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Chamber Music Society of Detroit at Oakland University

Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Chamber Music Society of Detroit at Oakland University

by Gillian Ellis

We have always had wonderful chamber music at Oakland University, with concerts given by our faculty and by guest performers, but this fall we enter a new era as we begin a partnership with one of the world’s premier chamber music presenting organizations. We are delighted to announce the Chamber Music Society of Detroit at Oakland University series, and we look forward to featuring nationally recognized ensembles on our campus. 

The series came about after CMSD President Steve Wogaman approached OU Music, Theatre and Dance Chair Professor Jackie Wiggins and asked if the university might be interested in a collaboration. Steve said, “Oakland University has one of the fastest growing performing arts programs in the country and we are thrilled to bring our concerts to its campus. We look forward to meeting new listeners and sharing our passion for chamber music with them.” 

Jackie Wiggins said, "We are just so excited about our new partnership with the Chamber Music Society of Detroit. It is absolutely a win/win situation for all! The Chamber Music Society has been looking to expand its audience and reach in the region. OU Music, Theatre and Dance has always wanted to expand our offerings to include world class performers. This partnership enables both to achieve these goals."

Performance at OU Music also serves our academic mission and there are educational components to the CMSD@OU partnership as well. Many of the CMSD ensembles that perform at OU will also provide workshops and master classes for OU music students and for K-12 students in the region. Further, Professor Jackie Wiggins will serve as a member of the CMSD board of directors, acting in the capacity of educational adviser for the organization's outreach programs.

The first visiting ensemble, Classical Jam, will be on campus on Sunday, October 20. They are well known for their commitment to audience engagement, and they are offering a chance to play with them to more than just OU music majors. They have announced an improvisational jam from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. in Varner Hall, room 134. The result will be incorporated into the evening concert. Anyone with any level of musical aptitude is welcome. Just bring along your instrument to be part of this don’t-miss once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! If you want to do a little preparation, you can download sheet music for "Asa Branca - Brazilian Baiao" here.

The performance series has been designed to offer programming that is fresh, rich in cultural diversity and appealing to people new to classical music, as well as to established concert goers. We invite you to follow the links listed below to preview the exciting season ahead.

On Sunday, October 20 at 7 p.m. Classical Jam will perform. Cyrus Beroukhim, violin; Meena Bhasin, viola; Wendy Law, cello; Marco Granados, flute; and Justin Hines, percussion, are five brilliant musicians who blend classical tradition and improvisation to create dynamic performances unlike anything else on the concert stage today. Their program, “From the Streets to the Concert Hall,” will explore the way composers throughout history have incorporated their heritages and the popular music of their day into concert music. It will include music by Bach, Piazzolla, Mozart and more.

See and hear them play on their website here. Click on the video link to hear the music clips and then explore the site to read more about the ensemble.

On Sunday, November 3 at 3 p.m. the Cavani String Quartet will perform. This renowned ensemble of Annie Fullard and Mari Sato playing violin, with Kirsten Docter on viola and Merry Peckham on cello, is the quartet-in-residence at the Cleveland Institute of Music and winner of the prestigious Naumburg Award. They have appeared in major concert halls across the country, including Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center. Their program, "Innovation and Inspiration,” will feature Mozart’s String Quartet in A major, K. 464, Bartók’s String Quartet No 2, Op. 17 and Debussy’s String Quartet in G minor, Op. 10

Listen and hear a variety of music in performance on their website here and then follow the links to read more about them.

There are also two concerts scheduled for the winter semester. On Sunday, February 9 at 3 p.m. the Kyōdai Brass Quintet will perform. Kyōdai (“Brothers”) Brass was formed at the Cleveland Institute of Music by two sets of musical brothers: Conrad, Gary and Douglas Jones playing trumpet, trombone and tuba, and Hayato and Hirofumi Tanaka, playing trumpet and horn. The ensemble is known for its eclectic programming and exciting performances. Their program for this concert will be Dance Suite from “Terpsichore" by Michael Praetorius, Dances with Shadows (1989) by Jacob Druckman, Quintet No. 2 in E-flat major, Op. 6 by Viktor Ewald, Four Movements for Five Brass by Collier Jones and Rounds 1 & 2 in SnakeTime by Moondog. 

You can see and hear them playing a clip from Snake Time on their Facebook page here and then follow the links to read more about them.

On Sunday, March 16 at 3 p.m Duo Sonidos will perform. This guitar and violin duo of William Knuth and Adam Levin has performed throughout the United States and Europe and both artists have been honored as Fulbright Scholars in the field of music performance. Their program selections feature music rooted in the song and dance traditions of various cultures. The audience will enjoy Béla Bartók’s Romanian Folk Dances, Sz. 56, Manuel de Falla’s Canciones Populares Españolas, Karol Szymanowski’s The Dawn, Wild Dance, Jorge Muñiz’s Funk, Lukas Foss’ Three American Pieces and Selections from Porgy and Bess by George Gershwin. 

These four concerts represent some of the finest chamber music and all will be in the very accessible Varner Hall, for the modest ticket price of $20, $10 for students. And don't forget our free parking! Complete ticket information here.

Speaking of the new partnership with CMSD Jackie Wiggins said, "Our joint efforts in this 2013-14 season are just the beginning. There are many exciting opportunities yet to come! See you at CMSD@OU Sundays." Please consider that a personal invitation.

Top right: Steve Wogaman and Jackie Wiggins. Photo by Megan Herald
Center left: Classical Jam
Lower right: The Cavani String Quartet