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Composers of Chamber Music

A Minute with Miles
Mary Noble Ours
/
SC Public Radio

Composers during the Baroque period wrote plenty of chamber music, especially trio sonatas, and sonatas for such high-voiced instruments as the violin and the flute. But the chamber music repertoire that today’s audiences are most familiar with probably begins with the piano trios and string quartets of Joseph Haydn. After Haydn, the floodgates opened. Mozart and Beethoven, for example, both composed enormous quantities of great chamber music in a variety of forms… and with the exception of those who’ve specialized in opera, Virtually all major composers of the 19th, 20th,  and now 21st centuries, of whatever nationality, have made important, and in some cases extensive contributions to the chamber music repertoire. And by the way, if so much of the best chamber music is a delight to play, it’s undoubtedly because so many of the great composers wrote their pieces with the intention of playing them themselves, in informal gatherings with their friends.

This has been A Minute with Miles – a production of South Carolina Public Radio, made possible by the J.M. Smith Corporation.

Miles Hoffman is the founder and violist of the American Chamber Players, with whom he regularly tours the United States, and the Virginia I. Norman Distinguished Visiting Professor of Chamber Music at the Schwob School of Music, in Columbus, Georgia. He has appeared as viola soloist with orchestras across the country, and his solo performances on YouTube have received well over 700,000 views.