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Viennese Classical Concert: San Miguel Hosts the Vienna Chamber Symphony

Viena Kammer foto

By Mittie Roger

The Vienna Kammersymphonie, loosely translated as the Vienna Chamber Symphony, will give one concert for Pro Musica on Saturday, November 18, at 5pm at St. Paul’s Church. The Kammersymphonie is an elite ensemble of six Austrian-based musicians (string quartet, double bass, and piano) which specializes in playing full-scale symphonic works with their own arrangements. This is a strongly emerging trend in classical music as more people want to hear their favorite works, but not in an enormous hall and at the price of a visit to the symphony. Pro Musica has been lucky enough to secure the Kammersymphonie as part of their Latin American tour when San Miguel audiences will experience the unique, creamy sound of great Viennese string playing.

The ensemble of impressively gifted musicians comprises Nadja Kalmykova (1st violin), Aya Georgieva (2nd violin), Ljuba Kalmykova (viola), Sergio Mastro (violoncello), Benedict Ziervogel (double bass), and Alvaro Siviero (piano). Founded in 2006, the “Year of Mozart,” they were hailed in Austria as the best performers in an epic year of music-making dedicated to the famed composer and went on to tour worldwide.

As well as performing well-known music by the great names, such as Beethoven and Mahler, the Kammersymphonie also specializes in reviving overlooked musical gems by composers whose works are less often performed, for example Erich Korngold and Hans Gál. Pieces by all these maestros will be highlighted in the concert, including the first movement from Mahler’s Symphony No. 4. Mahler conducted both the Metropolitan Opera and the New York Philharmonic in the early 1900s. In the Vienna Philharmonic, he was unanimously voted to be the Music Director. This caused a stir (and spoke highly of his influence), as Vienna was traditionally anti-Semitic. Under Mahler’s guidance, both the Vienna and New York Philharmonics led the world and continue to do so today. Another beloved work, Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor, will be performed in its entirety. The concerto was premiered in 1803 in a concert of his own works, spurned by a contest between Schickaneder’sTheater-an-der-Wien and von Braun’s Kärtnertor-theater. Expect fireworks from maestro Siviero at the keyboard!

Mahler’s fellow countryman, Hans Gál, fled Hitler but was interned for a time by the British. A child prodigy, Gál was 13 when he composed the Five Intermezzos that we will hear. The concert also includes Erich Korngold’s Märchenbilder, a fitting match to complement Gál’s Intermezzos. Korngold was a sensation even among contemporary masters like Mahler, and one reviewer raved about his “astounding feats of composition and of piano-playing, in which the composer’s age is not to be taken into consideration.”

Tickets for the concerts at St. Paul’s are 150, 300 and 400 pesos donation each, and are on sale at Tesoros in the Biblioteca; La Conexión, only at Aldama 3; and at the concert 45 minutes before performance time.

Details of all Pro Musica’s concerts and Patron Membership are on our website:, or contact us at



Pro Musica Concert Series presents:

The Vienna Chamber Symphony

Sat, Nov 18, 5pm

St. Paul’s Church, Calle Cardo

150, 300, 400 pesos


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