Welcome from the Artistic Director

Oskar Espina-Ruiz of UNC School of the Arts 7/13/12

Welcome to Our 12th Season!

Our 2017-2018 season presents four outstanding concerts at the Carriage Barn Arts Center, in New Canaan, Conn. In addition, our innovative music education and mentorship program, Artists Mentor Youth, continues to bring the top talent from across the country and around the world to play for and work with underserved children in Fairfield County.

Treetops CMS concerts explore music that is often groundbreaking and always masterful. Each concert is designed for our audience to experience up-close performances of the highest caliber.

The Carriage Barn Arts Center provides the perfect setting, accommodating our audience in an intimate space with ideal acoustics, while Waveny Park offers concertgoers the opportunity to enjoy nature at each concert.

We are pleased to be able to introduce new, lower subscription and single ticket prices, making our concerts more affordable for everyone.

Below is an overview of the season. We hope you will join us!

Oskar Espina Ruiz
Artistic Director


Treetops Chamber Music Society 2017-2018 Season Overview:
Sundays at 4:00 p.m. at the Carriage Barn Arts Center, Waveny Park, 681 South Avenue, New Canaan, CT

BEETHOVEN: String Quartet in C minor, Op. 18, No. 4
WEESNER: “The Space Between” for string quartet
BRAHMS: Clarinet Quintet in B minor, Op. 115

Praised as “insightful and vibrant” (The New York Times) and “one of the freshest and most exciting” (The New Yorker), the Daedalus Quartet returns to Treetops CMS for a second collaboration with Artistic Director Oskar Espina Ruiz, clarinet. “Mr. Espina Ruiz is a phenomenal clarinetist, a subtle and discreet virtuoso whose dynamic control matched that of the string quartet.” (CVNC)

The program starts with Beethoven’s most popular quartet in the Opus 18 set. The recipient of a 2009 Guggenheim Fellowship and a 2008 “Academy Award” from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Anna Weesner’s The Space Between for string quartet adds a new dimension to the program.

HAYDN: String Quartet in C major, Op 74, No. 1
WIDMANN: String Quartet No 4
TCHAIKOVSKY: String Quartet in D major, Op. 11

The Heath String Quartet from London, praised for its “unforced beauty and tremulous tension” (The Times) and “exquisite tenderness” (The Telegraph), comes to New York City for a Lincoln Center Great Performers concert and its debut at Treetops CMS.

This program opens with one of Haydn’s groundbreaking Apponyi Quartets, composed after Haydn’s first trip to London in 1790. Tchaikovsky’s String Quartet, subtitled “Accordion” for its opening chords, includes the famous second movement, inspired by a Russian Folk song, which has been arranged for every conceivable instrumentation. The discovery work in the program is Jörg Widmann’s String Quartet No 4, which the The Guardian describes as “astoundingly virtuosic…, mentally and musically, and jaw-droppingly beautiful at times…”

MENDELSSOHN: String Quintet No. 1 in A Major, Op. 18
BEETHOVEN: String Quartet No. 13 in B-flat Major, Op. 130 with Grosse Fuge

Each summer Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute brings talented young musicians from around the world to make music under the supervision of a renowned faculty. Then in the spring, the most promising musicians tour under the direction of acclaimed violinist Miriam Fried.

Their 2018 program includes Beethoven’s late quartet Op. 130, with Grosse Fuge as last movement, as originally conceived by the composer—a colossal work in the string quartet literature. Mendelssohn’s Viola Quintet is vibrant and warmhearted, composed when he was 17 years old (except for the replacement second movement added six years later). Mendelssohn had already composed his Octet Op. 20 a year before, far surpassing comparable efforts of such child prodigies as Mozart and Schubert, so his Viola Quintet is already considered part of his mature period.

BORODIN: String Quartet No. 2 in D major
SHOSTAKOVICH: String Quartet No. 8, Op. 110
BEETHOVEN: String Quartet in F major, Op. 135

The Manhattan-based Cassatt Quartet “an extraordinary quartet” (The New York Times) and a Treetops CMS audience favorite, returns for a monumental program of diverse and beloved works honoring the quartet’s mentor, Paul Brunner.

Borodin’s work is unforgettable for the lyrical and amorous tone it sets from the beginning, and for its third movement, the tender Notturno, which is one of the best-known movements in the entire string quartet literature, having been arranged for orchestra (and Broadway!). In stark contrast, Shostakovich’s eighth quartet, composed “in memory of the victims of fascism and war,” is a tour de force in five movements, played without interruption, including many quotes from the composer’s previous works.  Beethoven’s Quartet Op. 135, his sixteenth and final complete string quartet, marks a departure point from the rest of his late quartets, which displayed enormous emotional intensity. In his Op. 135 Beethoven introduces a deeper sense of calmness and relaxed geniality.