CHAMBER MUSIC SOCIETY OF LINCOLN CENTER
For a long time now I’ve wished Chicago’s Symphony Center would establish resident jazz and classical chamber ensembles–and every time I listen to the groups based at New York’s Lincoln Center, that desire gets stronger. The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center was founded over three decades ago by composer William Schuman, pianist Charles Wadsworth, and patron Alice Tully, and has since become one of New York’s premier musical attractions. Rather than function as a full-time group with a fixed lineup, the society draws from a pool of nineteen world-class musicians, so that a different subset is possible at every show–at its Friday recital at the University of Chicago, just five members will perform, joined by frequent guest Andre-Michel Schub on piano. Violinist Cho-Liang Lin, cellist Gary Hoffman, bassist Edgar Meyer, violist Paul Neubauer, and clarinetist David Shifrin (the ensemble’s artistic director) all have busy and distinguished careers outside the group: Meyer, for instance, also plays jazz and bluegrass, and has lately recorded a couple genre-defying trio CDs with cellist Yo-Yo Ma and fiddler Mark O’Connor; Neubauer became the New York Philharmonic’s youngest string principal ever in 1984, at the age of 21. The range of musical personalities on display–Lin is elegant and refined, while Meyer has a real wild streak–should ensure some interesting creative tension. The centerpiece of this program is Schubert’s “Trout” Quintet, a chamber mainstay that demands both subtle nuance and the ability to surprise. Also on the bill are Brahms’s Violin Sonata in A, which pairs Lin with kindred spirit Schub, and the premiere of an as-yet-untitled Meyer composition for clarinet, cello, and double bass. I haven’t seen the score, but I expect fireworks: Shifrin’s a daredevil clarinetist, and can be just as showy as Meyer. Friday, January 26, 8 PM, Mandel Hall, University of Chicago, 1131 E. 57th; 773-702-8068.