The American Chamber Players are set to play a free public concert this week in Legacy Hall at the RiverCenter for the Performing Arts. In a recent review, the Washington Post declared that the ensemble has “established standards of chamber music performance equal to any in the world.”
Founded in 1985 by violist Miles Hoffman, the American Chamber Players were originally comprised of a core group of artists out of The Library of Congress Summer Chamber Festival. Hoffman is the only founding member still permanently with the American Chamber Players, though regular guest artist and clarinetist Loren Kitt still performs with the ensemble occasionally. Other members of the current ensemble include cellist Stephen Balderston, violinist Joanna Maurer, flutist Sara Stern, and pianist Anna Stoytcheva.
If Hoffman’s name sounds familiar, there’s a reason. From 1989 to 2002, he was the voice behind “Coming to Terms” on National Public Radio’s “Performance Today.” Now, he serves as a regular commentator for NPR’s “Morning Edition.” He also is the author of “NPR’s Classical Music Companion: An Essential Guide for Enlightened Listening.” In addition to all of this, he has been the artistic director of American Chamber Players for more than 30 years.
Hoffman has been named a Distinguished Visiting Artist in Residency at Columbus State University’s Schwob School of Music for the 2017-18 school year. “I have been very impressed with everything about the Schwob School of Music,” he said. “It’s a wonderful place with terrific faculty members and facilities. The school is only getting better and better known as a distinguished institution, and I am excited to be a part of that growth.”
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As a part of his residency, Hoffman will be working with Schwob students on an ongoing basis this year. In addition to the college work he’s doing, he will also work with students in the Muscogee County School District. “We are still working on scheduling,” said Hoffman. “I will be working with MCSD throughout the year, and I am very excited to hear about the new school for the arts. It’s just terrific.”
The American Chamber Players return for their fourth visit to Columbus over the last two years. “It’s always great for our students to hear top-notch chamber music,” said Lisa Oberlander, Schwob School’s assistant director. “They learn something every time.”
It is a priority for CSU to bring many guest performers to the school every semester. “We are so fortunate to have the support to bring guest performers in,” Oberlander said. “It’s very important for the education of our students.”
The American Chamber Players’ concert in Legacy Hall will feature CSU’s own Boris Abramov, a violinist who will join the group for its finale, which will be a Beethoven string quartet. Abramov graduated from CSU and is a member of the faculty at the Schwob School of Music.
“The group’s reputation, contribution to the field and commitment to music on the highest level is inspiring,” Abramov said of the American Chamber Players. “I’m excited and honored to share the stage with them.
“This is a unique collaboration as string quartets are being performed rarely in Legacy Hall, which will give our listeners an opportunity to experience music which they may have not heard live here before.”
If You Go:
What: The American Chamber Players
When: 4 p.m. Sept. 24
Where: Legacy Hall, RiverCenter for the Performing Arts
More to Know: For more information on the concert or on Hoffman’s residency at CSU this year, visit the Schwob School of music’s website. Community members planning to attend the concert should arrive early as this concert is expected to be a full house.