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Join Us For A Spectacular 74th Season!

SACMS continues to bring to San Antonio world-class chamber music season after season for your enjoyment. Our 74rd Season opens October 23, 2016, and we cannot wait for you to join us for five amazing performances that are sure to delight and enthrall! Get your tickets now, and skip the lines at the door on concert day.

Danish String Quartet

October 23, 2016

Brasil Guitar Duo

November 20, 2016

Aeolus Quartet

January 22, 2017

Les Amies Trio

February 26, 2017

Calmus Ensemble

April 23, 2017

Buy a Season Subscription and get bonus tickets!

Plus, tickets are interchangeable.
That’s right, Season Subscription tickets are good for any SACMS concert!


Hey! It’s an election year! Aren’t you just all aquiver with excitement??! Just imagine: months of our elected and wanna-be elected officials blathering on about issues they actually understand but little, nevertheless expounding wonderful (awesome?) solutions to every problem the nation faces. Just imagine!

But if you prefer not to imagine, I have some escape suggestions. To begin with, surely your TV has a “mute” button on it somewhere; use it! When it’s announced that so-and-so is giving an exclusive interview on a major channel, check out what’s on the Food Network. A little vicarious dessert will not expand your waistline nor affect your cardiac function and might even help you retain any vestige of sanity you may have left.

If you find yourself at a gathering, be it Sunday school, a cocktail party or a dinner, and someone says something like, “Can you believe that [fill in the blank}?!  [He/She] said that….”  Well, you get the picture.  After you’ve politely said, “How interesting,” you say, “And did you see that column by Martha Stewart on drying flowers?  Such a talented person.”  At that point your companion’s eyes should begin to glaze and you can continue to a more reasonable topic or just quietly slip away.

Things are a little trickier if The Other happens to be your spouse – but still not impossible.  There’s always the time-honored and always useful, “Huh?  Did you say something?”  And if there’s persistence (as there often is when couples have been together for more than two years), you might try, “Were you talking about the dishwasher?  It is making a funny noise, and I wish you’d have a look at it.  I guess we could just call the appliance repairman.”  I can almost guarantee that statement will change the conversation.

And last but not least, there are those really tricky situations when you find yourself trapped in an elevator or a carpool or across a bridge table, and there’s just no getting away from the venom.  That’s when, with tremendous self-restraint, you just nod your head – just like you’re hanging on every bead and drop – and send your mind off to some other more pleasant place.  With luck, the speaker will be so frothed about his/her subject, he/she won’t ask, “Don’t you agree?”

…we were all taught never, never, never to discuss religion or politics, right?  But some folks just can’t help themselves…

Of course, we were all taught never, never, never to discuss religion or politics, right?  But some folks just can’t help themselves and I hope the foregoing will help you avoid the pitfalls.  If not, and you find yourself unable to extricate yourself gracefully, try this:

“By the way, I’ve got a couple of extra tickets to the next San Antonio Chamber Music Concert.  Wouldn’t you like to hear beautiful music for a change?” Might work. Try it.

– E Doyle

Gracias, señor Polo

Muchas gracias, Marco Polo!!!  (Does that count as a mixed metaphor?)  If the great explorer had never made it to China, would we have had to wait a few more centuries to learn about the incredible tradition of Chinese music – or firecrackers, or paper, or gunpowder, for that matter?  But let’s just stick to the music, ok?

If you had the pleasure of attending the concert presented by the Shanghai String Quartet, you heard music I’ll bet you never heard before.  With Wu Man, who is the equivalent of a classical music rock star in Asia, the very polished quartet played evocative, calm music.  Then the quartet launched into Beethoven’s “Serioso” String Quartet in F minor; I suspect they did it just to prove that they are masters of Western music, too.  I think “impeccable” is the word I’m looking for….  Finally, a modern Chinese composition, Ghost Opera, with its sly asides and rollicking humor, all tied up in a ribbon of marvelous sound.

…a modern Chinese composition, Ghost Opera, with its sly asides and rollicking humor, all tied up in a ribbon of marvelous sound.

And let’s discuss this very small Chinese lady with her beautiful Chinese lute.  She is a ballerina of four strings, each graceful movement  eliciting sounds that simply carried the listener to an idealized China.  And here’s a very good reason to join the SA Chamber Music Society as a Patron:  over dinner, we had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of Honggang Li, the Shanghai Quartet’s magician of the viola.  He spoke about the music, of course, but he also analyzed modern China for us.  He allowed his dinner companions a view of where modern China has come from and where it seems to be headed.
…a ballerina of four strings, each graceful movement eliciting sounds that simply carried the listener to an idealized China.

So muchas gracias, señor Polo!   Not only did we learn about the pipa and the evocative music of China and how these particular musicians came to and mastered Western music, we learned something about China.  I’d call that an afternoon well spent.

– E Doyle

Out of “ex”es and “so”s

So… (don’t you just hate it when someone starts into a discussion of something with “so”?)  So, did you catch the Gryphon concert?  So, whadidja think?  I’m so glad you asked!  Me, I thought the concert was – what’s the word I’m looking for? – excellent?  exuberant ?  exceptional? extraordinary?

Okay, I’m out of “ex”es and “so”s.  Here’s the straight skivvy:  if you missed this one, you should now feel badly that you missed a beautiful performance from three uncommonly talented musicians.  If you were there, you left the Temple with a smile and, I hope, a feeling of satisfaction at having spent a Sunday afternoon learning about classical music and how trios can perform beyond their number.  One + one + one = more than three; these three musicians seem to equal more than the sum of their parts.

San Antonio Chamber Music Society presents the Gryphon Trio for the Las Americas Festival! Here's a glimpse of "Love Triangle" by Canadian composer from Sri Lanka, Dinuk Wijeratne -

Posted by Suhail Arastu on Sunday, January 24, 2016

A glimpse of “Love Triangle” by Canadian composer from Sri Lanka, Dinuk Wijeratne. Video by Suhail Arastu.

Furthermore, if you are a member of SACMS, you also enjoyed a really good dinner at a, well, a stable (in this case, the very classy stable at the Botanical Garden).  Not a member?  You would have thoroughly enjoyed meeting and talking with these 3 delightful Canadians (that would be Gryphon) over a gourmet dinner, and our after-concert dinners are always a great way to end the day.  You might want to look into it.

So, this is the kind of quality musical performance you’ve come to expect from the San Antonio Chamber Music Society.  Seventy-three years of Excellence.  That’s really amazing!  And there are two more concerts to come, don’t forget:  The Shanghai Quartet with Wu Man on February 28, and the Dover String Quartet on April 3.

So…see you there?  I hope so!

Gryphon Trio

Coming to San Antonio on January 24, 2016

Recently celebrating its 20th anniversary, the Gryphon Trio has impressed international audiences and the press with its highly refined, dynamic performances and has firmly established itself as one of the world’s preeminent piano trios. With a repertoire that ranges from the traditional to the contemporary and from European classicism to modern-day multimedia, the Gryphons are committed to redefining chamber music for the 21st century.

The Trio tours regularly throughout North America and Europe and their 17 recordings are an encyclopedia of works for the genre. They have commissioned over 75 new works, and regularly collaborate on projects that push the boundaries of chamber music. Honours include two Juno Awards for Classical Album of the Year, and the prestigious 2013 Walter Carsen Prize for Excellence in the Performing Arts from the Canada Council.

Deeply committed to the education of the next generation of audiences and performers alike, the Gryphons frequently conduct masterclasses and workshops at universities and conservatories, and are Artists-in-Residence at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music and Trinity College.

Gryphon cellist Roman Borys is Artistic Director of Ottawa’s Chamberfest. Annalee Patipatanakoon and Jamie Parker serve as the festival’s Artistic Advisors in addition to their responsibilities at the University of Toronto Faculty of Music, where Mr. Parker is the Rupert E. Edwards Chair in Piano Performance and Ms. Patipatanakoon is Associate Professor of Violin.

This concert is part of the LAS AMÉRICAS FESTIVAL

“This is a piano trio that plays with strength and unanimity… big, bold, almost orchestral performances.”

Los Angeles Times

“From the first measures you could hear the mastery the Gryphons bring to their core repertoire. The coloration was ravishing, especially in places like the last few minutes of the first movement where the violinist and cellist play in unison (or fifteenths more exactly) against dark sounds from the piano. The counterpoint in the slow movement was also striking”

Ottawa Citizen


Annalee Patipatanakoon (violin)
Roman Borys (cello)
James Parker (piano)


DEBUSSY Trio in G Major

WIJERATNE Love Triangle


RAVEL Trio in a minor


Temple Beth-El
Address: 211 Belknap Place
Time: 3:15 PM

Cure for Footballitis (and related ailments)

Footballitis:  the all-American ailment.  Symptoms include backache, blurry vision, weight gain, headaches (from slapping the forehead forcefully), bladder dysfunction (from waiting for half-time), disregard of hygiene and personal appearance and, the most common symptom, beer and bean dip-induced burps.  Depending on the month, footballitis is also commonly known as basketballitis and, in some areas of the country, hockeyitis.

Long term effects of these syndromes affect a number of neuromuscular and psychosocial systems.  Flaccid muscles – except those used for grasping beer cans and chair arms – are common sequelae as is abandonment by family members.  Sufferers may also experience tooth grinding, changes in blood pressure, spinal curvature and lower extremity edema from lack of movement.  Unused joints – especially knees, ankles and hips – may develop stiffness, arthralgia and, possibly, cobwebs.

There’s a cure!!

Sunday, January 24th is the day your footballitis will be completely – and inexpensively – cured.  Imagine!  No one will ask for your Medicare card or your insurance carrier, you will not be asked to sign 35 consent forms.  All you have to do is extract yourself from that Lazy-Boy and hobble over to Temple Beth-el by 3:15.  In that beautiful, peaceful space, you will absolutely forget about that blasted team, you will relax and you will just listen.  Listening to a group of Canadians (who are NOT playing hockey) perform wonderful, soothing music.  Better than Ben-Gay is the Gryphon Trio.


– E Doyle

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