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DACAMERA Announces Virtual Programming For January-March

Highlights include original commissioned recordings, two recitals filmed at the Menil Collection, streamed archival performances and more.

DACAMERA Announces Virtual Programming For January-March

DACAMERA, a Houston-based presenter of chamber music and jazz concerts, announces its virtual programming lineup for January through March.

Continuing in the same format as DACAMERA's Fall 2020 programming, which the The New Yorker described as "an online season that stands apart from the virtual crowd," the Spring season will include streamed concerts, two performances highlighting its longstanding collaboration with the world-famous Menil Collection, premiere broadcast streams of archival concerts with new introductions and more. All virtual concerts are free with registration at dacamera.com.

As the ongoing pandemic continues to preclude in-person concerts, DACAMERA will engage audiences from Houston and beyond with virtual programming representative of the organization's wide definition of chamber music, which ranges from classical to jazz to music beyond genre.

DACAMERA will continue to present new concerts this season with a series of virtual performances filmed from venues throughout the country, with pre-concert virtual artist receptions available for DACAMERA patrons. Featured performers include:

  • Mendelssohn Portrait performed by Brentano and Daedalus String Quartets: Felix Mendelssohn's rousing octet for strings, composed when the wunderkind was just 16 years old, is one of the most beloved works in all of classical music. The celebrated Daedalus Quartet made its DACAMERA debut in this 2019 concert, joining DACAMERA favorites the Brentano Quartet for a rousing rendition of this masterpiece. The stream opens with a new performance by the Brentano Quartet of two rarely heard Mendelssohn pieces for string quartet from the last year of his life, "Theme and Variations" and "Scherzo" from 1847, and a conversation with the Brentano Quartet's Mark Steinberg about the Mendelssohn Octet.

  • Sullivan Fortner Live at the Steinway Piano Factory in New York: Critically acclaimed pianist Sullivan Fortner will perform a mix of original compositions as well as standards from the American Songbook. Following his performance, Fortner will engage in an exclusive live discussion with DACAMERA audiences. For the past decade, the New Orleans native has garnered praise for his talents as a pianist, composer and band leader. The Grammy Award-winner received international praise as both key player and producer for his collaborative work on The Window with vocalist Cecile McLorin Salvant and won Rising Star-Piano and Rising Star Jazz Artist in the 2019 DownBeat Critics Poll.

  • Mieczysław Weinberg Piano Quintet, Op. 18 performed by Daedalus String Quartet and Sarah Rothenberg: In commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the death of Polish-Russian Jewish composer Mieczysław Weinberg, DACAMERA presents a performance of his intensely powerful Piano Quintet (originally performed in Houston in May 2019). Composed in 1944, Mieczysław's work is a dramatic and powerful testament to the historical moment in which it was composed. Since Houston Grand Opera's revival of Weinberg's opera The Passenger, the posthumous reputation of this brilliant composer continues to grow. The Piano Quintet, symphonic in scale and dramatic scope, is one of the greatest works of this form of the 20th century.

  • Aaron Diehl at the Hobby Center: This exclusive performance features pianist Aaron Diehl in a recital of concert works composed in jazz style, featuring Zodiac Suite by American pianist, arranger and composer Mary Lou Williams. Zodiac Suite consists of portraits of musical friends from each sign of the zodiac. ("Aries" for Ben Webster and Billie Holiday; "Taurus" for Duke Ellington, etc.). A virtuoso who moves easily between musical worlds, Diehl is sure to delight listeners who reject conventional notions of genre. A pre-concert Zoom reception with Diehl will be available to DACAMERA members.

DACAMERA continues its longstanding partnership with the world-famous Menil Collection with two virtual performances. Installments will include:

  • "Solzhenitsyn And Prokofiev: The War Years": Renowned pianist Ignat Solzhenitsyn performs two of Sergei Prokofiev's monumental sonatas, written after the composer's return home to Stalinist Russia following 18 years of exile. Following the intimate concert in the Menil galleries, Solzhenitsyn joins Sarah Rothenberg in a discussion about growing up Russian in Vermont, the life and career of Prokofiev and the life and work of the pianist's father Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the Nobel prize-winning author of One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich- the historic publication that revealed life in the Stalinist gulag to the western world.

  • "The Elias String Quartet and Sally Beamish": The internationally acclaimed Elias String Quartet, one of the most intense and vibrant quartets of their generation and a favorite of DACAMERA audiences, will perform the U.S. premiere of composer Sally Beamish's Quartet No. 4, her response to Schumann's A Minor Quartet. As an encore, audiences will enjoy the Elias Quartet's rousing arrangements of Scottish folk tunes. Audiences will also tune in to a post-concert conversation with Beamish about her new quartet, being "knighted" in 2020 and her thoughts on Robert and Clara Schumann.

DACAMERA's popular series of free streams will continue in April with pianist Jeremy Denk, violinist Stefan Jackiw and members of Houston Chamber Choir exploring the inspiration of Charles Ives's unparalleled invention. The performance will interweave original hymns, patriotic songs and marches with Ives's own wildly imaginative sonatas. Audiences can also look forward to a behind-the-scenes exploration of Sarah Rothenberg's original production, In the Garden of Dreams, with baritone John Brancy and soprano Abigail Fischer. The production draws on Freud, Strindberg, and the art of Max Klinger and Gustav Klimt, culminating in a performance of Schoenberg's haunting Book of the Hanging Gardens.

Virtual content will be available to the general public for one week and to DACAMERA members for two weeks. Registration is required on www.dacamera.com.

This season, the organization introduced a new membership program with benefits including virtual cocktail hours, extended access to online events, priority access to purchase tickets for live concerts and more. Membership packages begin at $100.

Please visit the DACAMERA website for all updates on in-person events and to learn more about the membership program. For high-res images, please visit http://bit.ly/38i2Hr2.


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