Music briefs: Emory Chamber Music cancels January concerts; Vega Quartet back at full strength

Emily Daggett Smith is the new violinist with the Vega Quartet.
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Emily Daggett Smith is the new violinist with the Vega Quartet.

Credit: Courtesy of Emory Chamber Music Society of Atlanta

Credit: Courtesy of Emory Chamber Music Society of Atlanta

The Emory Chamber Music Society of Atlanta has canceled all its January events due to the spike in COVID-19 cases.

Emory University has shifted to online classes through at least Jan. 31, and canceled all live concerts and master classes until then.

Although many of the society’s concerts were scheduled to be off campus, William Ransom — the society’s founder and artistic director — said the surge had created too many logistical issues to overcome.

“Because of out-of-town musicians, rehearsal limitations and technical limitations, we have decided not to try and livestream or record our January events, and just wait until February to pick things up again,” Ransom said in an email. “If this continues beyond Jan. 31, we will revisit that decision and go back to livestreaming.”

The canceled concerts are:

  • Jan. 16: Fernbank Museum Family Series “Dinosaurs and other Music Creatures” program
  • Jan. 21: Cooke Noontime Series featuring violinist Itamar Zorman
  • Jan. 28: Family Series Pajama Concert
  • Jan. 29: Emerson Series “String Theory” with violinist Cho-Liang Lin and friends
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Emily Daggett Smith (left) is the new violinist with the Vega Quartet.

Credit: Courtesy of Emory Chamber Music Society of Atlanta

Emily Daggett Smith (left) is the new violinist with the Vega Quartet.
caption arrowCaption
Emily Daggett Smith (left) is the new violinist with the Vega Quartet.

Credit: Courtesy of Emory Chamber Music Society of Atlanta

Credit: Courtesy of Emory Chamber Music Society of Atlanta

The Vega String Quartet fills out its roster

The Vega String Quartet, in residence at Emory University, is back to being a full quartet after spending most of the pandemic as a trio.

Violinist Elizabeth Fayette left the group at the beginning of the pandemic to pursue other opportunities. New first violinist Emily Daggett Smith will play her first concert with the group in February in Atlanta.

Smith has performed across the world, earning praise from the Boston Globe and the Seattle Times, and made her New York concerto debut at the age of 21 playing the Beethoven Concerto with the Juilliard Orchestra at Alice Tully Hall. She has also performed in Carnegie Hall, the Shanghai Grand Theatre and the Vienna Konzerthaus.

Her appearance as part of the “Beethoven For One” series in New York City was hailed by The New Yorker critic Richard Brody: “I’ve heard Beethoven performed in large and famous concert halls by some of the great quartets of the era (including the Juilliard, the Emerson, and the Takács); none came close to delivering the jagged immediacy and breathtaking intimacy of Saturday afternoon’s quartet . . . The greatness of these not-yet-famous musicians was revealed and exalted in closeup. . . For me, ‘Beethoven for One’ stands as an ideal and a corrective to the usual run of classical concerts, even after they’re able to resume.”


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Credit: ArtsATL

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