Seattle Chamber Music Society

Convivial chamber music warms a gray midwinter

The Seattle Chamber Music Society’s motto—I imagine it carved in marble above artistic director Toby Saks’ office door, or perhaps stitched on a sampler—could be IF IT AIN’T BROKE, DON’T FIX IT. For over 25 years each July, and for nine Januarys at Benaroya Hall, the SCMS has delivered fine performances in a convenient and comfortable format: a full concert is preceded by a less-formal recital presenting solo musicians playing their personal favorites. Highlights this year include Amy Beach’s Piano Quintet on Friday, Jeremy Denk playing Bach’s “Goldberg” Variations Saturday night, and 19th- and 20th-century clarinet pieces from Sean Osborn on Sunday’s recital followed on the concert by Shostakovich’s searing Quartet No. 8 and Libby Larson’s Slang. With the Seattle Symphony’s video-game concert (see today's Wire), On the Boards’ new-music festival (see Friday’s Wire), and the closing weekend of Seattle Opera’s Pagliacci, that makes four major music events this weekend—with, I wonder, how much audience overlap? Probably very little. Benaroya Recital Hall, Third Avenue and Union Street, 283-8808, Single tickets $10-$42. Tonight through Sun., Jan. 27. GAVIN BORCHERT

Thu., Jan. 24, 6:30 & 7:30 p.m.; Fri., Jan. 25, 6:30 & 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Jan. 26, 3 & 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Jan. 27, 2 & 3 p.m., 2008

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