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Concordant Chamber Music Starts Third Decade


A score of years ago, a small number of dedicated volunteers joined forces with me to create a series chamber music concerts and do educational outreach in Concord. It all began, when newly tenured as a violinist in the BSO, I was relaxing over a dinner with perhaps an abundance of wine, when my then neighbor cellist Andrés Díaz and I began to muse about bringing some of our colleagues to Concord.

No one imagined what the Concord Chamber Music Society would become. Since 2000, some of the world’s most celebrated artists, including Gil Shaham, Lynn Harrell, Peter Serkin, David Finckel and Wu Han, the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, the Borromeo Quartet, have played with us and for us; several will return for this celebratory season. And the wonderful musicologist Steven Ledbetter will once again be preparing us with very informative lectures.

I hope that many BMInt readers and their friends will join us. Specifics follow:

The 20th-anniversary season opened last Sunday with The Nightingale’s Sonata, a special multimedia event at the Concord Free Public Library. Tom Wolf read from his new book before, pianist Vytas Baksys and I offered Franck’s passionate Violin Sonata. A book signing and reception followed.

Acclaimed pianist Marc-Ande Hamélin, violinist Glenn Dicterow, former concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic; viola soloist, recitalist and chamber musician Karen Dreyfus; cellist Andrés Díaz, winner of the prestigious Naumburg International Competition and Avery Fisher Career Grant; and I will play works by Kodály, Paul Chihara and Dvořák on September 29th for the opener.

On November 17th Pinchas Zuckerman will take the stage with cellist Amanda Forsyth and pianist Angela Cheng for trios of Brahms, Beethoven and Arensky. Awarded the National Medal of Arts by Ronald Reagan in 1983, Zuckerman chairs the Pinchas Zuckerman Performance Program at the Manhattan School of Music and has served as the principal guest conductor of the London Royal Philharmonic for the past ten seasons.

For its third CCMS engagement, Juilliard String Quartet will bring Brahms, Mozart, and Henri Dutilleux on January 12th. Founded in 1946, the quartet has been hailed by the Boston Globe as “the most important American quartet in history,” and has enthralled audiences worldwide for over 70 years.

BSO principals Elizabeth Rowe, flute, and John Ferrillo, oboe, will join members of the Concord Chamber Players on March 29th in chamber music of Holst and Mendelssohn works; we will also premiere Yehudi Wyner’s commissioned piece for the commemoration our celebration.

The 20th-anniversary season will close on April 14th with a recital by the famed pianist Yefim Bronfman. The Washington Post observed that “His energy emanates from his fingers and swirls out of the piano with such perfection that every note grabs the ear with an expressive, singing quality. When his hands swept the full length of the keyboard in arpeggios and scales, Bronfman made it all look effortless.”

With the exception of the Bronfman recital, which begins at 7:30pm, CCMS concerts start at 3pm, at the Concord Academy Performing Arts Center, 166 Main. Before each concert Ledbetter will lecture.

One may purchase season subscriptions and single tickets HERE. The facility is handicapped-accessible. Parking in Concord Center is available on Main Street, in the lot adjacent to the Concord Free Public Library, and in municipal lots behind Middlesex Savings Bank and the Post Office. Concord Academy is a short walk from the Concord stop on the MBTA’s Fitchburg commuter rail line from North Station and Porter Square.

Wendy Putnam, Director and Founder of the Concord Chamber Music Society has been a violinist in the Boston Symphony Orchestra since 1996.


3 Comments [leave a civil comment (others will be removed) and please disclose relevant affiliations]

  1. Wendy, It looks like a wonderful year, as always. I only wish you had consulted with a Jewish calendar as your fabulous opening concert with several of my friends is just a few hours before Rosh Hashanah begins, so many of us who would have loved to have been there, must be elsewhere. Alas, I am really and truly sorry about this.

    Comment by Susan Miron — September 16, 2019 at 11:08 am

  2. Concord is not alone. BMInt lists 5 other concerts before sunset on that day and two afterwards.

    Comment by denovo2 — September 17, 2019 at 6:13 pm

  3. Hi Wendy, congratulations on everything. My Jag threw a rod last week on my way to NJ so I’m stuck in NOLA. Hopefully next year.
    Later, Bill Schultz

    Comment by William Schultz — September 17, 2019 at 6:13 pm

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