Chamber Music Society Of Lincoln Center Announces 2019-20 Season And 50th Anniversary


The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (CMS) has announced the details of its 2019-20 season. Titled Milestones, this celebration of CMS’s 50thanniversary will feature the most expansive presentation of chamber music in its history – from its beginnings up to today – through worldwide performances, numerous educational initiatives, and a multi-media exhibition at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. CMS will continue to expand its already extensive free digital offerings, releasing a 50-episode podcast series highlighting some of the best performances from the last five decades.

Highlights of the 50th anniversary season include the mainstage programs at Alice Tully Hall, which will bring together the quintessence of chamber music. Each program will highlight a game-changing composition, starting with the opening night concert of American chambermusic featuring Dvo?ák’s iconic “American” Quintet. A specially-expanded Inside ChamberMusic series, led by composer and CMS resident lecturer Bruce Adolphe, will explore the milestone works, with lectures presented in the week prior to the performances. And the Winter Festival will offer Beethoven’s complete 16 string quartets, representing the very essence of groundbreaking musical evolution, 250 years after Beethoven’s birth. The Festival will also offer pre-concert presentations by David Finckel, with excerpts from the quartets performed with CMS musicians.

Explaining the season’s concept, Artistic Directors Wu Han and David Finckel said: “Milestones is not just a theme: it is the backbone of an immersive journey and those who partake of it will have experienced and will understand chamber music deeply. Our season title refers to a set of carefully chosen works, each headlining a mainstage program of the 2019-20 season. Although music did indeed unfold naturally over time, certain works hold indisputable reputations as innovation landmarks, Bach’s stunning Brandenburg Concertos; Schumann’s newly-invented Piano Quintet; and 19 more program headers knit together the comprehensive fabric of chamber music, alongside repertoire gems that in myriad ways altered the course of our art form’s history.”

The Season in Numbers

The anniversary celebration will include more than 130 performances and events in NYC, on tour in the U.S. and internationally; six premieres; 16 American composers; and over 110 artists, including more than 75 artists with a long-standing CMS history, current and past Artistic Directors, and many alumni as well as current members of The Bowers Program. Since its founding in 1969, CMS has presented over 3,900 concerts in its home at Alice Tully Hall, at its residencies, and on tour around the world, and has enlarged the chamber music repertoire by more than 180 works through its strong commitment to commissioning.

Commissions, Premieres, and American Works

CMS will present six premieres during its 2019-20 anniversary season, including CMS Co-Commissions and New York premieres of Bruce Adolphe’s Are there not a thousand forms of sorrow for Two Violins, Viola, and Two Cellos (Oct. 27), Anna Clyne’s New Work for String Quartet (Apr. 30), John Harbison’s IF for Soprano and Ensemble (Mar. 8); and the Co-Commissions and world premieres of John Corigliano’s The Food of Love for Oboe and Cello (Nov. 7), Lowell liebermann’s New Work for Cello and Piano (May 14), and CMS’s Commission and world premiere of a new work for Flute, Clarinet, Viola and Cello by Alexandra du Bois (Mar. 12).

The season also showcases the works of 16 American composers: Adolphe, Barber, Bernstein, Burleigh, Cage, Carter, Copland, Corigliano, Crawford Seeger, Gershwin, Harbison, Johnston, Liebermann, Marsalis, Nancarrow, and Tower; including works by six women: Clyne, Crawford Seeger, du Bois, Gubaidulina, Saariaho, Tower; and seven local New York composers: Adolphe, Corigliano, du Bois, Liebermann, Marsalis, Tower, and Clyne.

Executive Director Suzanne Davidson noted, “CMS is proud to head into its next 50 years on a strong financial footing, with the momentum of growing audiences and an ever-expanding footprint as we provide hundreds of hours of digital content for free. In its first half century CMS has experienced significant growth, and we take our responsibility to the art form seriously. In addition to performance at the highest level, education is a key part of our role. We reach thousands of students through our programs in schools, in our studio, and online. With The Bowers Program, we provide unique performance opportunities and pass the art of chambermusic through generations of extraordinary musicians who will take the art form forward into the future. We are now poised to bring our unique brand of chamber music to an even wider audience.”

CMS at 50: A 50th Anniversary Exhibition at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts

In celebration of the 50th anniversary season, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts will explore the rich history of CMS with a multi-media exhibition and a timeline of the evolution of chamber music. The exhibition will open on October 3, 2019 in the Plaza Corridor Gallery of the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center, at 40 Lincoln Center Plaza. It will be free and open to the public, no tickets are required. A special highlight will be a nine-screen video installation illuminating the art form of chamber music through a performance of Mendelssohn’s Octet. The exhibit will also present Chamber Music Society‘s past half-century in six different sections: A Chamber Music Society is Born, A Society is all about People, The Vast and Wonderful World of Chamber Music, Concerts Everywhere, Deepening Engagement:Now and in the Future, and Sharing an Art Form in the Modern Age.

The exhibition will continue with a comprehensive timeline – including musical excerpts – of the history of chamber music from 1650 to today, integrating world history as well as the history of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. A playlist of musical excerpts will accompany the timeline so that the exhibition experience will enable simultaneous viewing and listening.

50 works from our past 50 years

CMS will provide 50 free podcasts of some of its finest live performances from the past 50 years, each with an introduction by Co-Artistic Director David Finckel. The first podcast will be made available August 1, 2019 and each new podcast will come out every following Monday throughout the anniversary season. They will be made available on the CMS website as well as iTunes and other podcast platforms.

Fall 2019 Concerts at Alice Tully Hall

CMS opens its 2019-20 season on its main stage with a program featuring Dvo?ák’s American Quintet coupled with works by Harry Burleigh, Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein. It will be performed by pianists Gloria Chien and Wu Han, piano; violinists Chad Hoopes, Kristin Lee, Danbi Um, and Angelo Xiang Yu; violist Matthew Lipman and Paul Neubauer; cellists Nicholas Canellakis and David Finckel; bassist Anthony Manzo, flutist Ransom Wilson; clarinetist David Shifrin; and bassoonist Marc Goldberg (Oct. 15). The second concert, Haydn’s Joke Quartet, will present two quartets by the composer alongside Mozart’s “Dissonance” with the Orion String Quartet (Oct. 20); followed by Schubert’s Cello Quintet in an evening of quintets also showcasing works by Mozart and Bruce Adolphe (CMS Co-Commission, New York premiere), performed by violinists Sean Lee and Arnaud Sussmann; violists Mark Holloway and Matthew Lipman; and cellists Clive Greensmith and David Requiro (Oct. 27).

November brings Berg’s Lyric Suite for String Quartet with Soprano, Mozart’s Adagio and Fugue in C minor for String Quartet, and Grieg’s Quartet in G minor for Strings with soprano Tony Arnold and the Schumann Quartet (Nov. 8); and Brahms’s Clarinet Quintet with Schubert’s Fantasie in F minor for Piano Four Hands and Schumann’s Dichterliebe for Voice and Piano, performed by tenor Paul Appleby; pianists Ken Noda and Wu Han; violinists Aaron Boyd and Francisco Fullana; violist Yura Lee; cellist Keith Robinson; and clarinetist David Shifrin (Nov. 19). Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale will be presented showcasing innovative works from Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Smetana. Pianist Anne-Marie McDermott; violinist Ida Kavafian; cellist Gary Hoffman; and clarinetist Jose Franch-Ballester will perform (Nov. 24).

December will present Bach’s Goldberg Variations with pianist Jeffrey Kahane (Dec. 3), and just in time for the holidays, CMS offers Corelli’s “Christmas Concerto,” coupled with an excerpt from Bach’s Musical Offering, Tartini’s “Devil’s Trill,” Vivaldi’s “Winter,” and other Baroque gems from Farina and Sammartini. The performers are harpsichordist Kenneth Weiss; violinists Adam Barnett-Hart, Ani Kavafian, Kristin Lee, and Alexander Sitkovetsky; violists Yura Lee and Matthew Lipman; cellists Estelle Choi and Timothy Eddy; bassist Edgar Meyer; and flutist Adam Walker (Dec. 8, 10). CMS’s holiday tradition continues with Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos with harpsichordist Hyeyeon Park; violinists Francisco Fullana, Bella Hristova, and Arnaud Sussmann; violinist/violist Daniel Phillips; violists Hsin-Yun Huang and Richard O’Neill; cellists Dmitri Atapine, Nicholas Canellakis, and Colin Carr; bassist Xavier Foley; flutists Sooyun Kim and Tara Helen O’Connor; oboists Randall Ellis, James Austin Smith, and Stephen Taylor; bassoonist Marc Goldberg; horn players David Jolley, and Eric Reed; and trumpeter David Washburn (Dec. 13, 15, 17).

13th Winter Festival: The Beethoven String Quartets

The 2019 edition of the Winter Festival will offer Beethoven’s complete string quartets. The 16 masterpieces will be performed in groups corresponding to his early, middle, and late periods, in the order they were composed between 1798 and 1826. The renowned Danish String Quartet performs them all in six concerts (Feb. 7, 9, 11, 14, 16, and 18). Additionally, CMS Co-Artistic Director David Finckel will reveal the extraordinary details of Beethoven’s quartets prior to each of the Winter Festival concerts. This unique pre-concert lecture series will feature Finckel performing excerpts from the cycle as cellist with an ensemble of CMS musicians.

Winter 2020 Concerts at Alice Tully Hall

The Winter concerts start with Debussy’s String Quartet in the company of Czech novelties by Suk and Janá?ek, and Brahms’s Quartet No. 2 in A major played by pianist Juho Pohjonen; violist Richard O’Neill; cellist Jan Vogler; and the Escher String Quartet (Jan. 14). Saint-Saëns’s First Piano Trio follows in a program highlighting French composers and also including works by Ravel and Fauré with pianist Wu Han; violinist Paul Huang; violist Matthew Lipman; and cellist Clive Greensmith (Jan. 26).

February’s performances showcase Ligeti’s Bagatelles for Wind Quintet in a vibrant program of works by Barber, Françaix, Mozart, and Reicha, played by pianist Michael Brown; flutist Tara Helen O’Connor; oboist Stephen Taylor; clarinetist Sebastian Manz; bassoonist Peter Kolkay; and horn player Radovan Vlatkovi? (Feb. 25). March presents Schumann’s Piano Quintet with Mozart’s Quartet in D major for Flute, Violin, Viola, and Cello, Schubert’s “Gretchen am Spinnrade” for Voice and Piano, Chausson’s Chanson perpétuelle for Soprano and Piano Quintet, and Harbison’s IF for Soprano and Ensemble (CMS Co-Commission, New York Premiere) with soprano Joélle Harvey; pianists Michael Brown and Gilbert Kalish; violinists Ani Kavafian and Francisco Fullana; violist Che-Yen Chen; cellist Dmitri Atapine; bassist Timothy Cobb; flutist Adam Walker; clarinetist Romie de Guise-Langlois; and percussionist Ian David Rosenbaum (March 8). Bartók’s Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion comes next, with works by Dohnányi, Bartók, and Tchaikovsky performed by pianists Alessio Bax and Lucille Chung; violinists Erin Keefe and Cho-Liang Lin; violists Hsin-Yun Huang, Paul Neubauer; cellist Dmitri Atapine, Colin Carr; and percussionists Ayano Kataoka and Ian David Rosenbaum (Mar. 15).

Spring 2020 Concerts at Alice Tully Hall

Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time is performed along with works by Brahms and Stravinsky featuring pianist Wu Qian; violinist Alexander Sitkovetsky; cellist Mihai Marica; and clarinetist Alexander Fiterstein (Mar. 20). Beethoven’s Piano Trio, Op. 1, No. 1 follows with Debussy’s Petite Suite for Piano Four Hands and Chausson’s Concerto in D major for Violin, Piano, and String Quartet, performed by pianists Jon Kimura Parker and Wu Han; violinists Francisco Fullana, Chad Hoopes, and Paul Huang; violists Paul Neubauer; cellists Nicholas Canellakis and David Finckel (Mar. 29).

In April, Mozart’s Piano Quartet in G minor will be coupled with works by Mendelssohn and Strauss and played by pianist Gilles Vonsattel; violinists Alexi Kenney and Arnaud Sussmann; violists Yura Lee and Richard O’Neill; and cellist David Requiro (Apr. 3). Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue will be featured in a program of works by Ravel and Milhaud, and Marsalis’ selections from At the Octoroon Balls for String Quartet (CMS Co-Commission) performed by pianists Anne-Marie McDermott and Orion Weiss; violinist Chad Hoopes; and the Orion String Quartet (Apr. 19). Shostakovich’s Piano Quintet will also be offered alongside works by Beethoven and Mendelssohn played by pianist Inon Barnatan; violinists Alexander Sitkovetsky and Angelo Xiang Yu; violist Paul Neubauer; and cellist Paul Watkins (Apr. 24).

May offers Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht and other works inspired by the night by Boccherini, Britten, Debussy, and Schubert, performed by pianist Orion Weiss; violinists Yura Lee and Angelo Xiang Yu; violists Hsin-Yun Huang and Matthew Lipman; cellists Nicholas Canellakis and David Requiro; and oboist James Austin Smith (May 3). The superb Mendelssohn’s Octetwill bring the season to a close with octets by Enescu and Shostakovich performed by violinists Soovin Kim, Kristin Lee, Sean Lee, and Danbi Um; violist Paul Neubauer and Richard O’Neill; and cellists Nicholas Canellakis and Keith Robinson (May 17, 19).

The Art of the Recital

The timeless art of the recital is perpetuated in the hands of present-day masters of the genre, who are curating their concerts in the intimate Rose Studio. The anniversary season will include Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring for Piano Four Hands and Messiaen’s Visions de l’Amen for Two Pianos with Michael Brown and Orion Weiss (Nov. 21); Beethoven sonatas with Paul Watkins, cello; Alessio Bax, piano (Feb. 6); Paganini’s Complete Caprices for Violin and Piano, Op. 1 (c. 1805) (arr. Robert Schumann), Sean Lee, violin; Peter Dugan, piano (Mar. 26); and works for cello and piano by Bridge, Debussy, Martin?, Shostakovich, and the world premiere of Lowell liebermann’s New Work for Cello and Piano co-commissioned by CMS with cellist Dmitri Atapine and pianist Hyeyeon Park (May 14).

Rose Studio Series & Late Night Rose at Rose Studio

Each program in the popular Rose Studio Series is presented in two ways: in a traditional setting at 6:30 PM, and as part of the cozy Late Night Rose series with cabaret-style seating and a complimentary glass of wine at 9 PM. The 2019-20 Rose Studio concerts will open with Penderecki’s Sextet for Clarinet, Horn, Violin, Viola, Cello, and Piano, coupled with Dohnányi’s Sextet in C major for Clarinet, Horn, Violin, Viola, Cello, and Piano, Op. 37 with Gilles Vonsattel, piano; Francisco Fullana, violin; Paul Neubauer, viola; Mihai Marica, cello; David Shifrin, clarinet; and Eric Reed, horn (Oct. 24). The Calidore String Quartet and bassist Xavier Foley will perform Bartók’s Quartet No. 3 for String and Dvo?ák’s Quintet in G major for Two Violins, Viola, Cello, and Bass, Op. 77 (Nov. 14); and a program of Nielsen’s Quintet for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, and Horn, Op. 43, and Mozart’s Serenade in C minor for Two Oboes, Two Clarinets, Two Bassoons, and Two Horns, K. 388 will unite Sooyun Kim, flute; James Austin Smith, Stephen Taylor, oboe; Romie de Guise-Langlois, Tommaso Lonquich, clarinet; Marc Goldberg, Peter Kolkay, bassoon; David Jolley, and Eric Reed, horn (Jan. 30).

Spring concerts comprise Haydn’s Trio in G major for Violin, Viola, and Cello, Hob. XVI:40, Op. 53, No. 1, Kodály’s Duo for Violin and Cello, Op. 7, Brahms’s Quintet in F major for Two Violins, Two Violas, and Cello, Op. 88, performed by Bella Hristova, Angelo Xiang Yu, violin; Matthew Lipman, Richard O’Neill, viola; and Nicholas Canellakis, cello (April 23); and Poulenc’s Sonata for Cello and Piano, Bruch’s Selections from Eight Pieces for Clarinet, Cello, and Piano, Op. 83, Bartók’s Contrasts for Violin, Clarinet, and Piano, with Gloria Chien, piano; Sean Lee, violin; Inbal Segev, cello; and Romie de Guise-Langlois, clarinet (May 7).

New Milestones at Rose Studio

During this season of milestones, CMS selected 20th century works that have set the stage for today’s composers. These visionary artists have pioneered innovations that have shaped the current musical landscape, fascinated listeners, and sparked curiosity. American Trailblazers – Cage’s Sonatas and Interludes presents some of Cage’s finest pieces for prepared piano, along with works by Ruth Crawford Seeger, John Corigliano (world premiere), and Elliott Carter, with pianist/harpsichordist; Gilles Vonsattel; cellist Mihai Marica; flutist Tara Helen O’Connor; and oboist James Austin Smith (Nov. 7). Electronic Chamber Music in a New Form – Stockhausen’s Kontakte offers this important composition that influenced electronic music, paired with percussion works by Kaija Saariaho and Thomas Meadowcroft. It will be performed by pianist Michael Brown; and percussionists Christopher Froh, Ayano Kataoka, Eduardo Leandro, and Ian David Rosenbaum; and electronics by David Adamcyk (Jan. 16).

Expanded Pitches – Schoenberg’s String Trio will provide an exploration of experimentations with tonalities and pitches through works by Tristan Murail, Ben Johnston, and the CMS Commission and world premiere of Alexandra du Bois’ New Work (Mar. 12). Violinists Kristin Lee and Yura Lee; violist Richard O’Neill; cellist Mihai Marica; flutist Adam Walker; and clarinetist Sebastian Manz will perform the program. The series will conclude with String Quartet Evolution – Gubaidulina’s String Quartet No. 4, an evening offering an exciting survey of the quartet form with works by Conlon Nancarrow, Joan Tower, and Anna Clyne’s New Work for String Quartet, a CMS Co-Commission and New York premiere, with the Calidore String Quartet (Apr. 30).

Education, Lectures, and Kids and Family Concerts

The Rose Studio will host the popular Inside Chamber Music with Bruce Adolphe series, which combines entertaining lectures full of fascinating insights into masterworks with short live performances. Each lecture is illustrated by excerpts from the featured piece, performed live by CMS artists. The 12-program season comprises music by 12 different composers: Dvo?ák (Oct. 9), Haydn (Oct. 16), Schubert (Oct. 23), Berg (Nov. 6), Brahms (Nov. 13), Stravinsky (Nov. 20), Messiaen (Mar. 18), Beethoven (Mar. 25), Mozart (Apr. 1), Gershwin (Apr. 15), Shostakovich (Apr. 22), and Schoenberg (Apr. 29).

Meet the Music! is CMS’s family concert series at Alice Tully Hall, created for kids ages 6 and up and their families. Hosted by Bruce Adolphe, the series launches its first family concert of the season with Oceanophony (Nov. 10), followed by Leave it to Ludwig (Jan. 12), and Inspector Pulse and the Case of the Mozart Cookie Mystery (April 5).

There will also be three CMS Kids concerts, performed twice on the same day, in the intimate Rose Studio curated for ages 3-6; Creative Creatures (Oct. 20), Who is Brahms? (Mar. 1), and Master Work: Brahms’s Rondo alla Zingarese, Op. 25 (Apr. 26). These family-friendly performances are presented in a judgment-free environment, and are less formal and more supportive of sensory, communication, movement, and learning needs. Each CMS Kids program is a Relaxed Performance, an inclusive concert experience adapted for neurodiverse audiences, including children with autism or other special needs.

CMS also offers numerous educational initiatives for both young and old during the season, including FREE master classes at the Rose Studio with soprano Tony Arnold on vocal chambermusic (Nov. 7), pianist Jeffrey Kahane on solo piano works by Bach (Dec. 4), Frederik Øland and Fredrik Schøyen Sjölin of the Danish String Quartet on Beethoven’s String Quartets (Feb. 13), hornist Radovan Vlatkovi? on winds repertoire (Feb. 26), and violinist Arnaud Sussmann onchamber music featuring the violin (Apr. 6). These presentations (reservation required to attend) are a priceless opportunity for the next generation of chamber musicians to learn the art of interpretation and details of technique from chamber music masters. The events are also livestreamed and archived for viewing on CMS’ website.

Summer Evenings at Alice Tully Hall

Now in its 5th year, Summer Evenings have become a tradition at CMS. The series offers listeners captivating programs of beloved chamber repertoire and a post-concert wine reception for the entire audience to celebrate with the musicians following each performance. The first concert will include early works by Dvo?ák, Mendelssohn, and Schubert with pianist Jon Kimura Parker; violinist Kristin Lee; violists Richard O’Neill and Cynthia Phelps; cellist Clive Greensmith; and bassist Anthony Manzo (July 10). The second concert will feature Mozart’s Sonata in B-flat major for Violin and Piano alongside trios by Arensky and Brahms, performed by pianist Juho Pohjonen; violinist Bella Hristova; cellist Nicholas Canellakis; and clarinetist Anthony McGill (July 14). The last evening is composed of Classical works by Boccherini, Haydn and Vivaldi, and Schumann, featuring guitarist Sharon Isbin and the Calidore String Quartet (July 17).

CMS on Tour

A global leader in chamber music, CMS is the largest producing presenter of chamber music in the world and is now offering even more concerts on tour and in annual residencies than in its home at Lincoln Center. Every season CMS performs approximately 70 or more concerts on tour, August through mid-June, traveling across the U.S. and Canada and internationally to Europe, Asia and South America. For a partial listing of tour dates, artists, and programs, clickhere.

Watch Live

CMS will offer 30 high quality live streaming events – also on-demand for up to 72 hours later – of Rose Studio series including Late Night Rose, The Art of the Recital, and New Milestones performances; Inside Chamber Music lectures; and Master Classes. Programs can be accessedhere.

Subscriptions and Tickets

Subscriptions will be available at 10 AM on January 28, 2019. Starting on August 1, 2019, single tickets may be purchased in person at the Alice Tully Hall box office at Broadway and West 65th St. or the CMS ticketing office at The Samuel B. and David Rose Building, 165 West 65th Street, 10th floor; by calling 212.875.5788; or online at


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