The Norfolk Chamber Consort, founded in 1969, gave its first performances, of exclusively 20th century music, in the old Public Library on Freemason Street in Norfolk, then known as the Norfolk Theater Center. F. Gerard Errante joined the Consort in 1970 and Allen Shaffer joined following year. In 1972, when the Consort s founder, Kay Gardner, left the area, Errante and Schaffer became its Artistic Co-Directors. By that time, the Consort was performing at the Chrysler Museum and, though still emphasizing 20th century music, had begun to expand its repertoire to include the standard literature as well. Vocal music with chamber ensemble accompaniment and music of the Baroque became regular features of Consort programming.The Norfolk Chamber Consort moved to Chandler Recital Hall on the campus of Old Dominion University when that facility opened in 1992.
We have presented programs of music from various countries throughout the world including Mexico, Australia, Japan and China. Also, in addition to performing many world premieres, the Consort naturally performs standard chamber music masterpieces by composers such as Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Schubert, Brahms, Dvorak, Weber and many others.
The mission of the Norfolk Chamber Consort is to present to the public performances of chamber music drawn from repertories of the 17th up to the 21st centuries. The emphasis is on works with varied instrumentation and those utilizing the voice as an integral part of the chamber music texture. Emphasis is often placed on lesser known works and neglected masterpieces that are not often performed in Southeastern Virginia. In addition, we occasionally bring in guest composers as well as performers on instruments unique to the Hampton Roads area.While most of our concerts are presented without a conductor, some concerts have been directed by notable area conductors, Russell Stanger, Richard Williams, Walter Noona, Peter Mark,Wes Kenney, and JoAnn Falletta. In addition, we have presented concerts highlighting prominent area composers such as Adolphus Hailstork, Ludwig Diehn, and Thea Musgrave. As a service to the community, we are presenting concerts of exotic and recent music that is not often heard in this area.
In 2008, Andrey Kasparov assumed the artistic leadership of the Norfolk Chamber Consort. He led the organization to new heights by promoting artistic excellence and initiating cooperation with the F. Ludwig Diehn Concert Series at Old Dominion University. He was joined by Oksana Lutsyshyn as Artistic Co-Director in 2009.
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