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Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center will present compositions by Arnold Schoenberg and Franz Schubert 8 p.m. Saturday, April 13, at the Williams Center for the Arts. The group is described by the New York Times as “everything chamber music should be.”

Tickets cost $20 and may be ordered by calling the box office at 610-330-5009.

The concert will showcase two of chamber music’s most compelling meditations on the human experience: Schoenberg’s turn-of-the-century masterpiece, “Transfigured Night,” and Schubert’s great valedictory triumph, “Quintet in C.” The musicians will be violinists Ida and Ani Kavafian; violists Paul Neubauer and Roberto Diaz; and cellists Ronald Thomas and Fred Sherry.

Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center received a 2001 Grammy nomination for its highly acclaimed triple-disc recording of Debussy’s Complete Chamber Works. Musicians in the group have received numerous honors in the past couple years, including “Artists of the Week” on A&E’s weekly nationally-televised program “Breakfast with the Arts,” a featured performance on a live PBS telecast, a Grammy Award, and an Avery Fisher Prize.

At the core of Chamber Music Society are 19 artist members who are among the world’s most respected musicians. Artistic director and clarinetist David Shifrin leads this core group, who, along with guest artists, can expand as needed to perform virtually any chamber piece. Pioneered by CMS, this structure has been adapted by chamber music organizations around the world.

As founding artistic director, Charles Wadsworth — an eminent pianist, chamber musician, and accompanist — developed the model with Lincoln Center President William Schuman. Former opera singer and vocal recitalist Alice Tully agreed to help finance a venue intended for chamber music on condition that it have exemplary acoustics and comfort, and on Sept. 11, 1969, Chamber Music Society’s inaugural concert marked the opening of its Lincoln Center home, Alice Tully Hall. It hosts 12 annual subscription programs, involving a cross section of the world’s leading interpreters of chamber music.

Ani Kavafian has been an artist member of Chamber Music Society since 1979. Her father was first chair violist with the Istanbul State Symphony and her mother played in its first violin section. She has received an Avery Fisher Prize, appeared at the White House three times, and has been featured on several television specials. A soloist with virtually all of America’s leading orchestras, she gave the world premiere performances of Tod Machover’s Concerto for Hyper Violin and Orchestra and Henri Lazarof’s Concerto for Violin and String Orchestra. Kavafian is on the faculties of the Manhattan School of Music and Mannes College of Music.

Ida Kavafian, sister of Ani, is an internationally renowned soloist on violin and viola. Among the composers she has worked closely with are Toru Takemitsu, who wrote a concerto for her, and jazz great Chick Corea, with whom she has toured and recorded. She has been music director of the Bravo! Colorado festival for nine years and Angel Fire in New Mexico for 13. She has toured and recorded with the Guarneri String Quartet and was a founding member more than 20 years ago of the innovative group, TASHI. After earning her master’s degree in music with honors from The Juilliard School, Kavafian was a winner of the Young Concert Artists International Auditions and a recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant. Her television credits include “CBS Sunday Morning” and the “Today Show.”

When he joined the New York Philharmonic in 1984 at age 21, Neubauer became the youngest principal string player in the orchestra’s history. That same year he joined David Shifrin’s Chamber Music Northwest. A recipient of the Avery Fisher Career Grant, Neubauer took first prizes in the Whitaker, D’Angelo and Lionel Tertis International Competitions. He has performed as a soloist with orchestras and festivals around the world and has recorded with several top labels — most recently, the Walton Viola Concerto. He has been featured on “CBS Sunday Morning” and “A Prairie Home Companion” and in People magazine. Neubauer is a member of the faculty of The Juilliard School.

Diaz is principal violist of the Philadelphia Orchestra and professor of viola at The Curtis Institute. He is a former professor of viola at the Peabody Conservatory and the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. In March, Diaz was soloist on a national TV broadcast with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. He also has appeared as concerto soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, National Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Syracuse Symphony, New World Symphony (Miami), Boston Pops, the Chilean Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Orchestra, Russian State Symphony, and numerous other orchestras throughout Europe. He has been a past performer with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center as well as the Mostly Mozart, Spoleto, Kuhmo, Newport, Marlboro, Round Top, West Cork, “Bravo!” and “Angel Fire” festivals. Diaz was a prizewinner at both the Naumburg and Munich international competitions. He has served on the viola faculties of the Peabody Conservatory of Music.

Thomas sustains one of the most active and varied careers in today’s music world as performer, teacher, and artistic administrator. His solo appearances with orchestra include the Philadelphia Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Handel & Haydn and Pro Arte Chamber Orchestras of Boston, and Blossom Festival Orchestra among many others. He has played recitals in virtually every state in the U.S., as well as numerous concerts in Europe and Asia. Thomas is also cofounder and artistic director of the Boston Chamber Music Society has appeared previously with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center both at Alice Tully Hall and on tour. He is artistic director of Chestnut Hill Concerts of Madison, Conn., and a member of the Players in Residence committee and the Board of Overseers at Bargemusic in New York.

Sherry was artistic director of Chamber Music Society from 1989-1992. He is a founding member of TASHI, a frequent performer at Bargemusic, and a member of the faculty of The Juilliard School. Sherry has had close working relationships with composers Milton Babbitt, Luciano Berio, Elliott Carter, Aaron Copland, Lukas Foss, and Toru Takemitsu as well as jazz pianist and composer Chick Corea. An ardent supporter of contemporary composers, he has premiered works by Milton Babbitt, Mario Davidovsky, and Steve Mackey, and in 1988 performed the premiere of Charles Wuorinen’s concerto, Five, with choreography by Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, at New York City Ballet. Widely represented on compact disc, he recently embarked on a series of recordings for Koch International Classics. He has devoted much time to contemplating cello technique, and is now preparing to write a book on the subject.

The 2001-2002 Performance Series at Lafayette is supported in part by gifts from members of Friends of the Williams Center for the Arts, and by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, Pennsylvania Performing Arts on Tour, and New England Foundation for the Arts.

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