Com­ing up in Philly Music: PCMS opens fall with lim­it­ed live and vir­tu­al performances

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Clarinetist Anthony McGill will perform alongside pianist Gloria Chien on Sunday, October 11. (Photo by Matthew Septimus.)
Clarinetist Anthony McGill will perform alongside pianist Gloria Chien on Sunday, October 11. (Photo by Matthew Septimus.)

Six months ago, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society was one of the first musical organizations to cancel concerts, without waiting for an official edict. They responded as soon as it became clear COVID-19 posed a serious threat. Now, as we approach the beginning of a new season, PCMS has announced season plans that reflect the same thoughtful understanding of an unprecedented situation.

Live, in modified effect

PCMS will present thirteen concerts in the first three months of the season. Every concert will be presented live and online. The audience size for live performances, undertaken with all the appropriate precautions, will be limited to 25 people. The online audience will access a livestream connection on a pay-what-you-wish basis. A link to the livestream will be posted on the PCMS website 48 hours before each event. PCMS subscribers and donors will receive the link by email.

As the largest presenter of chamber music in the United States outside of New York, PCMS presents more than 50 concerts per season, with a schedule that includes international headliners and stars based in Philadelphia. The first PCMS concert of the season, October 4, will feature Amy Yang, a pianist who combines an active solo career with teaching positions at Curtis, Haverford, and Bryn Mawr. The second, October 11, will spotlight Anthony McGill, the Principal Clarinet of the New York Philharmonic and a star of the international chamber music circuit. Between them, they’ll present programs that range from classics by Brahms and Sibelius to contemporary works by the Israel composer Avner Dorman and the African American composer James Lee III.

Most of the PCMS concerts will take place in the American Philosophical Society Hall on 104 South 5th St., half a block from Independence Hall. Two will take place in the elegant lecture hall of the College of Physicians at 19 South 22nd St..

What, When, Where, and Accessibility:

The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society will present pianist Amy Yang, Sunday, October 4, at 3pm and clarinetist Anthony McGill and pianist Gloria Chien on Sunday, October 11, at 3pm. Both performances will be presented at the Benjamin Franklin Hall of the American Philosophical Society, 411 Chestnut St.

Tickets to both live performances are sold out, but there’s a waiting list. A link to the livestream can be accessed at the PCMS website.

Image description: a man in a gray suit jacket with a clarinet smiles against a windowed backdrop.

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