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Chamber Music Society Of Lincoln Center Begins 50th Anniversary Season

The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center opens the fall season of its 50th anniversary year in Alice Tully Hall on Tuesday October 15, 2019. The program will highlight Dvorák's "American" quintet-a work inspired by the plains of Spillville, Iowa, and the music of Native and African-Americans-along with works by African-American composer Harry Burleigh, and iconic American composers Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein. The concert will be streamed by on October 17.

Four CMS 50th anniversary initiatives will begin in the first half of the 2019-20 season. The Phenomenal 50 kicks-off the celebration with a series of podcasts spotlighting some of the finest CMS concerts from the past 50 years. Launched on August 1, each installment is introduced by Co-Artistic Directors David Finckel and Wu Han and will continue with a new edition every Monday throughout the anniversary season. The programs will be available on theCMS website as well as on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts.

A Live From Lincoln Center production will inaugurate the 50th anniversary on September 6with Odyssey: The Chamber Music Society in Greece, a PBS broadcast featuring CMS musicians at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in Athens, the Center's first-ever presentation of a U.S. musical organization. The cameras also follow the musicians to the remotely picturesque hills of Pelion and to Delphi. This visually striking musical journey transports viewers to the country where so many of the classical arts were first developed. CMS just released an audio recording of select performances from the trip and the album is available on the CMS Live label, both as a physical CD and digital download.

The production is made possible in part through a grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) and the generosity and expert technical assistance provided by Greek public broadcaster Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation (ERT). Broadcast is planned on Greek public television in the coming months, and the episode will also be available for streaming on for 28 days following the U.S. premiere. Live From Lincoln Center is made possible by The family of Robert Wood Johnson III, The Robert and Renée Belfer Family Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

CMS at 50 at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts will explore the rich history of CMS with a FREE multi-media exhibition and comprehensive timeline-including musical excerpts-of the evolution of chamber music from 1650 to today. A special highlight will present a nine-screen video installation illuminating the art form of chamber music. The exhibition opens on October 3, 2019 in the Plaza Corridor Gallery of the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center, at 40 Lincoln Center Plaza, and will continue through March 7, 2020.

On October 20, the Chamber Music Society will launch In Concert with CMS, a new monthly program featuring select past performances on ALL ARTS, the broadcast channel, streaming platform, and website dedicated to arts and culture 24/7. Programming is available on the ALL ARTS website; streaming apps on iOS and Android smartphones and tablets; Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV; and on television channels in the greater New York area.

Co-Artistic Directors Wu Han and David Finckel are pleased to announce the presentation of CMS's Award for Extraordinary Service to Chamber Music to clarinetist David Shifrin. The opening of the 50th anniversary season provides a perfect occasion to recognize his contributions to the art form, not only as one of today's leading clarinetists but also as one of the music world's most influential artistic directors, notably of CMS itself from 1992 to 2004, and of Chamber Music Northwest since 1981.

Additional fall highlights include the New York premiere and CMS co-commission by Bruce Adolphe-who will discuss his work in a pre-concert composer chat-of his cello quintet Are there not a thousand forms of sorrow for Two Violins, Viola, and Two Cellos (Oct. 27); and theworld premiere of John Corigliano's The Food of Love for Oboe and Cello (Nov. 7). There will also be an expanded Inside Chamber Music series led by composer and CMS resident lecturer Bruce Adolphe. Reflecting the 50th anniversary theme of "milestones," twelve landmark works representing the epitome of chamber music have been especially selected for mainstage concerts during the anniversary year. Adolphe will offer six fall Inside Chamber Music lectures revealing their significance the week prior to the Alice Tully Hall performances (Oct. 9 - Nov. 20). Programs for families will include Oceanophony, a MEET THE MUSIC! event about music, poetry and the ocean for kids ages 6 and up at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Frederick P. Rose Hall, Rose Theater (Nov. 10); and Creative Creatures, an informal CMS Kids presentation with host Rami Vamos and CMS artists for young children ages 3 - 6 exploring the world of visual artists, poets, and composers in the Rose Studio (Oct. 20).

Fall Alice Tully Hall Concerts

CMS opens its 2019-20 season with a program featuring Dvorák's American Quintet coupled with works by Harry Burleigh-who inspired Dvorák by singing spirituals to him while studying at New York's National Conservatory-and Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein. It will be performed by pianists Gloria Chien and Wu Han; violinists Chad Hoopes, Kristin Lee, Danbi Um, and Angelo Xiang Yu; violist Matthew Lipman and Paul Neubauer; cellists Nicholas Canellakis and David Finckel; bassist Anthony Manzo, flutist Ransom Wilson; clarinetist David Shifrin; and bassoonist Marc Goldberg (Oct. 15). The second concert, Haydn's Joke Quartet, presents two quartets by the composer alongside Mozart's "Dissonance" with the Orion String Quartet (Oct. 20); followed by Schubert's Cello Quintet in an evening of quintets also showcasing works by Mozart and Bruce Adolphe, performed by violinists Sean Lee and Arnaud Sussmann; violists Mark Holloway and Matthew Lipman; and cellists Clive Greensmith and David Requiro (Oct. 27).

November brings Berg's Lyric Suite for String Quartet with Soprano, Mozart's Adagio and Fugue in C minor for String Quartet, and Grieg's Quartet in G minor for Strings with soprano Tony Arnold and the Schumann Quartet (Nov. 8); and Brahms's Clarinet Quintet with Schubert's Fantasie in F minor for Piano Four Hands and Schumann's Dichterliebe for Voice and Piano, performed by tenor Paul Appleby; pianists Ken Noda and Wu Han; violinists Aaron Boyd and Francisco Fullana; violist Yura Lee; cellist Keith Robinson; and clarinetist David Shifrin (Nov. 19). Stravinsky's The Soldier's Tale will be presented alongside innovative works from Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Smetana. Pianist Anne-Marie McDermott; violinist Ida Kavafian; cellist Gary Hoffman; and clarinetist Jose Franch-Ballester will perform (Nov. 24).

December presents Bach's Goldberg Variations with pianist Jeffrey Kahane (Dec. 3), and just in time for the holidays, CMS offers Corelli's Christmas Concerto coupled with an excerpt from Bach's Musical Offering, Tartini's "Devil's Trill," Vivaldi's "Winter" and other Baroque gems from Farina and Sammartini. The performers are harpsichordist Kenneth Weiss; violinists Adam Barnett-Hart, Ani Kavafian, Kristin Lee, and Alexander Sitkovetsky; violists Yura Lee and Matthew Lipman; cellists Estelle Choi and Timothy Eddy; bassist Edgar Meyer; and flutist Adam Walker (Dec. 8, 10). CMS's holiday tradition continues with Bach's Brandenburg Concertoswith harpsichordist Hyeyeon Park; violinists Francisco Fullana, Bella Hristova, and Arnaud Sussmann; violinist/violist Daniel Phillips; violists Hsin-Yun Huang and Richard O'Neill; cellists Dmitri Atapine, Nicholas Canellakis, and Colin Carr; bassist Xavier Foley; flutists Sooyun Kim and Tara Helen O'Connor; oboists Randall Ellis, James Austin Smith, and Stephen Taylor; bassoonist Marc Goldberg; horn players David Jolley and Eric Reed; and trumpeter David Washburn (Dec. 13, 15, 17).

Fall Rose Studio Concerts

The Rose Studio anniversary season will host an expanded, 12-concert Inside Chamber Musicwith Bruce Adolphe series, with six programs in the fall coupling lectures and short live performances (Oct. 9, 16, 23, and Nov. 6, 13, 20, 2019). On October 20, a CMS Kids event titled Creative Creatures for ages three to six offers an inclusive concert experience adapted for neurodiverse audiences, including children with autism or other special needs. The timeless art of the recital will offer Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring for Piano Four Hands and Messiaen'sVisions de l'Amen for Two Pianos with Michael Brown and Orion Weiss (Nov. 21). American Trailblazers - Cage's Sonatas and Interludes will present some of Cage's finest pieces for prepared piano, along with works by Ruth Crawford Seeger, John Corigliano (world premiere), and Elliott Carter, with pianist/harpsichordist; Gilles Vonsattel; cellist Mihai Marica; flutist Tara Helen O'Connor; and oboist James Austin Smith (Nov. 7). There will also be two FREE masterclasses given by soprano Tony Arnold on vocal chamber music (Nov. 7), and pianist Jeffrey Kahane on solo piano works by Bach (Dec. 4), both of which will be livestreamed and archived for viewing on CMS's website.

Tickets may be purchased in person at the Alice Tully Hall box office at Broadway and West 65th St. or the CMS ticketing office at The Samuel B. and David Rose Building, 165 West 65thStreet, 10th floor; by calling 212.875.5788; or online at

From August through December 2019, CMS will perform in nine states across the U.S. from New York to Colorado, and overseas to Colombia and China. A global leader in chamber music, CMS is the largest producing presenter of chamber music in the world and is now offering even more concerts on tour and in annual residencies than in its home at Lincoln Center. Every season CMS performs approximately 70 or more concerts on tour across the U.S. and Canada, and internationally to Europe, Asia and South America. For a partial listing of 2019-20 tour dates, artists, and programs, click here.

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