By NICK MOORHEAD
Originally designed to be accommodated in a palace chamber, music under the heading of chamber music has over the years moved out of the palaces and into the hearts and minds of the masses. Well, masses may be a slight exaggeration when comparing chamber music lovers to the throngs flocking to Lady Gaga. But gather all the fans and all the audiences of the past few hundred years or so and this specialized art form rises to the top of the music charts.
This weekend, on Sunday, May 29 at 4 p.m. the Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Society begins it’s summer season with a selection of numbers featuring the work of heavyweights Haydn, Beethoven, Dvorak and Brahms.
No less an authority than Johann Wolfgang von Goethe described chamber music as, “four rational people conversing.” Flash forward to Sunday and the four people sharing this melodic conversation include Yura Lee on violin, Lila Brown on viola, Blaise Dejardin on cello and hometown girl, Delores Stevens, on piano.
Ms. Stevens founded the Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Society in 1971 and has been the artistic director ever since. She has recorded for sixteen different labels, served three terms as governor of the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences and is the director of Music and Conversations, a Los Angeles group going strong for the past six years.
In other words, she plays beautifully.
Jane Coakley recently took over the reigns of the society. This past April she assumed the position of executive director. This will be Ms. Coakley’s first major project as executive director. By the looks of the performers she has assembled for this concert, as well as the rest of the summer season, her tenure is off to a good start.
Violinist Yura Lee’s career has spanned over two decades. She has played with the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Hong Kong Philharmonic and the Tokyo Philharmonic.
Lila Brown attended the Juilliard School in New York city. She has been featured as the principal violist of Camerata Academica Salzburg, played with the International Musicians Seminar for over twenty five years and was an associate professor at Vienna Hochschule in Germany and the Boston Conservatory.
Blaise Dejardin hails from France and is the youngest prizewinner of the Adam International Cello Competition. His debut at age 14 featured Hadyn’s C Major Concerto. In 2010 Mr. Dejardin founded the Boston Cello Quartet which features four cellists from the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
After whetting the Island’s appetite this weekend, the Chamber Music Society returns in July and August to present exceptional talent nearly every Monday and Tuesday evening. For a complete listing of events and performers visit mvcms.vineyard.net. Be ready with a pen or personal organizer nearby. The summer season includes everything from Bach to Piazzola with a marimba flair in July to a mashup of Beethoven meets jazz great Chick Corea in August.
This weekend’s concert takes place at the Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center at 130 Center street in Vineyard Haven. Tickets are $20 at the door only. Students of all ages are free.