Members of the acclaimed chamber music group Orion Ensemble (photo by Cornelia Babbit).
The acclaimed Chicago area chamber music group Orion Ensemble’s final performances of its season of “Musical Travels” will be part of the celebration of National Chamber Music Month, a nationwide initiative to draw attention to the particular beauty of small ensemble performance.
Orion’s performances are among hundreds taking place across the country this May as part of this second annual series. Last year, participants in all 50 states took part in events showcasing ensemble music of all styles, including classical, jazz, world and early music, as well as contemporary and experimental works informed by emerging technologies and innovative performance techniques.
Chamber Music America, the national network of ensemble music professionals and the organization behind National Chamber Music Month, has encouraged ensembles and presenters, both well-known and emerging, to use this month to increase public awareness of chamber music performance and to attract new audiences within their own communities.
For this final concert program of the season, Orion will showcase music from three countries: Germany—with the third in its season-long series of Beethoven String Trios featuring Stephen Boe on viola (the C-minor trio for Violin, Viola and Cello, Op. 9, No.3); the United States—with Gershwin’s Three Preludes; and Czechoslovakia—with Dvorak’s Piano Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 87.
“Chamber music is a vibrant and diverse field,” noted Margaret M. Lioi, CEO of Chamber Music America. “It includes contemporary music, jazz, world music, Western classical and styles that draw from all of these. National Chamber Music Month will showcase the richness of chamber music through performances in urban and rural areas across the country, and we are thrilled that so many presenters and ensembles are participating.”
The Chicago Tribune called Orion Ensemble “one of Chicago’s most vibrant, versatile and distinctive ensembles,” and the Chicago Sun-Times said Orion is “what chamber music should be all about: Individual virtuosity melded into a group personality.”
For tickets or more information, call 630-628-9591 or visit orionensemble.org. For information on other performances taking place across the country during National Chamber Music Month, visit chamber-music.org.
Clef Notes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts