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Masterworks of Five Centuries 2019-2020 Saturday Concert Series

Smithsonian Chamber Music Society

8 Weekend Concerts

DATES: Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019; Nov. 16. 2019; Jan. 4, 2020; Feb. 1, 2020; Feb. 15. 2020; Mar. 7, 2020; Mar. 28, 2020; and Apr. 18, 2020

TIMES: Pre-Concert Lectures at 6:30 p.m.
Concerts at 7:30 p.m.
Quick Tix Code: BPR6
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The 43rd season of the Smithsonian Chamber Music Society features masterpieces from the late 16th to the mid-20th centuries, played on some of the world’s most highly prized musical instruments.


  • Location: American History Museum’s intimate Nicholas and Eugenia Taubman Hall of Music
  • Veteran SCMS musicians are joined in several of the programs by Smithsonian Chamber Music Society Fellows, participants in a new educational initiative for musicians under 30.
  • 6:30 p.m. pre-concert lectures with Kenneth Slowik, the ensemble’s artistic director, shedding light on each performance's music and the featured composers.
  • The Masterworks of Five Centuries concert series also has Sunday dates (there are select repertoire differences in February).


Please Note: As of Sept. 16, single concert tickets are available for purchase.

Sat., Oct. 12, 2019

The season opens in October with an unusual program of music for four celli, written primarily by composers who were themselves cellists.

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

November’s Schubertiade pairs the haunting sounds of the early clarinet and horn with Aaron Sheehan’s tenor.

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

The Smithsonian Consort of Viols returns early in the new year with a program illustrating the diversity of English consort pieces built on the cantus firmus framework of the In Nomine.

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

San Francisco Conservatory professor of violin Ian Swensen and Kenneth Slowik offer selections by Haydn and Bach, including the Fifth Brandenburg Concerto, joined by five Smithsonian Chamber Music Society Fellows.

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

Slowik and Naoko Takao play a four-hands program on two contrasting early-19th-century pianos in February.

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

Sat., Mar. 7, 2020

The season’s second Schubertiade in March brings back the multi-faceted Mark Fewer for readings of the monumental C Major Fantasy and, with three SCMS Fellows, the ebullient “Trout” Quintet.

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., Mar. 28, 2020

Fellows also join Slowik, Vera Beths, and Steven Dann for a program that includes the original sextet version of Verklärte Nacht.

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., Apr. 18, 2020

The final spring concert features works by Bach, Haydn, and Mozart with Axelrod Quartet’s Marc Destrubé. 

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

8 concerts

Smithsonian Year of Music

National Museum of American History
Nicholas and Eugenia Taubman Hall of Music
14th St & Constitution Ave NW