Reflections on a Year of Making Music Together Apart

Austin Chamber Music Center, Austin Classical Guitar, and Conspirare, with the support and encouragement of the Still Water Foundation, collaborated in the 20-21 season to support one another and share ideas during the COVID pandemic as we transitioned to in-home, streaming performances.

Collectively we are incredibly grateful to have been able to continue to serve, employ our artists and staff, and create music that inspired and connected our communities during this time of great challenge. This year of pivoting and innovating will inform our work as we return to in-person concerts. We’d like to share some of our lessons learned, some of the art itself, and reflect on what we think we might take forward into the future.

Throughout the season, the Executive/Managing Directors of each organization spoke every Friday to share ideas and lessons learned, frequently engaging other team-members and community members in certain discussions.

We are very grateful especially to all those friends near and far who believed in us, took steps with us into online streaming events, supported us, through this most unusual year. Here is a brief report on some of what we learned, and we welcome feedback, comments, and questions.

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Festival Mask Policy Update

Given the updated guidance from the CDC and the City of Austin, masks are no longer required for our outdoor Festival events but are recommended for unvaccinated people. Please contact us if you have questions about this updated protocol.

If you prefer to watch the livestream, virtual tickets are available for all Festival events on a sliding scale $0–40 and include on-demand access through July.

We look forward to sharing the final two concerts with you, live this Thursday and next!

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25th Annual Festival: Outdoors & Online

We are thrilled to announce that the 25th Annual Austin Chamber Music Festival will take place both outdoors and online!

The concerts will be held on the front lawn at the Neill-Cochran House Museum each Thursday evening May 27 through June 24. Seating pods of 1-4 people will be spaced six feet apart and masks will be required. If you prefer to watch the livestream, virtual tickets are available on a sliding scale and include on-demand access through July. Don’t forget to check out our Streaming Tips page if you are not yet familiar with our streaming platform.

Click the button below to check out the full Festival lineup and reserve your tickets!

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Spring Sessions on New & Improved Platform

The Chamber Connect: Spring Sessions are about to begin, and we are thrilled to be able to kick off a new year of concerts with you on our new virtual platform! The platform has been personalized for our ACMC audience and offers an elevated quality for streaming and on-demand video access. Get to know how it all works on our Streaming Tips page.

Tickets are available now through our box office page for the Spring Sessions, which begin on January 23. Similar to the fall, these programs will be accessible to everyone on a sliding scale. Only one ticket is needed per streaming device, and you can select the price that works best for you, between $0 and $40.

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A Charlie Brown Christmas New Virtual Event

ACMC presents its 9th annual celebration of A Charlie Brown Christmas this year as a special virtual event. To brighten your season, the program will be free to watch. Enjoy your favorite tunes from this holiday classic from the comfort of your home!

The concert features Vince Guaraldi’s original music from the animated television special. Returning to perform these iconic pieces is bassist Utah Hamrick, ACMC Artistic Director and pianist Michelle Schumann, and drummer Scott Laningham. Special guests include vocalist Michelle Haché and Ephraim Owens on trumpet. A new recording from KMFA Classical’s new Draylen Mason Music Studio is currently under production, and will be broadcast on Friday, December 11 at 7:30 PM CT and Sunday, December 13 at 4:00 PM CT.

Details & Registration

Fall Update for Education Programs

ACMC continues to bring safe learning opportunities to students during the 2020–2021 academic year! Virtual Composition classes are in session this fall as part of the Young Artists Academy, and ensemble coaching is in the works for the spring. Our faculty is working with students in our In-School Program virtually and in-person at outside locations, taking all necessary precautions. ACMC is currently producing educational videos as a virtual option for our School Concerts program; these videos will soon be available on our website to all schools and individuals as a teaching resource through the end of the school year.

For more details about our education programs, visit our Education Overview page.

Virtual Concerts Continue This Fall

The Austin Chamber Music Center is presenting brand new content as part of its virtual series, Chamber Connect. The new Fall Sessions will feature works by Bach, Schubert, Glass, Rachmaninov, Carlos Simon, and more. These evocative and thought-provoking programs will be recorded especially for the ACMC audience. The sessions include pre-concert talks as well as a live Zoom chat between the artists and the audience members. Each online event takes place on a Saturday at 7:30 PM CT: the first program, Kindred Spirits, on September 26; the second, be still and know, on October 17; and the third, Bach Remix, on November 14.

Performing these works are violinist Patrice Calixte of the Austin Symphony, cellist Prudence McDaniel of the Marian Anderson String Quartet, percussionist Thomas Burritt from the UT-Austin faculty, and pianist and ACMC Artistic Director Michelle Schumann.

Access links to these virtual events can be obtained by completing the fall registration form, which allows attendees to pay what they can on a sliding scale. Registrants will also receive on-demand access to the programs during the month of December.

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Update for Beethoven & the Infinite Ticketholders

ACMC has finalized our plans to finish out the 2019–2020 Tribute season, and we will present the Attacca Quartet virtually on September 12. To cap off our season of “big birthdays and big ideas,” the 2019 Grammy®-winning Quartet will take us on our Beethoven & the Infinite journey, featuring the String Quartet in E-Flat Major, Op. 127. Their performance will be recorded especially for Austin Chamber Music patrons. In addition to a stellar performance, the event will feature behind-the-scenes discussions on the music and the lives of our artists.

If you purchased tickets to the original Beethoven & the Infinite event scheduled for March, you don’t need to take any action to access to the exclusive Attacca concert stream. We will convert the value of your ticket into a donation the week of August 17, send you an electronic thank-you letter to acknowledge your tax-deductible contribution, and provide the information for accessing the concert shortly thereafter. If you have requested a refund, your refund will be processed the week of August 17 and you will not receive access to the Attacca stream.

For anyone who did not purchase tickets to Beethoven & the Infinite this past year, stay tuned for information on how you can join the exclusive virtual event!

2020 Virtual Festival Announcement

Artistic Director Michelle Schumann has created a Festival plan that maintains our wonderful ACMC spirit while keeping everyone safe and healthy.

We will move online for the Austin Chamber Music Festival, where, from June 27 through August 8, we will present a weekly series of  curated performances. Dr. Schumann will lead all of these musical features with narrative, interviews, and behind-the-scenes tidbits. Our world-class artist lineup includes: Pacifica Quartet, Anton Nel, the Butler Trio, a Black Artists & Composers program, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Duo Sonidos (a collaboration with Austin Classical Guitar), and the Horszowski Trio.

Join us on Saturday, June 6 for Michelle’s installment of Chamber Connect, where in addition to her performances of Beethoven, Chopin, and more, she will be making a special online Festival announcement and sharing some wonderful details!

All Festival gift certificates and account credits will be valid through 2022.

The 2020 Blue Bash – Now Free Online

ACMC is bringing our biggest event of the year, The Blue Bash, to your living room on Saturday, May 9 at 8 PM CT! Join Artistic Director Michelle Schumann along with the incredible Graham Reynolds and two ACMC alumni, composers Diana Burgess and Noah Simon, for performances and a look at how composition plays into our educational programs. Register to receive the access link. It is free to attend.

Please consider making a donation to support ACMC during our biggest fundraiser of the year, made all the more important at this difficult time. The first $15,000 raised will be matched 1:1 by one of our board members, to double your impact. Anyone who donates $500 or more will receive a special invitation to a party at the home of Executive Director Peter Helf with live music from Invoke. We’ll set the date when we can safely gather again. You will also have the option to order an antipasto platter with a bottle of wine for pick-up or delivery from our longtime sponsor Gusto Italian Kitchen + Wine Bar—orders accepted until Thursday, May 7 at 4 PM.

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