Ensemble Music's 64th season mixes classics, moderns

By Whitney Smith
whitney.smith@indystar.com

Nearly all the groups in Ensemble Music Society's next concert season will be new offerings from the Indianapolis chamber music presenter.

Ensemble Music's 64th season will feature groups ranging from a piano trio with Indiana ties to a strings-and-woodwinds sextet known for commissioning new pieces.

John Failey, Ensemble Music's board president, said that when he programs concerts, he deliberately looks for a blend of classical and contemporary music.

"I always am attracted to the classics and to music of our time," he said. "I like to play Beethoven and also contemporary composers."

Ensemble Music's 2007-08 season at the Indiana History Center will open Sept. 19, with the 30-year-old Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio. The group includes pianist Joseph Kalichstein, violinist Jaime Laredo and Laredo's wife, cellist Sharon Robinson. Laredo, the jury president of the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, and Robinson both teach at Indiana University in Bloomington. For Ensemble Music, they plan a Beethoven program.

The Takács Quartet, which formed in 1975 in Budapest and is based in Colorado, will return to Ensemble Music on Oct. 3, with a program of Haydn, Janacek and Brahms. Takács last played for Ensemble Music in 2001.

The 11-year-old eighth blackbird, a contemporary music sextet that performs regularly at the Universities of Chicago and Richmond, will play a program of new works on Nov. 28. Instrumentation consists of violin, cello, flute, clarinet, piano and percussion.

The season also will feature the Hugo Wolf Quartet, playing Haydn, Berg and Beethoven on Feb. 6; the Artemis Quartet, performing a piece by Austrian composer Thomas Larcher on April 9 and Concertante, a string sextet with music by Liebermann and Brahms on May 7.

Overall, Failey says, the range of performances holds a broad appeal.

"We think we've got an exciting season of great works coming up, from classical to contemporary," said Failey. "These are emotionally very strong pieces that people can feel a connection to, whether they're regular classical music listeners or not."

Ensemble Music's 2007-08 season:

Concerts will be at 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays at the Indiana History Center, 450 W. Ohio St. For tickets, call (317) 254-8915 or visit www.ensemblemusic.org.
Here's the lineup:
• Sept. 19: Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio.
• Oct. 3: Takács Quartet.
• Nov. 28: eighth blackbird.
• Feb. 6: Hugo Wolf Quartet.
• April 9: Artemis Quartet.
• May 7: Concertante.

Call Star reporter Whitney Smith at (317) 444-6226.

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