Every year, the BSO performs Community Chamber Concerts for thousands of children and adults throughout New England in an effort to encourage music education as well as strengthen ties with the surrounding communities, both key components to the orchestra’s mission.
According to the BOS press offices, the sold-out community concerts are also one of the key reasons BSO is so successful.
“The BSO's primary purpose in providing free community concerts is to provide access to the BSO by sharing the concert experience with families in the Greater Boston area,” they said in an email. “The concerts build community goodwill towards the orchestra while creating an entry point into the BSO. Our hope is that our community chamber concert audience will become part of the larger BSO community and attend many concerts in the future. The BSO's outreach events in general help us to build future audiences.”
The concerts all occur on a Sunday, and feature a few members from the BSO performing chamber music for all attentive ears.
Featured bass, violin, cello, trombone, trumpet, and viola players come out to area churches and community spaces for the free event, which is suitable for all ages.
“Each year, we have a concert in the north shore, in metro west, in Somerville, Cambridge, and in other communities in and on the outskirts of Boston. We want to be in communities where we feel like there is a significant population of folks who are not regularly at Symphony Hall for various reasons,” the press offices said.
The company switches up the venues every year, and typically seek out spaces that seat around 300 people.
This year, the traveling began in Lynn and Roxbury in October, where the Boston Cello Quartet, featuring Blaise Déjardin, Adam Esbensen, Alexandre Lecarme, and Mihail Jojatu, performed works by Bach, Cborak, Rimsky-Korsakov, Part, Mussorgsky, Debussy, Hoshii, Sciortino, and Dejardin.
This November, Elita Kang, Jason Horowitz, violins; Rebecca Gitter, viola; and Owen Young, cello will perform in both Hingham’s Congregational Church as well as St. John’s Episcopal Church in Beverly Farms.
The group will come to Hingham on Sunday, Nov. 13 at 3 p.m. and Beverly Farms on Nov. 20 at 3 p.m., performing Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 3 in D, Op. 18, No 3 as well as Shumann’s String Quartet No. 1 in A minor, Op. 41, No. 1.
It’s a magical event, the offices said, and the performances, which generally last an hour, fill the spaces with the unique and perfect sound of BSO’s best.
“Every program is unique and fantastic, but a few times each season, we have a concert where incredible synergy occurs - perhaps the audience comes not knowing what to expect, the program is particularly relevant to the audience, and the musicians find a way to connect on a very personal level and no one leaves the same as they came,” they said.
It’s what happened this past week when a group of young cello students come to a concert in Roxbury, which featured the Boston Cello Quartet (four BSO musicians).
According to the press offices, after a lively program featuring arrangements of Bach's Sheep May Safely Grace to Mussasorksy's Pictures of an Exhibition to Hoshii's The Waltz of the Black Ants, “the kids were glowing in admiration and excitement and a deeper commitment to become the best musicians they can be. They were the last of the audience members to leave and were posing for photos with the musicians (one of the musicians even gave the kid in front of him "bunny ears"). It is moments like this that remind us why this free series is so important.”
It’s something the musicians also look forward to, they said.
“We hear from them regularly how much they enjoy this series. Playing chamber music in a smaller setting than Symphony Hall to a very appreciative audience is very satisfying to the musicians,” the press offices said. “The impact on the audience is almost tangible … Often, applause breaks out in between movements. While this could be frustrating for musicians, they don't seem to mind and overall really enjoy the enthusiasm and uniqueness of each audience.”
Audience members also have a chance to meet with the musicians and talk to them after the performance. The casual reception will follow the conclusion of the music.
For more information, visit www.bso.org.