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Chamber Group to Stay in County Despite Small Turnout

September 01, 1988|CHRIS PASLES | Times Staff Writer

In a bid to draw larger audiences, the Southwest Chamber Music Society will offer its second season of Orange County performances at the Newport Harbor Art Museum in Newport Beach.

Last year, when it performed at Santa Ana High School, the fledgling society's audiences were only half of what they were in Pasadena, where the same programs were offered.

"It was evident that people didn't want to come to (Santa Ana) on Sunday afternoon for a serious music concert," Jeff von der Schmidt, artistic director of the society, said Wednesday. The society hopes the art museum will be a more attractive locale, he said.

The season will begin Oct. 22. Eight concerts will be offered, each on a Saturday at 8 p.m. The Lyon Room at the museum will accommodate 80 to 100 people.

The society drew an average of 25 listeners to each of its five concerts at the 1,500-seat Santa Ana High School auditorium last year. Comparable figures, von der Schmidt said, were 70 in Pasadena and 35 in Claremont, where performances were offered at the United Methodist Church.

The society has decided to eliminate Claremont from its itinerary this year because ticket sales are not expected to improve significantly, according to von der Schmidt. The shift in the Orange County location, however, has him "feeling encouraged that we have the right location and the right time" for audience growth.

He was not surprised at the stronger response in Pasadena, saying that city has "the longest track record (among the local communities) . . . of being involved with the performing arts."

Von der Schmidt said the musical focus of the second season will be "the round-number birthdays" of composers Leonard Bernstein, who turned 70 last Thursday; Elliott Carter, Olivier Messiaen and Halsey Stevens, all of whom are 80; Karlheinz Stockhausen, 60, and Charles Wuorinen, 50.

Each program will be offered in Pasadena on the Friday before it is offered in Newport Beach. Dates and repertory:

--Oct. 21 and 22: Haydn's Trio in E-flat minor; Schoenberg's "Ode to Napoleon," Brahms' Quintet in F minor.

--Nov. 11 and 12: Ricercar from Bach's "Musical Offering"; Webern's Variations for Piano Solo and Movement for String Trio (Op. post.); Ernst Krenek's "Parvula Corona Musicalis"; Schubert's "Trout" Quintet.

--Dec. 2 and 3: Evening of Lieder, including Schubert's "Auf dem Strom" and "Der Hirt auf dem Felsen."

--Feb. 17 and 18: Stockhausen's "Im Freudenschaft" (for flute), "Adieu" for Wind Quintet and "Zeitmasse" No. 5 for Winds; Beethoven's Sonata No. 26 ("Les Adieux") and Sonata No. 32.

--March 10 and 11: Selections from Messiaen's "Vingt regards" for Piano; William Kraft's Quartet for the Love of Time; Dvorak's "Dumky" Trio.

--April 7 and 8: Haydn's Quartet No. 83; Wuorinen's Quartet No. 3, Ravel's Quartet in F.

--May 19 and 20: Selections from Bernstein's "Seven Anniversaries for Piano"; Copland's "Vitebsk" for Piano; Carter's Piano Sonata; Halsey Stevens' Trio No. 2.

--June 9 and 10: Mozart's Quintet in C, K. 515; Sessions' Quintet; Shostakovich's Quintet in G minor.

Tickets to each program will cost $12 for general admission, $5 for seniors and full-time students. Subscriptions will be available at discounts of 15%. For further information, call (213) 669-5303.

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