Saturday, March 4 BRENTANO STRING QUARTET
The Brentano is an American string quartet, founded at Juilliard in 1992. Within a year of its public concert debut, it had received the Naumberg Award and the Martin Segal Prize. The Brenano became the first ensemble-in-residence at Prince-ton University, a position it held from 1999 to 2014. It is now the faculty quartet-in-residence at the Yale School of Music, succeeding the Tokyo String Quartet. The Quartet performs all over the world, from Carnegie Hall to the Edinburgh Festival to the Sydney Opera House. It also records widely. In the critically-acclaimed independent film, A Late Quartet, the filmmakers turned to the Brentano SQ for the central music, Beethoven’s Opus 131.
Tuesday, March 7 ERIC LU, Piano
18 year-old Eric Lu is rapidly building an international reputation as a young pianist with enormous promise and a distinctive musical voice. A native of the Boston area, he was admitted at age 15 to the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia where he currently studies. He won first prize in the 2015 National Chopin Competition in Miami (where he also received the best concerto prize), and the IX Moscow International Chopin Competition for Young Pianists. At 17, Eric won the 4th prize at the 17th International Fryderyk Chopin competition in Warsaw, becoming one of the youngest winners in the history of the competition. Earlier awards include first prizes at the Ettlinger International and the Minnesota Junior Competition.
Saturday, March 11 DAEDALUS STRING QUARTET
Since winning the top prize in the Banff International String Quartet Competition in 2001, the Daedalus has established itself as a leader among the new generation of string ensembles. Its members hold degrees from the Juilliard School, Curtis Institute, Cleveland Institute and Harvard University. It has performed in many leading musical venues, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Boston’s Gardner Museum and all of the major Canadian venues. Abroad they have been heard in Such famed locations as the Musikverein in Vienna, the Mozarteum in Salzburg, and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.
They have impressed critics and listeners alike with the security, interpretive ability and sheer gusto of their performances.
Tuesday, March 14 BOSTON CHAMBER MUSIC SOCIETY with Ann Hobson Pilot, Harp
We welcome back this ensemble of superbly versatile musicians, who come together in different instrumental combinations to perform chamber music. This year, a new vilinist, pianist and oboist join them. The Boston Globe calls them “vivid, compelling and first-rate.” They are New England’s longest-running chamber music society, and they have built a reputation for impassioned performances, with a perfect combination of control and freedom.” This season, their SMF concert will combine the familia: a Shubert trio and the Mozart Clarinet Quintet, and the rare: Jongen’s Two Pieces for Flute, cello and Harp, and Ravel’s Introduction and Allegra for Flute, Clarinet, String Quartet and Harp.
Saturday, March 18 EMERSON STRING QUARTET
The Emerson stands apart in the history of string quartets. With an unparalleled list of achievements over three decades: more than thirty acclaimed recordings, nine Grammys (including two for Best Classical album), three GramoPhone Awards, the Avery Fisher Prize and Musical America’s “Ensemble of the Year.” They were inducted into the Classical Music Hall of Fame in 2010. In 2013, cellist Paul Watkins joined the group when founding cellist David Finckel retired. In 2015, the Emerson received the Richard J. Bogomolny National Service Award, the highest award in classical chamber music. They were one of the first quartets to have the two violinists in alternating chairs.
Tuesday, March 21 MUSIC BY GEORGE AND IRA GERSHWIN
George Gershwin began composing in Tin Pan Alley at the age of 18. His older brother Ira later wrote lyrics under a pseudonym, not wanting to trade off George’s success.. The brothers collaborated for the first time in 1921, and in 1924, they wrote their first Broadway hit, Lady Be Good. Twelve Broadway hits followed, until George’s untimely death from a brain tumor in 1937. Ira later teamed up with such accomplished composers as Jerome Kern, Kurt Weill and Harold Arlen His mastery of song- writing has often been overshadowed by the success he and George had together. Selections from their classic songs will be performed by an exciting young cast of singing actors, with piano accompaniment.
Saturday, March 25 OPERA THEATER OF CONNECTICUT – Fabulous French Composers
Join Opera Theater of Connecticut as it presents the finest highlights of French opera including The Beauty of Bizet (Carmen and The Pearl Fishers), The Grandeur of Gounod (Romeo et Juliette and Faust), The Magic of Massenet (Manon and Werther), as well as pieces from Lakmè, Guillame Tell, and Hamlet. Accompanied by Maestro Robert Ashens and sung by six young professional opera singers on the cusp of national and international careers (an OTC and SMF tradition), this is a concert not to be missed. And of course, Artistic Director Alan Mann will supplement each segment with his witty commentary, all presented with supertitles for enhanced audience enjoyment and understanding.