The last concert I attended before the world shut down was a lively little festival for strings and guitar presented by the 1807 & Friends chamber music series. The first chamber concert I’m going to attend during the Great Reopening will be the first 1807 & Friends program of the new season. It will end fittingly with a chamber music spectacular: Mendelssohn’s octet for two string quartets.
A series of quartets
The guest artists for the occasion will be the Dalí Quartet, a foursome with Latin American roots noted for its fire and energy. For the Mendelssohn, they’ll join forces with one of the homegrown stars of the Philadelphia music scene, 1807’s core group, the Wister Quartet. The other items on the program will be two string quartets from Beethoven’s early years, with the Dalí playing one and the Wister the other.
1807 & Friends has been a cornerstone of the Philadelphia chamber music season for over 40 years. Most of its regular musicians are Philadelphia Orchestra members with a passionate interest in chamber music. Its Monday night concerts take place in a perfect setting in the small theater of the Academy of Vocal Arts on Spruce Street. They’re normally followed by a reception marked by the general camaraderie that’s developed between musicians and their audience.
This season, the schedule will focus on Mendelssohn and Beethoven (whose 250th birthday would have been celebrated last season). Both composers will receive their due but the five programs on the schedule promise all the wide-ranging variety 1807's audience has come to expect. The lineup includes well-loved works by Schumann, Brahms, and César Franck, along with a world premiere and other pieces by living American composers.
What, When, Where
1807 & Friends will present the Wister Quartet and the Dalí Quartet Monday, September 20, 7:30pm, at the Academy of Vocal Arts, 1920 Spruce Street, Philadelphia. Tickets are $20 and they’re available via phone (215) 438-4027, (215) 978-0969, online, and at the door.
AVA’s accessible entrance is on the north side of Delancey Place. Look for the single green door just to the right of 1923 Delancey Place.