Music among Friends 

A new season begins for the Arizona Friends of Chamber Music.

The 54th season of the Arizona Friends of Chamber Music opens Wednesday, October 3, with the first of seven regular concerts, this one featuring the Moscow Chamber Orchestra. American conductor and pianist Constantine Orbelian leads the 20-piece group in the Concerto for Piano and Strings by Alfred Schnittke; Shostakovich's Chamber Symphony, Op. 100a, an expansion of one of his string quartets; Five Armenian Dances, arranged by Aslamian Komitas; and Tchaikovsky's Serenade for Strings, Op. 48.

The Peabody Trio, with clarinetist Charles Neidich, makes its first Tucson appearance on October 17. This Baltimore trio offers one piece each by Bartók, Brahms and Beethoven. November 17 brings back the St. Lawrence String Quartet. The Canadian group plays new selections by Jonathan Berger and R. Murray Schafer, plus Tchaikovsky's seldom-heard String Quartet No. 3. The November 28 concert features the Chicago String Quartet, favorites since the 1998 Tucson Winter Chamber Music Festival, with Beethoven, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich and Dvorák.

The new year brings the Golub-Kaplan-Carr Trio from New York on January 16, the Cuarteto Latinoamericano on February 6 and the Takacs String on April 3.

The week-long Winter Chamber Music Festival, organized by artistic director/cellist Peter Rejto, will feature 16 musicians, including the American String Quartet. Five formal concerts and several other events comprise the festival, capped by a gala dinner concert. Festivities run March 3-10.

The increasingly popular Piano and Friends Sunday matinee series returns for its seventh season. The three concerts present young professionals in classical and contemporary works.

All performances will be held at the TCC's Leo Rich Theater, 220 S. Church Ave. Regular concerts begin at 8 p.m. Season tickets for that series cost $90; individual concerts are $15. Tickets for the entire Winter Chamber Music Festival, excluding the gala dinner concert at $90, cost $65; individual concerts are $15. Tickets for the Piano and Friends series cost $30; individual tickets are $12. Student tickets for all events, except the gala, cost $5. Call 577-3769 or visit www.ArizonaChamberMusic.org for information.

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