The Munich Philharmonic String Quartet comes to Newburgh on February 9 for an evening of chamber music that spans seven centuries. The concert, with a Valentine’s Day theme, begins at 7:30 p.m. at St. George’s Church, 105 Grand Street, Newburgh. It is sponsored by Newburgh Chamber Music.
The audience will also be treated to an appearance by rising stars from one of Orange County’s leading high school ensembles, Monroe-Woodbury’s Chamber Orchestra, an honors group led by music educator Lauren Byrne. After a coaching lesson from the quartet earlier in the day, the orchestra will open with a selection from Benjamin Britten’s “Simple Symphony.”
This is a return engagement for the quartet, which last performed for NCM in 2017 and again in 2019.
The quartet’s program will feature music by St. Hildegard von Bingen, the 12th century German Catholic nun and mystic. One of the few prominent women in medieval church history, and the rare female composer, her work sparked new interest in the latter part of the 20th century, leading to numerous translations and recordings of her chant melodies.
The program also will include Beethoven’s String Quartet Op. 18 No. 1, in F Major, and Alexander Borodin’s String Quartet No. 2 in D major.
The Munich artists – violinists Bernhard Metz and Clement Courtin, violist Konstantin Sellheim, and cellist Manuel von der Nahmer – are long-time members of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra. They individually have won prestigious international competitions and performed with many world-class conductors, including Zubin Mehta, Lorin Maazel, and Christian Thielemann.
Courtin, a native of France, began playing the violin at age 8. He joined the Munich Philharmonic in 2006. Previously he was concertmaster of the Amadeus Chamber Orchestra in France, with which he made solo appearances in Norway, China and Japan.
Sellheim has toured throughout Asia and America. After serving as a member of the Staatskapelle Berlin under Daniel Barenboim, he joined the Munich Philharmonic in 2006. He has appeared on numerous radio and television programs and recorded albums with his sister Katharina and with the Munich Philharmonic’s viola quartet.
Von der Nahmer, a native of Germany, took his first cello lessons at age 9. He has been a cellist with the Munich Philharmonic since 1997. He has won numerous competitions in Europe and studied at the Yale School of Music. He has appeared as a soloist with several orchestras in Europe and the United States.
Tickets are $35 for adults, $30 for seniors, and $10 for students. They are available at the door (cash of check only) or at newburghchambermusic.org.
St. George’s is handicapped accessible with parking across the street. Audience members are invited to meet the artists at a post-concert reception.