Chamber Music Society of Detroit Will Welcome Pacifica Quartet, Christopher O'Riley

The Chamber Music Society of Detroit will feature the Pacifica Quartet and pianist Christopher O'Riley, artists known for their exuberant performance style and bold, wide-ranging repertoire, in three concerts in different combinations over a single weekend.

On Friday, January 20, the Pacifica Quartet begins the weekend with performances of string quartets by Dmitri Shostakovich and Jörg Widmann at Schaver Recital Hall in Detroit. On Saturday, January 21, Christopher O'Riley joins the Pacifica at Seligman Performing Arts Center in Beverly Hills for a performance of Schumann's beloved Piano Quintet in E-flat major; the Pacifica also performs quartets by Haydn and Ravel. Then on Sunday, Christopher O'Riley gives a solo recital at Oakland University's Varner Recital Hall featuring a wide-ranging program of music by Bach, Brahms, Scriabin and Rachmaninoff. Tickets for all three concerts are available by phone at 313-246-4250 or online at

Recognized for its virtuosity and daring repertory choices, over the past two decades the Pacifica Quartet has gained international stature as one of the finest chamber ensembles performing today. The Pacifica tours extensively throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, and Australia, performing regularly in the world's major concert halls. Named the quartet-in-residence at Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music in March 2012, the Pacifica was also the quartet-in-residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (2009 - 2012) - a position that has otherwise been held only by the Guarneri String Quartet - and received the 2009 Grammy for Best Chamber Music Performance.

Formed in 1994, the Pacifica Quartet quickly won chamber music's top competitions, including the 1998 Naumburg Chamber Music Award. In 2002 the ensemble was honored with Chamber Music America's Cleveland Quartet Award and the appointment to Lincoln Center's CMS Two, and in 2006 was awarded a prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant. Also in 2006 the Quartet was featured on the cover of Gramophone and heralded as one of "five new quartets you should know about," the only American quartet to make the list. And in 2009, the Quartet was named "Ensemble of the Year" by Musical America.

Acclaimed for his engaging and deeply committed performances, pianist Christopher O'Riley is known to millions as the host of NPR's From the Top. His repertoire spans a kaleidoscopic array of music from the pre-baroque to present-day. He performs around the world and has garnered widespread praise for his untiring efforts to reach new audiences.

Now in his fifteenth year on air, Christopher O'Riley introduces the next generation of classical-music stars to almost a million listeners each week on From the Top, broadcast by 250 stations across the United States. O'Riley also hosted the Emmy Award-winning television series From the Top at Carnegie Hall, and has collaborated with Yo-Yo Ma, Bobby McFerrin, Midori, Béla Fleck, Joshua Bell, Hilary Hahn, Sir James Galway, Michael Feinstein, and many more.

Christopher O'Riley has performed as a soloist with virtually all of the major American orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, National Symphony, and San Francisco Symphony. He led the Academy of St Martin in the Fields on a two-week tour of ten American cities performing concertos by Bach, Mozart, and Liszt.

Living by the Duke Ellington adage "There are only two kinds of music, good music and bad," O'Riley - a proponent of the former in all of its guises - has received the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant and an equally coveted four-star review from Rolling Stone magazine. O'Riley strives to introduce new audiences to classical music with an almost missionary zeal by performing piano arrangements of music by Radiohead, Elliott Smith, Pink Floyd, and Nirvana alongside traditional classical repertoire.


Pacifica Quartet

Friday, January 20, 2017, 8 PM

Schaver Music Recital Hall, 480 W. Hancock, Detroit

Tickets: $30 for adults, $15 for students

Jörg Widmann: Quartet No. 3

Shostakovich: Quartet No. 3

Pacifica Quartet with Christopher O'Riley, piano

Saturday, January 21, 2017, 8 PM

Seligman Performing Arts Center, 22305 W. 13 Mile Road, Beverly Hills

Tickets: $32 - $64 for adults, $16 - $32 for students

Haydn: String Quartet in G major, Op. 76, No. 1

Ravel: String Quartet in F major

Schumann: Piano Quintet in E-flat major, Op. 44

6:45 - 7:30 PM: A pre-concert conversation with Christopher O'Riley, host of NPR's nationally syndicated program "From the Top," features appearances and performances by two young Michigan alumni of the show, Joe Broom and Chad Lilley, both now students at the University of Michigan. Open to ticket-holders free of charge.

Christopher O'Riley, piano

Sunday, January 22, 3 PM

Varner Recital Hall, campus of Oakland University, 2200 N. Squirrel Road, Rochester

Tickets: $30 for adults, $15 for students

Brahms: Three Intermezzi, Op. 117

Bach: Partita No. 6 in E minor, BWV 830

Scriabin: Piano Sonata No. 9, "Black Mass," Op. 68

Rachmaninoff: Piano Sonata No. 2 in B-flat minor, Op. 36 (original 1913 version)

Related Articles View More Detroit Stories   Shows

More Hot Stories For You

Before you go...

Like Us On Facebook
Follow Us On Twitter
Follow Us On Instagram instagram