In the Chamber Music Series at the Legion of Honor, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco present free concerts in collaboration with the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music (SFFCM). Now in its fourth season, this popular series is held one Sunday each month from January to June. Concerts are from noon to 2:00 p.m. in the Rodin Gallery (Gallery 10) and are free of charge after museum admission. The performing ensembles are either affiliates of SFFCM or recipients of grants from the Musical Grant Program, and together they represent the tremendous diversity of musical talent here in the Bay Area.
January, February, and March concerts feature music composed during the reign of Louis XIV, in conjunction with the special exhibition Royal Treasures from the Louvre: Louis XIV to Marie-Antoinette at the Legion of Honor through March 17, 2013. Performers have been asked to create programming that is inspired by the exhibition, thus bringing together the visual and performing arts in a public setting to stimulate the imagination and enhance the experience of visitors at the museum.
The Galax Quartet is modeled after an early version of the string quartet—two violins, cello, and viola da gamba—developed by the eighteenth-century composer and viola da gamba virtuoso Carl Friedrich Abel. Since 2005, the Galax Quartet has been commissioning new music, exploring early works, and performing these in unexpected collaborations. The quartet has performed new works (Mark Mellits, Carl Stone, Dan Becker) on concert series in Northern California; played Bach’s Art of the Fugue alongside Hubble Telescope images at the Santa Cruz Baroque Festival; recorded film music by Belinda Reynolds for PBS (The New Metropolis); and accompanied computer images from virtual worlds with mathematician and sci-fi writer Rudy Rucker. Each member of the Galax Quartet is a specialist in the field of early music.
Upcoming dates in 2013 are: March 17, April 21, May 1, and June 16.
Ensembles presented in previous seasons include: Hausmann Quartet, Duo Revirado, Classical Revolution, Bridge Chamber Virtuosi, Del Sol String Quartet , and Les Grâces, all in 2010; New Esterházy Quartet, Musical Arts Quintet, Revolution Quartet, the Rhythm Sisters, Voices of Music, San Francisco Guitar Quarte, and sfSound in 2011; and Eos Ensemble, Ariel Ensemble, Vocallective, Revolution Quartet, Musical Arts Quintet, Assisi Quartet, Gold Coast Chamber Players, and Left Coast Ensemble in 2012.