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Lincoln Center chamber music returns to Shaker Village

Musicians from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center performing at Shaker Village Kentucky
Shaker Village
Shaker Village
Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center performing at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill

The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (CMSLC) is used to playing in some of the best halls in the world like, well, Lincoln Center. But since 2007, this rotating roster of top chamber musicians in the world have been playing in a tobacco barn at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill.

Pianist Wu Han and cellist David Finckel are the artistic directors of CMSLC who, each year, pick musicians from their roster to travel to Kentucky for a weekend of chamber music concerts. This year's roster includes pianist Gilbert Kalish, violinists Ben Beilman and Arnaud Sussman, violists Danbi Um and Matt Lipman, and cellist Dmirti Atapine.

Wu Han talks about the 2023 roster of Chamber Music Festival of the Bluegrass
Wu Han

The musicians playing are as impressive as the repertoire. Some of the highlights this year include Johannes Brahms' immense quintet for piano and strings (with Kalish) and the "Ghost" trio of Ludwig van Beethoven. All the string players this year are featured on Pytor Ilyich Tchaikovsky's "Souvenir de Florence," the composer's memory of an 1890 summer in Florence.

How does a group like this end up with a fifteen-year history of playing in rural Kentucky? It started with a passing comment by David Finckel to George C. Forman, a past president of the Norton Center for the Arts, at an Applebee's in Danville.

Wu Han on the origins of the chamber music festival at Shaker Village
Wu Han and David Finckel

The CMSLC performs May 26-28 at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill.

Daniel Gilliam is Program Director for LPM Classical. Email Daniel at dgilliam@lpm.org.

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