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Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Announces 45th Anniversary Season

Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Announces 45th Anniversary Season

Artistic Directors David Finckel and Wu Han have announced plans for The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center's 45th anniversary season. The 2014-2015 Season offers an extraordinarily vibrant palette of diverse and innovative programming performed by a vast and impressive roster comprised of 109 of the world's finest chamber music artists. The season begins on October 15, 2014, and runs through May 15, 2015. Performances take place in Alice Tully Hall, the Rose Studio, and the Kaplan Penthouse.

CMS will present more than 120 concerts in its next season (half in New York City, and half across North America, Europe and Asia), including the debut of the first CMS summer festival residency in its history at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center beginning in August, 2014.

In the 2014-15 season, CMS continues its recently established multi-concert residencies at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey; the Harris Theater in Chicago; the University of Georgia in Athens; Shaker Village in Pleasant Hill, Kentucky; the St. Cecilia Music Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan; and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. The European tour schedule includes a return engagement at London's Wigmore Hall in May 2015, with additional dates set through 2020.

Over the past 45 years CMS has shown tremendous growth, continuously expanding its reach and cultural impact. Having begun with a total of twenty-one New York concerts in its first season (1969-70), the number and range of activities has accelerated at a greater pace than ever before under the inspired leadership of David Finckel and Wu Han. Audience demand has contributed significantly to this explosion of activity, with ticket revenue up 50% over the last five years.

CMS Artistic Directors David Finckel and Wu Han commented on the new season: "It is truly a thrill to unveil the product of months of intensely creative thinking, probing research, and artful planning down to the finest details. In watching the growth of this institution - the increased audience subscriptions, the expansion of CMS's residency and touring activity nationally and internationally, the widening reach of our radio series and media presence - we are thrilled to witness the powerful effect that CMS's activities are having on the chamber music world at large."



The sensational young Italian pianist and former CMS Two Artist Alessio Bax performs two of Mozart's brilliant concertos: K. 414 and K. 449. The program also includes the Duo for Violin and Viola, K. 424, and Flute Quartet, K. 298. Bax will be joined by violinists Bella Hristova and Arnaud Sussmann; violist Paul Neubauer; cellist Sophie Shao; double bassist Kurt Muroki; and flutist Carol Wincenc.


This season's Winter Festival, Intimate Expressions, explores some of the overwhelmingly personal masterpieces that epitomize the dialogue, introspection, and musical exchange in chamber music. Four programs will be presented in Alice Tully Hall: February 24, March 8, March 15, and March 20; and two in the Rose Studio: February 26, and March 12. In the February 24 opening program the phenomenal German baritone Christian Gerhaher performs his already legendary interpretation of Schubert's Winterreise, marking the first presentation of this work at CMS since its 1969 inaugural season. [See below for complete festival details.]


Among the many carefully-crafted and intriguing offerings are programs of cherished masterworks such as "Brahms the Master," celebrating the Romantic titan's mature glory, and "Romantic Piano Quartets," featuring works by Mahler, Schumann, and Brahms.

The season also includes many unexpected surprises: "Drumming," is a virtuosic feast for eyes and ears celebrating chamber works for percussion (February 3) and a high-spirited evening inspired by Spanish dance features a knock-out line-up of performers including pianist Alessio Bax, violinist Benjamin Beilman, guitarist Jason Vieaux, and the Escher String Quartet (May 15). A fascinating program, "Copland & Stravinsky," unites Igor Stravinsky and Aaron Copland, often called "the American Stravinsky," (April 19). One of the most intellectually probing pianists of our time, Jeremy Denk, performs Beethoven and Ligeti (May 3). Other intriguing pairings include "Fauré & Ysaÿe" (October 26) and "Schubert & Schnittke" (March 20).


In its second year, following a sold out inaugural season, The Art of the Recital offers audiences the opportunity to experience this classic concert tradition programmed and performed by master artists in an ideal setting.

Cellist Gary Hoffman, long familiar to CMS audiences, is showcased in one of the three Art of the Recital programs. In 1986, Hoffman became the first North American to win the prestigious Rostropovich Cello Competition in Paris, and he subsequently became a resident of the city. With a nod to his French connections, on January 22, he's joined by pianist David Selig for cello sonatas by three composers: Camille Saint-Saëns, Albéric Magnard, and Léon Boëllmann.

On October 30, French violinist Nicolas Dautricourt, a spectacular recent addition to the CMS Two roster, will present a demanding and eclectic program with pianist-composer Jean-Frédéric Neuburger whose new work for violin and piano will receive its world premiere on the program.

One of the most distinguished artists of our time, pianist Gilbert Kalish, is heard on April 30 in a solo recital featuring composers he has long championed, among them George Crumb, Charles Ives, and Sheila Silver whose work on the program will receive its world premiere.


The Baroque Festival is anchored by cherished performances of Bach's Complete Brandenburg Concertos. Long a New York holiday tradition, these works are reinvigorated annually by a rotating cast of performers. Always sold out, the program will receive a third performance this season.

The Baroque Collection, a program exploring the rich variety of the Baroque chamber music genre, includes works by Albinoni, Telemann, Geminiani and is highlighted by Vivaldi's The Four Seasons.

Everyone's favorite instrument, the cello, comes into focus in Baroque Remix. Two Swiss cello sensations, the brothers Patrick and Thomas Demenga, are among the performers in a program of classic works heard in novel arrangements and transcriptions, including selected chorales by Bach for two cellos and accordion.



A favorite uptown destination for new music lovers, the New Music in the Kaplan Penthouse series is brimming with works that set new standards for the genre of chamber music. December 11 features works by Alfred Schnittke, Toshio Hosokawa, Vinko Globokar, Viktor Suslan, and Thomas Demenga who doubles as performer on cello. January 29 includes Andrew Norman, Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrrez, Guillaume Connesson, Philippe Hersant, Vivian Fung, and Bruno Mantovani. On April 2, a new work and CMS co-commission by Derek Bermel is joined by works by Jukka Tiensuu, Jörg Widmann, Aaron Jay Kernis, and Leon Kirchner. The New Music season closes on May 7 with another CMS co-commission, by David Philip Hefti, and works by Paul Lansky, Augusta Read Thomas, Witold Lutoslawski, Yevgeniy Sharlat, and Andy Akiho. Each performance includes a post-concert wine reception and conversation with composers and performers in the stunning setting of the Kaplan Penthouse. [Please see below for complete program information and artists.]


Having commissioned 160 works since its inception, CMS continues to nourish the chamber music repertoire through its artistic partnerships with distinguished international organizations such as London's Wigmore Hall and the Moritzburg Festival. The CMS 45th Anniversary Season presents three New York premieres: On November 7 the Pacifica Quartet performs Shulamit Ran's Glitter, Doom, Shards, Memory, Quartet No. 3 for Strings. On April 2, pianist Gilles Vonsattel, violinist James Ehnes, and cellist Nicholas Canellakis premiere Derek Bermel's first piano trio. On May 17 and 19, Lowell Liebermann's String Quartet No. 5 will be performed by the Emerson String Quartet. Receiving its U.S. premiere, on May 5 Jan Vogler joins Yura Lee and the Amphion Quartet perform a new work by David Philip Hefti.


No fewer than six acclaimed string quartets are featured on the new season: the Amphion String Quartet (January 25, April 19, and May 7), the Danish String Quartet (November 13 and February 20), the Emerson String Quartet (May 17 and 19), the Escher String Quartet (March 15 and May 15), the Orion String Quartet (February 6 and 26), and the Pacifica Quartet (November 7).


The consistently sold-out Rose Studio Concerts and Late Night Rose series offer five programs each throughout the season. Audiences enjoy classics and novelties of the chamber repertoire in two different ways in the intimate Rose Studio: the ever-popular 6:30 PM Rose Studio Concerts presented in a traditional concert setting, and the Late Night Rose series (streamed live) at 9:00 PM, hosted by the engaging Patrick Castillo and offering cabaret-style seating and complementary wine. [Please see below for complete details.]


Under the dynamic leadership of David Finckel and Wu Han, the reach of CMS continues to expand far beyond New York. The summer of 2014 will see the first summer festival presence in the history of CMS: CMS at SPAC, a three-week season at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. In addition to an expanding performance itinerary throughout North America, Europe, and Asia, recent years have established annual multi-concert residencies at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey; the Harris Theater in Chicago; the University of Georgia in Athens; Shaker Village in Pleasant Hill, Kentucky; the St. Cecilia Music Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. The European tour schedule includes a return engagement at London's Wigmore Hall in April 2014. New residency initiatives for 2014-2015 will be announced shortly.


The prestigious and career-making CMS Two program has become a vital force at CMS. Following a highly-competitive audition process, the exceptional young artists chosen for the three-year residency become integral to all aspects of CMS life, receiving unprecedented professional opportunities including participation in performances in all CMS venues, tours, recordings, radio broadcasts, and educational outreach activities. In addition, following their residencies, select CMS Two Artists remain to perform as season artists and guests.


CMS's increasing use of new technologies will bring a wide variety of chamber music experiences this season to a record number of listeners. The entire Late Night Rose and New Music series, in addition to the Inside Chamber Music lecture and Master Class series, will be captured and fully-produced using CMS's state- of-the-art multi-camera HD video and audiophile recording system. The ever-deepening CMS web site offers a growing number of opportunities for engagement with chamber music and musicians, from artist interviews to its special mobile app for listeners on-the-go. In addition, CMS continues to produce the highest quality sound recordings in CD and download format, from its rigorously engineered CMS Studio Recordings to CMS Live releases of spectacular performances drawn from its enormous archive, now all undergoing digital re-mastering by Grammy-winning engineer Da-Hong Seetoo.


The Chamber Music Society's long-running national radio series features 52 programs drawn from recordings of live performances in Alice Tully Hall and the Rose Studio, and includes introductions by CMS Artistic Director David Finckel and commentary from featured musicians. The series is hosted by radio personality Elliott Forrest, and is heard locally on WQXR-FM, throughout the United States, and abroad.


CMS's commitment to providing musical education through chamber music to listeners of all ages inspires its many programs, from lecture-demonstrations in schools to fully-staged productions for families in Alice Tully Hall. Inside Chamber Music, Meet the Music!, the Young Musicians and Ensembles Programs are only a few of the many innovative offerings available for learning at CMS.

For more about this coming season, visit

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