2019-20 Season Announced!

—Mike Tschappat

A Lyrica Chamber Music concert is more than simply the playing of music.  It’s the presentation of ideas, the challenge of hearing old music with new ears and new music with old ears, the channeling of energy between the musicians and the audience.

This philosophy shapes Lyrica’s 2019-20 season, one that explores romance, delves into American influence on classical composition, looks at the art of improvisation, and presents a preview of a Carnegie Hall concert.

All concerts are at 3 p.m. at the Presbyterian Church of Chatham Township, 240 Southern Blvd.

The season gets underway on Oct. 13 with flutist Catherine Gregory and Lyrica co-artistic director, pianist David Kaplan, playing music of Debussy, Prokofiev, Widor and a premier by Timo Andres.  Gregory and Kaplan will be repeating their performance at Carnegie’s Weill Hall.

On Nov. 17, the Daedalus Quartet will present their creative program, “Call for an American Voice,” at which they will play Beethoven’s String Quartet Op. 18, No. 1, and pieces by William Grant Still and Antonin Dvorak.

Co-artistic director, cellist Ani Kalayjian, will bring together a distinguished group of chamber artists on Jan. 19 for an exploration of the love triangle between Johannes Brahms and Robert and Clara Schumann.

The season concludes on April 5 when multi-genre pianist and arranger Jeremy Jordan plays music of two of the great keyboard improvisers, Mozart and Chopin.  He will be joined by his regular trio, Dan Asher and Jake Robinson, for a set of original arrangements and standards.

“We always look for new and innovative ways to expand our audience and reach the wider community with the types of programs we present,” said Kalayjian, reflecting on the new season.  “Whether it’s presenting a premiere of a brand new work, or showcasing traditional works in a new interpretative way, there is an element of challenging the listener’s ear and expanding their horizons.”

None of that would be possible without musicians of high caliber.  Lyrica’s proximity to New York City makes available a pool of accomplished performers.

“Being a community series, the quality of artistry we are able to present has everything to do with Ani and I calling upon our personal friends and colleagues,” Kaplan said.  “We both enjoy so much the personal element of planning concerts together with our friends and colleagues.”

“Through the life of traveling and performing concerts, David and I meet and hear a lot of people along the way,” Kalayjian added, “and we are able to draw upon a very talented community of musicians who have a deep love for chamber music and artistic expression.”

The 2019-20 season is Kalayjian’s second as co-artistic director, but the first in which she has had substantial input into Lyrica’s programming.

“Joining Lyrica this year has been an absolute joy,” she said.  “Working with David Kaplan and the entire Lyrica board, it is evident how deeply committed everyone involved is to Lyrica’s mission and to growing its success to another level.  Bouncing ideas off one another and implementing new thematic programming alongside new collaborations with local schools and organizations helps create our new vision for Lyrica and curate a series that will attract and bring in the local community.”

And that community arrives with certain expectations which are different from those at a symphony concert hall.

“They want to be moved by the music, and to experience in close proximity the interplay of the musicians onstage,” Kaplan said.

“An audience wants to be part of an experience that transmits them to another place through artistic expression that is being imbued on stage,” Kalayjian said.  “Audiences love to experience the emotions that are being expressed through the music on stage, whether joy, fun, surprise, melancholy, turbulence or suspense.  Especially in today's digital age, it is a welcome escape from our devices to sit back and get lost in the beauty of what’s being expressed on stage.”

David Kaplan