Premiere of 50th Anniversary Film Celebrating Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center

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The Global Premiere of the Documentary Film
The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Celebrates 50 Years
Introduced by Annette Bening
September 10, 2020 at 7:00 pm EDT
Tune in at:
Outlets Around the World, including, The Violin Channel, ALL ARTS, WQXR, WFMT and Tencent to Share the Documentary Film on Broadcast and Digital Platforms
Leading Up to Premiere, The Violin Channel Presents 2-Day Festival, “Celebrating 50 Years of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center” on September 8-9
“Inside Chamber Music Plus,” A New Twist on Bruce Adolphe’s Popular Lecture Series, Begins September 9

Transcending trailer

“It’s a group of people that by definition have to listen to each other and by definition have to offer something to each other in which each voice matters, and yet the result is the collective that emerges from this interweaving of individual voices…it’s a model of human interaction expressed in music.”
–Ara Guzelimian in Transcending
New York, NY, August 27, 2020 — To celebrate its 50th Anniversary, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center presents the global premiere of the documentary film Transcending: The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Celebrates 50 Years. The 53-minute film, introduced by stage and screen actor Annette Bening, premieres on September 10 at 7:00 pm EDT on and on broadcast and digital platforms around the world. “One of the reasons I love chamber music,” says Bening, is that it has the same power [as ensemble acting] to reach audiences in the most intimate way.” The film explores the remarkable organization that has been, since its founding 50 years ago, a pioneering leader in producing chamber music at the highest level, supporting and nurturing artists performing this repertoire, and presenting concerts to the broadest possible audience around the globe.
On September 8 and 9, in the days leading up to the film’s premiere, The Violin Channel will present a two-day festival, “Celebrating 50 Years of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.” The festival will feature eight full-length concerts, two master classes and one lecture from the CMS archive, with introductions from Co-Artistic Directors David Finckel and Wu Han and additional content posted throughout the Festival. To watch the Festival (Sep 8-9) and the premiere of the film (Sep 10), visit

In the spirit of collaboration and partnership that is at the core of chamber music, outlets around the world plan to participate in the 50th Anniversary celebration by sharing the film with their audiences on various broadcast and digital platforms. WQXR, New York City’s classical music station, plans to stream the premiere on its Facebook page and will also highlight CMS tracks on the air throughout the day to commemorate the anniversary. WFMT, Chicago’s classical music station, will stream the premiere on its website, The ALL ARTS TV channel and streaming app will include the film in Season 2 of “In Concert With CMS” which premieres Sunday, October 4; more information at Following its two-day festival, The Violin Channel will co-stream the premiere live on Facebook and Tencent Art, the leading digital platform for art in China, will stream the film on its website,, and make it available on Tencent Video APP & Internet TV. The world’s leading classical music channel,, is planning to share the film on its platforms.
The film provides an uplifting and entertaining narrative that communicates CMS’s importance not only as a chamber music producer and presenter, but also as a beacon for chamber musicians. The film touches on the organization’s beginnings, but more importantly, reveals the passionate commitment and vision of its current leaders. The huge range of initiatives CMS is currently undertaking in North America and globally, both live and in the digital space, include: commissioning new works; developing and supporting young musicians and young audiences; partnering with presenting and educational organizations; and creating a variety of media — films, TV shows, radio shows and online content – to bring chamber music to people all around the world. “But,” says Co-Artistic Director Wu Han, smiling like a proud parent, “It’s also about forming a community around this amazing art form.”
Wu Han is one of about a dozen musicians, administrators and board members who are interviewed throughout the film, and together, they provide not only an overview of the organization’s work, but insights into the people who make CMS what it is today.
Between and under the interviews are beautifully shot performance clips that reflect CMS’s wide-ranging programming. Executive Director Suzanne Davidson says that CMS was revolutionary when it was launched in 1969. “Before, what you had was mostly string quartets,” says Davidson, “and [CMS] was introducing a variety of ensembles in a way that had not been done before.” From the beginning, CMS presented a wide range of ensembles performing chamber music repertoire, and that variety is reflected in the film’s performance clips: many combinations of piano and strings, but also ensembles of various sizes that include musicians playing vibraphone, percussion, harpsichord, flute, guitar, mandolin, lute, clarinet, horn, oboe and voice. The performance clips throughout capture the energy and excitement of CMS performances – not only in New York’s Alice Tully Hall but also in venues and settings from CMS tours around the world, from a tobacco barn in Kentucky to ancient ruins in Greece to Beijing’s Forbidden City Concert Hall in China and many more.

Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center at Shaker Village in Kentucky, from Transcending

The film showcases CMS’s tremendous investment in future generations of performing artists, chamber music entrepreneurs and audiences, including educational performances for children and lectures for adults; school programs that bring youngsters into the hall and artists into the schools; and the Bowers Program, the premiere chamber music residency in America, which brings top emerging professional artists into the CMS fold, where they rehearse, travel and play as equals with veteran, top-flight musicians. “You have exposure to all of these fabulous senior musicians,” says Bowers Program Alum and CMS artist Kristin Lee, “who care about you and who want to mentor you…and they really want to see you succeed.”
Since March, when the COVID pandemic shut down concert halls around the world, CMS has been digging into its extensive archive of more than 1,000 videos to curate series of online concerts. CMS is sharing the content across its own channels, and – through “CMS Front Row: National” – with chamber music venues and organizations around North America. Despite the pandemic, David Finckel remains optimistic. “Art has always survived,” he says. “It’s like grass coming up through concrete. It doesn’t matter how much concrete you put down, it’s going to come back. The music is immune to the virus.”
The film features interviews with: CMS Co-Artistic Directors David Finckel and Wu Han; Executive Director Suzanne Davidson; Resident Lecturer and Director of Family Programs Bruce Adolphe; 50th Anniversary Gala Honorees Elinor L. Hoover, Chair of the CMS Board of Directors and Global Co-Head, Consumer Products, Citi Banking, Capital Markets and Advisory, and Shirley Young, CMS International Advisor and Chair of US-China Cultural Institute; Artistic and Executive Director, Ojai Music Festival, Artistic Consultant, Marlboro Music Festival and School Ara Guzelimian; Lincoln Center President and CEO Henry Timms; CMS Artists the Calidore String Quartet, Daniel Hope, Kristin Lee, Cho-Liang Lin, Anthony McGill, Arnaud Sussmann; and incoming Bowers Program Fellow James Thompson.
Transcending: The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Celebrates 50 Years was created in partnership with the acclaimed team at Art Docs.

“Inside Chamber Music Plus” Begins September 9
Bruce Adolphe Demystifies Great Works, with Performances by CMS Artists

CMS Resident Lecturer and Director of Family Programs Bruce Adolphe explores beloved works of the chamber music repertoire, performed in full by acclaimed CMS Artists. Adolphe introduces the music in each episode with his signature style – always entertaining and informative. A pre-recorded Q&A will follow each program, with Adolphe answering questions that were posed in response to the previous episode. New episodes will be released Wednesdays in September at 7:30pm EDT on the CMS website and will be available to view on demand for one week.
Wednesday, September 9 at 7:30 pm EDT
Britten: Quartet No. 1 in D major for Strings, Op. 25 (1941)

Escher Quartet (Adam Barnett-Hart, Aaron Boyd, violin; Pierre Lapointe, viola; Dane Johansen, cello)
Excerpts performed by Amphion String Quartet (Katie Hyun, David Southorn, violin; Wei-Yang Andy Lin, viola; Mihai Marica, cello)
Wednesday, September 16 at 7:30 pm EDT
Bartók: Quartet No. 4 for Strings, BB 95 (1928)

Jerusalem Quartet (Alexander Pavlovsky, Sergei Bresler, violin; Ori Kam, viola; Kyril Zlotnikov, cello)
Excerpts performed by Amphion String Quartet (Katie Hyun, David Southorn, violin; Wei-Yang Andy Lin, viola; Mihai Marica, cello)
Wednesday, September 23 at 7:30 pm EDT
Fauré: Quintet in D minor for Piano, Two Violins, Viola, and Cello, Op. 89 (1891, 1894, 1904-6)

Anne-Marie McDermott, piano; Amphion Quartet (David Southorn, Katie Hyun, violin; Wei-Yang Andy Lin, violin; Mihao Marica, cello)
Excerpts performed by: Anna Polonsky, piano; Calidore String Quartet (Jeffrey Myers, Ryan Meehan, violin; Jeremy Berry, viola; Estelle Choi, cello)
Wednesday, September 30 at 7:30 pm EDT
Mozart: Quintet in D major for Two Violins, Two Violas, and Cello, K. 593 (1790)

Orion String Quartet (Todd Phillips, Daniel Phillips, violin; Steven Tenenbom, viola; Timothy Eddy, cello); Ida Kavafian, viola
Excerpts performed by: Amphion String Quartet (Katie Hyun, David Southorn, violin; Wei-Yang Andy Lin, viola; Mihai Marica, cello); Pierre Lapointe, viola

About The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (CMS) is one of eleven constituents of the largest performing arts complex in the world, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, which includes the New York Philharmonic, New York City Ballet, Lincoln Center Theater, and The Metropolitan Opera. With its home in Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, CMS is known for the extraordinary quality of its performances and its programming, and for setting the benchmark for chamber music worldwide. Through its many performance, education, recording, and broadcast activities, it brings the experience of great chamber music to more people than any other organization of its kind. Under the leadership of Co-Artistic Directors David Finckel and Wu Han, CMS presents a wide variety of concert series and educational events for listeners of all ages, appealing to both connoisseurs and newcomers. The performing artists constitute a revolving multi-generational and international roster of the world’s finest chamber musicians, enabling CMS to present chamber music of every instrumentation, style, and historical period. Annual activities include a full season in New York, as well as on national and international tours. CMS continues its leadership position in the digital arena, reaching hundreds of thousands of listeners around the globe each season with live streaming, more than 750 hours of performance and education videos free to the public on its website, a 52-week public radio series across the US, radio programming in Hong Kong and mainland China, appearances on American Public Media, the new monthly program In Concert with CMS on the ALL ARTS broadcast channel, and performances featured on, Tencent, and SiriusXM’s Symphony Hall channel.

CMS digital initiatives are supported, in part, by The Hauser Foundation, MetLife Foundation, and the Sidney E. Frank Foundation.
CMS is deeply grateful to the leadership donors to the Gala celebrating the 50th anniversary of Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center: Elinor and Andrew Hoover; James and Melissa O’Shaughnessy; CC Capital; Citi; Robert and Suzanne Hoglund; Marnie S. Pillsbury; Susan S. and Kenneth L. Wallach; Shirley Young; Sally and Stephen Clement; Joyce B. Cowin; William and Inger G. Ginsberg; Dr. and Mrs. Victor Grann; Paul and Linda Gridley; Walter and Gail Harris; Jane and Peter Keegan; Suzie and Bruce Kovner; Dr. Annette U. Rickel; Charles S. Schreger; Alan and Elaine Weiler
CMS thanks the following for their leadership support: the AE Family Foundation, Ann S. Bowers, Carmel Cultural Endowment for the Arts, The Jerome L. Greene Foundation, the Marion Goldin Charitable Gift Fund, the Irving Harris Foundation, Elinor and Andrew Hoover, the Estate of Andrea J. Klepetar-Fallek, the Lincoln Center Corporate Fund, The New York Community Trust, the NYC COVID‑19 Response & Impact Fund in The New York Community Trust, Mr. and Mrs. James P. O’Shaughnessy, The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, Inc., and the Susan S. and Kenneth L. Wallach Foundation.
CMS education and outreach programs are made possible, in part, with support from the Chisholm Foundation, Colburn Foundation, Con Edison, The Jerome L. Greene Foundation, the Hearst Foundations, The Frank and Helen Hermann Foundation, Alice Ilchman Fund, the Daniel and Joanna S. Rose Fund, and the Tiger Baron Foundation. Public funds are provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

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