NOTE: This is the all-Sunday 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 mid-October with a Brahms concert using a late-Viennese all-wooden fortepiano similar to the instrument Brahms used while composing his first two piano quartets.
The versatility of this kind of piano is highlighted in December’s Beethoven/Schubert trio program.
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.
In late January, Reinbert de Leeuw’s ingenious orchestrations (for 15 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 February, enjoy an all-Bach recital by Kenneth Slowik.
The series concludes 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.”.
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.
Sun., Oct. 22, 2017
Johannes Brahms: Sonata in E Minor, Op. 38, for Cello and Piano (1862-5)
Johannes Brahms: Piano Quartet in G Minor, Op. 25 (1861)
The Smithsonian Chamber Players: Katherine Kyme, violin; Steven Dann, viola; William Skeen, violoncello; Kenneth Slowik, fortepiano
Sun., Dec. 10, 2017
Ludwig van Beethoven: Trio in D Major, Op. 70, No. 1, The Ghost (1808)
Franz Schubert: Trio in B-flat Major, D898 (1827)
The Smithsonian Chamber Players: Mark Fewer, violin; Myron Lutzke, violoncello; Kenneth Slowik, fortepiano
Sun., Jan. 14, 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
Sun., Jan. 28, 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
Sun., Feb. 25, 2018
Johann Sebastian Bach: Suite in E-flat Major, BWV 1010 (ca. 1720)
Johann Sebastian Bach: “English” Suite in E Minor, BWV 811 (before 1720)
Johann Sebastian Bach: Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue, BWV 903 (before 1723)
Kenneth Slowik, violoncello and harpsichord
Sun., April 15, 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
- All concerts are held in the Hall of Music, American History Museum.
- The ticket code for this 6-concert series is BPQ4.
- If you are interested in all-Saturday 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.