Three years ago, three leading presenters of chamber music in the Triangle--the Raleigh Chamber Music Guild, the Chamber Arts Society of Durham and the UNC-based William S. Newman Artists Series--decided to launch September Prelude, a festival to kick off the concert season. This year, the off-series event offers concerts in three cities, plus a day-long chamber music workshop for adults. The festival doesn't have an overriding theme this time, nor is there a common core of artists. Instead, it's music in rich variety that the programs celebrate.
Things get under way in Durham on Sept. 8 with distinguished French hornist David Jolley of the N.C. School of the Arts, his student Benjamin Weber and violinists Richard Luby and Jennifer Curtis, violist Yoram Youngerman, cellist Susan Babini and bassist Robbie Link. "Mozart in the Garden" offers the Divertimento in D, K.334, for two horns and strings, and the Quintet in E Flat, K.407, for horn and strings. The Doris Duke Center is the place, 7:30 p.m. is the time, $15 will get you in, and there's a post-concert reception. What could be finer?
On Sept. 9, the venue shifts to UNC-Chapel Hill's Memorial Hall, where Luby, Curtis, Youngerman and Babini join N.C. Symphony harpist Anita Burroughs-Price, ECU flutist Christine Gustafson and UNC clarinetist Michael Votta Jr. for what promises to be a charming all-French program of music by Ravel, Debussy and Fauré. Again, $15, but at 8 p.m.
Then, at 3 p.m. on Sept. 10 at the N.C. Museum of Art, pianist Alon Goldstein, violinists Erez Ofer and Sergiu Schwartz, violist Youngerman and cellist Emanuel Gruber present the last of this year's September Prelude concerts (doubling as a concert of the Sights and Sounds on Sundays series), a program of music by Jewish composers Paul Ben-Haim and Ernest Bloch. At $10 (students get in for $8), it's a bargain, and there's a reception when it's over. In addition, the NCMA is offering a free docent-led tour of program-themed works of art at 2 p.m. Call 664-6819 for tour reservations.
It's too late to sign up to play with the amateurs during the workshop, but auditors are welcome. This day-long session begins at 8:30 a.m. in the Wainwright Music Building at Meredith College in Raleigh. It'll set you back $40, but you'll be in the presence of many of the artists playing in the festival, and even wizened old music critics will tell you that there's no better way to get inside scores than to hear them being rehearsed.
Friday, Sept. 8
September Prelude: David Jolley and Benjamin Weber, horns, Richard Luby and Jennifer Curtis, violins, Yoram Youngerman, viola, Susan Babini, cello, and Robbie Link, bass. Mozart: Divertimento in D, K.334, and Quintet in E Flat, K.407. Doris Duke Center, Duke Gardens, Duke University, Durham. 7:30 p.m. $15. 684-4444 or duke.edu/web/dukeperfs/index.html.
Saturday, Sept. 9
Amateur chamber music players workshop, Donald L Oehler, director. Wainwright Music Building, Meredith College, Raleigh. 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Auditors $40. 962-1042 or 821-2030.
September Prelude: Richard Luby and Jennifer Curtis, violins, Yoram Youngerman, viola, Susan Babini, cello, Anita Burroughs-Price, harp, Christine Gustafson, flute, Michael Votta Jr., clarinet, and Jane Hawkins, piano. Ravel: Introduction and Allegro; Debussy: Sonata for Flute, Viola and Harp; and Fauré: Trio, Op. 120. Memorial Hall, UNC, Chapel Hill. 8 p.m. $15. 962-1039 or music.unc.edu.
Sunday, Sept. 10
September Prelude: Alon Goldstein, piano, Erez Ofer and Sergiu Schwartz, violins, Yoram Youngerman, viola, and Emanuel Gruber, cello. Paul Ben-Haim: String Quartet, Op. 21; and Ernest Bloch: Piano Quintet No. 1. N.C. Museum of Art, Raleigh. 3 p.m. $10, students/NCMA members $8. 821-2030 or rcmg.org.
For information about other fine concerts this week, visit cvnc.org/calendar/triangle.html.