Coming up in Philly music: Chamber music in a real chamber

Nancy Bean, Davyd Booth, Pamela Fay, and Lloyd Smith make up the Wister Quartet. (Images courtesy of Lloyd Smith.)

The members of the Wister Quartet started playing together around the time I started writing about Philadelphia music. In the last 29 years, I’ve watched their foursome develop into a Philadelphia institution. Their first love is chamber music, but they are all busy pros who’ve spent those decades pursuing careers as teachers, music advocates, and Philadelphia Orchestra musicians. Second violin Davyd Booth does some conducting; cellist Lloyd Smith is a composer.

The Wisters form the core of three Philadelphia chamber-music series: 1807 & Friends, the Amerita Chamber Players, and the Wister and More! Series presented by the German Society of Pennsylvania. Their annual appearance in the Laurel Hill Concerts by Candlelight series is a high point in one of the city’s most appealing summer attractions. It’s a rare chance to hear a first-class chamber-music group in a real chamber — the living room of a 19th-century mansion.

Concerts by Candlelight will present the Wister Quartet at 6:30pm on July 23 at the Laurel Hill Mansion, Randolph Drive, East Fairmount Park. Tickets are $25 and they’re available online or by calling 215-235-1776.