A hybrid 2021-22 season: Hawaii Concert Society still hoping for mix of virtual and live classical concerts

  • Courtesy photo The Eroica Trio will be part of the Hawaii Concert Society’s 2021-22 season.

  • Courtesy photo The Vida Guitar Quartet will be part of the Hawaii Concert Society’s upcoming season.

The Hawaii Concert Society’s 60th season of fine classical music is a work in progress.

“Normally by now we would know every concert that we are presenting in the coming season, and the date that each concert would take place,” said Tom Geballe, president of the Hawaii Concert Society.

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“However, the pandemic appears to be far from over,” he continued. “Our performance venue, the University of Hawaii at Hilo’s Performing Arts Center, remains closed to the general public, if many of our normal audience would feel safe attending live concerts.”

Nevertheless, concert society membership renewals and a grant from the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts have provided the financial wherewithal to support a modest season of concerts, even without taking into account what ticket sales might bring in.

In view of that, the board of the society has decided, as it did last year, that at least through the first few months of 2022, the season will consist of online concerts by world renowned musicians, with the concerts “personalized” for concert society members and available for them and no one else. The board currently is holding back on committing to live or online concerts for the remainder of the season.

As in the 2020-21 season, these virtual concerts will be made available via private YouTube channels, using addresses that HCS will provide to its members. The concerts will be available for viewing for predetermined and extended periods of time, so that members can select convenient times for viewing and even can view them more than once.

Five concerts are now in the season, with almost all of the musicians taking part in them having performed in previous HCS seasons.

The opening concert, which will be available in the second half of October, includes the Chicago-based flutist Eugenia Moliner and the Black Oak String Trio. Moliner has appeared in three previous seasons, while two members of the trio have appeared twice. Among the works they will perform is Mozart’s Flute Quartet in D Major.

The following concert, available starting in late November, will feature the most sought after piano trio (violin, cello and piano) in the world, the Eroica Trio. The first all-female chamber ensemble to reach the top echelon of its field and now in its 35th year, the trio has performed live twice in Hilo. Their concert will feature Brahms’ Piano Trio No. 1.

In the first three months of 2022 three additional online concerts will be available for viewing. They are: the duo of cellist Antonio Meneses (formerly of the legendary Beaux Arts Trio) and famed guitarist Paul Galbraith; Prague’s Zemlinsky String Quartet; and England’s Vida Guitar Quartet.

The Meneses-Galbraith Duo will perform music by Schubert and Brazilian composers, including Villa Lobos’ beautiful and poignant Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5.

The Vida Quartet’s performance will include music ranging from the baroque to the present day and will feature a new and dynamic arrangement for four guitars of music from “West Side Story.”

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The program by the Zemlinsky Quartet is still to be determined.

The only requirement for “attending” the virtual concerts is to be a member of the Hawaii Concert Society for the 2021-22 season. No tickets need be purchased and access to all five concerts and any further virtual concerts that are scheduled in the season does not depend on membership category. Membership dues start at $20. To become a member, one can use the printable form available on the Hawaii Concert Society website at www.hawaiiconcertsociety.com. For additional information or assistance call 345-6739.