DUC Chamber Music Series Sept. 16

Music of Villa-Lobos, Emmanuel, Debussy, Schmitt and Saint-Saëns

Growing up in Rio de Janeiro, Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959) was drawn to the itinerant musicians known as chorões, whose improvised concerts filled the streets and cafes.

Jennifer Nichtman, second flute, Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra

Such experiences would inspire Villa-Lobos to create his own celebrated Choros, a series of 14 works composed between 1920-29.

At 7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 16, three acclaimed musicians will launch the fall Danforth University Center Chamber Music Series with a free concert in Goldberg Formal Lounge.

The program will feature Villa-Lobos’ Choros No. 2 (1924), as well as works by Maurice Emmanuel, Claude Debussy, Florent Schmitt and Camille Saint-Saëns.

Musicians and program

The trio is comprised of Jennifer Nitchman, flute, Nicolas del Grazia, clarinet, and Peter Henderson, piano.

The evening will open with Choros No. 2, followed by Emmanuel’s Sonate pour clarinette, flûte and piano (1907), Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune (1894) and Schmitt’s Sonatine en Trio, Opus 85 (1935). The program will conclude with Saint-Saëns’ Tarantelle, Opus 6 (1857).

Nicolas del Grazia, clarinet

Nichtman has held the position of Second Flute with the St. Louis Symphony since the 2003-04 season. She has performed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Fort Wayne Philharmonic, as well as the Britt and Brevard Music Festivals.

Acclaimed as a clarinetist of “great artistry and virtuosic command of the instrument” (The Clarinet magazine), del Grazia has appeared as soloist, chamber and orchestral musician throughout the United States and Europe. Currently assistant professor at Arkansas Tech University, he is a regular member of Aguava New Music Studio, heralded as “brilliant” by The Washington Post.

Henderson, associate professor of music at Maryville University, performs frequently as an ensemble keyboardist with the Saint Louis Symphony, often delivering pre-concert lectures from the Powell Hall stage. He is a member of the Ilex Piano Trio, with Saint Louis Symphony violinist Kristin Ahlstrom and cellist Anne Fagerburg Jacob.

Peter Henderson, piano

DUC Chamber Music Series

Subsequent concerts in the Chamber Music Series will feature Winter Opera St. Louis (Oct. 30), Debra Hillabrand and the Chamber Project St. Louis (Nov. 20) and the Trinity Piano Trio (Dec. 2).

All performances are free and open to the public. The Danforth University Center is at 6475 Forsyth Blvd. For more information, call (314) 935-5566 or email daniels@wustl.edu.