The Chamber Music Society of Palm Beach, conceived to bring world-class musicians to the island, is in its seventh season and it’s going to be huge.
Seven years ago, Julliard-trained, accomplished and world-renowned musician Vicki Kellogg decided that despite our region’s rich cultural offerings, there was a void that needed to be filled. She aimed to bring the world’s best musicians to Palm Beach to perform the world’s best chamber music. A modern-day Pied Piper, Kellogg tapped into her contacts at Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (lovingly referred to as “the Mother Ship” of chamber music), where she serves on the board of directors, and scoured the globe to locate the world’s finest musicians and entice them to follow her to Palm Beach. They did. Fast-forward, and world-class musicians, including those who play at Lincoln Center, are vying to perform here, thanks to what Kellogg has so passionately created with the Chamber Music Society of Palm Beach.
“We don’t use any local musicians. They're flown in from Paris, New York, Santiago… you name it,” says CMSPB Executive Director Douglas Evans. “You’ll only get the best of the best when you come to our concerts.” In one of its greatest achievements to date, CMSPB has enlisted the young yet wondrously distinguished French musician Arnaud Sussmann to serve as artistic director. Prior to collaborating with Kellogg and Evans to carefully select the performers and pieces for the curated season ahead, he flew in to explore Palm Beach’s finest venues, playing his violin solo to test the acoustics. “You’d think there was manna from heaven when this man plays his violin,” describes Evans. “It’s emotional. It’s overwhelming.”
And as the world prepares to celebrate the 250th birthday of Beethoven in 2020, CMSPB is already a step ahead. On Sunday, Dec. 15, a trio of highly regarded, prominent musicians—Clive Greensmith, Yura Lee and Orion Weiss— converged to perform three of Beethoven’s most beloved pieces at the Norton Museum of Art. “In chamber music, there’s no maestro. The musicians have to play off one another, making an incredible human connection,” explains Evans. “You can hear it as the music transitions from somber to joyful. You can see it on their faces and in their movements,” he says. “It’s absolutely enthralling. Bring tissues.”