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No.she044April 18, 2024

Suntory Hall Chamber Music Garden 2024
June 1-16, 2024

This early summer’s Suntory Hall Chamber Music Garden (CMG), an annual celebration of chamber music in all forms and sizes, takes place on June 1-16 in the “Blue Rose” (Small Hall). Founded in 2011 in order that people can experience chamber music up close in an intimate setting, CMG has now developed into Japan’s largest chamber music festival. This year, a total of 21 concerts will take place over 16 days, including the complete Beethoven String Quartet cycle, an important and popular feature of the festival.

Every year, the festival opens with a concert produced and performed by the hall’s President and cellist Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi. This year, he and his regular partner, pianist Michie Koyama, perform the complete Beethoven sonatas for cello and piano over two days (June 1, 4).

This year’s Beethoven String Quartet cycle will be performed by Verus String Quartet, who is only the second Japanese quartet to take on the cycle at CMG (June 8-15). Formed by four students of the Toho Gakuen School of Music in 2006, they have matured into one of the leading string quartets in this country. They have given performances of the complete Beethoven cycle in Tokyo and Oita, and a recording of the cycle is ongoing from the fontec label. It will be a great opportunity to witness the group’s evolving interpretation.

Aoi Trio’s highly popular seven-year project for the CMG also centres around Beethoven, surveying all of his piano trios in combination with other diverse repertoire. Now in its fourth year, the programme will combine Beethoven’s “Gassenhauer” Trio (Op. 11) with piano trios by two anniversary composers, Fauré and Smetana (June 6). They will also take part in the CMG Finale concert with selected fellows of Suntory Hall’s Chamber Music Academy (June 16).

This year, CMG invites three string quartets from abroad, which will each collaborate with Japanese artists. Quatuor Voce from France will perform a French programme, collaborating with Mutsumi Hatano in a string quartet arrangement of Debussy’s Prose lyriques (June 7). Quatuor Danel, artists recently in residence at London’s Wigmore Hall, focuses on 20th century Russian music including Weinberg’s String Quartet No. 6 and Shostakovich’s Piano Quintet with Keisuke Toyama (June 10). The renowned Jerusalem Quartet makes a welcome return after their stunning Beethoven cycle in 2021. Their programme will culminate in Dvorák’s glorious Piano Quintet with CMG regular, Yu Kosuge (June 14).

Kosuge will also produce a special performance of Schoenberg’s groundbreaking work, Pierrot Lunaire to mark the composer’s 150th anniversary. She has assembled a great international line-up of musicians, including mezzo-soprano Michaela Selinger. Stravinsky and Ravel make up the rest of the programme.

In recent years, CMG has featured chamber music performed on historical instruments. This year, French-based Atsushi Sakai (Viola da gamba) and distinguished keyboard player Yoshio Watanabe (Harpsichord) will give an evening of Bach’s sonatas for viola da gamba and harpsichord.

“Precious 1 pm” is a popular series of one-hour concerts held on weekday lunchtimes with talks by the artists from the stage. In addition to the aforementioned duo of Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi and Michie Koyama (June 4), Naoko Yoshino (harp) will pair up with Berlin Philharmonic principal flute Sebastian Jacot (June 14), and Quartet Integra, fast rising stars and alumni of Suntory Hall Chamber Music Academy, returns for a programme that includes Enescu’s Octet in collaboration with current fellows of the Academy (June 6).

As shown, CMG is a great showcase for the fellows of the Suntory Hall Chamber Music Academy. In the “ENJOY! Concerts by Chamber Music Academy Fellows”, seven ensembles will appear over two days, including the Hono Quartet (June 8) who won second prize in the string quartet category of the Osaka International Chamber Music Competition 2023. Selected fellows will also take part in the “Chamber Music Laboratory” concert led by the enterprising violinist and TV personality, Sumire Hirotsuru.

CMG continues to cater for a diverse audience by having concerts at different times of the day, and it features a strong line-up of world-class musicians across the generations. From chamber music beginners to connoisseurs, there is plenty for everyone to enjoy at Chamber Music Garden.

Details of the Chamber Music Garden 2024 can be found at the following:

For further information and press photos, please contact:
Public Relations, Suntory Hall