Naumburg Foundation and Town Hall Celebrate 50 Years of Chamber Music

The two New York cultural institutions are to host a gala concert on October 8, 2021

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The Brentano Quartet, which will be performing at the gala.

 

After a 50 year hiatus, chamber music with New York's Walter W. Naumburg Foundation and Town Hall is returning — with performances by nine past Naumburg winners.

Performers include the American, Brentano, Emerson, Pacifica, and Telegraph String Quartets; Eighth Blackbird; soprano Dawn Upshaw; clarinetist Charles Neidich and pianist Anton Nel. They will perform works from Haydn to Santaolalla to Bartók.

The relationship between Naumburg and Town Hall began in 1925 when Naumburg artists gave debut concerts at Town Hall, a 1,500-seat non-profit venue in New York City created by suffragists in 1921.

Town Hall has hosted a number of cultural and musical milestones in its 100 years — including the United States debuts of Richard Strauss and Isaac Stern, Bob Dylan's first major concert, and the public discussion show "America's Town Meeting of the Air."

The Naumburg Foundation, established in 1926 by banker and amateur cellist Walter Naumburg, helps young classical musicians launch careers through competitive funding, initially on the premise of a cash prize and those debut concerts at Town Hall. Awards were given each year to a number of pianists, string players, and vocalists until Naumburg's death in 1959.

Naumburg’s first international chamber music competition was held for string quartets in 1965, at a time when chamber music was rising to prominence.

Previous first prize winners include: Louis Kaufman, Robert Mann, Berl Senofsky, Joseph Silverstein, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Leonidas Kavakos, Axel Strauss, Frank Huang, and VC Artist Tessa Lark.

Tickets for the 50th Anniversary concert can be purchased on the Town Hall website.