Arts & Humanities Campus News

Chamber Music Athens is back for second season

Chamber Music Athens will kick off May 15 in Ramsey Concert Hall. (Submitted Photo)

The Hugh Hodgson School of Music at the University of Georgia presents the second season of Chamber Music Athens, a premier festival that brings together internationally acclaimed guest artists, UGA faculty and students for 10 days of concerts, public masterclasses, panel discussions and intensive collaboration in rehearsals and chamber music coaching.

“We are tremendously excited to be restarting the festival after an involuntary two-year hiatus brought on by COVID-19,” said Liza Stepanova, piano faculty member and CMA organizer.

CMA brings a lineup of guest artists from around the country, including the Grammy-winning Parker String Quartet; two extraordinary New York City-based performers, pianist Orli Shaham and violinist Joseph Lin; and CMA’s first composer-in-residence, Lowell Liebermann.

The opening night gala at 7:30 p.m. on May 15 in Ramsey Concert Hall features the world premiere of a new work by Liebermann written for and performed by UGA’s own Yargo Trio. Atlanta Symphony Orchestra concertmaster David Coucheron leads Chausson’s “Concerto for violin, piano, and string quartet,” and cellist Khari Joyner receives a spotlight in Schumann’s “Adagio and Allegro.”

The next concert in Ramsey Concert Hall on May 17, titled “Music and Words,” is a unique program that explores connections between music and words. Acclaimed operatic soprano Talise Trevigne sings a selection of art songs, including music by Franz Schubert, with Stepanova at the piano. On the second half of the program, CMA partners with the Athens Hip Hop Harmonic (Connie Frigo, producer) for a program of jazz, hip hop and spoken word. Featured artists include award-winning performance poet Tifara Knowles, Athens-based hip-hop artist Caulfield, UGA jazz piano faculty Greg Satterthwaite and the School of Music Contemporary Chamber Ensemble performing new works by the Athens Hip Hop Harmonic.

Audiences can enjoy concerts in the UGA Performing Arts Center as well as venues on and off the UGA campus, such as the State Botanical Garden of Georgia, the UGA Chapel, the Hugh Hodgson School of Music and galleries in town. Members of the community are also invited behind the scenes to enjoy masterclasses with guest artists featuring UGA student chamber ensembles.

Enjoy works of the chamber music repertoire in the Day Chapel, located in the heart of the State Botanical Garden, featuring duet, trio, quartet and quintet combinations of instruments on May 19. Members of the Grammy Award-winning Parker String Quartet join forces with guest pianist Orli Shaham and UGA faculty in music by Mozart and Brahms as well as the “Piano Quintet” by Antonin Dvorak. Another highlight of the program is a string quartet titled “Unrequited” by the great American jazz pianist and composer Billy Childs. UGA faculty performers include D Ray McClellan, clarinet; Maggie Snyder, viola; David Starkweather, cello; and Alan Woo, piano.

The Radiant Mozart program on May 22 features The Parker String Quartet, pianist Orli Shaham and School of Music alumnus and bass player Luca Lombardi. The CMA Gala Finale will take place on May 24 in the UGA Chapel and will feature violinist Joseph Lin, former first violinist of the Juilliard String Quartet. UGA faculty member and mezzo-soprano Elizabeth Knight will join the Parker String Quartet in Respighi’s “Il Tramonto” (“The Sunset”). The concert and the festival come to an end with Mendelssohn’s “String Octet,” which brings together Lin, the Parker Quartet and UGA performers.

For more information, visit and like and follow the CMA Facebook page for up-to-date posts. Patrons can purchase a CMA Pass for all of the concerts for $100, as well as individual concert tickets, through the Performing Arts Center box office website or by calling 706-542-4400.

The CMA Festival is made possible by the contributions of donors and organizations such as WUGA-FM, the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts and the State Botanical Garden. To learn more, contact Melissa Roberts at