Enjoying “Sonorous Strings” courtesy of the Round Rock Symphony

~posted by Alison @ KMFA

I had the great pleasure of attending a chamber music concert last Monday evening… well, perhaps “attending” isn’t the right word: when you are listening to a talented quartet of musicians, it’s almost as if you participate. Chamber music is traditionally performed in smaller settings, and in this case in a wonderfully acoustic meeting room at the Georgetown Library. We could hear every distinct note from every instrument from only a few feet away. The pressure is on, then: not just for the musicians, but also for the audience, who for the most part perched on the edge of their seats and listened intently, all the while trying not to make a single sound that might distract from the beautiful music.

The Artisan Quartet performs Beethoven (Richard Kilmer, Paula Bird, Brice Williams, and Douglas Harvey)

Ms Toby Blumenthal, pianist, introduces the Mozart Piano Concerto (insider info: she said it was her favorite!)

These musicians in particular were the Artisan Quartet, joined by Toby Blumenthal on piano. The Artisan Quartet is sort of the “A” Team quartet of musicians who, in addition to being members of the Austin Symphony, are each performers and educators of international renown. Toby Blumenthal has similar credentials, and special thanks go out to the Round Rock Symphony who hosted their delightful collaborative performance. And there were even more classical music luminaries in the audience: Dr. Ellsworth Peterson was there, and he had kindly written the program notes for each piece.

The Artisan Quartet started the performance with a Beethoven piece (String Quartet Opus 18, No. 3 in D Major); then Ms. Blumenthal joined them for Mozart’s Piano Concerto (No. 14 in E flat Major), and after a short break, rounded out the evening with a Faure Piano Quartet (in C Minor, Opus 15).  Their music was wonderful, ranging at times from serene to optimistic to suspenseful.

Part of the Round Rock Symphony’s mission is “to musically enrich the greater Round Rock community by presenting affordable and accessible symphonic concerts of the highest artistic order,” and they certainly accomplished that when they hosted this event! Their “accessibility” isn’t just about location, it’s also about their warmth, hospitality, and devotion to promoting live classical music. I’m looking forward to attending their upcoming performances, especially the From Russia with Love concert, and of course the Georgetown Festival of the Arts!  You can check out their website for the dates and more info: www.roundrocksymphony.org/concerts.htm.

Performing the Faure piano quartet

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