The Carnegie Hall Season in Review: Instrumental Chamber Music Concerts
Our series reviewing the 2010–2011 season begins with a focus on the extraordinary array of instrumental chamber and early music ensembles that performed in all three of Carnegie Hall's spaces throughout the past nine months.
In October 2010, the Carnegie Hall audience rapturously welcomed Christina Pluhar and L'Arpeggiata to the Hall for the first time. L'Arpeggiata returns in March 2012 as Carnegie Hall's first early music Perspectives artists. Another early music ensemble—The English Concert—also performed in October and will return a year later, on October 20, 2011. October also saw the welcome return of Yo Yo Ma who—with long-time collaborator Kathryn Stott—performed a thrilling program that included an arrangement for cello and piano of Franck's Violin Sonata in A Major.
L'Arpeggiata—with countertenor Philippe Jaroussky—performing in Zankel Hall, October 2010. L'Arpeggiata returns for a Perspectives series in March 2012. | Photo by Christopher Smith
During November, the Brentano String Quartet—which returns for its own series of three concerts in 2011–2012—performed the New York premiere of Stephen Hartke's Carnegie Hall–commissioned Night Songs for a Desert Flower, and the Miami String Quartet returned for the first time since 2005. Another powerful pairing saw pianist Yefim Bronfman join Pinchas Zukerman—who played both violin and viola—in a program that included Mozart, Beethoven, and Brahms.
December saw the arrival of the Risør Chamber Music Festival at Carnegie Hall. Over four nights at the beginning of December, musicians from the Swedish festival—including Leif Ove Andsnes, Marc-André Hamelin, Torleif Thedéen, Lars Anders Tomter, Martin Fröst, Henning Kraggerud, and Measha Brueggergosman—thrilled audiences in Zankel Hall and Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage with chamber music of the highest quality.
In February, Weill Recital Hall was the setting for a debut recital by Norwegian trumpet soloist Tine Thing Helseth—accompanied by Håvard Gimse. Two early music ensembles—Orlando Consort and Il Giardino Armonico—filled Weill Recital Hall and Zankel Hall, respectively, while March also brought two more of the world's finest early music ensembles to the Hall. Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin performed in Zankel Hall, and Masaaki Suzuki's Bach Collegium Japan performed Bach's majestic Mass in B Minor in Stern Auditorium / Perelman stage as part of JapanNYC. Also in March, the Emerson String Quartet joined forces with Sir James Galway for a sold-out concert that included the world premiere of Thomas Adès's The Four Quarters. Two more internationally renowned quartets—the Czech Pražák Quartet and Canada's St. Lawrence String Quartet—also appeared during March.
April was an equally extraordinary month for chamber music at Carnegie Hall when a quartet comprising Midori, Nobuko Imai, Antoine Lederlin, and Jonathan Biss performed during JapanNYC; France's Ebène Quartet—which returns next March; and the Tetzlaff Quartet—as part of Christian Tetzlaff's Perspectives series—performed during the month. Tetzlaff was later joined by fellow violinist Antje Weithaas in May to round out his season-long series.
The Ebène Quartet in Weill Recital Hall, April 2010. The quartet returns for a concert in March 2012. | Photo by Julien Jourdes
Finally—in his second appearance of the season—Evgeny Kissin was joined by violist Yuri Bashmet for their sold-out concert on April 28.
In addition to those ensembles mentioned above, Ensemble ACJW experienced a very busy 2010–2011 season, and there were many superb solo and vocal recitals. Those concerts will be reviewed in separate posts.
For some chamber music highlights for 2011–2012 check out these pages:
Chamber Sessions I
Chamber Sessions II
Chamber Sessions III
Brentano String Quartet
Early Music in Weill Recital Hall
Off the Beaten Track