Four Questions: Philadelphia Chamber Music Society
The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society has a well-deserved reputation for presenting world-class artists at affordable prices, and this upcoming season is no exception: recitals by Ana María Martinez and Craig Terry, Matthew Polenzani and Julius Drake, Ying Fang and Ken Noda, among others (two Musicians from Marlboro concerts also feature contemporary chamber music works for voice by Brett Dean and Kate Soper). However, we’re particularly excited about their innovative Emerging Voices project, headed by tenor Nicolas Phan and featuring a roster of some of the best young American singers performing new or rarely-heard pieces. “Art song as a powerful vehicle for social change”? Sign us up!
1. What songs and song performers are you presenting this season?
This season we will present the following vocal recitals at the Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater:
Ana María Martínez, soprano & Craig Terry, piano
March 13, 2020, 7:30 pm - $30, $10 for students
All-Spanish recital of works by Rodrigo, Granados, Lecuona, de Falla, Moré, Capó, and selected zarzuela
Matthew Polenzani, tenor & Julius Drake, piano
May 6, 2020, 7:30 pm - $30, $10 for students
Program to include songs by Schubert and Beethoven
In January 2020 we are excited to be undertaking a special project, Emerging Voices: Art Song & Social Connection, illustrating the role of art song as a powerful vehicle for social exchange. Curated by the Society in collaboration with tenor Nicholas Phan, Emerging Voices features six concerts with special projection design by award-winning artist Hana Kim, two panel discussions, and a masterclass. Featured artists include Joélle Harvey and Sarah Shafer, soprano; J'Nai Bridges and Kelley O'Connor, mezzo-soprano; Nicholas Phan, tenor; Roderick Williams, baritone; Douglas Williams, bass-baritone; Myra Huang and Shannon McGinnis, piano; Tony Flynt, double bass; Brooklyn Rider; and the Jasper String Quartet.
2. What makes your series unique?
Our long-running vocal recital series presents the world's finest singers in intimate venues for $30 or less per ticket while special programming (e.g. Emerging Voices) offers world-premiere compositions, rarely-heard repertoire, established and emerging artists, and themes that emphasize the art form's continued vibrancy and relevance. More information on artists and programs that we've presented recently can be found here on our website.
3. What stories do you seek to tell through art song?
Our Emerging Voices programs plumb war stories, themes of national and personal identity, of social interconnectedness across borders and boundaries, and more, informed by project curator Nicholas Phan's own personal experience as a Greek, Chinese, American, bi-racial, gay, child-of-immigrants artist. In these and other performances we also seek to present artists from a wide array of backgrounds performing repertoire that is chosen by and of personal significance to them.
4. How are you engaging in socially relevant themes through art song?
We feel that art song has a particular potency to move beyond differences to that which unites—articulating universal longings for life and love, goodness and beauty, peace and belonging—while also conveying uniquely individual experiences and perspectives. We believe that the historical context and potency of the poets and composers featured (both in Emerging Voices and in our regular programming) are valuable conduits for understanding the complementary relationships we have with those who differ from us. Emerging Voices seeks to reach beyond the impact of a single vocal chamber performance by highlighting the art form itself as a uniquely compelling medium for “giving voice” to the human search for identity and social connection.