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Masterworks of Five Centuries 2017-2018 Saturday Concert Series
6 Weekend Performances
Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017; Jan. 13, 2018; Jan. 20, 2018; Jan. 27, 2018; April 14, 2018; and May 5, 2018

Pre-concert lecture: 6:30 p.m.
Concert: 7:30 p.m.
Quick Tix Code: BPQ3

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NOTE: This is the all-Saturday Masterworks series.

The 41st season of the Smithsonian Chamber Music Society features musical masterpieces from the early 17th century to the early 21st, played on some of the world’s most highly prized musical instruments. This season’s Masterworks of Five Centuries series commemorates the 190th anniversary of the death of Franz Schubert. Nine different repertoires are distributed over two six-concert series, with the option of purchasing tickets for all nine programs in a mixed Saturday/Sunday series.

This series opens in early October with the final installment in the Chamber Players’ survey of all of Haydn’s trios written for the five-octave fortepiano.

January’s Smithsonian Consort of Viols program investigates the music of John Jenkins, a venerable and much-beloved figure at the court of Charles I and throughout the interregnum.

Later that month, tenor Aaron Sheehan offers Schubert’s “Winter’s Journey.”

In late January, Reinbert de Leeuw’s ingenious orchestrations (for 14 instruments and voice) of twenty-one of Schubert and Schumann’s best-known songs as Im wunderschönen Monat Mai is performed. Dutch film and television actress Katja Herbers (best known in this country for her portrayal of physicist Helen Prins in the WGN America cable/satellite series Manhattan, about the development of the atomic bomb) interprets the evocative texts.

In mid-April, one of Schubert’s most powerful early quartets is paired with the magisterial Octet with which he intended “to prepare the way for his grand symphony.”

The series concludes in early May with the first of a series of programs taking up the little-known, but fascinatingly inventive, early keyboard trios of Haydn.

Kenneth Slowik, SCMS artistic director and recipient of the Smithsonian Distinguished Scholar Award, curates a series of pre-concert lectures (one hour prior to each program), shedding light on the glorious music and the life and times of the featured composers.

Click on separate dates for individual purchase.

Sat., Oct. 7, 2017

Joseph Haydn: Three Piano Trios, Hob: XV: 27-29, “dedicated to Mrs. Bartolozzi” (1797)
The Smithsonian Chamber Players: Catherine Manson, violin; Myron Lutzke, violoncello; Kenneth Slowik, fortepiano 

Sat., Jan. 13, 2018

Consort Music of John Jenkins (1592-1678)
The Smithsonian Consort of Viols: Kenneth Slowik, treble viol and organ; Lucine Musaelian, Zoe Weiss, Catherine Slowik, Patricia Neely, and William Skeen, viols 

Sat., Jan. 20, 2018

Franz Schubert: Winterreise, D911 (1827)
Aaron Sheehan, tenor; Kenneth Slowik, fortepiano

Sat., Jan. 27, 2018
NOTE: There is no pre-concert lecture with this performance.

Reinbert de Leeuw: Im wunderschönen Monat Mai: Three times seven Lieder after Schumann and Schubert (2004)
The Smithsonian Chamber Players: Katja Herbers, actress; Kenneth Slowik, piano and direction

Sat., April 14, 2018

Franz Schubert: Quartet in G Minor, D173 (1815)
Franz Schubert: Octet in F Major, D803 (1824)
The Smithsonian Chamber Players: Vera Beths and Cynthia Roberts, violins; Steven Dann, viola; Kenneth Slowik, violoncello; Anthony Manzo, bass; Charles Neidich, clarinet; Andrew Schwartz, bassoon; William Purvis, horn

Sat., May 5, 2018

Joseph Haydn: Early Keyboard Trios (1759-85)
The Smithsonian Chamber Players: Ian Swensen, violin; Elisabeth Reed, violoncello; Kenneth Slowik, harpsichord


  • All concerts are held in the Hall of Music, American History Museum.
  • The ticket code for this 6-concert series is BPQ3.
  • If you are interested in all-Sunday Masterworks 6-concert series, click here.
  • If you are interested in the Saturday & Sunday Masterworks 9-concert series, click here.
  • To learn more information about the Smithsonian Chamber Music Society, click here.
  • Program, location, and artists are subject to change.
National Museum of American History
Hall of Music (3rd floor)
14th St & Constitution Ave NW