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Salon Chamber Music a la Marie Antoinette

December 15, 2010

The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion continues its Le Salon de Musiques chamber music series Sunday afternoon. The third of 8 monthly performances, every third Sunday of the month through May 2011, includes Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet in A major K 581 and Elgar’s String Serenade in E minor opus 20.

Violinist Phillip Levy says the salon is the brainchild of pianist Francois Chouchan. “He decided there was something missing in the chamber music world in LA and I entirely agree. Francois set down and conjured up this idea which is based upon the times of old when people would gather in small groups in Versailles  under the patronage of Marie Antoinette and listen to music.”

The concerts are intimate – about a hundred guests. “The whole idea is to have chamber music be not so stuffy. We communicate with the audience directly. The audience sits around us; we’re not on a stage. Afterward I talk about the pieces. It’s a very cozy atmosphere. It’s not highbrow at all. We simply want to dispel the myth that chamber music is something for, pardon the expression, old farts.”

As experienced and talented as they are, the musicians still require rehearsal time. “It’s part of the joy of playing chamber music. You come together and enjoy rehearsing, making music, and then performing for others. Most of our rehearsals center around food and wine anyway,” Levy adds with a grin.

The group, he says, is self-conducted. “It’s democracy, you know, where everybody chips in.”

On tap for Sunday: Phillip Levy (Violin), Amy Hershberger (Violin), Victoria Miskolczy (Viola), David Low (Cello), Stuart Clark (Clarinet).  Performances are at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 5th floor, 4pm. You can see future performance and ticket information here. Tickets $65 and include French champagne and a gourmet buffet provided by Patina.

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