In its 20th season, Denis Brott’s Montreal Chamber Music Festival has become a much-anticipated celebration of the finest in small ensemble music, including a bit of traditional jazz and klezmer.
This year’s lineup, curated by cellist Brott, offers the same high quality program, with variety in repertoire performed by established virtuosi and stars-to-be.
The U.S.-based Dover Quartet (violinists Joel Link and Bryan Lee, violist Milena Pajero-van de Stadt, cellist Camden Shaw) opens with Viktor Ullmann’s Quartet No. 3, composed in 1943 while he was in the Theresienstadt concentration camp, where he died. Pianist Marc-André Hamelin then joins for Franck’s Quintet in F minor, June 10, 8 pm, Pollack Hall, 555 Sherbrooke W.
Hamelin, famous for his mastery of modern repertoire, will play Schubert, Field, Debussy, and his own compositions. June 11, 8 pm, Pollack Hall.
Israeli clarinetist Alexander Fiterstein shares the spotlight with the Dover Quartet playing the Brahms clarinet quintet in B minor. He opens with Bartok trios, followed by the Dover playing the Dvorak String Quartet in C major, June 12, 8 pm, Pollack Hall.
Acclaimed jazz trombonist Wycliffe Gordon leads a quintet in a New Orleans themed program, June 13, 8 pm, Oscar Peterson Concert Hall, 7141 Shebrooke W.
Violinist Rachel Barton Pine has made Paganini’s challenging 24 Caprices a highlight of her repertoire, which she laces with anecdotes, June 15, 8 pm, Bourgie Hall, 1338 Ste. Catherine W.
The Ariel Quartet (Israelis Alexandra Kazovsky and Gershon Gerchicov, violins; Jan Gruening, viola; Amit Even-Tov, cello) plays Alexander Brott’s Ritual, Shostakovitch’s Chamber Symphony in C Minor, with a string ensemble that includes cellist Dennis Brott, violinist Jonathan Crow, bassist Ali Yazdanfar, and closes with Schubert’s Death and the Maiden Quartet, June 17, 8 pm, Bourgie Hall.
The Ariel Quartet celebrates the Human Spirit in two 20th century works, Argentina’s Oswaldo Golojov’s Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind, with clarinetist David Krakauer, pianist David Jalbert, violinist Jonathan Crow and cellist Dennis Brott, followed by Olivier Messiaen’s moving Quartet for the End of Time, June 18, 8 pm, Bourgie Hall.
Soprano Marie-Josée Lord pays tribute to artists Leontyne Price, Billie Holiday, Shirley Bassey, Édith Piaf, and Diane Dufresne, June 19, 8 pm, Bourgie Hall.
Clarinetist David Krakauer leads his fun-loving Klezmer Quartet, June 20, 8 pm, Bourgie Hall.
Australian Baroque violinist Elizabeth Wallfisch presents a Vivaldi program, including seven concertos from the L’Estro Armonico series, and one of J.S. Bach’s Vivaldi arrangements for solo harpsichord, with 2012 Canada Council musical instrument bank winners, harpsichordist Hank Knox, cellist Denis Brott, and Sylvain Bergeron on theorbo (bass lute), June 21, 3:30 pm, Bourgie Hall.
Info: 514-489-7444, festivalmontreal.org