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Society's gift

The Buffalo Chamber Music Society has two concerts scheduled this week to brighten our bleak January days -- and one of them is free.

The free concert takes place at 3 p.m. Sunday. It's part of the group's Gift to the Community series, which features classical artists just beginning to make names for themselves. Sunday's performer is soprano Jennifer Check, who is featured in the Metropolitan Opera's production of Puccini's "Il Trittico." The New York Times called Check "a rare talent that can send chills down a listener's spine, even in familiar music."

Check will be presenting a program of American music, with songs by composers, including Charles Ives, Ned Rorem and Leonard Bernstein (the charming "A Little Bit in Love"). The spiritual "Deep River" should be especially uplifting.

Tuesday brings a concert by the Artemis Quartet, an award-winning ensemble that hails from Germany. These musicians have won top awards and are constantly circling the globe, playing music centers in Europe, Japan, Australia and North and South America. In England, BBC Radio has featured the group as part of its "New Generation Artists Scheme" program.

The Artemis Quartet will be performing Brahms' ravishing Quartet in A minor, Op. 51, No. 2, followed by Arnold Schoenberg's Quartet No. 1. The concert takes place at 8 p.m. Tuesday. A "Chat with the Artists" with WNED-FM's Peter Hall precedes the concert at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $20, with students half price.

Both concerts take place in the Mary Seaton Room of Kleinhans Music Hall. For information, call 838-2383.

-- Mary Kunz Goldman

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