It seems that all of a sudden, chamber music has made a return to society's consciousness.
Chamber music is classical music played with six or fewer instruments such as harpsichords, lutes or cellos. The concert form returns to Cape Girardeau with the Sundays at 3 2008-2009 chamber music series at the Shuck Recital Hall on the Southeast Missouri State University River Campus beginning Sunday.
In past years, the concerts have been held at Old St. Vincent's Church, but Shuck Recital Hall will now host the shows for the sake of acoustics.
The series consists of six performances that will be spaced out over eight months. The season kicks off at 3 p.m. Sunday with a performance from Chamber Music St. Louis, five ladies who will perform works from Bruch, Saint-Saens and Debussy.
The Nov. 16 performance will feature Bulgarian cellist Valentina Takova. She will be joined by pianist Jennifer Judd and violinist Brandon Christensen, who is also the founder and creative director of Sundays at 3.
"Six years ago, I saw that there were no professional chamber music series in town," Christensen said. "There was student stuff and the occasional recital, but there was no venue for regular performances by outside professional groups to come into the area."
He said he thinks that regular performances fill a cultural gap in Cape Girardeau and Southeast Missouri.
Christensen earned a doctorate of musical arts from Stony Brook University in New York. He joined the faculty at Southeast in the fall of 2002 and maintains a vigorous concert schedule. In recent seasons he has performed regularly throughout the region, as well as in Italy, Finland and China. In addition to his teaching duties at Southeast, he maintains active private studios in both Cape Girardeau and St. Louis.
Liesl Shoenberger will perform Dec. 21. Other performances will be Feb. 15 and April 19 with the final show of the series at 3 p.m. May 10. General admission seats are $15. Tickets are $10 for senior citizens and Southeast faculty or staff and $2.50 for Southeast students. Students age 6 to 17 accompanied by an adult get in free. Tickets are available at the door or in advance at the River Campus.