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Chamber Players Perform Classics

Music is "the mirror of our psyche," explained Miles Hoffman, the founder and artistic director of the American Chamber Players. The ensemble's performance at Berea College showed grace, talent and skill in portraying pieces from composers both famous and obscure.

Miles Hoffman, director of the American Chamber Players

Hoffman is well-known from his years spent on National Public Radio, first through his musical commentary on Performance Today from 1989 to 2002, and now as music commentator on NPR's flagship news program Morning Edition. Hoffman is heard daily by an audience of nearly 14 million people.

Hoffman used his vast experience on the topic to introduce each piece of music the Chamber Players performed. He shared the background of the pieces and discussed additional information that added to the audience's understanding and enjoyment of the music.

Hoffman also explained some fundamental concepts behind music composition and the meaning of the different movements in a piece.

"A composer is trying to keep our attention," said Hoffman, and they do this by providing contrast.

The Players performed the German Romantic "Trio in G Minor for flute, cello and piano, Op. 63" by Carl Maria von Weber; "Dialogue for violin and viola" by Armand Merck, an obscure Belgian composer; "Sonata in G Minor for flute and piano, BWV 1020" by J.S. Bach; and "Quartet in G Minor for piano and strings, K. 478" (1785) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, which was the first piece composed for that instrumentation.

Jean-Louis Haguenauer (piano) is Professor of Piano at the School of Music of Indiana University in Bloomington, and was formerly the Professor of Piano at the Strasbourg Conservatory in France. He has appeared in virtually every important concert series in France, has performed extensively as a soloist and chamber musician across the world, and was the subject of the 2000 French feature film La Spirale du Pianiste.

Alberto Parrini (cello) was born in Italy, and has performed in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe and Asia. He has performed with many groups, including the St. Lawrence String Quartet, Mihail Baryshnikov and the White Oak Dance Project and the Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra.

Lisa Shihoten (violin) is the guest violinist for the American Chamber Players. She is a chamber musician, recitalist and teacher who currently lives in Princeton, New Jersey. She is a graduate of the Juilliard School, obtained her Masters degree from the Yale School of Music and has toured throughout the United States, Israel, Greece and Turkey.

Sara Stern (flute) is a recitalist and chamber musician who has premiered countless new works and made many recordings. She has toured many concert halls around the country and is the founding member of the Eastwind Consort, a critically acclaimed woodwind ensemble.

The American Chamber Players appeared as part of the Stephenson Memorial Concert series.

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