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Borromeo String Quartet joins international artists featured in Chamber Music Athens Festival this May

Submitted by sb70412 on
Borromeo String Quartet

Athens, GA – The Hugh Hodgson School of Music Chamber Music Athens Festival is making a full return to Athens, GA May 12-21, 2024. This premier festival brings together internationally acclaimed guest artists, UGA faculty, and UGA students for ten days of concerts, public masterclasses, panel discussions, and intensive collaboration in rehearsals and chamber music coaching.

This year, the Borromeo String Quartet headlines a group of twelve guest artists, including JP Jofre, bandoneon, from Argentina; Elisabeth Remy Johnson, harp, from the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra; Joshua Stewart, operatic tenor; Amy Yang, piano; and Itamar Zorman, violin. Local Athens, GA artists are featured as well, including poet Lemeul LaRoche, Hip Hop artist Squallé, and Ambassador of the Athens Hip Hop community William “Montu” Miller.

“At the center of what Chamber Music Athens is all about, it is a celebration, a culmination, of so much of what that the Hugh Hodgson School of Music has to offer,” said Liza Stepanova, Associate Professor of Piano, Piano Area Chair, and organizer of the Chamber Music Athens Festival. “It is also a way for the students to share what they’ve learned with the Athens community.” 

Several Athens venues are participating as co-sponsors for Chamber Music Athens, including the historic Morton Theatre Corporation, the Georgia Museum of Art, First Baptist Church Athens, and First Presbyterian Church of Athens. The festival is further supported by media sponsors WUGA and Flagpole Magazine.

Launched in 2019, the 2024 CMA will be the third full festival, after having endured an “involuntary two-year hiatus” before the  2022 festival due to Covid-19. Stepanova is excited to be back again in 2024 with a theme she says is “around the world in music. We sample genres and styles from several continents, and we have some amazing guest artists joining us from all over.”

“This is a very special festival for Athens,” said CMA and HHSOM donor Madeline Van Dyke. “Phil and I are always very excited to support this because these international guests bring such a varied and diverse collection of music to our audience and our students.”

Anna Hawkins, DMA in piano (2024), and a two-time participant in CMA agrees. “The thing I enjoyed most about the festival was the multitude of opportunities to play for and learn from the distinguished guest artists.”

Tickets and details are available at or by calling the UGA Performing Arts Center Box Office at 706-542-4400.


Chamber Music Athens Festival Concert Schedule
Opening Concert: History of Tango

  • Sunday, May 12, 2024 at 3 p.m.
  • UGA Performing Arts Center, Ramsey Concert Hall
    230 River Road, Athens GA 30602
  • World area represented: South America, Southern Europe

CMA opens its third season with a celebration of the rich international history of tango with fiery and colorful chamber works by Luigi Boccherini, Tania Leon (Carnegie Hall Composer’s Chair), and Manuel De Falla and original compositions by our special guest JP Jofre, bandoneon (Argentina), performing his double-concertos for violin and bandoneon and clarinet and bandoneon (with UGA faculty, D. Ray McClellan) with the CMA Chamber Orchestra. Violinist Itamar Zorman, winner of the 2011 Tchaikovsky International Competition, joins Jofre, UGA faculty and students throughout the concert. 

Tickets are $30 for adults, $5 for UGA students with a valid student ID, and free for children ages 6-18. Visit or call 706-542-4400 for tickets and details.

Order Tickets for History of Tango Sunday, May 12 at 3 p.m.


CMA 02: From Opera to Hip Hop: A Celebration of American Voices

  • Tuesday, May 14, 2024 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Morton Theatre
    195 W. Washington St. Athens, GA 30601
  • World area represented: United States


A celebration of African-American musical excellence across styles and genres at the historic Morton Theatre in downtown Athens. Featuring international startenor Joshua Stewart performing opera, jazz, and spirituals with UGA pianists and a special appearance by the Athens Hip-Hop Harmonic project, a collaboration between the Athens musical community and the UGA Hugh Hodgson School of Music. As part of the latter, Athens Hip-Hop and spoken word artists Squallé and Lemuel LaRoche will perform two new works composed for them by UGA composers William May and Nkululeko Zungu. Montu Miller acts as a Master of Ceremonies. This concert is free, but donations to the Morton Theatre Corporation will be accepted at the venue.


CMA 03: Dispersions in Watercolor – New Multi-Disciplinary Music at the Georgia Museum of Art

  • Thursday, May 16, 2024 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Georgia Museum of Art
    90 Carlton St., Athens, GA 30602


At the heart of modern chamber musical exploration is the discovery and creation of new music. Join Amy Yang, Dean of the storied Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, alongside UGA faculty and student performers, as they explore newly created, multidisciplinary works inspired by visual art, poetry, and the environment. 

Featuring new music by living composers, three of these compositions are receiving their world premieres, along with one Georgia premiere. Brief panel discussions illuminating the pieces will precede the performances.

Featured UGA Faculty: Liza Stepanova, piano and Maggie Snyder, violin, Hugh Hodgson School of Music; and George Contini, actor, Department of Theatre and film; and David Tilson, UGA Warnell School of Forestry & Natural Resources. Also featuring UGA student Jacob Skiles, piano.


CMA 04: An Evening in Paris

  • Friday, May 17, 2024 at 7:30 p.m.
  • The Day Chapel at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia
    2450 S. Milledge Ave., Athens, GA 30605
  • World area represented: France


Transporting the audience to magical Paris for an evening, this concert is a feast of chamber musical sounds. The centerpiece of the first half of the program is Debussy’s sensuous and rarely heard Sonata for Flute, Viola, and Harp. The work is flanked by Bizet’s playful Jeux d’enfants (“Children’s Games”) for piano four-hands, Saint-Saëns’s Fantasy for Violin and Harp, and a selection of Francis Poulenc’s most beautiful songs. The second half brings together Zorman, Reardon, Yang and Gabriella McClellan (BM ‘2025, winner of the UGA 2022 Concerto Competition) for Gabriel Fauré’s sumptuous Piano Quartet No. 1.

Order Tickets for Evening in Paris Friday, May 17 at 7:30 p.m.


CMA 05: The Art of the String Quartet

  • Sunday, May 19, 2024 at 3 p.m.
  • First Baptist Church Athens
    355 Pulaski St., Athens, GA 30601
  • World area represented: Jamaica, Northern Europe (Finland), Western Europe (Germany)


Praised by the Boston Globe as “simply the best,” the Borromeo String Quartet has been inspiring audiences for over 25 years as one of the most important string quartets of our time. Their Chamber Music Athens recital includes the passionate String Quartet in D minor by the Nordic master Jean Sibelius and a short work by acclaimed Jamaican-British composer Eleanor Alberga. For the second half, Borromeo team up with UGA professor of cello, David Starkweather for Franz Schubert’s transcendent Quintet, considered one of the greatest works of all chamber music. Starkweather is retiring at the end of this season after over three decades of teaching. Don’t miss this very special event!

Order Tickets for The Art of the String Quartet Sunday, May 19 at 3 p.m.


CMA 06: Chamber Music Athens Gala Finale

  • Tuesday, May 21, 2024 at 7:30 p.m.
  • UGA Performing Arts Center, Ramsey Concert Hall
    230 River Road, Athens, GA 30602
  • World area represented:  Germany, Russia, Italy

As has become tradition, the last concert of each Chamber Music Athens festival brings together guest artists, UGA faculty and students for a night of musical fireworks featuring some of the most beloved works of the repertoire. Borromeo String Quartet members lead an ensemble of UGA faculty and students in Bach’s exuberant Brandenburg Concerto No. 3. The festival closes with Tchaikovsky’s virtuosic string sextet Souvenir de Florence.

Order Tickets for the CMA Gala Finale Tuesday May 21 at 7:30 p.m.


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Lecturer in Piano
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