It's always great to hear your favorite song live, because you can sing along and see what the notes look like as they float out of the instruments. See the music with this GrouponLive deal to see the Austin Chamber Music Center at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Austin. Choose between the following performance options:
- For $14, you get one ticket for general admission to see “Inner Voices” on Saturday, March 2, at 7:30 p.m. (up to a $28 value, including all fees).
- For $14, you get one ticket for general admission to see “String Theory” on Saturday, April 13, at 7:30 p.m. (up to a $28 value, including all fees).
Doors open one hour before showtime.
The Synchronisms series of concerts blends formality with casualness, contemporary music with classics, in an intimate venue just big enough to let sound unfurl. “Inner Voices” comes alive with the aid of the award-winning Aeolus Quartet and the piano skills of artistic director Dr. Michelle Schumann. The evening begins with Giacomo Puccini’s Chrysanthemums, a dynamic piece that expands and shrinks, welding the instruments' melodies into minor-key harmonies that then fray down separate paths. The deft fingers of the solo violinist achieve startling velocities during Jean Sibelius's Voces Intimae, which soars into thin, lofty octaves before falling to earth for resonant, warmer tones. Lastly, Graham Reynolds adapts his 2009 ballet, Cult of Color, for the quintet, which is tasked with conveying the percussive series of stormy, rock-reminiscent sound mountains.
Pianist Gregory Allen and violinist Stephanie Sant'Ambrogio combine the force of their instruments for “String Theory,” which presents three pieces: Duo for Violin and Piano by Franz Schubert, Violin Sonata by Fazil Say, and D Minor Sonata by Johannes Brahms. Schubert's piece spans twinkling, soft passages whose ethereal notes suddenly give way to bold, decisive chords before again becoming airborne. Plucked violin strings punctuate dreamy, asymmetrical washes in Say's sonata, whereas Brahms's extended violin notes form a dynamic landscape with which a piano melody contrasts and rejoins, occasionally startling listeners with sudden bursts of tempo and shouts of “Surprise!”
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.