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Chamber Music

Houston Public Media’s Top 10 List: Brave New World of Chamber Music

Our list of groups that embody the modern day chamber ensemble.


Eighth Blackbird – With a unique name and a large following, this ensemble embodies the modern day chamber ensemble. Chicago based and well-performed, this three-time Grammy  award winning ensemble is changing the way the world views chamber music.


Dover Quartet – Widely regarded as one of the greatest string quartets of this generation, the Dover Quartet has won top prizes at the Banff, Fischoff and Wigmore Hall competitions.  All graduates of the Curtis Institute of Music, they look forward to an international tour and numerous residencies in the 2014-2015 season. 


Wind SyncMade up of Shepherd School graduates from Rice University, Wind Sync is made up of the unusual combination of horn, flute, clarinet, oboe, and bassoon. This dynamic chamber ensemble is heavily involved in community outreach and spreading the word about classical music.


AURA Contemporary EnsembleOne of two groups on our list from the Moores School of Music, this ensemble is dedicated to the performance of contemporary chamber music. AURA is unlike many of the other ensembles on the list because it’s mostly made up of Moores School student performers led by director and Professor Dr. Rob Smith.


Apollo Chamber Players – This Houston based ensemble is known for it’s genre-bending approach to classical performance. By creating a repertoire mixed with European folk tunes and recent compositions, they’ve managed to gain global acclaim and draw audiences in venues like New York’s Carnegie Hall.


Brooklyn RiderDescribed as “the future of chamber music”, the string quartet Brooklyn Rider offers eclectic repertoire in gripping performances that continue to draw rave reviews from classical, world, and rock critics alike. NPR credits Brooklyn Rider with “recreating the 300-year-old form of string quartet as a vital and creative 21st-century ensemble”.


Time for Three Made up of graduates from the Curtis Institute of Music, this string trio performs everything from Bach to Katy Perry. With an international following, the group has managed to perform across Europe and Asia while using music to promote social goodwill here in the states.


American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME)Dedicated to the performance of new music, ACME’s repertoire is primarily made up of 20th and 21st century works by American composers. Made up of some of New York’s most sought after musicians, the ensemble has received great reviews by NPR and the New York Times.


Seraphim Saxophone Quartet  This relatively young ensemble is made up of students from the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music. What they lack in years they make up for in ambition and originality. The ensemble was selected to compete in the Fischoff Competition; the largest chamber music competition in the nation and the world.


Yarn/Wire Made up of two pianists and two percussionists, Yarn/Wire frequently mixes classic repertoire with 21st century compositions.  They have been praised for their fearlessness and unique instrumentation, and they premiered over two dozen new pieces written for their ensemble.

ISSUE Project Room: Artist-in-Residence: Yarn/Wire with Tristan Perich: Chalk from Damian Calvo on Vimeo.