Music at Amherst Series

M@A: Virtual Music at Amherst 2020-2021

As we navigate these uncertain times, we know that music remains a constant source of strength, comfort, and joy. We are delighted to announce the 2020-2021 season’s all-star line-up, bringing you world-class performances and masterclasses, via live webcasts. Join us online for music and discussion.

If you are one of our subscribers, please be assured that we are saving your seat for you for when it is safe again to gather in person. Until then, we look forward to connecting you with great performers and great performances in new and imaginative ways.

Regina Carter

Regina Carter and Friends

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2020 • 8 pm VIRTUAL

Piano: Brandon McCune
Bass:  Chris Lightcap
Drums: Alvester Garnett

For Grammy-nominated artist Regina Carter, the violin isn’t simply an improvisational vehicle; it’s a Rosetta Stone unlocking the doors to a myriad of cultures, sounds, and worlds apart. The first jazz musician and African-American to play the Guarneri Del Gesu violin, once owned by Niccolò Paganini, MacArthur “Genius” award-winning Regina Carter is director of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center’s All-Female Jazz Residency and has collaborated with Aretha Franklin, Mary J. Blige, Lauryn Hill, Billy Joel, Dolly Parton, Ray Brown, Kenny Barron, the String Trio of New York, Cassandra Wilson, Oliver Lake, and Steve Turre.


Conrad Tao Conrad Tao, piano

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2020 • 8 PM VIRTUAL
masterclass 10/2, 2–4PM VIRTUAL
CONRAD TAO: All I had forgotten or tried to
J.S. BACH: Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue
RUTH CRAWFORD SEEGER: Piano Study in Mixed Accents
JASON ECKARDT: Echoes' White Veil
BEETHOVEN: Sonata op 31 no 2, 'The Tempest'
TANIA LEON: Rituál
CONRAD TAO: improvisation

Conrad Tao has appeared worldwide as a pianist and composer, and been dubbed a musician of “probing intellect and open-hearted vision” by the New York Times, calling him “one of five classical music faces to watch” in the 2018–19 season. Tao is a recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, and was named a Gilmore Young Artist, an honor awarded biennially to promising American pianists. At the 2019 New York Dance and Performance Award (“Bessies”), Tao received the award for Outstanding Sound Design/Music Composition, for More Forever, his collaboration with Caleb Teicher.


Calidore String Quartet Calidore String Quartet

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2020 • 8 PM VIRTUAL

Janáček String Quartet No. 1,  Kreutzer Sonata
Dvořák American Quartet

Recipient of a 2018 Avery Fisher Career Grant and a 2017 Lincoln Center Award for Emerging Artists, the Calidore String Quartet first made international headlines as winner of the $100,000 Grand Prize of the 2016 M-Prize Chamber Arts Competition. The quartet was the first North American ensemble to win the Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship, a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist, and is currently in residence with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Bowers Program (formerly CMS Two). The Calidore String Quartet has been praised by the New York Times for its “deep reserves of virtuosity and irrepressible dramatic instinct.” The Los Angeles Times described the quartet as “astonishing” and praised its balance of “intellect and expression.” The Washington Post said that “Four more individual musicians are unimaginable, yet these speak, breathe, think and feel as one.”


Hakhnazaryan and Trifonov

Narek Hakhnazaryan, cello, and Daniil Trifonov, piano, in Recital

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2021 • 8 PM VIRTUAL
plus next-day masterclass with Hakhnazaryan, 2/20, 10 AM

Pärt “Fratres” for violoncello and piano
Shostakovich Sonata for Violoncello and Piano D Minor, Op. 40

Rachmaninov Sonata for Violoncello and Piano G Minor, Op. 19

Grammy Award winning Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov—winner of Musical America’s 2019 Artist of the Year award—has made a spectacular ascent of the classical music world as a solo artist; a champion of the concerto repertoire; a chamber and vocal collaborator; and a composer. Combining consummate technique with rare sensitivity and depth, his performances are a perpetual source of awe. “He has everything and more … tenderness and also the demonic element. I never heard anything like that,” marveled pianist Martha Argerich. Trifonov recently added a Grammy Award to his already considerable string of honors, winning Best Instrumental Solo Album of 2018 with Transcendental, a Liszt collection that marked his third title as an exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist. As the Times of London notes, he is “without question the most astounding pianist of our age.”

Hailed by the Washington Post as “a seasoned phenomenon,” Narek Hakhnazaryan won the Cello First Prize and Gold Medal at the XIV International Tchaikovsky Competition in 2011 at the age of 22.


Boston Modern Orchestra Project Boston Modern Orchestra Project: Music of Amherst Composers

SUNDAY, FEBUARY 28, 2021 • 3 PM VIRTUAL

Scott Wheeler: Pocket Concerto
Martin Brody: Prince of Cats – World Premiere
Martin Brody: The Trick of Singularity – World Premiere
Eric Sawyer: Ways of Being – World Premiere 
Lewis Spratlan: Chamber Symphony – World Premiere


In 1996, Gil Rose set out to restore a widening disconnect between contemporary audiences and contemporary music. Today Grammy award-winning Boston Modern Orchestra Project remains dedicated to its mission and is the leading orchestra for commissioning, performing, and recording modern orchestral music. "Chamber Symphony," by Lewis Spratlan, is presented as part of the composer's 80th birthday celebration. Spratlan taught at Amherst College from 1970 until his retirement in 2006.


Juilliard String Quartet

Juilliard String Quartet

FRIDAY, MARCH 26, 2021 • 8 pm VIRTUAL
Plus Next-Day Masterclass, 3/27, 10 AM

Haydn String Quartet in D Major, Op. 50, No. 6 “The Frog”
Dutilleux Ainsi la Nuit for string quartet (1976)
Smetana String Quartet No. 1 in E Minor, “From My Life”

With unparalleled artistry and enduring vigor, the Juilliard String Quartet (JSQ) continues to inspire audiences around the world. Founded in 1946 and hailed by the Boston Globe as “the most important American quartet in history,” the ensemble draws on a deep and vital engagement to the classics, while embracing the mission of championing new works, a vibrant combination of the familiar and the daring. Each performance of the Juilliard String Quartet is a unique experience, bringing together the four members’ profound understanding, total commitment, and unceasing curiosity in sharing the wonders of the string quartet literature.


Nathaniel Dett Chorale Nathaniel Dett Chorale: Concert of Afro-Centric Music

SATURDAY, APRIL 10, 2021 • 8 PM VIRTUAL
plus same-day masterclass, 10:30–noon

The Nathaniel Dett Chorale is Canada’s first professional choral group dedicated to Afrocentric music of all styles, including classical, spiritual, gospel, jazz, folk and blues. The twenty-one classically trained outstanding vocalists of the Nathaniel Dett Chorale have shared the stage with internationally recognized artists such as Juno Award-winning jazz pianist Joe Sealy, singers Molly Johnson, and Jackie Richardson, and opera star Kathleen Battle and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. The ensemble has performed for such luminaries as opera singer Jessye Norman and Dance Theatre of Harlem founder Arthur Mitchell. The Chorale has performed at events honoring world leaders Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, personality Muhammad Ali, and pianist Oscar Peterson, and was the only Canadian ensemble invited to perform as part of the celebrations surrounding the historic inauguration of President Barack Obama in January 2009.

The multi-faceted vocalists of the Chorale, whose talent stretches beyond the traditional expectations of a classical chamber choir, seek to broaden their vision to include all styles and genres of music, from classical to jazz, folk, blues, and popular music, as appropriate to the traditions of the African Diaspora.


The 2020-21 Virtual Season at a Glance

FALL SEMESTER

Regina Carter and Friends
8 PM FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2020

Conrad Tao, piano
8 PM FRIDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2020

Calidore String Quartet
8 PM FRIDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2020

SPRING SEMESTER

Narek Hakhnazaryan, cello, & Daniil Trifonov, piano
8 PM FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2021

Boston Modern Orchestra Project 
3 PM SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2021

Juilliard String Quartet
8 PM FRIDAY, MARCH 26, 2021

Nathaniel Dett Chorale
8 PM SATURDAY, APRIL 10, 2021


Subscriptions

Regular subscriptions are not available 2020-2021, due to health concerns related to COVID-19. Your safety is our highest concern. We have therefore temporarily suspended subscriptions for this season until it is again safe to gather in Buckley in person. Thank you for your understanding.


Alisa C. Pearson

Alisa C. Pearson

Manager of Concert Programming, Production & Publicity

Arms Music Center