Chamber Music

Southorn returns to Chautauqua with Amphion String Quartet for Logan series

Southorn returns to Chautauqua with Amphion String Quartet for Logan series

When violinist David Southorn first came to Chautauqua Institution during the 2009 Season, he saw a string quartet perform in the Logan Chamber Music Series and hoped to perform in the same venue with his own string quartet one day.

Four years later, he returns to the grounds with violinist Katie Hyun, violist Wei-Yang Andy Lin and cellist Mihai Marica. The four musicians make up the Amphion String Quartet, which will perform at 4 p.m. today in Elizabeth S. Lenna Hall.

Logan Series’ WindSync not another boy band

Logan Series’ WindSync not another boy band

It’s strange to consider how relationships are formed. A chance encounter can bring two people together who fall in love or become lifelong friends. For the five musicians of WindSync, banding together took some cosmic arranging.

WindSync, the second ensemble playing in the Logan Chamber Music Series, is a wind quintet composed of Garrett Hudson on flute; Erin Tsai, oboe; Jack Marquardt, clarinet; Tracy Jacobsen, bassoon; and Anni Hochhalter, French horn. They will perform at 4 p.m. today in Elizabeth S. Lenna Hall.

Vamos gathers family members for faculty recital

Vamos gathers family members for faculty recital

Almita Vamos is keeping it in the family for the first faculty recital of the season.

The renowned violinist and School of Music faculty member will join her husband, sister, daughter-in-law and student at 4 p.m. Sunday in Elizabeth S. Lenna Hall to perform three pieces.

First, they will perform a piece by Mozart. Unlike the original version, though, Vamos’ piece has been rearranged for two violins and a viola.

Thursday Morning Brass and more to raise funds with annual Lenna concert

Thursday Morning Brass and more to raise funds with annual Lenna concert

On a Thursday morning in the Hall of Christ, trumpet player Paul Weber stood from his chair to conduct the brass ensemble he started almost 14 years ago, snapping his fingers to keep up their tempo. Joe Prezio, co-founder of the ensemble and other Chautauqua Amateur Music Program groups, called out, “Italians don’t march to 120.”

It was another Thursday morning rehearsal and another march rehearsed for Chautauqua’s Thursday Morning Brass, the first amateur music group founded on the grounds, whose spirit has added a whimsy and lightheartedness to the season that impacts the members as much as the Chautauqua community.

Tuesday afternoon at 4 p.m. in Elizabeth S. Lenna Hall, the Thursday Morning Brass will perform their annual concert, but this year, the ensemble will also feature its fellow amateur music groups the Summer Strummers and the Dixie Lakesiders, as well as a tuba-euphonium quartet that has never performed before.

A Far Cry makes Chautauqua debut with Mozart, Britten

A Far Cry makes Chautauqua debut with Mozart, Britten

A Far Cry is the Goldilocks of the Logan Chamber Series this season — too large to be a quartet, too small to be an orchestra, but just right in their 16-member, self-conducted string ensemble.

“We end up being like the elephant, like the behemoth in a lot of the series that we go to, just because of the sheer number of people,” said Sarah Darling, a violinist in the ensemble. “The idea is that anybody in the group — they’re in the group because they love leading and they love following, and you have to be able to do both.”

For the concert today at 4 p.m. in Elizabeth Lenna Hall, A Far Cry will perform three pieces: Last Round by Osvaldo Golijov, Mozart’s Eine kleine Nachtmusik, and Benjamin Britten’s Variations on a Theme by Frank Bridge, Op. 10.

Touchstone Trio sounds out ‘Day at Chautauqua’

Touchstone Trio sounds out ‘Day at Chautauqua’

What does Chautauqua sound like?

The Touchstone Trio, featuring clarinetist Debbie Grohman, pianist Willie La Favor, and flutist Rita George Simmons, present a program titled “Morning, Noon, and Night: A Day at Chautauqua” at 4 p.m. today in Elizabeth S. Lenna Hall.

The program includes pieces from composers Fauré, DeBussy, Karel Husa and Howard J. Buss.

String quintet Sybarite5 mixes the modern and the classics

String quintet Sybarite5 mixes the modern and the classics

Chautauquans who attend the Logan Chamber Music Series concert at 4 p.m. today in Elizabeth S. Lenna Hall will be given a music program, but in small italic letters at the bottom, it will read, “Program subject to change.”

Sybarite5, which won the Concert Artists Guild Competition in 2011 — a first for a string quintet — rarely has a set order of music when entering a concert. Today, it will provide a program. Usually, however, the group does not provide one and is known to change pieces 30 seconds before beginning, compensating by posting programs with the pieces and composers on its website and Facebook page.

The string quintet — the first of its kind performing in the chamber music series this season — is comprised of violinists Sami Merdinian and Sarah Whitney, violist Angela Pickett, cellist Laura Metcalf and bassist Louis Levitt. The group has performed for the Dalai Lama and in venues including the Library of Congress and the Museum of Sex.

Haimovitz, Frank and friends play the contemporary classics

Haimovitz, Frank and friends play the contemporary classics

For cellist Matt Haimovitz, everything is chamber music.

Haimovitz has made a name for himself in the solo world, which can be more challenging for a cellist than a violinist. His childhood friend, violinist Pamela Frank, has her own prominent solo career, having traveled the world to appear with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestre de Paris, the New York Philharmonic and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, among others.

“We would have chamber music parties at Pam’s house,” Haimovitz said. “We would read sextets and quintets. … The best way we partied was to read chamber music. And it was tremendous fun.”

Still partying, Haimovitz will join Frank and violist Nokuthula Ngwenyama and violinist Andy Simionescu to perform at 4 p.m. today in Elizabeth S. Lenna Hall as part of the Logan Chamber Music Series.

Carpe Diem freshens string quartet repertoire through spirit of creation

Carpe Diem freshens string quartet repertoire through spirit of creation

When orchestral players Charles Wetherbee and Korine Fujiwara returned home from work, they would turn on the radio and listen to anything but classical music.

“And then we realized: Why do we only play classical chamber music? Why not explore more?” Fujiwara said. “And so we did.”

While they will not be playing any Guns N’ Roses during their concert at 4 p.m. today in Elizabeth S. Lenna Hall as part of the Logan Chamber Music Series, the musicians will treat Chautauquans to Beethoven, along with late Romantic composer Hugo Wolf, and finally a piece composed by Fujiwara, called “Fiddle Suite: Montana.”

Chautauqua Chamber Winds revamps with new repertoire

Chautauqua Chamber Winds revamps with new repertoire

When an album runs out of tracks, you change to another record. When the Chautauqua Wind Quintet ran out of repertoire, they changed their group entirely.

Now called the Chautauqua Chamber Winds, the group includes other instrumental voices and is open to playing repertoire for smaller ensembles.

“We’ve done so many quintets here that we just thought we’d presented the best of the repertoire, and rather than start repeating ourselves, we opened it up to other instruments and also new members,” said Eli Eban, principal clarinetist in the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra and one of the members of the Chautauqua Chamber Winds playing at 4 p.m. today in Elizabeth S. Lenna Hall.