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A Season of Classical Music Performances at the Smithsonian

If you visit the National Museum of American History, you may happen upon the Hall of Musical Instruments—a priceless collection of instruments from as far back as 300 years ago. But once in a while, these artifacts are let out of their display cases and are used in the way they were intended: for ...

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If you visit the National Museum of American History, you may happen upon the Hall of Musical Instruments—a priceless collection of instruments from as far back as 300 years ago. But once in a while, these artifacts are let out of their display cases and are used in the way they were intended: for concert performances. That's right. The white-gloved curators at the American History museum allow a select few to play with its toys—and oh what beautiful music they make! Now celebrating its 33rd season, the Smithsonian Chamber Music Society features the talents of four musical groups—the Axlerod String Quartet, the Castle Trio, the Smithsonian Chamber Players and the Smithsonian Chamber Orchestra—will be featured in a string of special concerts this fall. Check out the listings below and partake of the opportunities to hear Stradivarii and Steinways play the music they was designed to play.



Tickets are required for all concert events. Some concerts are preceded by a lecture. For information or to purchase tickets, call 202-633-3030 or visit online. The full schedule is after the jump.







Masterworks of Four Centuries Series



Sunday, October 11, 2009: Igor Stravinsky, Arnold Schönberg and Aaron Copland



The Smithsonian Chamber Orchestra, featuring Elisabeth Adkins (concertmaster), Kenneth Slowik (conductor), Naoko Takao (piano) and Christopher Krueger (reciter), present Igor Stravinsky: Dumbarton Oaks Concerto, Arnold Schönberg: "Ode to Napoleon," Op. 41 and Aaron Copland: "Appalachian Spring" in the Grand Salon of the Renwick Gallery. Concert begins at 7:30 PM.



Sunday, November 1, 2009: Joseph Haydn



The Smithsonian Chamber Players, featuring Jaap Schröder (violin), Krueger (flute), Myron Lutzke (violoncello) and Slowik (baryton and fortepiano), presents trios of Joseph Haydn in the Hall of Musical Instruments. Concert begins at 7:30 PM.



Sunday, January 17, 2010: French Baroque Music



The Smithsonian Chamber Players Founders Trio, featuring James Weaver (harpsichord), Marilyn McDonald (violin), and Slowik (viola da gamba and harpsichord), present French baroque music by Gasper Le Roux and Louis, Francois and Armand-Louis Couperin in the Hall of Musical Instruments. Concert begins at 7:30 PM.



Sunday, February 7, 2010: Robert Schumann



The Castle Trio and Friends, featuring Lambert Orkis (fortepiano), McDonald and Lisa Beth Lambert (violin), Steven Dann (viola) and Slowik (vioconcello), present Robert Schumann: Trio in D Minor, Op. 63 and Quintet in E-flat Major, Op. 44 in the Hall of Musical Instruments. Concert begins at 7:30 PM.



Sunday, February 28, 2010: Franz Schubert



The Smithsonian Chamber Players, featuring Ernst Kovacic and Cynthia Roberts (violins), Dann and Katherine Murdock (violas) and Slowik (vioconcello), present Franz Schubert: Quartet in A Major, D 804 and Anton Bruckner: Quintet in F Major in the Hall of Musical Instruments. Concert begins at 7:30



Sunday, March 14, 2010: Selected Sonatas by Schubert, Mozart and Beethoven



The Smithsonian Chamber Players, featuring Ian Swensen (violin) and Slowik (fortepiano), present a recital of sonatas by Franz Schubert, Ludwig van Beethoven and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in the Hall of Musical Instruments. Concert begins at 7:30 PM



Sunday, March 28, 2010: Arnold Schönberg, Alan Berg and Antonín Dvorák



The Smithsonian Chamber Players, featuring Mark Fewer and Jeffrey Multer (violins), Douglas McNabney (viola), Slowik (vioconcello) and John Feeney (double bass), present Arnold Schönberg: String Quartet in D Major, Alban Berg: String Quartet, Op. 3 and Antonín Dvorák: Quintet in G Major, Op. 77 in the Hall of Musical Instruments. Concert begins at 7:30 PM.



Axlerod String Quartet Saturday Series



Saturday November 14, 2009: Joseph Haydn and Felix Mendelssohn



The Axlerod String Quartet—Marc Destubé and Marilyn McDonald (violins), James Dunham (viola) and Kenneth Slowik (vioconcello)—presents Joseph Haydn: Quartet in G Minor, Op. 20, No. 3; and Felix Mendelssohn: Quartet in A Minor, Op. 13 in the Hall of Musical Instruments. They are joined by the Adelphi String Quartet, featuring Daniel Sender and Francis Liu (violins), Jonathan Richards (viola) and Elizabeth Meszaros (vioconcello) for the performance of the Mendelssohn piece. Concert begins at 7:30 PM.



Saturday, January 23, 1010: Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven



The Axlerod String Quartet—Marc Destubé and Marilyn McDonald (violins), James Dunham (viola) and Kenneth Slowik (vioconcello)—presents Joseph Haydn: Quartet in C Major, Op. 20, No. 2; Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Quartet in G Major, K387 and Ludwig van Beethoven: Quartet in C-sharp Minor, Op. 131 in the Hall of Musical Instruments. Concert begins at 7:30



Saturday, April 17 and Sunday, April 18 2010: Johannes Brahms and Robert Schumann



The Axlerod String Quartet—Marc Destubé and Marilyn McDonald (violins), James Dunham (viola) and Kenneth Slowik (vioconcello)—presents Ludwig van Beethoven: Quartet in G major, Op. 18, No. 2, Johannes Brahms: Quartet in A Minor, Op. 51, No. 2 and Robert Schumann: Quartet in A Major, Op. 41, No. 3 in the Grand Salon of the Renwick Gallery. The Saturday concert begins at 8:00 PM and the Sunday concert begins at 7:30 PM.
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