Season Preview: A look at Chamber Music Amarillo's 2017-18 offerings
By Chip Chandler — Digital Content Producer
Chamber Music Amarillo will highlight several Amarillo and regional musicians throughout its 2017-18 season.
As a pre-season tease, CMA will finally complete a project begun in the 2015-16 season — performances of the full cycle of Ludwig van Beethoven's violin sonatas. Violinist Rossitza Jekova-Goza and pianist David Palmer (also CMA's artistic director) will perform Sonatas 10, 3 and 7 at a special Sept. 9 concert, held over from April as Palmer recovered from an arm injury. The concert is scheduled for 8 p.m. Sept. 9 at the Fibonacci Space, 3306 S.W. Sixth Ave.
The season proper will kick off the next week with a return performance by pianist J.T. Hassell, an Amarillo native now studying at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. He'll bring his Caelus Piano Quartet for a performance of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Piano Quartet No. 1 in G Minor and Johannes Sebastian Brahms' Piano Quartet in G Minor. Hassell also will give solo performances of Sergei Rachmaninoff's Preludes Opus 32, Nos. 5, 9, 11 and 13.
The concert is scheduled for 8 p.m. Sept. 16 at the Fibonacci Space.
Up next is the Mirasol Saxophone Quartet, featuring West Texas A&M University assistant professor James Barger, which formed at Texas Tech University in 2013.
"They have had enormous success in a short period of time," said Palmer, citing the ensemble's winning of a gold medal at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition in 2015. "They have had great success in concerts around the country, and I'm really delighted to have them on our series."
The quartet chose works "that show the full range of their instruments," Palmer said, including contemporary works like Guillermo Lago's Ciudades, Marc Mellits' Ex Machina, Marcelo Zarvos' Nepomuk's Dances and Russell Peck's Drastic Measures, as well as the more classic Chaconne in D Minor by Bach.
The concert is scheduled for 8 p.m. Oct. 14 at the Fibonacci Space
CMA's annual Concerto Extraordinaire concert is up next, set for 8 p.m. Jan. 6 at Amarillo Botanical Gardens, 1200 Streit Drive.
Soprano Suzanne Ramo, also a WT professor, will be featured on Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 4 in G Major, one of the conductor's "more playful" works, Palmer said.
The concert also will feature Igor Stravinsky's Concerto in E Flat, Dumbarton Oaks, performed by CMA's Amarillo Virtuosi chamber orchestra.
In March, violinist Will Fedkenheuer of Austin's Miro Quartet will join Harrington String Quartet's Emmanuel Lopez and Amarillo College piano professor Diego Caetano for a concert featuring three greats: Franz Joseph Haydn's Piano Trio No. 40 in F-Sharp Minor, Manuel de Falla's Suite Populaire Espagnole and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's Piano Trio in A Minor.
The concert is scheduled for 8 p.m. March 3 at the Fibonacci Space.
CMA's classical series will end with an 8 p.m. April 21 concert in the Fibonacci Space, featuring works by American composers Samuel Jones, Aaron Copland, George Gershwin and, in a celebration of the 100th anniversary of his birth, Leonard Bernstein.
Pianist Hyeree Roux will perform Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue (also to be performed in September by soloist Aaron Diehl and the Amarillo Symphony). Bass singer Leon Turner will perform selected songs from Gershwin's Porgy & Bess and from Copland's Old American Songs. Also featured on the concert will be violinist Annie Chalex Boyle (who'll join Roux on an arrangement of West Side Story music for violin and piano) and clarinetist Doug Storey, featured in Bernstein's Clarinet Sonata.
CMA also will continue its Jazz on Sixth season with performances by the Jim Laughlin Jazz Quartet at 8 p.m. Sept. 29, The Martinis at 8 p.m. Feb. 16 and the Austin Piazzolla Quintet at 8 p.m. April 13. All three concerts will be held in the Fibonacci Space.
Season tickets are $150 for the classical season and $30 for the jazz season, or $180 for both. Individual tickets are $35 for single classical concerts and $15 for single jazz concerts.