IBIS: A Chamber Music Society

Another quick post, on the heels of hearing Korean violinist Chee-Yun tonight play "Louange à l'Immortalité de Jésus" from Messiaen's transcendent Quartet for the End of Time. (Adding to that, her encore of Rachmaninov's Vocalise was one of those rare opportunities to witness a deeply affective performance -- she was visibly moved, in mind of her announced dedication to a loved one recently lost).  The recital was the formal beginning of the Kennedy Center's Fortas Chamber Music season, which stands as Washington's centrally prominent series for chamber music.

But while Fortas sets its sights on importing international talent, there are numerous local chamber music societies in the Washington area, and the best among them by far is Arlington-based IBIS.  Founded by violinist Joseph Scheer and harpist Susan Robinson, joined with other local professional musicians, IBIS all at once maintains a high level of excellence while keeping everything affable, accessible and relevant -- you won't find any academic commitments in their programming to run through "all the great works" of any certain master, and they have no fear of the "crossover" label, which they invoke for a January concert with Dar Williams at Arlington's new Artisphere.  IBIS just gives great concerts, to a loyal following, and if you've never experienced them, you have an especially unique opportunity this coming Sunday:  at The Belmont Mansion in Dupont Circle, as seen in the picture above.  The 2:00 p.m. concert is followed by a champagne reception, and proceeds will benefit the MusicLink Foundation.  For more information, click here.

Were I not in Chicago at the time, hearing Thomas Hampson in Macbeth (and meaning to hear Ricardo Muti's CSO debut until he fell ill), this is where I'd be.  IBIS sent out notice last night that tickets are nearly sold out; you can call The Belmont Mansion at (202) 667-4737, or email susan@ibischambermusic.org to see what's available.