Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
David Finckel and Wu Han, Artistic Directors
2024–2025 New York City Concert Season
Alice Tully Hall • Rose Studio at CMS
77 Performances & Events
THE BEETHOVEN TRILOGY
12 Concerts Exploring Beethoven's Three Stylistic Periods
Calidore String Quartet Performs
the Great Cycle of 16 Beethoven String Quartets
Beethoven’s quartets and chamber works are paired with music by Bartók, Corigliano, Montgomery, and more to reveal the impact of Beethoven’s innovation and influence.
Early Period (Oct 20–27)
Middle Period (Jan 26–Feb 4)
Late Period (May 6–18)
David Finckel and Wu Han, CMS Artistic Directors
THE WADSWORTH LEGACY (May 1 & 2)
Celebrating CMS Founding Artistic Director Charles Wadsworth,
featuring vocal soloists Kathleen Battle, Frederica von Stade,
Ben Bliss, and Thomas Hampson
OPENING NIGHT: HAYDN'S SURPRISE (Oct 15)
All–Haydn program featuring Stephanie Blythe, Pinchas Zukerman,
David Finckel and Wu Han, and introducing new CMS Bowers Program artists
AN EVENING WITH SIR STEPHEN HOUGH (Nov 24)
Sir Stephen makes his CMS Debut as pianist and composer
CMS COMMISSIONS AND PREMIERES BY
Sir Stephen Hough, Joel Thompson, Perry Goldstein, Elise Arancio,
Pierre Jalbert, Sebastian Currier, and Jyrki Linjama
From CMS trove of earlier commissions, works by John Corigliano,
Ellen Taafe Zwilich, Bruce Adolphe, and Gian Carlo Menotti
SONIC SPECTRUM SERIES
Four Concerts of Late-20th and 21st-Century Music
Guillaume Connesson, Chan Ka Nin, Shulamit Ran, George Crumb, Joel Thompson, Carlos Simon, Perry Goldstein, Liza Lim, Tonia Ko, Elainie Lillios, Alejandro Viñao, Elise Arancio, Viet Cuong, Pierre Jalbert, Sebastian Currier,
Andy Akiho, and Samuel Carl Adams
Kathleen Battle, Soprano • Frederica von Stade, Mezzo-Soprano
Ben Bliss, Tenor • Thomas Hampson, Baritone
Stephanie Blythe, Mezzo-Soprano • Wu Man, Pipa
Pinchas Zukerman, Violin • Amanda Forsyth, Cello
PERFORMANCES BY NEWEST CLASS OF CMS BOWERS PROGRAM ARTISTS
Making Their Debuts at CMS This Season
Nina Bernat, Double Bass (Debut Spring 2024) • Sterling Elliott, Cello
Anna Geniushene, Piano • Sahun Sam Hong, Piano
Lun Li, Violin • Evren Ozel, Piano
Julian Rhee, Violin • Jonathan Swenson, Cello
Juri Vallentin, Oboe • Viano Quartet
Sir Stephen Hough, Piano & Composer • Matthew Polenzani, Tenor
Jamie Barton, Mezzo Soprano • Ben Bliss, Tenor
Danae Dörken, Piano • Tamar Sanikidze, Piano
Amanda Forsyth, Cello • Matthew Muckey, Trumpet
BAROQUE FESTIVAL IN DECEMBER
Bach Concertos for Strings, Keyboard, and Oboe
Baroque Organ, with Organist Paolo Bordignon on
Alice Tully Hall’s 4,200-Pipe Organ
The Brandenburg Concertos – Annual Holiday Tradition
SUMMER EVENINGS IN ALICE TULLY HALL IN JULY
2023 Series of Four Concerts Sold Out — Six Concerts this Season!
One work by Mozart on every program
Free post-concert receptions with the artists
All Tickets $20 or Free via Lottery
New York, NY: January 29, 2024 — The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (CMS) announces its 2024–25 season, which delivers 77 concerts (including lecture/performances) of chamber music by 103 composers across 350 years—from the 17th to the 21st centuries—performed by its international, intergenerational roster of artists. Spanning the season is The Beethoven Trilogy, a three-part, 12-concert exploration of Beethoven, with music from his early, middle, and late periods alongside works by composers—from Bartók to Corigliano to Montgomery—whose music illuminates Beethoven’s in various ways. Six of the concerts in the series are devoted to Beethoven’s complete string quartet cycle, performed by the Calidore String Quartet. This pioneering approach of presenting the quartet cycle alongside other works throughout the season allows audiences to experience Beethoven’s revolutionary music and gain insight into this body of work that has influenced composers in the centuries since it was written, right up to the present day.
Special events this season include a guest-star studded program dedicated to CMS Founding Artistic Director and pianist Charles Wadsworth’s legacy; the CMS debut of pianist-composer Sir Stephen Hough in recital, with a world premiere of his own music; and tenor Matthew Polenzani making his CMS debut with his first-ever performance of Schubert’s Schwanengesang. Throughout this season, audiences are also introduced to the 2024–2027 class of the Bowers Program for extraordinary early-career artists, beginning with opening night, when bassist Nina Bernat and the Viano Quartet perform alongside mezzo soprano Stephanie Blythe and violinist Pinchas Zukerman in an all-Haydn program. Ann S. Bowers, for whom the program is named, passed away on January 24 after a long illness.
This season, CMS continues to delve into the repertoire to present chamber music works from across the centuries, including 70 that are completely new to CMS in New York, as well new commissions; the season offers three world premieres, four New York premieres and music by 30 living composers.
“To create each season at CMS, we begin by poring over thousands of individual works by hundreds of composers, gradually matching each one to a group of artists and building each program to give our audiences a unique experience," say CMS Artistic Directors David Finckel and Wu Han. "We are proud to see how this painstaking work—by us and our tremendous team at CMS—has coalesced into a spectacular 2024-25 season that reflects the breadth, depth and diversity of chamber music across the centuries, right up to the present moment. We look forward to all that next season has to offer."
Following six Summer Evenings concerts in July, the 2024–25 season in New York begins on October 15, 2024 and runs through May 18, 2025, with performances in Alice Tully Hall, the Daniel and Joanna S. Rose Studio at CMS, and the Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse. CMS continues to bring its artists to cities around the country and the world, with more than 80 events on tour and as part of annual residencies. Among the New York City season’s other offerings are a variety of lectures, concerts for young listeners, and master classes. CMS also offers its Alice Tully Hall concerts for purchase on-demand (and free to ticket buyers of live concerts) through its “digital encores” program and provides free, live-streamed concerts from the Rose Studio at CMS.
The Calidore String Quartet performs Beethoven's complete cycle of 16 quartets.
2024-25 SEASON HIGHLIGHTS
THE BEETHOVEN TRILOGY
This season-spanning focus on Beethoven’s influence is presented in a three-part series, anchored by the great quartets cycle from Beethoven’s early, middle, and late periods— performed by the Calidore String Quartet—paired with landmark chamber music by Beethoven and works by Bartók, Mozart, Brahms, Jörg Widmann, Tan Dun, and more that echo his innovative spirit and the trajectory of his career.
“The limitless depth, spectrum of emotion and compositional ingenuity of Beethoven’s music inspires our dedication to performing and, most recently, recording his sixteen string quartets,” says Calidore violinist Ryan Meehan. “To highlight the evolution of Beethoven’s inventive spirit and sentiments, we have elected to separately present each of the three creative periods of his string quartets over the course of the season. Sharing the Beethoven cycle in performance is an exacting and immensely rewarding experience, and we are thrilled to take this journey with our hometown New York City audiences for the first time.”
Early Period (Oct 20, 22, 25 & 27)
The youthful exuberance and ambition of Beethoven’s early period is reflected in early works by Bartók and Brahms and in a 1970 CMS commission by John Corigliano inspired by the poetry of Dylan Thomas. The Calidore String Quartet begins its cycle of the complete Beethoven String Quartets with two programs, comprising String Quartets Op. 18, Nos. 1–6.
Middle Period (Jan 26 & 28, Feb 2 & 4)
In the midst of his spectacularly successful early career, Beethoven also faced a crisis of impending deafness, forcing him to decide between defeat and defiance. The programs in the Middle Period portion of The Beethoven Trilogy include works by Mozart, Haydn—all crafted at the height of their careers; Bruckner’s Quintet, which foreshadows a new era to come; and other Beethoven compositions from this period. It’s possible that the Haydn and Mozart works may have inspired Beethoven himself. The Calidore String Quartet’s survey continues with two programs: the Op. 59 “Razumovsky” Quartets; and Quartet No. 10, “Harp,” Quartet No. 11, “Serioso,” and Op. 127, Quartet No. 12, which serves as a bridge to Beethoven’s late quartets.
Late Period (May 6, 9, 13 & 18)
To bring the 2024–25 season to a close, CMS delves into the late period of Beethoven’s career, an era of transcendent innovation, offering works of closure and glimpses into the future. One concert program pays tribute to Beethoven’s enduring influence with works by five living composers: Jessie Montgomery’s Duo for Violin and Cello; Evgeny Kissin’s Trio for Piano, Violin, and Cello; Brett Dean’s Quartet No. 2 for Strings and Soprano “And once I played Ophelia”; Jörg Widmann’s String Quartet No. 8 “Study on Beethoven III”; and Tan Dun’s Concerto for String Quartet and Pipa, with soloist Wu Man. This final chapter of the Trilogy also features mature works by Elgar and Brahms and closes with Beethoven’s final four quartets, including the “Grosse Fuge” and the Quartet in F Major, Op. 135—Beethoven’s last major completed work.
OPENING NIGHT: HAYDN’S SURPRISE (Oct 15)
An all–Haydn program opens the 2024–25 season, featuring two guest artists, mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe (soloist for the cantata Arianna a Naxos), and violinist Pinchas Zukerman who performs the solo role in Haydn’s Concerto in C major for Violin and Strings. CMS veterans and co-artistic directors, David Finckel and Wu Han, violinist Daniel Phillips, and violist Paul Neubauer appear on the program with members of the 2024-2027 Bowers Program artists: bassist Nina Bernat and the Viano Quartet. The grand finale is the iconic “Surprise” Symphony in its rarely-heard chamber configuration for piano, flute, two violins, viola, and cello.
Charles Wadsworth, CMS Founding Artistic Director
THE WADSWORTH LEGACY (May 1 & 2)
CMS honors the legacy of Founding Artistic Director Charles Wadsworth, who expanded awareness and appreciation for chamber music at Lincoln Center and beyond over his two-decade tenure. The program pays homage to the many facets of Wadsworth’s programmatic style, including his fondness for vocal music and French chamber music, through a selection of lieder by Robert Schumann and Saint-Saëns’s Septet in E-flat major for Trumpet, Two Violins, Viola, Cello, Double Bass, and Piano. An all-star vocal quartet of soprano Kathleen Battle, mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade, tenor Ben Bliss, and baritone Thomas Hampson joins CMS Co-Artistic Director and pianist Wu Han and pianist Ken Noda for Schumann’s Spanisches Liederspiel. Opening the program is Goldberg’s Trio Sonata for Two Violins and Continuo — the same work that opened CMS’s first-ever concert on September 11, 1969.
Sir Stephen Hough
AN EVENING WITH SIR STEPHEN HOUGH – CMS DEBUT (Nov 24)
Celebrated polymath Sir Stephen Hough makes his CMS debut this season with a program comprising four virtuoso pianist / composers: Sir Stephen himself, and three of his Romantic-era predecessors. The centerpiece of the evening is the world premiere of Sir Stephen’s Les Noces Rouges for Piano, Two Violins, Viola, and Cello, a CMS commission in which he is joined by 2024 Bowers Program ensemble the Viano Quartet. For the solo piano portion of his recital, Sir Stephen performs Chopin’s Nocturnes in E-flat major and F-sharp major and the Scherzo No. 2 in B-flat minor, as well as Liszt’s monumental Piano Sonata in B minor. He also presents three works by prolific French pianist / composer Cécile Chaminade: “Automne” from Six études de concert for Piano; “Pas de écharpes” (Scarf Dance) from Callirhoë for Piano, and the Toccata for Piano.
SCHWANENGESANG WITH MATTHEW POLENZANI – CMS DEBUT (Nov 9)
In his CMS debut, American tenor Matthew Polenzani, one of the most gifted and distinguished lyric tenors of his generation, performs Schubert’s powerful song cycle Schwanengesang for the first time in his career. This collection of 14 songs was written at the end of Schubert’s life and published after his death. The program also includes Robert Schumann’s Piano Quintet, dedicated to his wife Clara.
PREMIERES & CMS COMMISSIONS
CMS is proud to present new commissions and premieres by contemporary composers throughout the season. Receiving their world premieres at CMS are works by Sir Stephen Hough and Elise Arancio, both CMS commissions, and by Jyrki Linjama. New York premieres include two CMS co-commissions, by Pierre Jalbert and Sebastian Currier, and works by Joel Thompson and Perry Goldstein. Additionally, the season includes reprise performances of four past CMS commissions: John Corigliano’s Poem in October for Tenor, Winds, Strings, and Harpsichord (1970); Ellen Taafe Zwilich’s Double Quartet for Strings (1984); Bruce Adolphe’s Tough Turkey in the City (2000); and Gian Carlo Menotti’s Suite for Two Cellos and Piano (1973).
Composers whose work is being performed in Sonic Spectrum in 2024-25
CMS’s series devoted predominantly to the work of living composers presents four concerts featuring work by 17 composers from diverse backgrounds and cultures on Thursday evenings.
Composers spotlighted in this season’s Sonic Spectrum include: on November 14, Guillaume Connesson, Chan Ka Nin, Shulamit Ran, Paul Dean and George Crumb; on January 23, Joel Thompson (NY Premiere), Carlos Simon (just appointed Composer Chair for the Boston Symphony Orchestra), and Perry Goldstein (NY Premiere); on February 27, Liza Lim, Tonia Ko, Elainie Lillios, Alejandro Viñao, Elise Arancio (World Premiere and CMS Commission), and Viet Cuong; and on April 17, Pierre Jalbert (NY Premiere & CMS Co-commission), Sebastian Currier (NYC Premiere & CMS Co-commission), Andy Akiho, and Samuel Carl Adams.
ANNUAL DECEMBER BAROQUE FESTIVAL
The opening program of this year’s Baroque Festival, December 6, is dedicated to J.S. Bach’s concerto output, with works spotlighting solo oboe, violin, and keyboard in various combinations.
On December 8 and 10, Alice Tully Hall’s 4,200-pipe organ is the focus, with works by eight Baroque masters — Alessandro Scarlatti, Walther, Biber, J.S. Bach, Daquin, Telemann, Handel, and Vivaldi — that each showcase the organ, performed by Paolo Bordignon, organist and choirmaster of St. Bartholomew’s Church on Park Avenue.
And on December 13, 15, and 17, CMS welcomes the holiday season with its hugely popular annual presentation of J.S. Bach’s complete Brandenburg Concertos.
UNUSUAL COMBINATIONS, THEMATIC CONCERTS, AND RARELY HEARD REPERTOIRE
- Virtuoso Winds (Nov 17): Five internationally renowned wind players — flutist Adam Walker, oboist James Austin Smith, clarinetist David Shifrin, bassoonist Marc Goldberg, and horn player Radek Baborák — and pianist Anne-Marie McDermott join together in various configurations for a program of chamber music for winds from the 18th to the 20th centuries, culminating in Poulenc’s Sextet for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, Horn, and Piano.
- Spanish Journey (Feb 1): A program exploring the music of Spain from the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries, featuring violinist Kristin Lee, who curated the program, guitarist Jason Vieaux, and soprano Vanessa Becerra, with works by Albéniz, Falla, Sarasate, and Turina, among others. “Spanish music has greatly influenced many of our favorite composers,” says Lee, “yet the names of Spanish composers are less familiar to the general audience. In this program, we shine a spotlight on the exceptional Spanish composers who passionately embraced and championed authentic styles from various regions of Spain.”
- Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio No. 2 (Feb 25): An all-Mendelssohn program that includes — in addition to his second Piano Trio in C minor — his final string quartet, composed in response to the untimely death of his sister Fanny.
- Zwilich’s Double Quartet (Mar 2): The octet doubles the impact of the conventional string quartet; this program showcases three octets for strings by Bruch, Spohr, and Ellen Taafe Zwilich (a CMS commission), and one nonet by Finnish pianist and composer Olli Mustonen that adds double bass to the mix.
- Dvořák and Janáček (Mar 9): The Czech Republic boasts an impressive array of composers who each demonstrate pride for their homeland with a distinctive style. In addition to Dvořák’s Quintet in G major for Two Violins, Viola, Cello, and Bass and Janáček’s Pohadka (Fairy Tale) for Cello and Piano, this program also includes Smetana’s From My Homeland for Violin and Piano, and the Piano Quintet by their lesser-heard compatriot Josef Suk, a protégé of Dvořák.
Sebastian Manz, left (Oct 17); Juho Pohjonen, right (Feb 20)
ART OF THE RECITAL (ROSE STUDIO AT CMS)
CMS’s intimate concerts with programs curated by the artists themselves.
- The masterful, award-winning German clarinetist Sebastian Manz welcomes his friend and collaborator, pianist Danae Dörken, for a program focusing on the late-19th and 20th centuries, with works by Gade, Messager, Lutosławski, Verdi/Bassi, Horovitz, Rossini, and Jörg Widmann. “Each work on this program represents a milestone from a certain time period in my career as a clarinetist,” says Manz. “At the same time, every work also reflects a different European composing style, with each composer on the program coming from a different country, except Verdi and Rossini. Both halves of the recital conclude ‘in Italy,’ so this odyssey can be interpreted either as a journey through my personal past and artistic oeuvre or as a journey through European Classical Music of the last 200 years (or both). With Danae, a very close friend and soulmate, I have the perfect partner for this musical excursion.” (Oct 17)
- The internationally acclaimed Finnish pianist Juho Pohjonen is an ardent champion of Scandinavian music, and his recital program opens with a work by his compatriot Jyrki Linjama. He envisions the narrative arc of his program moving from shadow to illumination, opening with the world premiere of Jyrki Linjama's Prélude oublié. This atmospheric new work evokes forgotten melodies emerging from the past, reminiscent of a rediscovered Baroque piece tinged with gentle melancholy. “Scriabin's mystical sonatas,” says Pohjonen “envelop us in the dark depths of the human psyche, and works by Liszt and Beethoven offer transformative passages, guiding us from infernal realms towards the celestial, culminating is Messiaen's ecstatic depiction of divine love.” (Feb 20)
- Violinist Kristin Lee and pianist Michael Stephen Brown—both alumni of the Bowers Program—collaborate on works by Kreisler, Ives, Bloch, Beach, John Adams, and Paul Schoenfield. “I am absolutely thrilled to be sharing a special program with pianist Michael Stephen Brown this season at CMS. Throughout this season, my focus has been on delving into the rich and diverse sounds of American composers, complemented by the upcoming release of my first album, ‘American Sketches.’ Among the highlights of this program is Ernest Bloch's Violin Sonata No. 2, ‘Poème Mystique.’ This extraordinary piece, a recent discovery, takes the listener on a fantastical journey, culminating in an ending that is truly exuberant and vivacious. I look forward to sharing this vibrant program – an immersion in the celebration of the colorful American music!” (Mar 20)
The Daniel and Joanna S. Rose Studio at CMS
ROSE STUDIO SERIES (6:30 and 9PM)
Concerts in the intimate Rose Studio at CMS explore both classics and rarities of the chamber music repertoire. The 6:30 PM performance offers traditional seating, while the 9:00 PM performance offers cabaret-style seating with a complimentary glass of wine and is hosted by one of the artists performing that evening; it is also available as a free livestream. Opening the five-concert series on October 31 is the Quartet in E-flat major for Clarinet, Violin, Viola, and Cello by Johann N. Hummel (1778-1837), which remained unpublished until the 20th century and is still rarely performed. Closing the series on May 15 is a string quintet by rarely heard 18th-century French composer George Onslow, the first CMS performance of any work by the composer. His incredible output of string quartets and quintets—over 70 works of the two genres—were held in the highest regard during his lifetime in Germany, Austria, and England, and Onslow counted Schubert and Beethoven among his closest friends.
In between, there is music by Debussy and Saint-Saëns (Nov 21); Arensky and Rimsky-Korsakov (Feb 13); and Boccherini, Koechlin and Suk (Apr 10). Complete programs can be found in the chronological lists of concerts.
SUMMER EVENINGS, July 2024
Before the fall season begins, CMS returns to Alice Tully Hall in July to present its ninth season of Summer Evenings. In response to ever-increasing demand, this season’s offerings have been expanded to six concerts, taking place July 9, 13, 16, 20, 23, and 27, with all tickets just $20. Each concert features artists from the CMS roster in programs of chamber music masterworks, all including a work by Mozart. CMS is once again offering at least 100 free tickets per performance to the public via lottery partnership with TodayTix; details of the lottery will be available later this spring. Following each performance, the entire audience is invited to a free wine reception with the artists in the lobby.
INSIDE CHAMBER MUSIC
Distinguished composer and radio personality Bruce Adolphe provides insights into masterworks performed during the season. Each lecture includes live performance excerpts from the featured work and a full performance of one movement at the end. The 2024-25 season includes two works by Beethoven — which audiences will hear during The Beethoven Trilogy this season — as well as two works by Mozart and music by Haydn, Schumann, Elgar, and Janáček.
CHILDREN’S AND FAMILY CONCERT SERIES
Meet the Music! is CMS’s series of concerts for children ages six and up. The 2024-25 season starts with Tough Turkey in the Big City: A Thanksgiving’s Day Musical Tale (by Bruce Adolphe, commissioned by CMS), hosted by Tom Turkey as an ambitious fowl who leaves his farm to see if “the big city is for the birds,” as Farmer Brown had said it was (Nov 10). In March and April, the world’s greatest and only private ear, the wacky Inspector Pulse (aka composer and radio personality Bruce Adolphe) is back on the job, investigating musical mysteries. Children can visit the instrument “petting zoo” before each concert to see and touch the instruments up-close.
Sundays, November 10, March 16, and April 27 at 2:00 PM in Alice Tully Hall, for ages 6 & up.
CMS Kids offers relaxed performances in the Rose Studio at CMS, curated for ages 3-6. Each CMS Kids program is an inclusive concert experience adapted for neurodiverse audiences, including children with autism or other special needs. These performances are presented in a judgment-free environment, and are less formal and more supportive of sensory, communication, movement, and learning needs. This season, host Rami Vamos and CMS artists explore the theme of how music moves us, with the music of Maurice Ravel.
Sundays, October 6, March 23, and May 18 at 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM in the Rose Studio.
COMMITMENT TO ACCESS AND ACCESSIBILITY
During the 2024-25 Season, CMS continues to forge deep connections with the community, as CMS’s activities build stronger bonds with New Yorkers of diverse abilities and heritages.
- Relaxed Performances: All CMS Kids performances are open to all and designed for people with autism, sensory, and communication disorders or learning disabilities, providing a supportive social environment. The artistic integrity of the presentation remains unchanged, however modifications to social and sensory environment may be made.
- Pay What You Wish Master Classes: All Master Classes held in the Rose Studio at CMS are Pay What You Wish, helping to remove cost as one barrier to participation in the arts.
- Pay What You Wish Digital Encores: All performances in Alice Tully Hall are available to stream within two weeks of the live performance.
- Free Livestreams of Rose Studio Lectures and Performances: Livestreams of performances will be offered regularly and for free on the Chamber Music Society’s website for audiences unable to attend in person.
- Free Rehearsals for NY Metro School Children: CMS deepens its relationship with schools in the NY metro area by inviting school groups to attend dress rehearsals at Alice Tully Hall and the Rose Studio at CMS.
All programs, dates, venues, and artists are subject to change.