Share story

The 2014 Winter Festival of the Seattle Chamber Music Society (SCMS) is in expansion mode. It will feature one more concert than last year’s festival did, for a total of seven performances.

The festival runs Jan. 24-Feb. 2, 2014, and will mark the official local debut of the Ehnes Quartet before it heads off on its first international-concert tour, including stops at London’s Wigmore Hall and at the Louvre in Paris.

The quartet’s lineup, of SCMS artistic director James Ehnes, violinist Amy Schwartz Morretti, violist Richard O’Neill and cellist Robert deMaine, has played at SCMS festivals before. The difference this time is that they’ll present an entire concert of four string quartets by themselves on Feb. 2, instead of appearing in one of SCMS’ characteristic mix-and-match lineups of different musicians.

Other highlights: Ida Levin will be first violinist in a Jan. 25 performance of Tchaikovsky’s String Quartet No. 2. Husband-and-wife pianists Anna Polonsky and Orion Weiss give a four-hands performance of Dvořák’s complete “Slavonic Dances” on Feb. 1.

This week, save 90% on digital access.

In general, the programming will tilt toward eastern European composers, with works by Bartók, Kodály, Suk and Shostakovich on the schedule. Four performers — violinists Ruth Palmer and Arnaud Sussmann, and pianists Rohan de Silva and Dénes Várjon — will be making their SCMS debuts.

Free recitals will precede all concerts except the Feb. 2 Ehnes Quartet performance. All concerts take place at Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., Seattle.

Subscriptions go on sale Tuesday (Sept. 3) and range from $135 for a three-concert package to $315 for all seven concerts. Single tickets, which go on sale Nov. 4, are $48 ($16 for students and/or those 30 and under with ID). Tickets for the Family Concert on Feb. 1 are $10.

Info and tickets: 206-283-8808 or

Michael Upchurch:

Custom-curated news highlights, delivered weekday mornings.