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Delaware Chamber Music Festival Returns with a Mix of Traditional and Contemporary Works and Something for Everyone!

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Diane Shomper
Diane Shomper is a freelance writer and classical voice/piano student living in Wilmington. She joined the Delaware Chamber Music Board of Directors in 2012.

The Delaware Chamber Music Festival, under the leadership of Philadelphia Orchestra violinist Barbara Govatos, will present its 28th season of concerts over two weekends in June at The Music School of Delaware in Wilmington.

This year’s Festival – held June 14, 16, 21 and 23 – features both contemporary and traditional works, including three Delaware premiers of works by women composers.  The Festival this year also guest spotlights several popular Delaware artists, including guitarist Christiaan Taggart and the Pyxis Piano Quartet, who are Artists in Residence at the Delaware Art Museum.  In addition to the newer pieces, a variety of known and loved works by Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Schumann, Mahler, Paganini, Rachmaninoff and Poulenc will be performed.

The Friday concerts (June 14 and 21) begin at 7:30pm, while the Sunday performances (June 16 and 23) begin at 3:00pm. Visit www.dcmf.org for the full concert series programs.

The beauty of the Delaware Chamber Music Festival is that it perfectly melds high-quality music and performers, an informal, intimate venue, and amazingly approachable pricing. The Festival provides $10 tickets for students of all ages from 7 to college age, and children younger than 7 are admitted free. Even the adult and senior tickets – at $22 and $20, respectively – are an incredible bargain for an experience like this.

And, it’s not the same as simply listening to a classical or Baroque CD. No recording can replace the atmosphere of hearing and seeing chamber music performed live. The energy, the beauty of the sound and the instruments is completely intoxicating. It draws you in, it speaks to you. I cannot compare it, but I can tell you that I simply wouldn’t miss it for anything!

Festival creator and executive director Barbara Govatos agrees that it’s a wonderful first-time entrée into the classical music experience. “After each concert, our audiences can mix, mingle and talk with all the musicians, which is fun and enlightening for both. It really helps to ‘demystify’ the entire idea of chamber music,” she says.  “Audience members comment on their experience and as artists, we give them insight into our process and how we, too, are moved by the pieces we play.” Govatos also developed the programming this year – from Bach to contemporary, blues-inspired music to gorgeous works of the classical and romantic periods – to appeal to music lovers of all backgrounds.

“Chamber music by definition was composed to be accessible, up close and personal,” says Govatos. “It’s sophisticated music, but at the same time it’s easy for newcomers to hear and understand, recognize themes and appreciate the skill of the performers.”

Even for longtime classical music fans, the experience of hearing a piece performed live can mark a new experience.  The performance of Schubert’s famous Trout Quintet in the 2012 DCMF Festival was so vibrant, so musically alive, that I heard it in a whole new way I hadn’t expected.

The Delaware Chamber Music Festival is a Delaware non-profit organization formed in 1985. The Festival comprises a series of four concerts each June, as well as outreach to local schools and public libraries, offering young people a chance to experience classical music live and interact with the artists.

For complete details on this year’s Festival and to purchase tickets, visit www.dcmf.org and “like” their Facebook page.

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