Academy Chamber Society Performance Features New Performers and New Instruments

Amy Chung ’22 and Holly Barnes, director of the Academy Music Chamber Society, performed a duet on the cello and violin during the concert.

In the final performance of the concert, violinist Hazel Koh ’21 conducted the start of her quartet, a piece consisting of upbeat melodies that complement a fast-paced rhythm and distinct pauses. The composition, Edvard Grieg’s String Quartet No. 1 in G minor, was one of many works performed at the Academy Chamber Music Society concert held last Saturday in the Timken Room of Graves Hall.

“I thought the Grieg was marvelous. They were looking at each other, connecting with each other as an ensemble and, well, it was wonderful music.” said audience member Kiran Bhardwaj, Instructor in Philosophy and Religious Studies.

The concert also featured the “Mandolin Concerto in D Major, RV 93,” composed by Antonio Vivaldi. The performance brought the mandolin, a stringed instrument of the lute family, to the spotlight. The first and third movements featured harmonious chords and rapid plucking of the mandolin. The second movement incorporated a slower tempo paired with the mandolin’s drawn out melodies.

“I think the mandolin’s a unique instrument here at Andover. I believe I’m the only mandolin player, so I think it’s fun to play a piece that’s out of the norm a little bit, and Vivaldi wrote a lot for the mandolin… so I think that was interesting to add such a unique element to a piece,” said Isaac Hershenson ’20.

The concert featured many students new to the Academy Chamber Society. This performance allowed these students to take on pieces for the very first time and perform them with their peers.

“For some of [these students] it’s the first time they’ve played [these pieces] so to remind me what it’s like to discover the piece for the first time, and watch a student discover that, it’s exciting,” said Holly Barnes, Director of the Academy Chamber Music Society.

According to violinist Chloe Choi ’19, each performance in the concert demonstrated the strong bond between performers, an important aspect of chamber music concerts, which feature smaller, closer groups of musicians.

“I think we all communicated well in our performance by looking at each other. It’s not like performing in an orchestra, but I think being in a smaller group of people, you get to bond with them closer, and when you’re the only person playing that instrument in a chamber group, you get to really try to listen to someone else, so that aspect of communication becomes so important in chamber music,” said Choi.