One of the improvements the symphony has made in the last few years is in finding new ways to showcase the players. We have some really strong players in the orchestra, and the relatively new Q Series is a great way to hear some of our core players. This Wednesday, Feb. 27 you can hear the Principal String Quartet play sounds of Mozart and Dvorak while enjoying lunch by Holly’s Gourmet Market (worth the $20 ticket, trust me). Gordon, Edward, Andy and Katy always sound superb and in sync, and we are so fortunate to have them in the orchestra to lead and solo with us. Even in the back part of the orchestra (where I sit), I rely on them a lot to make my job easier. This lunchtime series allows them to be featured in a smaller setting, and chamber (small group) music does so much to keep musicians fresh and on their toes. In chamber music, everyone is heard individually. Each musician is responsible for their own playing but has to be really aware of what everyone else is playing.
The Q Series typically features 30 minutes of the Principal String Quartet and 30 minutes of the Principal Woodwind Quintet (for 1 hour total, 12 – 1 p.m.), but the Feb. 27 concert is strings-only. The next dates, which are both ensembles, are March 27 and April 24 at the Emporium. Call ahead or come to the door – tickets are $20 and include lunch. Dates are also posted for the 2019-2020 season!
Later in the week, these same players have to pivot back into being section leaders for the Chamber Orchestra concert at the Bijou on March 3rd for Mozart and Tchaikovsky. The Bijou is such an acoustically pleasing and cozy venue for small concerts because the audience can see and hear everything, but the performers can see the audience. It’s a busy week for the principal string players, but a great chance to be able to hear them in smaller settings twice. This concert also features a piano concerto with soloist Dr. Chih-Long Hu on faculty at the University of Tennessee, so don’t miss it.