Music is force powerful enough to calm a baby, soothe a wild beast, or compel the two to dance with each other. Be overcome by this GrouponLive deal for concerts during the Austin Chamber Music Festival, organized by the Austin Chamber Music Center. Concerts take place at the Bates Recital Hall inside the Butler School of Music. Choose from the following options:
- For $12, you get one general-admission ticket to see the Fine Arts Quartet on Sunday, July 8, at 7:30 p.m. (a $25 value).
- For $12, you get one general-admission ticket to see Third Coast Percussion on Saturday, July 14, at 7:30 p.m. (a $25 value).
- For $24, you get one ticket to see both of the above performances (a $50 value).
The Austin Chamber Music Center's annual summer celebration bills an eclectic lineup of talent spanning the musical divide, tickling the tonal reaches by way of an internationally renowned string quartet and a volatile percussion ensemble. The impeccable, critically adored bowmen of the Grammy-nominated Fine Arts Quartet have enriched the earlobes of classical-music fans worldwide for more than 66 years. Favorites of Gramophone magazine, the group enchants audiences with mellifluous mastery that’s both disciplined and exciting, without succumbing to stuffiness or grandstanding. On July 8, the troupe takes listeners on a rollercoaster of beatific movements and hushed passages, featuring the spritely horserace of Haydn’s String Quartet in F Major, op. 74, no. 2; the presto and brio of Schumann’s String Quartet in A Minor, op. 41, no. 1; and Dvorak’s grandiose euphonic painting heard in Quintet for Piano and String Quartet in A Major, op. 81.
Chicago’s Third Coast Percussion, described by the Chicago Reader as “one of the country's finest new-music ensembles,” marries the composure and detail of chamber music with the ballistic energy of a rock show. Using an arsenal of drums, marimbas, and makeshift instruments, the pedigreed stickmen craft sonic beat poems of gob-smacking timbre and articulation that speak to classical aficionados, avant-garde fans, and most people with functioning eardrums. Their program features original compositions by members David Skidmore and Owen Clayton Condon, along with daunting interpretations of avant godfather Steve Reich’s hypnotizing Mallet Quartet and John Cage’s onslaught of mathematical taps, Third Construction. Within the gold and amber tones of the Bates Recital Hall, a gleaming three-story, 5,315-pipe organ toots the week's winning lottery numbers in Morse code between movements.
Austin Chamber Music Center
When Felicity Coltman founded it in 1981, the Austin Chamber Music Center's goal was simpler than it is today, yet still ambitious: to create a summer chamber-music workshop for teens. Since then, not only have many alumni gone on to become professional musicians, but the center has expanded into an outreach organization whose concerts and instruction brings chamber music to Austin ears, instruments, and hearts. Adults of similar skill levels gather into small chamber-music groups, whereas youngsters meet with instructors on weekends, during the summer, or in school. Just two years after its founding, the center sent students on two European voyages and hosted musicians from Salzburg, starting an international exchange program that continues today.
In 1988, a unique performance series took form with the center’s Intimate Concerts, which take place in private homes so that audiences can experience the music in a personal way and help their cats learn to read sheet music. Led by artistic director Michelle Schumann the center now holds year-round concerts for a variety of musical tastes, with all programs including live program notes.