The visiting Cavatina Duo, (from left) Bosnian guitarist Denis Azabagic and Spanish flutist Eugenia Moliner, will perform a world premiere composition by San Antonio guitarist Matthew Dunne on Jan. 27.
Guitarist Denis Azabagic (left) and flutist Eugenia Moliner, of the Cavatina Duo, will perform a world premiere composition by San Antonio guitarist Matthew Dunne on Jan. 27. Credit: Courtesy / Cavatina Duo

Anyone who thinks chamber music is a thing of the past might be surprised by the San Antonio Chamber Music Society’s program for its Sunday, Jan. 27, concert at Temple Beth-El.

The visiting Cavatina Duo – Spanish flutist Eugenia Moliner and Bosnian guitarist Denis Azabagic – will perform a world premiere composition by San Antonio guitarist Matthew Dunne, who will be present for the concert. Dunne’s piece for guitar and flute, titled Three Artisans and commissioned by the Chamber Music Society, will honor the life of Tallon “Tal” Perkes, who was principle flutist for the San Antonio Symphony from 1993 until his death in 2012.

The title refers to three areas of artistic interest for Perkes, described as a “Renaissance guy” by Pauline Glickman, a Chamber Music Society board member and chair of its artist selection committee. The first section, subtitled The Painter, refers to Perkes’ penchant for artmaking. Several of his artworks will be on display at Temple Beth-El for the concert, said Randolph Glickman, board member and spouse of Pauline.

Other living composers on the program are Alan Thomas, with a fantasy based on themes from La Traviata commissioned by the Cavatina Duo, and Joseph V. Williams II, with a piece based on the Duo’s request for new commissions based on Sephardic melodies.

“Chamber music has evolved,” said Randolph Glickman, who credits Pauline and other members of the artist selection committee for their forward-thinking programming.

“We want to give the idea to the community here that chamber music is a living art form, not something that happened in the 18th century,” he said.

Randolph Glickman also said the society’s programming aims to achieve a fine balance between more familiar, traditional chamber music, and exciting new developments in the form. Rounding out the Jan. 27 program are works by Astor Piazzolla, the tango music pioneer whose life spanned most of the 20th century, and Marin Marais, a French Late Baroque-period composer who lived 1656-1728.

The March 10 program, featuring guest artists Eighth Blackbird from Chicago, also features new music, including ice ‘n’ SPICE by Nina Shekhar, which refers to her father’s chicken patties, loaded with green chilies and garam masala. “My brother and I would then run to the freezer to fill our mouths with ice in a rash attempt to cool down the fire on our tongues,” Shekhar writes on her website.

Also on the program will be Quimbombó by 24-year-old Puerto Rican composer Angélica Negrón and the intriguingly titled Electric Aroma by 29-year old Viet Cuong from California.

These are the third and fourth concerts in the Chamber Music Society’s five-concert season, which concludes April 28 with the trio of David Finckel, Wu Han, Philip Setzer playing traditional favorites by Beethoven, Shostakovich, and Mendelssohn.

All concerts take place on Sundays at 3:15 p.m. at Temple Beth-El. Tickets are $25 on the website and at the door, with free admission for members of the military and currently enrolled students of all ages.

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Nicholas Frank

Senior Reporter Nicholas Frank moved from Milwaukee to San Antonio following a 2017 Artpace residency. Prior to that he taught college fine arts, curated a university contemporary art program, toured with...