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From its Finnish start, Buffalo Chamber Music Society season strikes adventurous notes

Even at 92, the Buffalo Chamber Music Society thinks young. Its upcoming 92nd season, just announced, unfolds under unusual stars.

In December, Buffalo will get a dose of offbeat star power with the arrival of cellist Matt Haimovitz and pianist Christopher O’Riley. Haimovitz is known for his indie forays around the country, with his cello in the back seat. He has played a couple of times in Nietzsche’s. O’Riley, well-known as the host for the radio show “From the Top,” will be playing fortepiano.

The two will be exploring the complete music by Beethoven for cello and piano, music they recently recorded. This single-composer concert won’t be for everyone, but for Beethoven fans, it will be heaven.

In an additional twist, the season has a Finnish start.

The Carpe Diem String Quartet’s October concert of Finnish music is designed to dovetail with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s celebration of all things Finnish, a festival inspired by Kleinhans Music Hall’s Finnish architects. Fall also brings an appearance by the Montrose Trio, a piano trio that includes pianist Jon Kimura Parker, who made a celebrated appearance in spring 2014 with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. Parker, concertgoers might recall, followed up a much-applauded performance of Rachmaninoff with his take on Billy Joel’s “Scenes From an Italian Restaurant.”

To top things off, next spring brings an appearance by Quatuor Ébène, a group as accustomed to playing jazz clubs as it is to playing concert halls. These musicians are tackling a mountainous masterpiece: Beethoven’s Quartet Op. 130, complete with the “Grosse Fuge,” or “Great Fugue.”

The Gift to the Community series is always something of a sensation. The artists for these free Sunday afternoon concerts are generally handpicked by Clementina Fleshler, the former BPO violinist who oversees the Chamber Music Society. She scouts them at the Young Concert Artists International Auditions in New York, and brings them here so Buffalo can say, “We heard them when ...”

Next season’s up-and-comers are Seyia Ueno, who was 19 when he won the Grand Prix in Paris’ Jean-Pierre Rampal Flute Competition. He will be here in September. Sang-Eun Lee, a 20-year-old cello phenom, arrives in November with her 400-year-old cello, on loan from an Asian cultural foundation. And Hungarian pianist Daniel Lebhardt, at 22, is garnering international attention. He is making his Kennedy Center debut next year.

The season

Here is the complete season. Single tickets, general admission, are $25. A season subscription is $110, or $120 after July 1. Unless otherwise noted, all concerts take place in Kleinhans’ Mary Seaton Room.

• Oct. 13: The Carpe Diem Quartet performs Sibelius’ “Andante Festivo” and “Three Pieces For String Quartet,” “The Sunflower” from the String Quartet No. 3 by Erkki Melartin, Korine Fujiwara’s “Fiddle Suite” and another Finnish piece to be announced.

• Nov. 17: The Montrose Trio performs Beethoven’s Trio in E Flat, Turina’s Trio in B minor, Op. 76, and Brahms’ Trio in B, Op. 8.

• Dec. 1 and 3: Christopher O’Riley, fortepiano, and cellist Matt Haimovitz perform Beethoven’s Sonatas and Variations for piano and cello. The concert Dec. 3 is at Lippes Hall in Slee Hall on the University at Buffalo’s Amherst campus.

• Jan. 12, 2016: The Jupiter String Quartet plays Schubert’s String Quartet No. 12 in C minor, “Quartettsatz”; Ligeti’s Quartet No. 1, “Metamorphoses nocturnes” and Smetana’s Quartet No. 1 in E Minor, “From My Life.”

• Feb. 16: The Danish String Quartet plays Beethoven’s String Quartet in B flat, Op. 18, No. 6; Janacek’s String Quartet No. 2, “Intimate Letters” and Mendelssohn’s String Quartet in A minor, Op. 13.

• March 15: Quatuor Ébène plays Haydn’s Quartet in C, Op. 20, No. 2; Debussy’s Quartet in G minor and Beethoven’s Quartet in B flat, Op. 130, with the Great Fugue.

• April 12: The Artemis Quartet plays Beethoven’s Quartet in F, Op. 135; Janacek’s Quartet No. 1, the “Kreutzer Sonata”; and Grieg’s Quartet in G minor.

Gift to the Community concerts

Admission to these concerts is free, and tickets are not needed. Programs are yet to be determined.

• Sept. 27: Flutist Seiya Ueno.

• Nov. 15: Cellist Sang-Eun Lee.

• Feb. 7, 2016: Pianist Daniel Lebhardt.


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