Coming up in Philly music: Get ’em while you can at PCMS

Clarinetist Anthony McGill appears with the JACK Quartet on February 25. (Photo courtesy of PCMS.)

The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society (PCMS) presents more than 50 concerts every season, and many of them sell out well before they would normally be listed in media outlets like Broad Street Review. Mitsuko Uchida’s piano recital, for example, has been sold out since last summer, even thought it won’t take place until February 23 (you can call and try your luck with the waiting list). Out of kindness to readers who might want to sample the Chamber Society’s offerings, BSR is instituting a special policy for PCMS concerts: previews of PCMS events will be listed two or three weeks in advance whenever possible.

Elias Quartet and Jonathan Biss

PCMS will present six concerts in February, starting with the popular ECCO chamber orchestra on February 9. Two of the concerts listed for late February feature performers who attract (and deserve) enthusiastic audiences. On February 21, pianist Jonathan Biss will join the Elias Quartet in a program that includes one of the best-loved works in the repertoire, Brahms’s powerful quintet for piano and string quartet. This concert will open with Mozart’s radiant Hunt quartet, followed by a modern piece: 91-year-old European composer György Kurtág’s 2005 six moments musicaux. (The Elias members note that their violinist Martin Saving is temporarily unable to play because of medical treatment; Simone van der Giessen will fill in for him.)

JACK Quartet and Anthony McGill

On February 25, clarinetist Anthony McGill will partner with the JACK Quartet in a concert devoted to modern music. McGill will play the clarinet role in Derek Bermal’s 2013 A Short History of the Universe, a quintet that draws its inspiration from modern theories of gravity. The other items on the JACK program include a 1931 string quartet American composer Ruth Crawford Seeger wrote before she switched to a career in folk music (and became the mother and stepmother of two of the leading figures in folk music, Peggy Seeger and her half-brother Pete).

The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society will present the Elias Quartet with pianist Jonathan Biss on Wednesday, February 21, at 8pm at the Kimmel’s Perelman Theater (Broad and Spruce Streets, Philadelphia). Tickets ($30) are available online and at the door.

PCMS presents the JACK Quartet with clarinetist Anthony McGill on Sunday, February 25, at 3pm at the American Philosophical Society’s Benjamin Franklin Hall (427 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia). Tickets ($20) are available online and at the door.

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