Concert Season

Pre-Concert Lecture Series
The New Orleans Friends of Music offers its free pre-concert lecture series again this season. Each lecture, in which Tulane music professor John Joyce, discusses the works to be performed, will begin at 7 p.m. and will conclude by 7:40 p.m. in order that those attending may be comfortably seated by concert time. There is no admission charge for any lecture. All concerts and the pre-concert lecture will be held in Dixon Hall.


2014-15 Concert Season

Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Dixon Hall, 7:30 PM

Musical America’s 2012 “Musicians of the Year,” cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han rank among the most esteemed and influential classical musicians in the world today. The talent, energy, imagination, and dedication they bring to their multifaceted endeavors as concert performers, recording artists, educators, artistic administrators, and cultural entrepreneurs go unmatched. In high demand year after year among chamber music audiences worldwide, the duo appears each season at the most prestigious venues and concert series across the United States, including the New Orleans Friends of Music where they have been audience favorites for many years.

"Partners in music and in Life, Finckel and Wu Han surmount all the formidable technical, tonal, and musical challenges and play with absolute security, conviction and authority...” STRINGS

New Orleans program (subject to change):
Strauss: Sonata in F-Major, Op. 6
Messiaen: Louange à l'Éternité de Jésus
Albeniz: Suite Espagnole Op. 47
Glazunov: Song of a Minstrel
Chopin: Sonata in G-minor, Op. 65


Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Dixon Hall, 8:00 PM

The Quatuor Ébène has grown from a "promising young quartet to one of the foremost quartets on the international scene today. Since the 2007-2008 season, the quartet has been heard throughout Europe, Canada and the United States. The quartet’s recording of the Debussy, Ravel, and Fauré quartets was awarded “Chamber Music Record of the Year” by ECHO-Klassik, and “Recording of the Year” by Gramophone. Their 2010 Jazz and World Music cd, entitled “Fiction,” received an Echo Award and nearly hit the top of the charts. These truly modern musicians are equally adept interpreting the great classics and amazing audiences with their ability to improvise like “seasoned jazz musicians.”

“A string quartet that can easily morph into a jazz band”, praised the New York Times’ Alan Kozinn

New Orleans program (subject to change):
Haydn: String Quartet in F minor, Op. 20, No. 5
Bartok: String Quartet No. 4
Jazz Selections


Tuesday, December 2, 2014
Dixon Hall, 8:00 PM

Descending from the great Russian musical tradition, the Hermitage Piano Trio is distinguished by its exuberant musicality, interpretative range, and sumptuous sound. The Trio excels at performing an enormous range of music and has a wide repertoire from Shostakovich, Arensky, and Tchaikovsky to Haydn, Beethoven, Dvořák, and Brahms. Based in the United States, the members of the Hermitage Piano Trio have taught at the Eastman School of Music, Boston University, Oberlin College, and the Tanglewood Music Center, and have recorded for the Mariinsky Label, Naxos, Marquis Records, and ALM Records.

“three of Russia’s most spectacular young soloists… turned in a performance of such power and sweeping passion that it left you nearly out of breath.” THE WASHINGTON POST

New Orleans program (subject to change):
Shostakovich: Trio No. 1 in C minor, Op. 8
Arensky: Trio No. 1 in D minor, Op. 32
Rachmaninoff: Trio No. 2 n D minor, “Elégiaque”, Op. 9


Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Dixon Hall, 8:00 PM

American-born lyric tenor Matthew Polenzani is well-known to audiences for his performances at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. He also frequently appears in recital in this country at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center and has sung at Wigmore Hall in London with tonight’s accompanist, Julius Drake. In 2004 he was the recipient of the Richard Tucker Award and the Metropolitan Opera’s 2008 Beverley Sills Artist Award. In 2007 he opened Lincoln Center’s Art of the Song series. This more intimate art form highlights the qualities that make his opera performance so communicative.

Mr. Polenzani sang with exquisite grace and simplicity. As always, his voice was warm and tender, his musicianship impeccable, his diction clear and conversational... Mr. Polenzani’s rhapsodic singing was by turns declamatory, fervent and mysterious.” Anthony Tommasini, THE NEW YORK TIMES

“Few singers today command the sheer beauty and timbre and dynamic control of Matthew Polenzani.” OPERA NEWS\

New Orleans program (subject to change):
Liszt: Five Selected Songs
Liszt: Four songs of Victor Hugo
Ravel: 5 Mélodies Populaires Grecques
Satie: 3 Mélodies
Barber: Hermit Songs, Op. 29




Come dine with Matthew Polenzani and Julius Drake immediately after their concert, January 20th, in the Reception Room adjacent to Dixon Hall. The artists will talk with our audience about their careers and answer questions posed by Maestro Robert Lyall of the New Orleans Opera and the audience, this to be followed by a buffet dinner and wine catered by our own chef Bill Laderer. Tickets are limited so order right away! Note well: if you are not a subscriber, you must purchase your concert ticket separately from the dinner. Click here to order concert and/or dinner tickets.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Dixon Hall, 8:00 PM

The Danish String Quartet, three Danes and one Norwegian, came together in 2002, referring to themselves as modern Vikings “with above-average amounts of beard.” Quickly achieving success, in 2006, the Quartet was Danish Radio’s “Artist in Residence” and recorded all of Carl Nielsen’s string quartets. In 2009 it won First Prize in Eleventh London International String Quartet Competition. In 2011 the group was awarded Denmark’s highest cultural award, the Carl Nielsen Prize. The prestigious Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Two invited the Quartet to be part of its program in 2013-2014.

“Four musicians making an unforgettable debut.” Janos Gereben, SAN FRANCISCO CLASSICAL VOICE

New Orleans program (subject to change):
Bartok: Quartet no. 1
Traditional Scandinavian folk music (arr. The Danish String Quartet)
Carl Nielsen: Quartet no. 4 in f major


Tuesday, March 10, 2015
Dixon Hall, 8:00 PM

The Poulenc Trio is the most active touring piano-wind chamber music ensemble in the world. Since its founding in 2003, the Trio has performed in more than 40 states in the U.S and at music festivals around the world, including the Ravello Festival in Italy, the San Miguel Allende Festival in Mexico, and the White Nights Festival in Russia. Combining brilliant 21st- century vibrancy with the best European instrumental tradition, the Trio’s performances leap beyond the ordinary into a world of beautiful sonorities, playful rhythms and dramatic excitement.

“Virtuosos of classical and contemporary chamber music… The performance was a true wonder.” Olga Busigina, St. Petersburg (Russia) Television News

" intriguing and beautifully played program" with "convincing elegance, near effortless lightness and grace." THE WASHINGTON POST

New Orleans program (subject to change):
Beethoven: Trio op 11
Schnittke: Suite in the Old Style
Shostakovich: Romance, op.97a (from the filmscore of The Gadfly)
Shostakovich: A Spin Through Moscow (from the operetta Moscow, Cheryomushki)
Poulenc: Trio for Oboe, Bassoon and Piano
Previn: Trio for Oboe, Bassoon and Piano



Poulenc Trio Master Class for Young Musicians

The Trio, deeply engaged in musical and educational outreach programs, will conduct a master class for winners of New Orleans’ own chamber music competition NOLA ChamberFest on Sunday, March 8th, 5:00 PM in Loyola’s Nunemaker Auditorium. Two groups will be chosen to perform on March 10th, 7:00PM, before the Poulenc Trio’s Dixon Hall concert. The Master Class is open to the public. For information about the competition, contact

Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Dixon Hall, 8:00 PM

For this performance, the Emerson String Quartet’s 19th appearance for New Orleans Friends of Music, Paul Watkins joins the group on cello. Formed in 1976, the Quartet took its name from the American poet and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson. In its 30 years’ existence, the Quartet has produced a remarkable discography, and its recordings have received two Grammys©, three Gramophone awards, the Avery Fisher Prize, and many other accolades. The Quartet has played in venues all over the world and, in May and June 2014 embarked on a tour of South America, Asia, and Australia.

“The precision and grace with which the ensemble dispatched the opening of the final movement was breathtaking, and by the adrenaline-pumping coda it was difficult to sit still." ANDANTE

"The Emerson has staked its claim to being the one indispensable quartet in a world that is constantly creating more, excellent ensembles." NEWSDAY

New Orleans program (subject to change):
Purcell: Chacony
Berg: Lyric Suite
Ravel: Quartet




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