School of Music, Theatre and Dance

Chamber Music Detroit’s ‘Oakland Winterfest’ coming to OU campus

Concert series kicks off Feb. 24

icon of a calendarJanuary 30, 2024

Share this story

Chamber Music Detroit’s ‘Oakland Winterfest’ coming to OU campus
Oakland Winterfest
Chamber Music Detroit, in partnership with Oakland University’s School of Music, Theatre and Dance, will present “Oakland Winterfest” on Feb. 24, Feb. 25, and March 1 in Varner Recital Hall on the OU campus.

Chamber Music Detroit, in partnership with Oakland University’s School of Music, Theatre and Dance, will present “Oakland Winterfest” on February 24, February 25 and March 1 in Varner Recital Hall, located on the OU campus at 371 Varner Drive in Rochester, Mich.

The concert series will feature performances by the award-winning Aizuri Quartet; cellist Seth Parker Woods and Friends; and pianist Michael Stephen Brown.

“The theme of our 80th season is ‘Visionaries,’” said Chamber Music Detroit president Steve Wogaman. “These three concerts at Oakland University feature among the most creative and talented artists of their generation, representing a spectacular glimpse into the future of classical music in America.”

Tickets for each concert are $10 for Students, $30 for Standard, and $50 for Premium, and are available online at or by phone at 313-335-3350. Tickets may also be purchased at the Varner Recital Hall box office beginning one hour prior to each performance. Ticket packages for all three concerts are also available: $20 Students, $72 Standard, and $120 Premium.

Aizuri Quartet
The Aizuri Quartet

“Oakland Winterfest” will kick off at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 24 with a performance by the Aizuri Quartet, who will be making their Metro Detroit debut.

The Aizuri Quartet — Emma Frucht (violin), Miho Saegusa (violin), Brian Hong (viola), and Caleb van der Swaagh (cello) — has established a unique position within today’s musical landscape, infusing its music-making with infectious energy, joy and warmth. The ensemble cultivates curiosity in listeners and invites audiences into the concern experience through its innovative programming and the depth and fire of its performances.

Praised by the Washington Post for “astounding” and “captivating” performances that draw from its notable “meld of intellect, technique and emotions,” the Aizuri Quartet was named the recipient of the 2022 Cleveland Quartet Award by Chamber Music America, and was awarded the Grand Prize at the 2018 M-Prize Chamber Arts Competition.

The Quartet’s debut album, Blueprinting, was released by New Amsterdam Records to critical acclaim, nominated for a 2019 GRAMMY Award, and named one of NPR Music’s Best Classical Albums of 2018. Aizuri’s follow-up album, Earthdrawn Skies, was released in 2023 and praised by NPR as an album that “convincingly connects the dots in wildly diverse music stretching over eight centuries … arousing solemn contemplation, cosmic curiosity, folksy delight, and introspective scrutiny.”

The quartet’s Feb. 24 program features an eclectic range of music, from works by Felix Mendelssohn and his sister Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel to newer works by Reena Esmail, Judd Greenstein and others.  For more information about the program, visit

Seth Parker Woods, cello & Friends
Seth Parker Woods & Friends

The concert series continue at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 25 as “Oakland Winterfest” welcomes Seth Parker Woods, cello & Friends.

Woods, hailed by The Guardian as “a cellist of power and grace” who possesses “mature artistry and willingness to go to the brink,” has established a reputation as a versatile artist straddling several genres. In addition to solo performances, he has appeared with the Ictus Ensemble, Ensemble L’Arsenale, zone Experimental, Basel Sinfonietta, Ensemble LPR, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and the Atlanta and Seattle Symphony Orchestras.

His debut solo album, asinglewordisnotenough, has garnered acclaim since its release in 2016 and has been profiled in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, and The Guardian, among other publications.

Joining Woods on Feb. 25 will be the Aizuri Quartet, violist Kirsten Doctor and pianist Connor Hanick. The program includes music of Beethoven, African-American composer George Walker, and the groundbreaking and evocative “Transfigured Night” by Arnold Schönberg for strings and piano.  For more information on the concert, visit

Michael Stephen Brown
Michael Stephen Brown

“Oakland Winterfest” will conclude at 8 p.m. on Friday, March 1 with a performance by pianist Michael Stephen Brown.

Winner of a 2018 Emerging Artist Award from Lincoln Center and a 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Brown has been praised for his “fearless performances” by The New York Times. He has recently performed as soloist with the Seattle Symphony, the National Philharmonic, and the Grand Rapids, North Carolina, New Haven, and Albany symphonies; and in recital at Carnegie Hall, the Mostly Mozart Festival, and Caramoor. He is an artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, performing frequently at Alice Tully Hall and on tour.

Brown was selected by András Schiff to perform on an international tour making solo debuts in Berlin, Milan, Florence, Zurich’s Tonhalle, and New York’s 92nd Street Y. Also a composer, Brown has been hailed as “one of the leading figures in the current renaissance of performer composers” by The New York Times.

Brown’s richly varied program includes works by Haydn, Debussy, Ravel, Medelssohn and more. Brown himself describes the program as sharing “common inspirations of folklore, nature and love.”  For more information visit

For more information about Varner Recital Hall, visit

Share this story