Spend a beautiful Sunday afternoon with Brahms, Shostakovich and Mendelssohn when the world-renowned Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble brings works by these celebrated classical composers to George Mason University's Center for the Arts in Fairfax this Sunday, Oct. 21 at 4 p.m.
Featuring several configurations of the ensemble from six to eight players, the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble features an extraordinary program that includes Brahms’ String Sextet No. 2 in G major, Shostakovich’s Prelude and Scherzo for String Octet and Mendelssohn’s Octet for Strings in Eb major.
“Listening to the glorious octet, which Mendelssohn wrote at a precocious 16, it’s easy to imagine the awe that his family and friends must have felt while hearing the work’s premiere in 1825,” The New York Times wrote after a past performance of Octet for Strings by the ensemble.
The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble was formed in 1967 – eight years after the creation of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Orchestra – to perform larger chamber works from quintets to octets. This gifted ensemble draws from principal players from the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Orchestra who regularly work together, using the camaraderie to enhance the level of musicianship. Since its inception, the ensemble has produced more than 30 recordings on Philips Classics, Hyperion and Chandos. The ensemble tours annually to France, Germany and Spain and frequently performs in North and South America, Australia, New Zealand and Taiwan.
The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble currently features violinists Thomas Bowes (guest leader), Harvey de Souza, Jennifer Godson and Martin Burgess; violists Robert Smissen and Duncan Ferguson; and cellists Stephen Orton and John Heley. Many of these musicians have been performing as members of Academy of St. Martin in the Fields for more than 15 years.
Tickets for this performance are $25, $42, $50. To purchase tickets, please call 888-945-2468, visit cfa.gmu.edu or visit the Center for the Arts box office, open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Free parking is available in Lot K and paid parking is available in the Mason Pond Parking Deck adjacent to the Concert Hall. A pre-performance discussion, free to ticket holders, will be held 45 minutes prior to the performance on the Center's Grand Tier III.