What could be a better way to conclude a 4th of July weekend than attending an exceptional concert in South Pasadena?
By Toti O’Brien
The New Hollywood String Quartet—together with Restoration Concerts Series and the Friends of the South Pasadena Library—are thrilled to present their inaugural Summer Festival, dedicated to the great Johannes Brahms. Brahms’ twenty-five works of chamber music will be performed as a whole, for the first time, during eight consecutive concerts starting on the night of July 7th and ending on the night of July 14th.
World-renowned musicians have been invited to play with the members of NHSQ, who are superb talents on their own. Some of Brahms’ chamber music is not—or not only—for string instruments. There are quintets and sextets in addition to quartets. But the reasons for opening the festival to a variety of interpreters aren’t merely practical.
Violist Robert Brophy says:
Throughout our careers, we had the great luck of working with outstanding musicians. Therefore, we have many wonderful friends in the music world. When the question of who should join us for the Brahms festival came up, we had a huge list of people we wanted to invite from out of town, as well as some amazing performers who call Los Angeles their home. And everybody said yes!
What a honor it is, to play with the best chamber musicians in the world!
To rehearse so many works with so many skilled interpreters must be certainly a reward, but also a challenge. “Most professional musicians’ schedules are packed during summertime,” says Brophy. “They can only devote two or three days to rehearse a festival before moving onto the next. So we have taken on an extraordinary challenge, it’s true, by presenting all twenty-five works of Brahms’ chamber music. Most of us, though, have performed many of them—if not all—before. Surely these pieces aren’t new to us, but the challenge is to incorporate everyone’s vision of a piece while being as efficient as possible with rehearsal time. And still—working with these great musicians, hearing their magnificent playing, enjoying the process that will culminate in a series of wonderful concerts is a priceless experience”.
To perform each and every piece of chamber music by Brahms means to cover his entire writing career. Even Brahms’ connoisseurs should await to advance their understanding of the composer through such an intense, unusual exposure. “We have organized each concert,” Brophy explains, “in a way that allows listeners to hear different instrumental and compositional textures. We are sure that the possibility of being saturated in one sound is unlikely!”
Arrive ready to be transported…
Everything has been planned and prepared both thoughtfully and enthusiastically. What should listeners expect from the experience? “Just arrive ready to be transported aurally by some of the most incredible musicians in the world!” says Robert Brophy.
A complete program of the festival, together with all the related information, can be found at newhollywoodstringquartet.com/festival.
> Special Pricing Special ticket prices for the July 7-14: Summer of Brahms 8-Pack for $240 (normally $320). Purchase here. Hurry up as seating is limited.
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