Chamber music is classical music designed to be played by a small ensemble in a palace chamber, private room or home. But there’s nothing small about its sound or influence over the past 300 years. Locally, Emerald City Music showcases the eclectic, intimate and vibrant charms of chamber music in a casual-classical format. This October 22, come ready to lose yourself in music, at the Minnaert Center as New York City’s iconic Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center visits our local abode.

Paul Neubauer playing the violin
Join Emerald City Music for a night of stunning chamber music on October 22. Pictured: Paul Neubauer. Photo courtesy: Emerald City Music

Emerald City Music: Small Ensembles, Big Sound

“Emerald City Music is so much more than meets the eye,” says Andrew Goldstein, Executive Director. “As a fairly new concert organizer in the region, we’ve carved a niche by bringing the world’s best musicians into the most unique concert experiences, all in an effort to reshape what we consider the genre of classical music to be. We’re truly a place where people can come to discover great music together, without needing any previous knowledge of classical music.”

But that doesn’t mean they’re solely designed for newcomers. “Whether you are a classical expert who wants to experience top-tier musicians performing locally, or completely new to the genre and looking to explore, you’ll find yourself feeling warmly welcomed coming to our performances,” says Goldstein. “We’re so proud of our ongoing residency partnership with South Puget Sound Community College, which makes it possible to bring these diverse and virtuosic shows to Olympia each year.”

Experiencing this music live is a great way to introduce kids – especially those enrolled in school orchestra programs – the magic of seeing musicians performing at the top of their craft. “It’s important that families feel welcome in their Olympia venues”, says Goldstein. “If you have a youngster who is interested in music, or learning an instrument, the perfect way to encourage them along is to bring them see jaw-dropping performances,” he adds.

Chamber Music Society Comes to Olympia

Pianist Henry Kramer at The Minnaert Center in February 2022.
Pianist Henry Kramer at The Minnaert Center in February 2022. Photo courtesy: Emerald City Music

On October 22, ECM welcomes the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center for a night of colorful American-rooted chamber music, right here in Olympia. Can’t make it that Saturday? Don’t worry, they’ll be performing the same show on Friday, October 21 at 415 Westlake in Seattle.

“The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center is the world’s leading institution that champions chamber music,” says Kristin Lee, Artistic Director. “The artists featured in this performance feature both musical giants and the next generation of emerging musical leaders. Emerald City Music is incredibly proud and excited to bring one of the world’s finest musical institutions to our Olympia neighbors. During the night, you’ll hear music by composers like Dvorak, Ysaye, and Coleridge-Taylor that shaped the course of American music. You don’t want to miss this incredibly special evening.”

Unique to the evening’s performance at the Minnaert Center is a friendly, approachable style that epitomizes Emerald City Music. “Our shows in Olympia offer comfortable and cozy concert hall experience,” explains Goldstein, “with the opportunity to meet the musicians in the lobby post-concert. Our musicians also tell stories about the music from stage, making the experience much more personal for both the artist and listener. Never been to a classical music show before? Don’t worry; you’re in great company here, and you don’t have to worry about when to clap, or not knowing about any of the music being performed. Just come as you are and enjoy being swept away by music!”

Exciting Season of Music

Stella Chen holding a violin
Chamber music is designed to be played by quartet or small ensemble without the guidance of a conductor and started with the works of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. Pictured: Stella Chen Photo courtesy: Emerald City Music

Emerald City Music is a relative newcomer, having started in 2015. But that youth doesn’t limit them to second fiddle. “ECM is building on the success of our last few years by bringing the highest level of chamber music to the region,” says Lee. For instance, Emerald City Music’s  2022 Seven Pillars world-premiere show was twice-GRAMMY nominated, and previous mega-performances like Steven Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians created a viral sensation and packed the Minnaert Center to capacity.

This is because of their unstuffy take on the classics and classical format. “We seek to create an even more welcoming, casual space for our audience to encounter this music,” says Lee. “We are so excited that we are presenting these world-class musicians in an accessible, local setting, and we want to continue to bring this level of music to our friends in Olympia to bring people together through this art-form. This year is our biggest year yet.”

You can find a complete list of upcoming shows on the ECM’s calendar of events or sign up for their email newsletter. For those unable to attend – or who want to stream other concerts from the comfort of home – shows are posted via EmeraldTV. “Many of our audience members are not yet ready to come back to the concert hall, and we completely understand this. Nevertheless, it’s critical that people remaining at home still have access to the arts,” believes Goldstein. “Our shows typically become available on the EmeraldTV platform within six weeks of each performance, giving audiences the ability to listen from home, or experience it again if they came to the live show.”

Chamber music has always been the personal, intimate voice of composers, and for generations has touched hearts and lives. Keep the tradition alive or start a new one with your family at a night out at Emerald City Music.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email