Oak Friends Meeting Skyspace January 19 with conductor John Storgårds taking up the violin and joining Houston Symphony musicians for a program that includes Mendelssohn’s Octet for Strings.
The series’ third performance, part of the Symphony’s two-week Schumann Festival, happens on Valentine’s Day, February 14. Cellist Alisa Weilerstein joins Symphony musicians for a performance of some of Schumann’s most romantic works. And on March 27, 2020, Chausson’s Concerto for Violin, Piano, and String Quartet finds Symphony musicians joined by pianist Cédric Tiberghien.
Adds Houston Symphony Principal Clarinetist Mark Nuccio: “Chamber music is only one musician on a part, requiring each player to be a soloist and to share their musical ideas with colleagues and audiences. Many times, our audiences only hear the solo players in an orchestra and have no idea how wonderfully capable and musical all of the musicians are. Having experiences like this makes everyone stronger as a musician, but especially those who don’t have the opportunity to do so on a regular basis. This is an experience that also allows audiences to have a close-up opportunity to hear the wonderful musicians of the Houston Symphony.” —Eric Skelly
The Houston Symphony Chamber Music Series is made possible in part by: Robin Angly & Miles Smith, Nancy & Walter Bratic, Eugene Fong, Gary L. Hollingsworth & Kenneth J. Hyde, Ms. Leslie Nossaman, Mr. & Mrs. Mark Nuccio, Ed & Janet Rinehart, and Bobby & Phoebe Tudor.