Chamber Music Houston groupies won't recognize many of the personalities that are scheduled for the presenter's 2015-16 season, which just got revealed Tuesday night during the Vienna Piano Trio performance at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music.
And that's a good thing as the lineup, themed "New talents, bold sounds and epic journeys," includes many young groups en route to make their Chamber Music Houston debut.
This strategy is aligned with the volunteer-based nonprofit's developments in recent years, which include a new name (formerly known as Houston Friends of Chamber Music), a new website and a more intimate experience for the audience with opportunities to interact with visiting artists.
Alongside the fresh faces, the organization's focus on bringing only the world's best to an acoustically vibrant concert hall hasn't changed.
Young and new
The Dover Quartet (Nov. 10) cleaned up at the 2013 Banff International Competition. The former quartet-in-residence at the Shepherd School of Music will offer the tuneful scores of Dvorák's Quartet in F Major, Op. 96, "American" and Beethoven's Quartet in F Major, Op. 59, No. 1, "Razumovsky" in addition to the more challenging Berg String Quartet, Op. 3.
The Chiara String Quartet (Dec. 8), although new to Chamber Music Houston, is no stranger to those with ties to Rice University. Violinist Rebecca Fischer is the daughter of Shepherd cello professor Norman Fischer. Moreover, father and daughter have shared that stage in more than one occasion. The group tore the house down in a casual concert at McGonigels' Mucky Duck a handful of years ago, now returning to a more formal setting to interpret Ravel's String Quartet in F Major, Bartók's String Quartet No. 4 and Brahms' String Quartet in A Minor, Op. 52, No. 2.
The Escher String Quartet (March 1, 2016) plays with "passionate elegance and deep feeling" (New York Times) and is "one of the top young quartets before the public today" (Washington Post). This playbill includes a standard, Mozart's String Quartet No. 21 in D Major, K. 575, with two works not often heard, Szymanowski's Quartet No. 1 in C Major, Op. 37 and Elgar's Quartet in E Minor, Op. 83.
The Calder Quartet (March 29, 2016), a group that performs with "pinpoint control and near-flawless execution" (Boston Globe), follows suit with an unusual program that includes Adès' Arcadiana, Janáček's Quartet No. 2 "Intimate Letters" and Beethoven's String Quartet No. 12 in E-flat Major, Op. 127.
As in previous years, the Miró String Quartet (Sept. 15) and the Emerson String Quartet (April 28, 2016) open and close the season, respectively. The former will be joined by clarinetist David Shifrin for Mozart's Clarinet Quintet in A Major and Brahms' Clarinet Quintet in B Minor.
Filling out the nine-concert series are the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble (Oct. 13) with music by Mozart, Rossini and Schubert; the vocal troupe Chanticleer (Jan. 21, 2016) with music by Monteverdi, Mahler, Barber and others; and The Fauré Quartett (Feb. 9, 2016) with music by Mozart, Brahms and Martinu's Piano Quartet No. 1.