Published on October 15th, 2018 | by Millennium Magazine Staff


New artistic director brings new creative vision to CMA Chamber Music on Main

Pictured Andrew Armstrong, acclaimed concert pianist and new CMA Chamber Music on Main artistic director.

Tuesday, October 30 | Happy hour at 6:00 p.m. | Concert at 7:00 p.m. | Cash Bar

Columbia, S.C. – The Columbia Museum of Art announces the 17th season of critically acclaimed concert series CMA Chamber Music on Main, premiering Tuesday, October 30, at 7:00 p.m., which marks the debut of Massachusetts-based concert pianist Andrew Armstrong in his new role as artistic director.

“Andrew is already part of the CMA community,” says Executive Director Della Watkins. “Chamber fans have enjoyed his animated piano performances over the years, and Eddie Arron, our former artistic director, personally encouraged Andy to lean in and use his ideas to further develop the CMA chamber music program. Can’t wait!”

Praised by critics for his passionate expression and dazzling technique, Armstrong has delighted audiences across Asia, Europe, Latin America, Canada, and the United States, including performances at Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Grand Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, and Warsaw’s National Philharmonic.

Armstrong’s orchestral engagements across the globe have seen him perform a sprawling repertoire of more than 50 concertos with orchestra. He has performed with such conductors as Peter Oundjian, Itzhak Perlman, Günther Herbig, Stefan Sanderling, Jean-Marie Zeitouni, and Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, and has appeared in solo recitals in chamber music concerts with the Elias, Alexander, American, and Manhattan String Quartets, and also as a member of the Caramoor Virtuosi, Boston Chamber Music Society, Seattle Chamber Music Society, and the Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players. In addition to his many concerts, his performances are heard regularly on National Public Radio and WQXR, New York City’s premier classical music station.

“I have just loved getting to know the great folks of Chamber Music on Main and the Columbia community beyond, so it’s all the more exciting and gratifying to begin my first season directing the series,” says Armstrong. “At the risk of sounding corny, it feels like I get to stitch together my very own happy family of music-lovers, art-lovers, the greatest musicians from around the world, and masterful composers old and new, sharing their heartfelt stories and bringing us all closer together.”

Continuing the tradition of first-class chamber music played by remarkable talent, Tessa Lark on violin, Ayane Kozasa on viola, and Karen Ouzounian join Armstrong on piano to perform the following works:

Franz Shubert: Adagio and Rondo Concertante in F Major for Piano Quartet, D 487 (1816)
Gabriel Fauré: Élégie for Cello and Piano, Opus 24 (1880)
George Enescu: Konzertstück for Viola and Piano (1908)
Tessa Lark: Soka Medley (2018)
Johannes Brahms: Piano Quartet No. 1 in g minor, Opus 25 (1861)
Violinist and composer Lark, silver medalist in the 9th Quadrennial International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, recipient of a 2018 Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship and a 2016 Avery Fisher Career Grant, and winner of the 2012 Naumburg International Violin Competition, is one of the most captivating artistic voices of our time. Lark has soloed with dozens of orchestras since making her concerto debut with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra at age 16.

Hailed for her “magnetic, wide-ranging tone” and her “rock solid technique” (Philadelphia Inquirer), violist Kozasa enjoys a career that spans a broad spectrum of musical personas. Winner of the 2011 Primrose International Viola Competition and the 2015 career grant recipient from the Musical Fund Society of Philadelphia, she is a founding member of the Aizuri Quartet, the 2017 – 2018 Quartet-in-Residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Praised for her “radiant” and “expressive” performances (The New York Times), cellist Ouzounian is a winner of the S&R Foundation’s 2016 Washington Award and at home in diverse musical settings. She is also a founding member of the Aizuri Quartet and performs with Silkroad, the organization founded by Yo-Yo Ma to create music that celebrates cultural collaboration.

“To truly experience chamber music, you’ve got to be in the space,” says Armstrong. “There’s an intimacy, a sense of being there and having the music envelop you, and the things the musicians are doing on stage become the things that real humans you interact with are doing, and I’m telling you, it’s one of the most powerful and personal experiences you can have in a public setting.”

Upcoming concerts in the 2018 – 2019 season:
Tuesday, November 27, 2018
Tuesday, March 5, 2019
Tuesday, May 7, 2019
Season Tickets: $132
Individual Tickets: $42 / $35 for members / $5 for students

Galleries open during happy hour.

Presented by U.S. Trust and the generosity of supporting sponsors.

For more information, visit

About the CMA
The Columbia Museum of Art is a charitable nonprofit organization dedicated to lifelong learning and community enrichment for all. Located in the heart of downtown Columbia, S.C., the CMA ranks among the leading art institutions in the country and is distinguished by its innovative exhibitions and creative educational programs. At the heart of the CMA and its programs is its collection, which encompasses 7,000 works and spans 5,000 years of art history. Established in 1950, the CMA now welcomes more than 150,000 visitors annually and is a catalyst for community creativity and education, engaging people of all ages and backgrounds. It is the recipient of a National Medal from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a National Art Education Association award for its contributions to arts education, a National Park Foundation Award, and two Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Governor’s Awards for the Arts for outstanding contributions to the arts in South Carolina. In order to serve even more audiences, the CMA is undergoing a transformation funded by a successful capital campaign. Though some sections of the building will be affected during some phases of the work, the CMA remains open throughout renovations. The project is expected to be complete in late 2018. To learn more, visit


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