'Highly beloved and respected': Clarinetist Shifrin featured in Town & Gown event
Ames Town & Gown Chamber Music Association kicks off its winter-and-spring virtual concert series Friday. The six-event season begins with a concert by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, which features award-winning clarinetist David Shifrin.
The concert streams on-demand Friday through Jan. 28, and access to it is free of charge.
The program will feature music ranging from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to Duke Ellington.
“David Shifrin is one of the country’s most famous clarinetists,” said Paula Forrest, artistic director for Ames Town & Gown. “The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center is a group of musicians who all have other positions in the world, like David Shifrin teaches at Yale."
“He’s had a very stellar career, both teaching and playing.”
A renowned soloist and chamber musician, Shifrin was the principal clarinet for the Cleveland Orchestra and director of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, according to a news release.
In 2000, Shifrin was a winner of the Avery Fisher Prize, which is awarded to “solo instrumentalists who have demonstrated outstanding achievement and excellence in music” and includes a $100,000 award, according to the Lincoln Center’s website.
“David Shifrin is a very renowned, highly beloved and respected clarinetist,” Forrest said.
Lincoln Center has curated the video, which includes Shifrin performing in various concerts with different musicians, Forrest said. The event includes conversation and commentary by Shifrin.
“We have had four events like this already this fall, and they’re fantastic,” Forrest said. “At the beginning of the concert, for 10 minutes or so, they have the featured artist shown at home or in various situations other than a concert hall, talking about their life.
“And in many cases, they’ve been talking about what their life has been like during the pandemic.”
At the conclusion of the concert, there is a previously recorded question-and-answer session with Shifrin.
“You really get to know the musicians, much more than just the regular performance,” Forrest said.
Even though the concert is virtual and from a distance, the event ends up feeling more personal due to its formatting and content, Forrest said.
“The personal commentary lends an intimacy to these videos,” she said. “At Town & Gown concerts, the entire audience has the opportunity to meet the artists at the reception following – so this is a way to suggest that, as well.”
For this concert, Shifrin is joined by Gloria Chien, piano; Bella Hristova, violin, who has performed for Town & Gown in the past; Danbi Um, violin; Mark Holloway, viola; and Dmitri Atapine, cello.
Shifrin’s concert is available through Ames Town & Gown’s website, www.amestownandgown.org.
Following are the other five events in the season’s lineup, according to a news release. All events are free of charge and will be accessible through Ames Town & Gown’s website.
• 32nd annual Town & Gown Musicale – Saturday, Feb. 20, 7:30 p.m.: This highly anticipated event celebrates the vibrant music scene and abundant musical talent of Ames. Musicians from Iowa State University and the community at large join together to support Town & Gown and chamber music through their generous participation in an evening some have called “their favorite night of the year!”
Although the Musicale is usually Town & Gown’s annual fundraiser, “in appreciation of your loyal support during this very different concert season, we bring you this year's Virtual Musicale, free of charge,” a news release stated. Sponsorships are also available at $50 (Bronze), $150 (Silver) and $250 (Gold) levels.
• Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center features pianist Gloria Chien – March 19 through March 25.
• Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center features violinist Arnaud Sussman – April 9 through April 15.
• Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center features pianist Anne-Marie McDermott – April 30 through May 6.
• Season finale: The Castalian String Quartet – May 21 through May 23. A virtual concert from London will feature the 2019 Royal Philharmonic Society Young Artists of the Year.