CMS at 50 Exhibition
Open now. Ends March 7th, 2020.
The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center, Plaza Level Lobby (located at 40 Lincoln Center Plaza)
We are thrilled to share with you, through this exhibition, a sampling of CMS’s rich history and diverse activities. If you are intrigued by the overview of CMS, we encourage you to join us for concerts, lectures, master classes, family performances, and more, in Alice Tully Hall and the Daniel and Joanna S. Rose Studio.
About the Timeline
Created to coincide with the celebratory 50th anniversary of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, this linear history shows the depth, diversity, and growth of chamber music over 370 years. Organized by decade, works of music are juxtaposed with historical events which add context and relevance. Select pieces of music are accompanied by enlightening call-outs at the bottom, which reveal their significance and contribute further detail.
An effort has been made to paint a broad portrait of chamber music. While history’s well-known chamber music composers appear prominently (and often dominate certain historical periods), lesser-known and sometimes out-of-the-mainstream composers make important contributions, enriching the fabric of this vibrant art form.
During its half century, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center has widened the traditional concept of the chamber music genre. In addition to string quartets and piano trios, CMS’s repertoire includes pieces for instruments alone (such as Bach’s Solo Cello Suites), duo sonatas, ensemble works for as many as 23 players (Strauss’s Metamorphosen), compositions involving other disciplines such as dance, and works employing non-traditional chamber instruments such as the organ, tape recorder, harmonium, pipa, and accordion.
Chamber music’s defining, exclusive asset is the musical intimacy it inspires between performers and listeners. CMS also recognizes chamber music’s significance beyond its own genre, its essential role in the development of music itself. Composers often deployed their most experimental, cutting-edge, and boundary-breaking ideas for chamber music, a practice which continues today. This timeline incorporates a visual impact as well: the evolution of chamber music can be seen in both overview and detail. On each panel, key “Milestone” works—the innovative and imaginative landmark compositions that headline CMS’s concerts this season—are highlighted in color. Included in the final panels are all of the works commissioned and brought to the stage by CMS since 1969, which in this context reveal the organization’s contribution to the art form.
Prepared by the artistic staff of the Chamber Music Society with special assistance from Bruce Adolphe and Morris Rossabi.
Designed by Adam Cohen.