Emory Chamber Music’s deep slate reaches out to many kinds of listeners

The Emory Chamber Music Society of Atlanta has announced its 2015-16 season, an ambitious slate of 25 concerts that feature top Atlanta musicians joined by accomplished guest artists.

The season opens Sept. 18 and runs through May 14. Oh, and one important detail: Due to the support of a variety of endowments, funds, foundations and Emory partners, almost all of the concerts are free.

ECMSA’s 23rd season again includes Cooke Noontime and Family Series concerts at the Michael C. Carlos Museum and Emerson Series concerts at the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts’ Emerson Concert Hall.

Among highlights …

8 p.m. Sept. 26: “Beethoven’s 5th” includes the great composer’s 5th violin sonata (“The Spring”), with Atlanta native and recent Juilliard graduate Margeaux Maloney and pianist William Ransom (Emory Chamber Music’s artistic director); the Vega String Quartet performing his 5th string quartet; and the 5th symphony for piano four hands, with Atlanta Chamber Players Artistic Director Elizabeth Pridgen and Ransom. (Emerson Concert Hall)

8 p.m. Nov. 6: “Vega in Vienna” previews the Vega String Quartet’s debut concert at the prestigious Musikverein concert hall in Vienna on Nov. 21. The program includes works by Beethoven, Zhou Long, Atlanta native David Garner and Mendelssohn. (Emerson Concert Hall)

4 p.m. Jan. 24: “CelloMania” featuring six cellists (Christopher Rex, Guang Wang, Roee Harran, David Hancock, Lexine Feng and Charae Kruger) performing everything from solos to group pieces. (Emerson Concert Hall)

4 p.m. Jan. 31: “Babar the Elephant,” set to Poulenc’s piano music, performed by Elena Cholakova and narrated by WABE-FM host Lois Reitzes. (Carlos Museum)

8 p.m. March 26: “Beethoven and Beer” program in which the audience can sample craft beers from Orpheus Brewing while listening to the Vega String Quartet and pianist Ransom. (Carlos Museum; tickets, $50)

Noon April 29: Atlanta Symphony Orchestra concertmaster David Coucheron and pianist Ransom perform Saint-Saëns’ Sonata in D Minor. (Carlos Museum)

8 p.m. May 14: World premiere of Emory composer Richard Prior’s String Quartet No. 3, plus Mendelssohn’s D Major Quartet, with the Vega String Quartet. (Emerson Concert Hall)

More information: arts.emory.edu.


Athens museum adds African-American, African art curator

The Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia in Athens has appointed Shawnya L. Harris as its first Larry D. and Brenda A. Thompson Curator of African American and African Diasporic Art.

Harris, who began work in mid-August, came from North Carolina’s Elizabeth City State University, where she taught courses in African-American art, 20th-century art and art appreciation.

Harris, who also taught at UNC Chapel Hill and Middle Tennessee State University, served as director of the University Galleries at North Carolina A&T State University for eight years. She has organized exhibitions focused on artists John Wilson, James McMillan, Joyce Wellman, Joseph Holston and Richard Hunt.

The Thompsons made the initial gift toward the endowment that funds Harris’ position (an endowed chair and an endowed professorship) when they donated a major collection of works of art by African-American artists to the museum in 2012.

Both husband and wife have ties to UGA. Larry Thompson, a former U.S. deputy attorney general based in Atlanta, rejoined the law school at UGA this fall as the John A. Sibley Professor in Corporate and Business Law. Brenda Thompson, a longtime arts patron, is chair-elect of the Georgia Museum of Art’s Board of Advisors.

Spruill Gallery opening ‘After Selma’ exhibit

Atlanta Celebrates Photography, the festival of exhibitions, lectures, commissions, collaborations and more at various venues throughout the metro area, mainly unfolds across the October calendar. But some notable exhibits under the ACP’s wide umbrella are opening this month, including, at Dunwoody’s Spruill Gallery, “After Selma, Work by Joshua Rashaad McFadden.”

Opening with a 6-9 p.m. Sept. 17 reception, the show includes pictures by the SCAD graduate student from the 50th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery march.

Like Atlanta photographer Sheila Pree Bright, who has photographed protests across the country this year in response to the string of police shootings of black young men, McFadden says he is interested in the different approaches of civil rights movement veterans versus politically minded young adults today. And like Bright, McFadden, a lensculture.com “Emerging Talents 2015” honoree and grant recipient, is drawn to intimate and unexpected moments amid the protests.

Through Oct. 24. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays. Spruill will host a “Projections & Conversations with the Artist” event at 6 p.m. Oct. 8. 4681 Ashford Dunwoody Road, Atlanta. 770-394-4019, www.spruillgallery.blogspot.com.

Meanwhile, Sheila Pree Bright’s work will be on view during “Flux Night 2015: Dream,” the annual one-night-only extravaganza of site-specific visual and performance art, being held Oct. 3 in the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood; and in the exhibit “1960 Now” at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia opening Sept. 25.

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