Jupiter String Quartet (credit: Sarah Gardner)

Chamber Music Athens makes debut, new festival

Mark Gresham | 10 MAY 2019

Athens, Georgia is only an hour and a half drive from Midtown Atlanta, as every UGA Bulldogs fan knows. The trek is commonplace for those big city dwellers who attend football or other sports at the university. It’s also not an unheard of drive for those who are looking for classical concerts outside of metro-Atlanta’s eastern periphery.


In that light, road-worthy Atlanta fans of classical music will want to know about the newest near-out-of-town festival on the scene: Chamber Music Athens, which runs from this Sunday, May 12 through Tuesday, May 21. Seven chamber concerts, a handful of student recitals on one day and a grand finale of concertos with string orchestra, the Festivals’ events are held at various locations around the University of Georgia campus: the Ramsey and Hodgson Concert Halls, the historic Seney-Stovall Chapel and the Georgia Museum of Art, plus the nearby State Botanical Garden – only a dozen minutes away to the south.

Clockwise from upper left: David Fung, Lisa Stepanova, Sarah Schafer and Peter Frankl. (credits: Nils Ribi, Jiyang-Chen, Vanessa Briceno, Yale University)

Clockwise from upper left: pianist David Fung, pianist Liza Stepanova, soprano Sarah Schafer and pianist Peter Frankl. (credits: Nils Ribi, Jiyang-Chen, Vanessa Briceno, and Yale University)

Prominent among the festival’s featured guest artists is the Jupiter String Quartet, whose new CD, Alchemy, is being released just in time for their appearance at Chamber Music Athens. Pianists David Fung, who currently serves on the piano faculty of UGA’s Hugh Hodgson School of Music, and Peter Frankl, who, after 30 years, stepped down from his post on the teaching faculty at Yale University in 2017, who both join the Jupiter Quartet in performing the Festivals’s opening concert.

Among the Festival’s other featured performers are soprano Sarah Shafer, pianist Liza Stepanova and the New York Philharmonic String Quartet.

Here’s a rundown of the concerts Chamber Music Athens will be offering:

Sunday, May 12, 2019
Ramsey Concert Hall, UGA Performing Arts Center @ 3:00pm. Opening Concert. Jupiter String Quartet; pianists Peter Frankl and David Fung. Music by Mendelssohn, Schubert, and Dvorak.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019
The Day Chapel, State Botanical Garden of Georgia @ 7:30pm.
“Spring Will Come!”: Music of Nature. Sarah Shafer, Jupiter String Quartet, Peter Frankl, Jean Martin-Williams, D Ray McClellan, Liza Stepanova. Music by Amy Beach, Fanny Mendelssohn, Schubert, Puccini, Rachmaninoff and Brahms.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Seney-Stovall Chapel @ 7:30pm. Inspired by Romance: “Kreutzer Sonata”. Jupiter String Quartet, Mark Mobley (narrator), Michael Heald, Maggie Snyder, David Starkweather. Inspired by Romance: “Kreutzer Sonata” Janacek and Brahms

Thursday, May 16, 2019
Hodgson Concert Hall, UGA Performing Arts Center @ 7:30 PM*.
New York Philharmonic String Quartet. Music by Haydn, Shostakovich and Brahms. Presented in collaboration with UGA Presents! *Tickets must be purchased separately.

Saturday, May 18, 2019
The Georgia Museum of Art @ 5:00pm. *FREE. “Metamorphoses”: George Crumb at 90. Liza Stepanova, Martha Thomas, UGA grad students. Georgia Premiere of Crumb’s art-inspired “Metamorphoses” (2016). Panel Discussion at 4:00pm.

Sunday, May 19, 2019
Ramsey Concert Hall, UGA Performing Arts Center @ 3:00pm. Beloved Masterworks: Piano Quintets. Soovin Kim, Peter Frankl, members of the Jupiter String Quartet, Michael Heald, Maggie Snyder, David Starkweather, Liza Stepanova. Schubert (“Trout” Quintet) and Brahms.

Monday, May 20, 2019
Hugh Hodgson School of Music and ATHICA (Athens Institute for Contemporary Art) @ various times of day. Festival Student Recitals. Student chamber groups present the results of a week of intense coaching. FREE.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019
Ramsey Concert Hall, UGA Performing Arts Center @  7:30pm. Gala Finale: Concertos for Violin, Piano, and String Quartet. Peter Frankl, Soovin Kim, Jupiter String Quartet, Mark Cedel (conductor), CMA String Orchestra. Music by Mozart, Vivaldi, and Elgar.

  • TAO Spring 21

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