The Asheville Chamber Music Series (ACMS) presents a roster of internationally acclaimed ensembles for its virtual 2020-21 season, including the Jupiter Quartet with pianist Michael Brown, Frisson Ensemble, Calidore String Quartet, Meccore String Quartet and Neave Piano Trio. These recorded streaming concerts will be aired on the ACMS website and on YouTube.
“Our goals are to bring our audience the chamber music we all look forward to; to keep everyone, including our musicians, healthy; and to support musicians who have lost a great deal of income this year due to COVID-19,” says ACMS president Valerie Poullette Altman.
Several elements went into planning a virtual season, according to Altman. Consultations with technical/digital experts were held regarding the airing of the recordings. Musicians signed an addendum to their original contract in order to cover such things as the required quality of the audio and videography and to grant ACMS exclusivity over the performances. The chosen repertoires will be recorded only for ACMS ticket holders.
“It’s no small feat for any organization to present a virtual concert season, particularly one as small as the ACMS,” says David Rowe, artist manager of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, St. Lawrence String Quartet and other international artists. “At this point in time, with the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in the cancellation of so many concerts, we are particularly grateful to the ACMS for its ongoing support of the artists who depend on their performance fees to survive.”
The season opens Friday, September 4, at 7:30 p.m. with the Jupiter Quartet with Michael Brown. Additional airings of the concert take place Saturday, September 5, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, September 6, at 3 p.m. The program includes Haydn’s Fantasia in C Major and String Quartet in A Major, Op. 20, No. 6; Mendelssohn’s Variations Sérieuses, Op. 54; and Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 15 in A minor, Op. 132.
“If you find you love the concert on Friday, you can listen again on Saturday and Sunday,” says Altman.
The virtual season is provided at no charge. Instead, patrons are urged to donate. The suggested donation is $40 for an individual ticket or $175 for a season subscription. Donations ensure that ACMS will continue to bring high-quality chamber music series in the future. Anyone interested in sponsoring a concert should contact Sarah McAlinn in the ACMS office.