Arts + Culture

UCLA's Clark Library announces 2011-12 chamber music season

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The winners of the 2011 Grammy Award for chamber music number among the top performers scheduled to appear over the coming year at UCLA's William Andrews Clark Memorial Library.

In addition to the Parker Quartet, the eight-concert season includes a command performance by Augustin Hadelich, widely considered the best young violinist active today.
   
The season runs from Sunday, Oct. 30, through Sunday, April 22, 2012, at the gem-like 1926 library, located in Los Angeles' historic West Adams district.

"I'm extremely pleased to continue the long and proud tradition of Chamber Music at the Clark," said Barbara Fuchs, the newly appointed director of the UCLA Center for 17th- and 18th-Century Studies, which organizes the concerts. "This promises to be our best season ever."

During its 17-year history, Chamber Music at the Clark has earned a reputation as a launching pad for up-and-coming American talent and for fine foreign ensembles seeking to make inroads in the U.S. The approach has proven so successful that groups continue to return long after establishing themselves.
  
But demand consistently outstrips seating in the intimate venue, so organizers distribute tickets by lottery. Submissions are due approximately five weeks prior to each concert. The first deadline is Sept. 23.

"The series is so popular that we could easily fill seats three times over, but we want to spread the wealth since our goal is community outreach," said Fuchs, a professor with joint appointments in English and in Spanish and Portuguese.
 
Here's the complete 2011–12 schedule:
 
The Talich Quartet, a Czech string quartet widely recognized as one of Europe's finest chamber ensembles and the embodiment of the country's great musical tradition, returns Oct. 30 for its only Los Angeles performance this year. The concert — the ensemble's third at the Clark — will feature Czech composer Bedřich Smetana's String Quartet No. 1 in E Minor, an autobiographical masterpiece written when he realized he was going deaf. Also on the program are Felix Mendelssohn's String Quartet No. 6 in F Minor, Op. 80, and Dmitri Shostakovich's String Quartet No. 8 in C Minor, Op. 110. (Lottery closes Sept. 23.)
 
The New Zealand String Quartet, an innovative Wellington-based ensemble that has put the country on the map in terms of chamber music, returns Nov. 6 for its first appearance since 2004. The concert will feature a mix of traditional and technically challenging pieces, including Béla Bartók's rhythmically interesting String Quartet No. 4 in C Major, Sz. 91, BB 95, and Beethoven's much beloved String Quartet No. 14 in C-sharp minor, Op. 131. (Lottery closes Sept. 30.)
 
Rachel Barton Pine, a former child prodigy who has gone on to a significant recording and performing career, both as a classical violin soloist and a heavy metal rocker, performs Dec. 4 for the first time at the Clark. Despite a professed affinity for Black Sabbath, Metallica and Slayer, she will be presenting traditional — and spectacularly demanding — fare for a violin virtuoso: all 24 of Niccolò Paganini's Caprices for Solo Violin. (Lottery closes Oct. 28.)
 
The Boston Trio, a well-oiled female ensemble recognized as one of the best American trios in chamber music today, will return Jan. 22 for their third performance at the Clark. Among their offerings, the cellist, pianist and violinist will tackle Dmitri Shostakovich's rarely performed Trio No. 1 and Maurice Ravel's only piano trio, which is a renowned masterpiece. (Lottery closes Dec. 2.) 
 
Augustin Hadelich, in his fourth appearance at the Clark, will perform Jan. 29 with acclaimed pianist Joyce Yang, who has accompanied him on only one other occasion at the Clark. A mix of classical and modern selections, the program will feature a seldom performed piece, "From Far Beyond Chrysanthemums and November Fog," by 20th-century Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu, and a Ravel piece, "Tzigane," that is rarely performed on violin. (Lottery closes Dec. 2.)
 
The Parker Quartet, in its second appearance at the Clark, will perform a March 11 program that includes "Intimate Letters," the haunting autobiographical piece by early 20th-century Czech composer Leos Janacek popularized in the soundtrack to the 1988 film adaptation of Milan Kundera's "The Unbearable Lightness of Being." The Twin Cities–based string quartet won a Grammy Award earlier this year for a recording of little known quartets by the 20th-century Hungarian composer Gyorgy Ligeti, whose music has been featured in such Stanley Kubrick films as "2001: A Space Odyssey" and "Eyes Wide Shut." (Lottery closes Feb. 3.)
 
The Ying Quartet, a string ensemble renowned for its cohesion (three are siblings who have played together all their lives), returns March 18 for its sixth Clark appearance. In the quartet's only Los Angeles performance this season, it will present a Russian-themed program, featuring a piece — Quartet No. 2 in A Minor, Op. 35a — by the rarely performed late 19th-century Russian composer Anton Arensky, Dmitri Shostakovich's infrequently performed Quartet No. 12 and one of Beethoven's "Razumovksy" Quartets, named for the Russian ambassador in Vienna who commissioned them. (Lottery closes Feb. 10.)
 
Sergey Antonov, widely regarded as one of the top cellists in the world, performs April 22 for the first time at the Clark. Along with pianist Ilya Kazantsev, the 2007 Tchaikovsky Competition gold medal winner will play Frédéric Chopin's technically demanding Introduction and Polonaise Brillante, Op. 3, Richard Strauss' rarely performed Sonata for Cello and Piano, Op. 6, and Sergei Rachmaninoff's much beloved Sonata for Cello and Piano, Op. 19. (Lottery closes March 16.)
 
Tickets cost $25, thanks to generous support from the Ahmanson Foundation, the Edmund D. Edelman Foundation for Music and the Performing Arts, and several individual donors.
 
The Sunday afternoon concerts offer a rare opportunity to visit the sumptuous library and grounds, which were donated 85 years ago to UCLA by philanthropist and copper fortune scion William Andrews Clark Jr., who also founded the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
 
The 2 p.m. performances take place in an intimate 100-seat drawing room specifically created by Clark in 1926 for his own chamber concerts. The wood-paneled room features an ornate fireplace, elaborate murals and vistas of the library's formal gardens. A reception with the musicians follows each concert.
 
Lottery submission forms are available at this website: www.c1718cs.ucla.edu. Submissions must either be hand-delivered or postmarked by the deadline to UCLA's Center for 17th- and 18th-Century Studies, 310 Royce Hall, Box 951404, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1404.
 
The Clark Library is located at 2520 Cimarron St. For information, call 310-206-8552.
 
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