Classical music makes you smarter – and if you don’t believe that, come to the Second City Chamber Music concert this Friday night and listen for yourself. On the program are works by Charles Ives, Leonard Bernstein, Irving Fine and Horatio Parker, all affiliated with either Harvard or Yale universities, and all fine American composers. Playing their music will be the Puget Sound Piano Trio, a product of our own little ivied institution here in Tacoma.
Bernstein, who only died in 1990, is probably the best known of the four: a Harvard graduate, world-famous conductor and composer of some of opera and Broadway’s best-loved music, including “West Side Story.” Irving Fine was an earlier Harvard graduate who went on to teach music theory there in the 1940s as an associate of Bernstein, Stravinsky and Copland. His music includes instrumental chamber music as well as more famous choral works like “Alice in Wonderland.”
Horatio Parker was an organist in Boston and New York who went on in 1904 to become Dean of Music at Yale for 15 years, composing organ, choral and orchestral works in a late Romantic style. And Ives, a later Yale alum, was America’s groundbreaking modernist, writing complex, profound and often highly challenging music based on simple folk or hymn melodies.
The concert’s part of Second City’s ongoing series “Hallowed Halls,” exploring music inspired by famous buildings; the final concert on May 11 travels to Hollywood. And for this one, director Svend Rønning has invited our own academic chamber group the Puget Sound Piano Trio, reformed in 2010 when newly-appointed cellist-in-residence David Requiro joined fellow faculty members Duane Hulbert (piano) and Maria Sampen (violin) to bring the group back after a few silent years. Since then they’ve proven their technical finesse and musical intelligence in numerous area concerts.
7:30 p.m. April 13. $32/$29/$10. Annie Wright Great Hall, 827 Tacoma Ave. S., Tacoma. 253-272-TUNE, scchamberseries.org