Letter to Chamber Arts Society Members

Dear members and friends of the Chamber Arts Society of Durham –

As you know, our entire Fall season of concerts – the first half of our 75th anniversary year – has had to be cancelled because of the continuing danger of COVID-19. No decision has yet been taken for the Spring concerts.

Only a few months ago, it was hard to comprehend that attending a concert could be dangerous to oneself, one’s neighbors, and the community as a whole; but that is where we are right now. And we are not likely to solve our concert problem until the scientists solve our Coronavirus problem. What to do?

Across the country, music presenters are imaginatively finding ways to keep performers and audiences in touch with each other through real performances, virtually represented. Duke Performances is making a major effort in this direction, which will include bringing you all four of the CAS ensembles that were to have graced the stage of Baldwin Auditorium this Fall. I write to urge you to support this effort by purchasing tickets for each of these performances.

You might think, at first, that your participation as audience in such an effort doesn’t make great sense. You can turn on YouTube and see/hear performances by all these people whenever you like, for free. But I ask you to think differently about this for a number of reasons:

— First, the experiential quality of these concerts, both in sound and sight, will be much higher than most of what YouTube can offer;

— In addition, these will be performances offered with you in mind as the audience; and, most importantly,

— By spending a modest number of your dollars on these occasions, you will be helping the entire artistic community – musicians, agents, presenters, and staff – to weather this long-term, highly inclement storm. If we pull together as a chamber music community, then we can lessen the damage that is currently being absorbed by the people of the performing arts. It has been your role, for 75 years, to be the CAS audience. Please continue to do so during these strange and discomforting times.

Our wonderful artists for the Fall are the following:

The Attacca Quartet
From the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Wu
Han, David Finckel, Arnaud Sussman, and Paul Neubauer

The Cuarteto Casals
The Naughton Sisters, duo pianists

I will send you introductory notes on these ensembles in advance of each of their splendid concerts. These will not be virtual concerts, but rather real concerts, presented virtually.

Again, please help them, us, and yourselves through this trying time. Come listen.

Stay safe. Stay healthy.

With all best wishes,

George Gopen
Director, Chamber Arts Society of Durham