Coming up in Philly Music: The Free Library presents a musical and literary doubleheader

2 minute read
The Free Library pairs chamber music with science fiction and fantasy. (Photo by R. Kennedy)
The Free Library pairs chamber music with science fiction and fantasy. (Photo by R. Kennedy)

On October 15, the Free Library of Philadelphia will host two free events that cover both halves of my bifurcated writing life. At 6pm, Mimi Stillman’s Dolce Suono Ensemble will present one of its free “fall for chamber music” concerts. At 7pm, in another part of the main library building, a reading series called Galactic Philadelphia will present readings by two science fiction and fantasy writers.

Discovering chamber music

“Fall for Chamber Music” is a special series, supported by the William Penn Foundation, that presents free concerts in venues where they may attract people who don’t normally attend chamber music events. Many people feel chamber music is a form for people who like over-refined miniatures and never experience its zest, intensity, and basic informality.

The performers for this event will include Mimi Stillman and two of the Philadelphia region’s leading pianists, Charles Abramovic and Hugh Sung. The vocals will be provided by Sara Shafer, a rising young soprano who has become a local chamber music favorite as she accumulates opera credits with the Met and Opera Philadelphia.

Galactic reading

Galactic Philadelphia is a reading series funded by a grant from Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. The readers will be two writers with varied lives. Anna Kashina is a professor of biochemistry who writes adventure fantasy that mixes “elements of romance” with assassination, martial arts, and exotic fantasy settings. Alex Shvartsman is primarily known for his humorous short stories but he’s also a game designer, translator, and businessman.

Beyond the library

Dolce Suono will present its first regular concert of the season on October 27 at Old Pine Church. It will be an all-Bach event and it will be part of a season that integrates spoken words with the music. Sarah Shafer will be the vocalist and she’ll be joined by an instrumental group that includes flute, harpsichord, and strings. The program will include excerpts from the full range of Bach’s prodigious output for small ensembles: cantatas, concertos, suites, and sonatas.

What, When, Where

The Dolce Suono Ensemble will present “Fall for Chamber Music” on October 15 at 6pm at the Free Library of Philadelphia, 1901 Vine Street. Admission is free. For more information visit online.

Galactic Philadelphia will present Anna Kashina and Alex Shvartsman on October 15 at 7pm at The Free Library of Philadelphia, 1901 Vine Street. Admission is free but donations are accepted. For more information visit online.

The Dolce Suono Ensemble will present “Bach Masterworks,” on Sunday, October 27 at 3pm at Old Pine Street Church, 412 Pine Street, Philadelphia. Tickets are $30 for general admission, $25 for seniors, and $10 students. They’re available online, by phone (267) 252-1803, and at the door.

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