Return to Mozart


For more than two centuries, listeners have found refuge in the music of Mozart during times of transition, social upheaval, and personal anguish. Looking to his music as a bridge between the earthly and divine, this program celebrates the redemptive qualities of Mozart’s music, by prefacing the composer’s Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, rightly regarded as the pinnacle of the composer’s achievement as a chamber music composer, with powerful works by Bartók and Shostakovich that speak to the candor of life’s adversities.

One can hardly point to a composer whose music is more colorful, vital, provocative, and above all, more personal, than Bela Bartók's. His Contrasts, which open this program, exploits the possibilities of both the clarinet and violin to the full, exploring the timbral differences between the instruments rather than reconciling and blending them. Shostakovich’s mournful second Piano Trio, composed as an elegy for the young Russian intellectual Ivan Sollertinsky, traces the writer’s path from youthful vigor to untimely death. But it is Mozart’s eternal message of beauty and hope, captured so sublimely in his Clarinet Quintet that concludes this program, that leaves us inspired, moved and filled with renewed optimism.

Few clarinetist today hold a position of such high esteem as David Shifrin, who leads a cast of extraordinary young CMS artists – virtuoso violinists Kristin Lee and Danbi Um, superb violist Mark Holloway, the thrilling artistry of cellist Dmitri Atapine, and the phenomenal pianist Gloria Chien – in a unique and unforgettable program that celebrates the redemptive quality of Mozart’s music.

  • Bartók: Contrasts for Violin, Clarinet, and Piano, Sz. 111, BB 116
  • Shostakovich: Trio No. 2 in E minor for Piano, Violin, and Cello, Op. 67
  • Mozart: Quintet in A major for Clarinet, Two Violins, Viola, and Cello, K. 581

Download progam here. Download program notes here.


Download artist bios here. Headshots available on the individual artist pages above.


This program is available for touring April 24-May 8, 2017.

For more information about booking CMS in North America, contact David Rowe Artists Management.