National Philharmonic Chamber Players

Under the direction of Colin Sorgi, the National Philharmonic Chamber Players will present their third chamber music series at the John Kendall Recital Hall at Potter Violins in Takoma Park. Experience chamber music as it was originally intended, up close and personal, in this hall at Potter Violins that seats up to 90. For more information, visit

Potter Violins
John Kendall Recital Hall,
7711 Eastern Ave
Takoma Park, MD


Inspired by Bernstein’s iconic Young People’s Concerts, our three innovative chamber music concerts (for all ages!) expand upon the concepts he explored, intertwining actual footage of Bernstein with extraordinary live music! We also pay homage to Bernstein’s commitment to the music of his fellow composers by highlighting the music of three of today’s most celebrated female composers and their inspirations.


Episode 1: What is a Melody?
Sunday, October 21, 2018

“It’s the whole meal so to speak: when you think of music, you think of melody right away,” says Mr. Bernstein. On this concert, Ludwig van Beethoven’s masterpieces, both early and late works for string quartet, provide the melodic inspiration for contemporary quartets by Pulitzer Prize winner Caroline Shaw and and Russian icon Alfred Schnittke. Bernstein’s commentary on how composers build a melody helps guide us on this exploration.

L.V. Beethoven – String Quartet Op. 18 no. 6

Caroline Shaw – Blueprint (2016)

Alfred Schnittke – String Quartet no. 3 (1983)

L.V. Beethoven – Große Fuge, op. 133

Hanbing Jia, violin
Sara Matayoshi, violin
Colin Sorgi, viola
Lori Barnet, cello

For tickets, click here.



Episode 2: The Road to Paris
Sunday, February 3, 2019

“Paris, almost exactly at the beginning of the 20th Century, had become the exciting place where new things were happening in music, where you found fresh air, and great new names, and a fever of creative energy.” Bernstein gives us a look at the journeys some composers took to Paris and how Parisian culture guided their development. Our perfect example is George Enescu, whose epic piano quartet is a colorful synthesis of lush French harmonies and the spirit of his native Romania.

W. A. Mozart – Sonata in E Minor for Viola and Piano, K. 304

Nadia Boulanger – Three Pieces for Cello and Piano (1914)

Lili Boulanger – Nocturne for Cello and Piano (1911)

Astor Piazzolla – Le Grand Tango (1921)

Georges Enescu – Piano Quartet no. 1 in D Major, op. 16 (1909)

Herbert Greenberg, violin *Distinguished Guest Artist
Colin Sorgi, viola
Lori Barnet, cello
Wan-Chi Su, piano

For tickets, click here.



Episode 3: Musical Atoms – A Study of Intervals
Sunday, April 28, 3PM – 5PM

“A very important word, “interval”, because it’s the heart and soul of music. You see music is not made out of notes by themselves, but out of the intervals between one note and another. That’s why it’s so necessary for us to understand this word, interval.” This quote from Bernstein speaks for itself and our concert explores the many ways musical notes relate to one another to form the foundation upon which the music is built.

Henry Purcell – Fantasia Upon One Note (1680)

J.S. Bach – Contrapunctus XIX from Art of the Fugue, BWV 1080

Sofia Gubaidulina – Reflections on the theme B-A-C-H (2002)

J.S. Bach/Zoltán Kodaly – Fantasia Cromatica for Solo Viola (c.1717/1950)

Johannes Brahms – String Sextet no. 2 in G Major, op. 36

Karen Johnston Johnson, violin
Sara Matayoshi, violin
Julius Wirth, viola
Colin Sorgi, viola
Lori Barnet, cello
Kerry Van Laanen, Cello

For tickets, click here.

Sign Up To Join Our Mailing List

Sign up for our monthly newsletter and event announcements.