Philip Lewis,
Artistic Director


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15.Nov: Dallas Morning News: Circle of winners drafted - Musical all-stars team up for Chamber Music International

RICHARDSON -- Chamber Music International presents programs in Richardson and Dallas, but it justifies that third word in its title by the international character of its performing musicians. Founder Philip Lewis has a lot to do with that. He has wide connections in the chamber-music field and is also able to call on colleagues at the University of North Texas, where he teaches.

Saturday night's performance at the Eisemann Center in Richardson brought together pianist Jon Nakamatsu, violinists Nai- Yuan Hu and Mr. Lewis, violist Paul Coletti and cellists Bion Tsang and Jungshin Lim Lewis. They included a generous share of prizewinners, notably Mr. Nakamatsu, a former gold medalist at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.

The pianist has seen plenty of action in this area, so it was easy to predict how his portion of the program would go. The playing would be polished and sensitive, with a solid sense of the classical style. And that's how it went with Haydn's Piano Trio in G major, which was cleanly played and easy-flowing and above all personable in transmitting the sense of joy so dominant in the composer's music.

Although Mr. Hu's violin tone seemed a little thin, his playing was otherwise clean and musical. Ms. Lewis' cello projected strongly.

The Eisemann Center has shown some acoustical deficiencies in past orchestral performances, but Saturday night's chamber program posed no problems. Perhaps the configuration had been changed; the back of the stage shell appeared to have been moved forward a bit to close up the space.

Glazunov's String Quintet in A major, which brought all of the evening's musicians together, was an appealing performance despite one unavoidable mishap: A string on Mr. Hu's violin broke in the middle of the first movement, forcing a short break. This happens now and then. With a concerto, the soloist and concertmaster can do a quick trade of instruments to keep the performance going. In a quintet, nobody is free to lend an instrument.

Alas, an early deadline forced me to cut out before Brahms' Piano Quartet No. 1, which would have spotlighted Mr. Nakamatsu again.
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