Chamber Music Society of Detroit to return to live performances in May

Maureen Feighan
The Detroit News

The Chamber Music Society of Detroit will return to live, though socially-distanced, performances in May, one featuring a violin and piano performance rooted in classical, Latin jazz and Afro-Cuban traditions and award-winning string quartet.

On May 8, Cuban brothers Ilmar Gavilán and Aldo López-Gavilán will perform a one-hour concert featuring Aldo's "genre-defying" compositions at the recently renovated Flagstar Strand Theatre in Pontiac.

And on May 15, the Verona Quartet, a four-person string quartet that recently won Chamber Music America’s Cleveland Quartet Award, will perform Dvořák’s “American” String Quartet, Reena Esmail’s Quartet, and Strauss’ Sextet from “Capriccio” at Seligman Performing Arts Center in Beverly Hills. They'll be joined by two young Sphinx Competition laureates, violist Jordan Bak and cellist Nicholas Mariscal, for two performances, one at 5 p.m. and another at 8.

On May 15, the Verona Quartet will perform performs Dvořák’s “American” String Quartet, Reena Esmail’s Quartet and Strauss’ Sextet from “Capriccio."

All of the performances will be presented without intermission and with social-distancing protocols in place for ticket-holders. Masks will be required. The performances will also be live-streamed and available digitally for those who can't attend in person.

The May concerts mark the first live performances since the Chamber Music Society pivoted last spring to begin offering livestreamed concerts through an online streaming platform called CameraMusic. Since then, the chamber has streamed more than 30 concerts to date featuring 60 music collaborators from all over the country, including the National Philharmonic. Those concerts have reached more than 200,000 people in six continents, said Stephen Wogaman, president of the Chamber Music Society of Detroit.

Brother Ilmar Gavilán and Aldo López-Gavilán perform May 8 at the Flagstar Strand Theatre in Pontiac.

"After lots of trial and error over the past year, we now have a very robust capacity to webcast concerts both live and pre-recorded, and plan to continue this work long after the COVID-19 pandemic is over," said Wogaman in an email.

Tickets for the May 8 and May 15 concerts are $30 for adults; $25 for seniors; and $10 for students. Go to or call (313) 335-3300.