Feb 17, 2022 - News

Chamber music makes an Austin comeback

Photos of performers in chamber concert series.
Clockwise from top left: Stephanie Sant’Ambrogio, Douglas Harvey, Kathryn Mishell and Colette Valentine will perform chamber music this weekend in the latest installment of The Salon Concerts. Photo courtesy of Salon Concerts

This weekend, an intimate concert series previously derailed by COVID takes a step forward.

Driving the news: The Salon Concerts, first-rate chamber music performances hosted in the cozy environment of private Austin homes, will hold the first shows of 2022 this weekend.

What they're saying: "We are so happy to play again for people right in front of us," Kathryn Mishell, artistic director of the series, tells Axios.

Of note: The concert series welcomed the Miró Quartet for a live performance last November.

Between the lines: The program this weekend — with works by George Gershwin, Maurice Ravel and Beethoven — was originally scheduled for April 2020 — just as everything went kablooey.

  • "The most challenging aspect of planning a chamber music concert season like ours is the uncertainty that COVID brings," Mishell said. "In chamber music, there is only one player to a part. … So if one person were to get COVID, rehearsals would be postponed and concerts might have to be postponed as well."

Possibly true story: ​​When Gershwin met Ravel in New York City in 1928, he asked about studying with the French composer.

  • Ravel supposedly responded: "Why would you want to be a second-rate Ravel when you can be a first-rate Gershwin?"

The precautions: Concertgoers must provide proof of COVID vaccination, and masks are required during performances.

  • The shows — followed by an outdoor, gourmet buffet — are Sunday at 4:30pm and Monday at 7pm at a home off Cuernavaca by Bee Cave Road. An exact address and directions are sent upon reservation.
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