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Smithsonian Chamber Music Society

2019-2020 Season Subscriptions On Sale Starting July 26, 2019
Single Tickets Available Starting Sept. 16, 2019

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The 43rd season of the Smithsonian Chamber Music Society (SCMS) features masterpieces from the late 16th to the mid-20th centuries, played on some of the world’s most highly prized musical instruments. Concerts take place in the newly endowed Nicholas and Eugenia Taubman Hall of Music at the National Museum of American History.

Kenneth Slowik, SCMS artistic director and recipient of the Smithsonian Distinguished Scholar Award, again curates a series of pre-concert talks one hour prior to each concert.

Learn more about the Smithsonian Chamber Music Society

Axelrod String Quartet Series

members of the Axelrod Quartet Smithsonian Chamber Music Society audiences are privy to the unparalleled opportunity of hearing two magnificent quartets of instruments—one made by Antonio Stradivari, the other by his teacher Nicolò Amati—in this popular three-concert series.

General Details

Dates & Music

Sat., Nov. 2, 2019; Sun., Nov. 3, 2019
Haydn: Quartet in F-sharp Minor, Op. 50, No. 4
Shostakovich: Quartet in F Major, Op. 73
Mozart: Quintet in E-flat Major, K614 
with Steven Dann, viola

Sat., Jan. 25, 2020; Sun., Jan. 26, 2020
Haydn: Quartet in D Major, Op. 50, No. 6 (“The Frog”)   
Britten: Quartet No. 2 in C Major, Op. 36
Beethoven: Quartet in F Major, Op. 59, No. 1

Sat., May 9, 2020; Sun., May 10, 2020
Haydn: Quartet in C Major, Op. 50, No. 2
Bartók: Quartet No. 6, Sz 114
Mendelssohn: Octet in E-flat Major, Op. 20
with the Omer QuartetMason Yu and Erica Tursi, violins; Jinsung Hong, viola; Alexander Cox, violoncello

Programs, locations, and artists subject to change.

Masterworks of Five Centuries Series

Smithsonian Chamber Music Society This eight-concert series features several artists and ensembles including the Smithsonian Chamber Players and Smithsonian Consort of Viols.

General Details

  • All Masterworks concerts start at 7:30 p.m.; pre-concert lecture starts at 6:30 p.m. (except both November concerts)
  • All concerts will be held at the Nicholas and Eugenia Taubman Hall of Music in the American History Museum.
  • TICKETS:

Dates & Music

Sat., Oct. 12, 2019; Sun., Oct. 13, 2019
Music for Four Celli 
Works by Georg Christoph Wagenseil, Friedrich Dotzauer, Friedrich Grützmacher, Aleksandr Vasilyevich Kuznetsov, and David Popper

Smithsonian Chamber Players: Myron Lutzke, William Skeen, Kenneth Slowik, and Allen Whear, violoncelli


Sat., Nov. 16, 2019; Sun., Nov. 17, 2019
Schubert: Sonata in A Minor, D385; Auf dem Strom, D943; Sonata in A Major, D574; Der Hirt auf dem Felsen, D965

Smithsonian Chamber Players: Catherine Manson, violin; William Purvis, horn; Eric Hoeprich, clarinet; Kenneth Slowik, fortepiano with Aaron Sheehan, tenor


Sat., Jan. 4, 2020; Sun., Jan. 5, 2020
In Nomine
Cantus firmus consorts by William Byrd, Osbert Parsley, Nicholas Strogers, Christopher Tye, Clement Woodcock, Alfonso Ferrabosco, and Henry Purcell

Smithsonian Consort of Viols: Kenneth Slowik, Lucine Musaelian, Zoe Weiss, Catherine Slowik, Arnie Tanimoto, viols with Chelsea Bernstein and Thomas MacCracken


Sat., Feb. 1, 2020; Sun., Feb. 2, 2020
Haydn: Sonata in B Minor, Hob. XVI: 32; 
J.S. Bach: Partita in D Major, BWV 828; Sonata in B Minor, BWV 1014; Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D Major, BWV 1050

Smithsonian Chamber Players: Ian Swensen, violin; Kenneth Slowik, harpsichord with SCMS Fellows


Sat., Feb. 15, 2020
Mozart: Sonatas in D Major, K358/186c; F Major, K 497; C Major K521
Schubert: Four Polonaises, D599; Grand Duo, D812

Smithsonian Chamber Players: Naoko Takao and Kenneth Slowik, fortepiano four hands


Sun., Feb. 23, 2020
J.S. Bach: Partita in A Minor, BWV 827; Sonata in E Major, BWV 1016
Haydn: Sonata in D Major, Hob. XVI: 42
Mozart: Sonata in G Major, K379

Smithsonian Chamber Players: Elizabeth Blumenstock, violin; Kenneth Slowik, harpsichord and fortepiano


Sat., March 7, 2020; Sun., March 8, 2020
Schubert: Fantasy in C Major, D934; Quintet in A Major, D667, “The Trout”

Smithsonian Chamber Players: Mark Fewer, violin; Kenneth Slowik, fortepiano with SCMS Fellows


Sat., March 28, 2020; Sun., March 29, 2020
Schubert: Quartet in A Minor, D804, “Rosamunde”
Schoenberg: Verklärte Nacht, Op. 4

Smithsonian Chamber Players: Vera Beths, violin; Steven Dann, viola; Kenneth Slowik, violoncello 
with SCMS Fellows


Sat., April 18, 2020; Sun., April 19, 2020
J.S. Bach: Partita in G Major, BWV 829; Sonata in C Minor, BWV 1017
Haydn: Sonata in E Minor, Hob. XVI: 34
Mozart: Sonata in D Major, K306/300

Smithsonian Chamber Players: Marc Destrubé, violin; Kenneth Slowik, harpsichord and fortepiano

Programs, locations, and artists subject to change.