Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Weekend Planner — Music

During its 14 years together the Chiara String Quartet — chiara from the Italian, meaning “clear, pure, light” — has developed a tradition of playing in bars and other offbeat venues under the slogan “Chamber Music for Any Chamber.” Lately the foursome has adopted another tradition, one that actually goes back centuries: performing without the distraction of sheet music.

“The act of performing from memory has been challenging for us,” says cellist Gregory Beaver. “Each member must find a way to know the music inside and out. But the payback has been equally rewarding, bringing us closer together in our music-making.”

On Sunday the Chiara returns to Smith College’s Sweeney Concert Hall as part of the Music in Deerfield series. The 4 p.m. concert will include Josef Haydn’s String Quartet Op. 20 No. 1; Maurice Ravel’s String Quartet; and Bela Bartok’s String Quartet No. 4. A “Concert Conversation” with John Montanari is at 3 p.m. in the adjacent Earle Recital Hall.

Advance tickets: $28 general; $10 college students; $5 high school students and children. At door: $32/$10/$5. 774-4200, musicindeerfield.org

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