Gorgeous music? Check.
Award-winning musicians? Check.
Incredible garden setting? Check.
Seats close enough to hear every note? Check.
Southwest Chamber Music‘s Summer Festival at the Huntington has it all. The Grammy-winning ensemble plays classic and contemporary chamber music with precision and heart in the intimate Huntington Art Gallery loggia. Both players and audience are surrounded by sculpture and a lush green landscape. Lawn tickets are available for those who prefer to spread out a blanket and watch the stars twinkle in the gradually darkening evening sky. During intermission, patrons are invited to explore the adjacent Beaux-Arts mansion and its impressive European art collection, which includes the famous Thomas Gainsborough’s “Blue Boy” and Thomas Lawrence’s “Pinkie” paintings. Those looking for a complete sensory experience can dine at the Tea Room before the concerts. The four-concert festival runs July 11 through Aug. 23. Too bad summer isn’t a couple months longer.
The festival kicks off on Saturday and Sunday, July 11 and 12, at 7:30 p.m., with a program inspired by “Treasures Through Six Generations: Chinese Painting and Calligraphy From the Weng Collection,” an exhibit that ends July 13 at the Huntington’s Boone Gallery. The July 25 and 26 concerts give a tip of the hat to Samuel Johnson, the author of the first English dictionary who is also the focus of an exhibit in the Huntington Library through Sept. 21.
Saturday and Sunday, July 11 and 12
Giacomo Puccini’s “Chrysanthemums”
Lei Liang’s “Gobi Canticle”
Chen Yi’s “Blue Dragon Sword Dance”
Giuseppe Verdi’s String Quartet in E minor
Saturday and Sunday, July 25 and 26
Giachino Rossini’s String Sonata No. 3
Christoph Willibald Gluck’s “Dance of the Blessed Spirits” from “Orpheus and Eurydice”
Thea Musgrave’s “Orfeo III for Flute and Strings”
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Quintet in A major for Clarinet and Strings”
Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 8 and 9
William Grant Still’s “Four Indigenous Portraits for Flute and String Quartet”
Heitor Villa-Lobos’ “Jet Whistle for Flute and Cello”
Alberto Ginastera’s “Impresiones de la Puna for Flute and String Quartet”
Maurice Ravel’s String Quartet
Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 22 and 23
Aaron Copland’s “Sonata for Violin and Piano”
Alexandra du Bois’s “The Speaking Tide/ Sun on Sea”
Franz Schubert’s Quintet for Piano and Strings, “Trout”