January 11, 2010

Concert series

Keying in on Chopin, Schumann

Robert Schumann and Frederic Chopin

Celebrating its 17th season, the Emory Chamber Music Society of Atlanta (ECMSA), Atlanta’s largest and most active chamber music organization, brings together some of the city’s finest musicians with internationally known guests to celebrate the Frederic Chopin/Robert Schumann bicentennial in 2010 with nine concerts between January and May.

The piano and chamber works of Chopin and Schumann are featured in performances by noted pianists in the ECMSA’s Emerson Concert Series (Tickets: $20; $15 Discount Category Members; all students free).

William Ransom, ECMSA co-founder and artistic director, kicks off the Emerson Concert Series on Jan. 24 at 4 p.m. with a concert featuring the solo piano works of Chopin and Schumann’s “Piano Quintet” with the Vega String Quartet. Of the concert, Ransom says: “This season I celebrate my 25th year at Emory and, by wonderful coincidence, get to celebrate the bicentennials of both Chopin and Schumann, a pianist's dream. On Jan. 24th, I'll also get to showcase my love for both solo playing and chamber music. Over the course of the entire year, the ECMSA will feature all the major solo piano works and chamber music masterpieces of both composers with many internationally known guest artists."

Parisian pianist Bertrand Giraud performs Chopin’s complete “Preludes” and Schumann’s “Piano Quartet” with members of the Vega String Quartet on Feb. 21 at 4 p.m. Giraud is a graduate of both the National Conservatories of Paris and Geneva. The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s Robert Spano plays Chopin’s “Cello Sonata” with Christopher Rex; Schumann’s “Pictures from Fairyland” with violist Yinzi Kong; and the Vega String Quartet plays Schumann’s “A Minor String Quartet” on April 10 at 8 p.m. All Emerson Series concerts are in Emory’s Schwartz Center for Performing Arts.

The ECMSA’s popular Noontime Series of free concerts begins on Jan. 15 with pianist Laura Gordy playing solo Chopin and clarinetist Laura Ardan, clarinet and French hornist Brice Andrus playing Schumann. Soprano Teresa Hopkin sings “Frauenliebe und Leben” and tenor Bradley Howard sings “Dichterliebe” with pianist Deborah Thoreson in “Valentine’s Day Love Songs” on Feb. 12. Pianist David Deveau performs Schumann’s “Carnaval” and Chopin’s “Sonata No. 3 in B Minor” on March 19 while Robert Spano hosts some of the Emory Music Department’s finest undergraduate talents in “Emory’s Young Artists” on April 16. Canadian pianist Philip Thomson performs works of Chopin and Schumann on May 7.

Families can celebrate the birthdays of the two composers on March 21 at “Happy Birthday Mr. Chopin and Mr. Schumann!” a Family Series concert where the two composers will be in attendance to comment on performances of their works. Aspiring musicians will enjoy “Atlanta’s Young Artists,” an annual showcase of some of Atlanta’s most talented pre-college musicians, on April 25. Family Series tickets are $4; Carlos Museum members get four free tickets. Both Noontime and Family Series concerts are in the Carlos Museum, Reception Hall.

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