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Boston Chamber Music Society Interprets The Classical Sounds Of the Past And Adds The Creation of Our Time To The Repertoire

By Pamela Sosnowski

As the creation of modern music becomes more technologically advanced through the use of computers and electronic equipment, the need to interpret and preserve the sounds of centuries past has become more important. Since 1982, the Boston Chamber Music Society has been doing just that, by performing the works by Bach, Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, and other classical composers at concerts throughout the year.

"Some of the chamber music we perform comes from the seventeen hundreds," says artistic director Marcus Thompson. "Coincidentally, that is around the time of the founding of our country, the beginnings of democracy and flourishing of ideas about the rights and importance of individual freedom and identity. Instrumental chamber music playing began as an intimate pastime among individuals in the privacy of their own homes. Among many players today, both professionals and hobbyists, it is still played at home for private enjoyment."

Now in its 34 season, BCMS consists of eight member musicians and several guest artists that perform with the ensemble at specific events. BCMS recently welcomed three new member musicians: violinist Jennifer Frautschi, pianist Max Levinson, and oboist Peggy Pearson.

The society was founded by a group of enthusiastic music colleagues with the mission of delivering exceptional performances of chamber music from the Baroque era to the present day to audience while championing an understanding and appreciation of the musical genre. They believe in making it accessible to all types of audiences.

"The format of exchanging positions with fellow players of the same instrument, combining winds, strings, voices and piano, and playing the truly great works with imagination and energy has been with us ever since," says Thompson.

The ensemble currently performs a monthly Sunday evening series at Harvard University's Sanders Theatre from September through May, and two Sunday matinees at the Fitzgerald Theatre at the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School in January and February. "We play a huge variety of music," says Thompson. "Each program is made up of different styles, periods and instrumentations with truly superb players. We also have a Commissioning Club which consists of loyal patrons who commit to make additional contributions so we can engage a composer to write a new work for us each year and actively contribute to the creation of our art in our time."

This season, BCMS plays both familiar pieces such as piano trios of Beethoven, Schubert, and Schumann and the Mozart Clarinet Quintet to rare passages such as Jongen's Two Pieces for Flute, Cello, and Harp as well as a new oboe quintet by Boston composer David Rakowski.

Additionally, BCMS hosts an annual Chamber Music Workshop for Mixed Ensembles that is limited to eight pre-formedgroups of amateur musicians and held at MIT every spring. Member musicians and guest artists also give master classes at local conservatories and music schools. "

Upcoming concerts will focus on the music of Arthur Bliss, Franz Joseph Haydn, Franz Schubert, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Tickets may be purchased online at and range from $24 to $57, and $8 only for students.

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