Chamber music

Sep. 19 Pacifica Quartet

The Pacifica Quartet (file photo) opened the Syracuse Friends of Chamber Music 2015-16 season Sep. 15, (photo: Tristan Cook)

Pacifica Quartet returns to Syracuse, proves once again it is second to none

The Syracuse Friends of Chamber Music engaged the best of the best for its 2015-16 season opener

By David Abrams

The Pacifica Quartet returned to Central New York Saturday to open to the Syracuse Friends of Chamber Music’s 2015-16 season, and did so with the kind of program, playing and execution that has defined SFCM over the course of its 66-year history…

July 22 Cazenovia Counterpoint: Strawberry Fields

A view of the John Lennon shrine in New York's Central Park the setting for Michael Torke's one-act opera, "Strawberry Fields"

‘Strawberry Fields’ adds a touch of Central Park, and John Lennon’s imagination, to Cazenovia

Torke’s one-act opera, the centerpiece of Wednesday’s Society For New Music’s Cazenovia Counterpoint program, draws a capacity crowd

By David Abrams

Cazenovia turned into Central Park Wednesday evening, if only briefly, as the Society For New Music mounted Michael Torke’s one-act opera Strawberry Fields to the delight of a packed-house audience at Cazenovia College’s historic opera house, the Catherine Cummings Theater.

Strawberry Fields is the name of the 2.5-acre “shrine” in New York’s Central Park that serves as a memorial to Beatles’ songwriter-guitarist (and peace activist), John Lennon. At the center of the shrine lay a magnificent mosaic with the word “IMAGINE” radiating from its center…

Mar. 25 Max Richter: The Leftovers and Infra

Max Richter: The Leftovers and Infra (photo: Geraldine Petrovic)

Max Richter and ACME light up Greenwich Village’s Le Poisson Rouge

The classical/alternative popular music composer teams with with the American Contemporary Music Ensemble in a thrilling program

By Natalie Piontek
Goldring Arts Journalism program, Syracuse University

Contemporary composer Max Richter and the American Contemporary Music Ensemble gave a mesmerizing, deeply moving performance of Richter’s music at the intimate venue of Le Poisson Rouge last Wednesday…

Mar. 21 The New York Woodwind Quintet

The New York Woodwind Quintet shines in eclectic program of wind chamber music

Pavel Haas’s neglected ‘Quintet’ tops this handsome program spanning five centuries

By Natalie Piontek
Goldring Arts Journalism program, Syracuse University

The New York Woodwind Quintet, the long-standing and respected chamber ensemble revered for its homogenous sound, lived up to its reputation at Saturday’s Syracuse Friends of Chamber music concert…

Nov. 22 American String Quartet

American String Quartet, now in its 39th season, sounds as fresh as ever

Pianist Anton Nel joins the celebrated chamber ensemble in a stunning performance of Schumann’s ‘Piano Quintet’

By David Abrams

I’d be hard pressed to pick a favorite from the three works on Saturday’s Syracuse Friends of Chamber Music concert featuring the American String Quartet (ASQ). But one thing I know for certain: This performance ranks among the top half-dozen or so live chamber performances I’ve ever attended…

September 20 Dover Quartet

Dover Quartet, in Syracuse debut, shows poise, polish, precision and promise

The ensemble of recent Curtis grads, fresh off its impressive sweep of the 2013 Banff Competition, opens SFCM’s 65th season in convincing style

By David Abrams

Syracuse Friends of Chamber Music kicked off its 65th anniversary season with a gamble of sorts. Instead of engaging an established, big-name chamber ensemble to start the new season, as has been its custom, SFCM opted instead for youth and promise.

CD review: Excelsior (Fifth House Ensemble)

‘Excelsior’ contemporary music CD release pleases the ear, ignites the imagination

Chicago-based Fifth House Ensemble shines in its Cedille Records debut

By David Abrams

Searching for the occasional gem in a program dedicated to contemporary music is much like scratching your way through an instant lottery ticket. Initially, hopes for a winner are high, with some six or so chances to win. But it hardly comes as a shock when you discover you’ve come up empty.

Dec. 1 Civic Morning Musicals: Sarah Crocker Vonsattel & Company

CMM opens ‘Live! At The Everson’ series with outstanding program of piano trios

By David Abrams

Sunday afternoon was a homecoming of sorts for Sarah Crocker Vonsattel, the Elbridge-born-and-raised violinist and Juilliard grad who since 2008 has been a member of New York City’s prestigious Metropolitan Opera Orchestra…