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Welcome to Chamber Music Hamilton

Experience fine music as you never heard it before — by the great players of the world and up close in the Art Gallery of Hamilton. All concerts at 2pm, generally on Sundays.

It is a pleasure to welcome you to another season of great music with players brought to Hamilton from around the world.

Michael Schulte Artistic Director

On November 4, 2018, 2pm at the AGH, we hear Amici, the Juno Award winning clarinet, cello and piano group with a 30 year history of concerts. These players from the upper echelons of the Toronto music establishment will begin with a Romantic trio from 1896 by Alexander von Zemlinsky. From a century earlier, we then hear one of two trios Beethoven wrote for this combination. They’ll finish with the trio by Nino Rota, the Italian composer and score writer with 179 music credits in movies since 1933. He scored The Godfather trilogy. Doesn’t his theme come to mind at the thought of those movies? The trio is one of his very popular ensemble pieces.
A. von Zemlinsky – Trio for Clarinet, Cello and Piano in D minor
L. van Beethoven – Trio in B flat major, op. 11

Nino Rota – Trio for Clarinet, Cello, Piano 

On February 3rd, 2pm at the AGH, we hear the Parker Quartet. They are recipients of the Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance, putting them among a roster of legends worth a look on Wikipedia. They will first play the Two Pieces by Shostakovich and then Janacek’s riveting String Quartet No.1, “Kreutzer Sonata”. With its turbulence and interruptions, it is classic Janacek and not only reflective of the Tolstoy novel but of the Czechoslovak situation, frequently occupied and internally compromised. David Hetherington and I will join for the great Brahms G major sextet, one of the best-loved works in the entire chamber music repertoire, with richness of string sonority unrivaled among the pieces by even this composer.
D.Shostakovich -Two String Quartet Pieces   L. Janacek – Quartet No.1 “Kreutzer Sonata”  J.Brahms – String Sextet No.2 in G major
On March 3rd, 2pm at the AGH, we are lucky to hear the great Cuarteto Casals of Spain; a group that international performers confirm is a real coup to be bringing here. The outlier in their wonderful programme is the set of Purcell Fantasias from 1680. It is expressive and daring music for viol
consort from a far-bygone time. The closest modern equivalent to a viol consort is, indeed, the string quartet. Purcell would never have experienced his music from such refined musicians and instruments.

J.Haydn – Quartet in C major, Op.33, No.3 “The Bird”
B.Bartok – Quartet No.3
H.Purcell – Fantasias for String Quartet  C.Debussy – Quartet in G minor, Op.10
On April 14 , 2pm at the AGH, the New York City based Calidore Quartet plays for us. Highly decorated, they won the German ARD and Hamburg International competitions and the grand prize of virtually every American national competition, including the inaugural 2016 M-prize International Chamber Music Competition that came with $100 000. They will dig deep for us with the profound Beethoven Op.131, and Haydn and a couple of pieces by Pulitzer prize winning American composer, Caroline Shaw who writes concert music, movie scores, plays violin and has soundbytes from a couple of pieces in the popular series, Mozart in the Jungle.                   J.Haydn – Quartet in F, Op.77, No.2 
Caroline Shaw – Entr’acte  
L.v.Beethoven – Quartet in C-sharp Minor, Op.131  

Works by MacDowell, Copeland, Gershwin, Barber, Porter, Bernstein, Adams, music of Dixie and the spiritual.

On June 23, 2pm at the AGH, we do our annual production, the Special Feature. This time, with Aaron Schwebel — Concertmaster with the National Ballet of Canada, Caitlin Boyle — violist of the Banff International Competition winning Cecilia Quartet, Cameron Crozman — fine young cellist with an international performance career who played the Elgar Concerto with the Hamilton Philharmonic in September, and myself on violin. The theme is one I have wanted to do for a while: American classics. We sample the genealogy of the American sound from beginnings to the particular sophistication of the American songbook in wonderful pieces and arrangements for string quartet.

Chamber Music Hamilton

Hear a selection of the Chamber Music Hamilton Special Feature recorded in front of a live audience in February of 2017 at the Art Gallery of Hamilton.