Music Recommendation: SUMMER OF BEETHOVEN CHAMBER MUSIC FESTIVAL (Doheny Mansion, July 14-17, 2022)

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by Connor McCormick on July 10, 2022

in Music,Theater-Los Angeles


Once while in Salzburg, I happened upon a chamber concert in a private home. Our host explained that compositions for piano, trio, sonatas, quartets, and quintets were designed for intimate spaces such as the luxuriant parlor we sat in. The sound of the music, so close to your soul, was unlike anything I’ve ever felt, and my appreciation of music, architecture and civility was heightened; the memory became forever etched on my soul. Yet replicating that moment, especially here in the land of concrete and quakes, has been challenging.

The Da Camera Society, founded in 1973, was created to offer chamber music in the types of salons for which they were intended. Their program, Chamber Music in Historic Sites, offers glorious music in various locations, some of which are normally off-limits to the public (the Tallis Scholars performing in the Bradbury Building was an experience for the ages). The concerts organized by the Da Camera Society are as notable for their historic venues as they are for the quality of their performers and the beauty of their repertoire. And boy have I ever missed this chamber outfit during COVID.

Now, you can have a similar experience as my Salzburg trip without making the trek to Europe. The Da Camera Society and The New Hollywood String Quartet (NHSQ) are presenting the Summer of Beethoven Chamber Music Festival, a four-concert festival featuring 11 works built around the composer’s beloved chamber music, on July 14 – 17, 2022, at the stunning Pompeian Room of the Doheny Mansion in Mount Saint Mary’s University’s gorgeous campus near the 110 and the 10 in DTLA. Joining the NHSQ – violinists Tereza Stanislav and Rafael Rishik, violist Robert Brophy, and cellist Andrew Shulman – are world renowned violinist Anne Akiko Meyers, LA Phil principal clarinet Boris Allakhverdyan, pianist Fabio Bidini, LA Phil concertmaster Martin Chalifour, LA Phil principal cellist Robert deMaine, pianist Rohan De Silva, and more.

THE FESTIVAL PROGRAM (More on the concert after the listing):

Thursday, July 14, 8 p.m.
Violin Sonata No.5 in F Major, Op.24 “Spring”
Piano Trio in C Minor, Op.1 No.3
String Quartet in C Major, Op.59 No.3  “Razumovsky”

Anne Akiko Meyers – Violin
Fabio Bidini, piano
Rohan De Silva, piano
Tereza Stanislav, violin
Andrew Shulman, cello
The New Hollywood String Quartet

Friday, July 15, 8 p.m.
String Quartet No.1 in F Major,Op.18
Cello Sonata No.5 in D Major,Op.102 No.2
String Quintet in C Major,Op.29

Fabio Bidini, piano
Andrew Shulman, cello
Johanna Nowik, viola
The New Hollywood String Quartet

Saturday, July 16, 4 p.m.
Clarinet Trio in B-flat Major,Op.11
Piano Trio in D Major Op.70 No.1 “Ghost”
String Quartet in F Major Op.135

Boris Allakhverdyan, clarinet
Rohan De Silva, piano
Andrew Shulman, cello
Martin Chalifour, violin
Robert deMaine, cello
The New Hollywood String Quartet

Sunday, July 17, 4 p.m.
Violin Sonata No.9 in A Major, Op.47 “Kreutzer”
Septet in E Flat Major Op.20

Roger Wilkie, violin
Rodolfo Leone, piano
Boris Allakhverdyan, clarinet
Kenneth Munday, bassoon
Laura Brenes, horn
David Grossman, double bass
Rafael Rishik, violin
Robert Brophy, viola
Andrew Shulman, cello

Summer of Beethoven
Da Camera Society and The New Hollywood String Quartet
Doheny Mansion, Pompeian Room
Mount Saint Mary’s University, Doheny Campus, 10 Chester Place
for tickets, visit Summer of Beethoven
parking is free; enter on St. James Park W
also visit The New Hollywood String Quartet


Meyers and Bidini will perform the opening work of the Festival, Beethoven’s Violin Sonata No.5 in F Major “Spring,” regarded as one of the most beautiful and lyrical sonatas in the repertoire.

Arguably one of his most famous sonatas, Beethoven’s Violin Sonata No. 9, Op. 47, “Kreutzer Sonata,” is a foreshadowing of where his compositional journey was headed, and will be performed by Wilkie and Rodolfo Leone, piano.

The two piano trios that were selected for the Festival program again demonstrate the evolution of Beethoven’s compositions. Piano Trio in C Minor, Op 1 No. 3, performed by De Silva, Stanislav and Shulman, is written in the classical tradition of Haydn and Mozart; Piano Trio in D Major, Op.70 No.1 “Ghost,” performed by Chalifour, deMaine and De Silva, pushes the harmonic envelope in ways that are still compelling today. Shulman and Bidini will also perform Cello Sonata No. 5 in D Major, Op.102 No. 2, which has one of the most challenging piano fugues ever written.

Beethoven’s String Quintet in C Major, Op. 29 is rarely performed but it is a beautiful example of the composer’s ability to expand the tonal boundaries, convey a sense of humor, and still stay within the confines of the classical form. The wonderful young violist Johanna Nowik. joins NHSQ.

LA Phil principal clarinetist Boris Allakhverdyan will be performing the beautiful Clarinet Trio in B flat Major Op. 11, and will also join everyone for a performance of Beethoven’s Septet in E flat Major Op. 20. This Septet is one of Beethoven’s most beloved and enduring of his chamber works.

About The New Hollywood String Quartet

The New Hollywood String Quartet had its debut concert in Los Angeles on Jan. 9, 2001 and has been performing to critical acclaim ever since. Inspired by the great Hollywood String Quartet from over half a century ago, the current members of the NHSQ are likewise premiere performers of their generation. Individually, and together as one of the top string quartets in  Southern California, they are well known guests at many of the most prestigious concert series in Los Angeles and its environs. Its members reside in Los Angeles and have recorded hundreds of film scores, are members of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and have decades of chamber music experience between them. In December of 2021, the NHSQ presented the “Vienna Holiday Concerts”. The Three day festival showcased some of the most celebrated chamber music works of Mozart and Schubert. Josef Woodward of Classical Voice wrote, “At the Huntington, the NHSQ exuded a refined  and luminous ensemble presence in keeping with its growing reputation, 20 years into its history. In the summer of 2019 the NHSQ, Quartet in Residence at the Restoration Concert Series, launched their inaugural summer festival entitled “Summer of Brahms Chamber Music Festival.” To incredible critical acclaim and capacity audiences, the NHSQ presented all twenty-five of the instrumental chamber works of Johannes Brahms in collaboration with some of the world’s most renowned chamber musicians.

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