Season Preview: A look at Chamber Music Amarillo's 2016-17 offerings

Last Updated by Chip Chandler on
Chamber Music Amarillo will mix classical, contemporary in new season.

By Chip Chandler — Digital Content Producer

Chamber Music Amarillo will conclude a two-year-long look at a classical master and spotlight more contemporary composers in its 2016-17 season.

The performance group's five-concert classical season opens Sept. 10; an additional three-concert jazz season opens Oct. 7. Most concerts take place at CMA's home, the Fibonacci Space, 3306 S.W. Sixth Ave., unless otherwise noted.

The season's twin highlights are the second and fifth concerts, which will conclude CMA's performances of the full cycle of Ludwig van Beethoven's violin sonatas, begun in the 2015-16 season.

Violinist Rossitza Jekova-Goza and pianist David Palmer (also CMA's artistic director) will perform Sonatas 2, 4, 8 and 5 at the Oct. 29 concert and Sonatas 10, 3 and 7 at the April 1 concert.

"His sonata repertoire for the violin goes a long way toward bridging the gap between the classical and romantic eras," Palmer said, "especially in terms of the writing style."

What have the players gotten out of performing the full cycle?

"We've sweated a lot," Palmer joked.

"It's a great discovery for me," he continued, more seriously, "as your delving into the music, to begin to understand as you look at what's on the page and play what's on the page ... (that) he gives you all you need to be able to be successful. Anybody who plays the instruments can succeed if they really, really study the music.

"And, of course, I love, love working with Rossitza," Palmer said of the Harrington String Quartet violinist. "She's a wonderful violinist and a very honest player."

The season opens with Meat and Potatoes and Foie Gras on Sept. 10, featuring violinist Lauren Pokorzynski, cellist Noah Littlejohn and pianist Jim Rauscher performing Joseph Haydn's Piano Trio No. 39 in G Major (Gypsy), Claude Debussy's Piano Trio in G Major and Robert Schumann's Piano Trio No. 1 in D Minor.

After the first Beethoven concert, the season picks up Jan. 14 at the Amarillo Botanical Gardens, 1400 Streit Drive, with Concerto Extraordinaire — German Jungle, featuring Johann Sebastian Bach's Concerto for Violin and Oboe in C Minor, Alberto Ginastera's Variaciones Concertantes and Johannes Brahms' Double Viola Quintet in G Major. Featured musicians include oboist Karen Takacs, violinist Annie Chalex Boyle, violinist Keith Redpath, violists Vesselin Todorov and Kimberly Sparr, cellist David Schepps and the Amarillo Virtuosi chamber orchestra. Michael Palmer will conduct.

The Ginastera composition — "a challenging ... very cool piece of music," David Palmer said — will be performed in honor of the composer's 100th birthday.

The season continues with Hummin' High & Low on March 4, featuring musicians Todorov, cellist Jeffre Lastrapes, bass player Nick Scales, flute player Susanna Self, oboist Carrie Dillard, horn player Becky Casso and pianist Choong-Ha Nam. They'll collaborate on Francis Poulenc's Sonata for Flute and Piano, Giovanni Bottesini's Gran Duo for Double Bass and Violin and Johann Nepomuk Hummel's Septet No. 1 in D Minor.

"That concert is really programmed around the Hummel. That particular septet is the most amazing piece of music," Palmer said. "The Bottesini is a great way to show off the bass ... and the Poulenc is a striking piece of French pastry — a really amazing, amazing piece of music."

The classical season concludes with the second Beethoven concert.

CMA also will produce its annual Jazz on 6th series with concerts by The Martinis on Oct. 7, Patrick Swindell & Pizzazz on Nov. 11 and Will and Peter Anderson on April 21.

All concerts begin at 8 p.m.

Season tickets are $150 for the classical season and $30 for the jazz season. Individual tickets are $35 for single classical concerts and $15 for single jazz concerts. 

Call 806-236-3545.






Chip Chandler is a digital content producer for Panhandle PBS. He can be contacted at, at @chipchandler1 on Twitter and at on Facebook.

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