A Selective Guide to the Arts in Los Angeles

In Classical Focus, Theodore Bell selects highlights from Jim Eninger’s Clickable Chamber Music Newsletter. Here are his top picks:

The most exciting news this week is that the Calder Quartet starts a two-concert series of the complete Bartók String Quartets. The first concert is this Tuesday, and the next will be in April.  What an incredible idea to begin with, that is, to play the complete set, but the Calder Quartet will make the event especially fine.

I look forward to another great concert with the Chamber Players of Los Angeles, who are performing an all-early-20th-century program this weekend in Brentwood on Saturday and San Pedro on Sunday. Director John Kennedy assembled an inspired program of works, primarily for winds, by Steven Alan Fox, Carl Nielsen, and Jacques Ibert.

Also on Saturday, phenomenal young violinist Augustin Hadelich and pianist Ian Parker play the Doheny Mansion compliments of the Da Camera Society Chamber Music in Historic Sites. Here is a chance to hear what the buzz around Hadelich is about.

Yet another great week of inspired music, and a testament to the chamber scene in Los Angeles!

Chamber Players of Los Angeles

Program Director John Kennedy put together a great program for the Chamber Players of Los Angeles, who will be performing at venues in Brentwood and San Pedro this weekend.  The early-20th-century music schedule includes “Three Miniatures for Three” for clarinet, bassoon, and violin by Steven Alan Fox; Carl Nielsen’s Wind Quintet in A Major, Op. 43; and Ibert’s Trio for Winds. The performers include familiar names: Lisa Kohorn (clarinet), Larry Kohorn (violin), Sam Childers (bassoon), Emily Senchuk (flute), and Dana Sundene (oboe).

Saturday, Feb. 20, 8 p.m.

Lutheran Church of the Master, 10931 Santa Monica Blvd., LA

Admission: $10 / $5 students and seniors.

Sunday, Feb. 21, 3 p.m.

The Grand Annex, 434 W. Sixth St., San Pedro
Admission: $15 in advance / $20 at the door
Seniors and Students: $10 in advance / $15 at the door

Augustin Hadelich and Ian Parker

The Da Camera Society Chamber Music in Historic Sites brings award-winning violinist Augustin Hadelich and pianist Ian Parker to the The Doheny Mansion Saturday evening.  Hadelich has distinguished himself among the new generation of young violinists.  He received the 2009 Avery Fisher Career Grant and has won numerous competitive prizes. His recordings have found critical acclaim and include the Telemann Fantasias heard at this recital.

The program includes the Telemann Fantasias nos. 8 and 5 for solo violin; Brahms’ Sonata in G Major, Op.78; the Poulenc Sonata; and “Zigeunerweisen” by Pablo de Sarasate.

The French master-composer Francis Poulenc’s sonata for violin and piano drew my attention to this program. Poulenc doesn’t mince melodies.  Identified with “Les Six,” his highly distilled Dada sensibility and economy of sound are distinctly affective.

Saturday, Feb. 20, 8 p.m.
Pre-concert talk at 7:40 p.m.
Pompeian Room, The Doheny Mansion, 8 Chester Place, LA

Single tickets: $88, $66. Catered artists receptions accompany all

Doheny Soirées. For information, call (213) 477-2929.

Calder Quartet play Bartók

The Bartók String Quartets have a place in culture uniquely their own as some of the most important works in the genre.  Here is a special opportunity to hear the entire collection played by the extraordinary Calder Quartet so well known in Southern California. Originally from USC and the Colburn School, they have risen to be among the elite international ensembles. Having served as the Juilliard School’s Graduate Resident Quartet, they are now the Quartet-in-Residence at the Colburn School.

The complete set of Bartók’s six quartets are spread across two concert dates: the first, this Tuesday will include nos. 1, 3, and 5; and the remainder, nos. 2, 4 and 6, can be heard in April. What a fantastic idea this is.

Tuesday, Feb. 23, 8 p.m.
Thursday, April 1, 8 p.m.

University Theatre, University of California, Riverside

Tickets: Both concerts: $40 / $20 student.  Single concert: $30 / $15 student.
For information, call (951) 827-4629.