Friends of Chamber Music of Miami opens 58th Season in September

Violin virtuoso James Ehnes leads the Ehnes Quartet on September 23.
Violin virtuoso James Ehnes leads the Ehnes Quartet on September 23.
Violin virtuoso James Ehnes leads the Ehnes Quartet on September 23.

Friends of Chamber Music of Miami today announced the roster of artists for its 2013-2014 season, which will offer some of the world’s most outstanding classical musicians, both famous and emerging, in eight performances at two acoustically superb venues, the University of Miami’s Gusman Concert Hall and the Coral Gables Congregational Church.

“We’re excited to be offering a season that maintains the organization’s goal of bringing the world’s premier classical music artists to South Florida,” said Julian Kreeger, president and artistic director, Friends of Chamber Music of Miami. The 58th Season opens on Sept. 23 with the Ehnes Quartet, founded in 2010 by concert violinist James Ehnes and already established in the very top echelon of the world’s string quartets. In addition to Ehnes, who regularly appears in solo roles with the world’s leading orchestras, the “dream-team” ensemble also includes violinist Amy Schwartz Moretti, former concertmaster of the Oregon Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic principal cellist Robert deMaine, and violist Richard O’Neill, a member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

Piano virtuoso Cyprien Katsaris will headline the second concert on Oct. 1. A celebrated international touring artist for more than four decades, Katsaris has appeared with the world’s greatest orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra and the Philadelphia Orchestra. He will be joined by guest musicians including cellist William DeRosa and violist Roberto Diaz in a program that features Robert Schumann’s Piano Quartet.

Widely respected for the force of his understanding of the works of Beethoven, pianist Anton Kuerti will perform next on Oct. 17. Kuerti has recorded the complete Beethoven Sonatas and earned international acclaim for his all-Beethoven solo recitals and Beethoven Concerto performances. Praised as “a paragon of technical fluency, insightful musicianship and refined artistry” by South Florida Classical Review, he will continue the Beethoven cycle that has captivated South Florida audiences.

Pianist Valentina Lisitsa, who appears Nov. 19, has dazzled audiences in leading venues, including Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Royal Albert Hall and the Musikverein while millions more have become fans as a result of her self-produced classical music videos. Lisitsa’s YouTube channel has received more than 55 million views and earned the Ukrainian-born and trained virtuosa a pop-star like international following. The recital will include works featured in performance videos on YouTube, including Schubert-Liszt “Schwanengesang” and sonatas of Prokofiev and Shostakovich.

Friends of Chamber Music will usher in 2014 with “Brahms Chamber Music Masterworks,” Jan. 5, one of two opportunities to experience master pianist Joseph Kalichstein. An international touring artist who regularly performs in concerto, solo and chamber music repertoire, Kalichstein will be heard in Brahms’ early Piano Sonata No 2, and partner clarinetist Ricardo Morales and violist Robert Diaz in the two Opus 120 Sonatas, the final chamber music statements of the great German master.

Feb. 9 marks the appearance of one of the truly stellar ensembles, the Kalichstein-Laredo- Robinson Trio, who will bring their unique artistry to a program of Schubert, Mendelssohn and Dvorak. Now in their 37th year together, pianist Kalichstein, violinist Jaime Laredo and cellist Sharon Robinson continue to dazzle audiences and critics alike with their polished, vibrant musicianship, maturity of vision and special ensemble cohesion, qualities that enable the threesome to set the standard in performance of the classic piano trio literature.

“The Seven Deadly Sins,” March 27, presents fast-rising Metropolitan Opera mezzo-soprano Wallis Giunta, with pianist Ken Noda. Hailed by The New York Times for her “chocolaty and penetrating mezzo-soprano voice,” Ms. Giunta is a product of the prestigious artist development programs at the Canadian Opera Company and the Met. Her original recital of Kurt Weill’s classic stage work and thematically associated songs and arias, including music by Britten, Poulenc, Cole Porter, Stephen Foster and John Lennon, has been hailed by critics in Toronto and New York.

The series’ conclusion on May 6 pairs the sensational young British pianist Benjamin Grosvenor and the New York-based Escher String Quartet. Grosvenor has racked up an impressive series of awards and firsts. Milestones include his debut at the BBC Proms in 2011 as the youngest-ever soloist on opening night. Last year, his debut album on the prestigious Decca Classics label was awarded two Gramophone Awards – Instrumental and Young Artist – making him Gramophone’s youngest ever double award winner. Also among the most outstanding classical musicians of the younger generation, the Eschers have performed at prestigious venues and festivals around the world. They recently completed a three-year residency with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s CMS 2 program and are recipients of a 2013 Avery Fisher Career Grant.

Tickets for the 2013-14 series are still available. The subscription price for all eight concerts is $250/$350 (preferred seating). Individual concert tickets are $35/$40† and students are $10. All weekday concerts will begin at 8 PM. (Sunday 4 PM*) For complete program information and to purchase subscriptions and individual tickets please visit

2013-14 SCHEDULE:
September 23, 2013
Ehnes Quartet
CG Congregational Church

October 1
Cyprien Katsaris, piano, William DeRosa, cello,
Roberto Diaz, viola
CG Congregational Church

October 17
Anton Kuerti, piano
CG Congregational Church

November 19
Valentina Lisitsa, piano
CG Congregational Church

January 5, 2014
Ricardo Morales, clarinet, Roberto Diaz, viola,
Joseph Kalichstein, piano
UM Gusman

February 9
Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio
UM Gusman

March 27
Wallis Giunta, soprano, Ken Noda, piano
CG Congregational Church

May 6
Benjamin Grosvenor, piano, Escher Quartet
UM Gusman

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