As usual, the Mimir Chamber Music Festival combines old favorites with chamber works by voices you may or may not be familiar with. Among these is Amy Beach, the 19th-century American composer who was among the first women to be widely acclaimed for her music. Her husband, like many other men of the time, insisted on her not receiving any formal training and signing her name as “Mrs. H.H.A. Beach,” but her large-scale works reflected an ambition beyond her restrictions. Her Piano Quintet, a relatively late work, shows her exploring exotic harmonies like those of Debussy and Richard Strauss.
More recently, George Theophilus Walker, who will turn 100 in four years, is the first African-American composer to win a Pulitzer Prize for classical music. His First String Quartet, composed all the way back in 1946, is a stark, angular modernist piece that retains its freshness today, especially in a deeply moving slow movement. You can hear both of these this week at Mimir, along with chamber works by Beethoven, Schubert, and Schumann, as well as Sibelius’ odd String Trio. Our city’s summer chamber music festival remains a civic institution to be treasured.
The Mimir Chamber Music Festival runs thru Sun at TCU, PepsiCo Recital Hall, 2800 S University Dr, FW. Tickets are $35. Call 817-257-7602.