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Music Dept. press release   Date: 9/25/13 Bookmark and Share

Gifts of Youth

Smith Chamber Group Begins Season with New Name, New Music, and a Celebration of Youth

With a new name and a fresh sense of purpose, the Sage Chamber Music Society (formerly called the Smith Chamber Music Society) opens its 2013-14 concert season on Sunday, Sept. 29, with Gifts of Youth, a celebration of the music from the young careers of two of classical music’s most beloved composers, Johannes Brahms and Ludwig van Beethoven.


The concert, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 4 p.m. in Sweeney Auditorium, Sage Hall.

The program features performances of Beethoven’s Serenade in D major, Op. 8, written when he was just 25 years old, and Brahms’ Trio in B major, which he composed in 1854 at the age of 21.

Brahms revised his trio 35 years later, in 1889, though he did not withdraw the first edition from publication. As a result, his Trio in B major is the only Brahms work to still exist in two versions, allowing access to a deeply personal retrospection on his early years as a composer.

Also on the program, pianist Judith Gordon will play a set of five new preludes, titled Pure Contraption, Absolute Gift, by acclaimed composer James Primosch, inspired by the poetry of W.H. Auden. Primosch, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, received the Goddard Lieberson Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and has been commissioned by the Chicago Symphony and Speculum Musicae, among others. 

The Sage Chamber Music Society is a core group of musicians drawn from the Smith music faculty, who frequently invite distinguished guest artists from the Valley and beyond to join in performance, allowing for exciting variety and enormous flexibility in the series.

For Gifts of Youth, Ronald Carbone, viola, will join Joel Pitchon, violin, Volcy Pelletier, cello, and Judith Gordon, piano. Carbone is principal violist of the American Ballet Theatre Orchestra and was for many years an Associate of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.

Joel Pitchon is a member of the New Baroque Soloists, and was concertmaster of Orquestra Ciutat de Barcelona in Spain, and the EOS Chamber Orchestra in New York.

Volcy Pelletier was a recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship to study with Bernard Greenhouse at the New England Conservatory of Music, and was principal cellist of the Orquestra Ciutat de Barcelona.

Judith Gordon was the Boston Globe’s Musician of the Year in 1997, has been a featured soloist with the Boston Pops, and has worked closely with prominent contemporary composers, including John Harbison, Lee Hyla and Peter Lieberson.

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