Valley Classical Concerts is offering another full line-up of six concerts in the 2023-24 season. The season began on October 22. There are four concerts at Sweeney Concert Hall at Smith College, and two concerts at the First Congregational Church in Florence (Bombyx Center for Arts & Equity). Here is the program:
Sunday, October 22, 3:00 pm, Bombyx Center, Viano String Quartet
First prize winner at the 2019 Banff International String Quartet Competition, in residence at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Viano will be this season’s entry in the category of “I can’t believe how young and great these quartets are today.” Their program, “Memoirs,” consists of brief works by Schubert, Florence Price, Krzysztof Penderecki and Dvořák, followed by Smetana’s Quartet No. 1, “From My Life.”
Sunday, November 12, 3:00 pm, Sweeney Concert Hall – Borromeo String Quartet
Old friends from Boston, still one of America’s most consistently probing and interesting chamber ensembles. Bach from the Well-Tempered Clavier, Jamaican composer Eleanor Alberga’s “Remember,” Bartók’s Quartet No. 6, and the Beethoven Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 127
Sunday, February 4, 3:00 pm, Sweeney Concert Hall – Merz Trio
Multiple prize-winners, innovative programmers, damned good. Their program, “Alma Mahler Goes West,” consists of brief works of composers ranging from Berg and Webern and Britten to Charles Ives and Thelonious Monk, as well as Mrs. Mahler herself, and concludes with pianist Eduard Steuermann’s excellent transcription for piano trio of Arnold Schoenberg’s gorgeous “Verklärte Nacht” (“Transfigured Night”).
Saturday, February 24, 7:30 pm, Sweeney Concert Hall – Itamar Zorman, violin, Ieva Jokūbavičiūte, piano
Itamar Zorman is the winner of the 2011 Tchaikovsky International Violin Competition and a recipient of the 2014 Borletti-Buitoni Award and the 2013 Avery Fisher Career Grant – and as you may recall, violinist of the Lysander Trio whom we presented last season. Franz Schubert: Sonata for violin and piano in A major, D. 574. Sofia Gubaidulina – Dancer on a tightrope. Grażyna Bacewicz: Slavonic Dance, Witraż (Stained-Glass Window), Oberek No. 1. César Franck – Sonata in A Major for violin and piano.
Thursday, March 14, 7:30 pm, Sweeney Concert Hall – Espressivo! Piano Quartet
Anna Polonsky, piano, Jaime Laredo, violin, Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt, viola, Sharon Robinson, cello. Mozart: Piano Quartet No. 2 in E-flat Major, K. 493, Mendelssohn: Piano Quartet No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 1, Brahms: Piano Quartet No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 25.
Sunday, April 21, 4:00 pm, Bombyx Center – Junction Trio
Three extremely talented soloists who also make superb chamber music on the side. We’ve been trying to present these guys since about 2019. John Zorn: Ghosts. Charles Ives: Piano Trio. Beethoven: Piano Trio in B-flat Major, Op. 97, “Archduke.”