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Phillips Camerata on the Rise

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See my review of the debut of the Phillips Camerata in today's Washington Post:

Charles T. Downey, Phillips Camerata chamber ensemble has impressive debut at museum
Washington Post, October 11, 2011

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Weber, Clarinet Quintet (inter alia), Gaudier Ensemble
The Phillips Collection, one of the jewels among Washington’s crowd of museums, first opened its doors to the public 90 years ago. For 70 of those years, the museum has hosted a concert series. To honor both anniversaries, Caroline Mousset, the museum’s music director, has created a resident chamber music ensemble, the Phillips Camerata, which gave its maiden performance Sunday afternoon.

Resident ensembles have worked relatively well for other museums, like New York’s Metropolitan Museum Artists in Concert and several such groups at the National Gallery of Art. They can relieve some of the pressure of programming a season-long concert series, although in its first season the Phillips Camerata will perform only twice at the museum.

Mousset serves as the Camerata’s artistic director, programming music for each concert and selecting from a flexible roster of 14 musicians, which she says may grow to as many as 20. The second half of the concert, devoted to Carl Maria von Weber’s Clarinet Quintet in B-Flat, Op. 34, was animated by the virtuosity and musicality of lead performer Ricardo Morales, who is about to leave his seat as principal clarinetist of the Philadelphia Orchestra to take the same position at the New York Philharmonic.
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