This Friday, September 16th at 7:30pm at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, the Winnipeg Chamber Music Society (WCMS) will be launching their 2022-23 season with a gala opening concert that features the music of Brahms, Dohnnayi, and Dvorak.

This is going to be a really memorable concert, because the members the WCMS will be joined by Brandon born Canadian violin virtuoso James Ehnes. What perfect way to start out the WCMS’s 35th anniversary season?

The core players of the WCMS are pianist David Moroz, violinists Gwen Hoebig and Karl Stobbe, and cellist Yuri Hooker. All of the string players are also principal players with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.

For this group of musicians, having James Ehnes perform with them has been a long time coming. As pianist and Artistic Director of the WCMS David Moroz explains, “James is an old friend of all of ours. We have been looking for a way to invite him to come and play some chamber music for years and years…but he is extraordinarily busy. He plays a lot of concerts. To line up a time when all of us are free and he is free, and on the same continent and can actually visit us…it was very, very difficult.”

Thankfully, the conditions were right for this chamber music event to finally, at long last take place. Ehnes is performing the Beethoven violin concerto with the WSO, and the administration at the WSO very graciously ceded his exclusivity arrangement so that he could perform with the WCMS.

With the hurdle of finding a date and opportunity to perform together tackled, there then came the logistics of rehearsing the music for the concert, in the short time frame that Ehnes is here.

Ehnes arrives in Winnipeg around dinner time on Thursday, September 15th which gives the musicians an opportunity to rehearse Dvorak’s 2nd Piano quintet op 81 that is on the program that evening.

Ehnes is in rehearsal with the WSO on Friday, September 16th in the morning, and on Friday afternoon, the string players in the WCMS are involved with WSO rehearsals. The only two musicians on the program that are not involved in the Friday afternoon symphony rehearsal are pianist David Moroz and Ehnes.

Instead of taking the time off to put your feet up and relax… Ehnes and Moroz are taking that Friday afternoon to rehearse for a performance of Brahms’ gorgeous and lyrical 2nd violin sonata, for that evening’s concert.

The final piece the Winnipeg Chamber Music Society’s members will be performing is Dohnanyi’s fantastic Serenade for String trio in C major. With the knowledge that this concert is happening, violinist Karl Stobbe will be putting down his violin and switching to viola to perform alongside Gwen Hoebig and Yuri Hooker.

Despite the tight time frame and the logistical obstacles that were created by this concert, these five supremely talented musicians will be sure to put on an outstanding concert! These works are well known to all of the musicians, and the concert will very much be an opportunity for long-time friends to get together and converse through music.

Tickets for this concert are $40.00, and can be purchased through e-transfer or by emailing the WCMS at thewcms@gmail.com. This is a concert not to be missed!