The Mission of Parlance Chamber Concerts is to:
- Promote the appreciation and understanding of classical chamber music in Northern New Jersey by presenting the world’s finest singers and instrumentalists in affordable, innovatively programmed public concerts.
- Inspire and build tomorrow’s audience for classical music in Northern New Jersey by creating public educational events designed specifically for children and young adults.
- Make a contribution to the cultural life of the Northern New Jersey community by establishing it as a recognized center for high-quality classical music events.
Of past, present, and future activities:
Founded in the 2007-2008 season by Metropolitan Opera Orchestra principal flutist Michael Parloff, Parlance Chamber Concerts is dedicated to bringing world-class instrumentalists and singers to Northern New Jersey in affordable, innovatively programmed concerts and educational events. Two events were presented during the inaugural 2007/08 season, and subsequent seasons saw a steady increase in the number of events offered. Eight public events are being presented in the current 2019 – 2020 season. All events take place in the acoustically superb sanctuary of West Side Presbyterian Church in Ridgewood, New Jersey.
Parlance Chamber Concerts grew out of the success of more than a decade of benefit concerts organized and presented by Michael Parloff in his Ridgewood, New Jersey, home. These semiannual fundraising events supported various local nonprofit organizations. Michael Parloff’s reputation as one of America’s preeminent flutists and a leader in the chamber music world has enabled him to feature top-flight singers and instrumentalists from the Metropolitan Opera, New York Philharmonic, and New York City’s extraordinary chamber music community.
A significant number of attendees came to these events initially as novice concertgoers and subsequently told Mr. Parloff that they learned to love and appreciate classical music through exposure to world class performers in the intimate, relaxed ambiance of his home. This gave rise to the idea of widening the audience for classical music in our community by presenting innovatively designed public concerts and educational events for listeners of all ages and levels of concert-going experience. The sense of connection between performers and audience members is strengthened by informal spoken introductions and program notes delivered during the course of the concerts and through post-concert receptions. The receptions provide audience members with opportunities to meet the performing artists and learn more about the music, the composers, and the performers themselves.
Parlance Chamber Concerts are priced affordably to demonstrate our commitment to making chamber music available to as many people in our community as possible. In addition, sets of complimentary tickets are offered to local teachers and staff members of community organizations, including schools, hospitals, and mental health clinics.
An important part of Parlance Chamber Concerts’ goals is to introduce children and newcomers to classical music. In that regard, Parlance Chamber Concerts presented its first family concert on November 2, 2008, entitled “Animals and Dances” and has continued to present children’s and family concerts in subsequent seasons. These highly successful events have featured leading members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic. Narrators have included well-known actors and New York City’s classical radio personalities. WQXR’s former daytime announcer, Midge Woolsey, narrated Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf with 25 leading members of the Met Orchestra conducted by Michael Parloff on October 30, 2011.
In addition, Parlance Chamber Concerts reaches out to underprivileged audiences in neighboring communities, offering free and discounted tickets to children and adults to many events over the course of each season. Parlance Chamber Concerts is also exploring the possibility of in-school fundraising concerts to benefit the music and arts programs in the public schools of Ridgewood, New Jersey.
Past Parlance Chamber Concerts events have featured such world-renowned instrumentalists, singers, and chamber ensembles as The Emerson, Brentano, Jerusalem, Escher, Danish, and Chiara String Quartets; pianists Emanuel Ax, Richard Goode, Peter Serkin, Jeremy Denk, Garrick Ohlsson, Orion Weiss, Anne-Marie McDermott, Lucille Chung, Simone Dinnerstein, Wu Han, Alessio Bax, Warren Jones, Conrad Tao, Jeewon Park, and Shai Wosner; flutist James Galway; clarinetist Richard Stoltzman; violinists Pinchas Zukerman, Anne Akiko Meyers, Frank Huang, Benjamin Beilman, Elmar Oliveira and Stefan Jackiw; cellists David Finckel and André Díaz; classical guitarists Sharon Isbin, Jason Vieaux, and the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet; harpists Mariko Anraku and Emmanuel Ceysson; and Metropolitan Opera star singers including sopranos Danielle de Niese, Susanna Phillips, and Ying Fang, mezzo-sopranos Stephanie Blythe, Isabel Leonard, and Kate Lindsey, tenor Matthew Polenzani, baritones Thomas Hampson and Nathan Gunn, and bass Morris Robinson. Jazz artists have included The Paquito D’Rivera Quintet, vibraphonist Stefon Harris, The Bill Charlap Trio, and noted guitarists Bucky Pizzarielli, Frank Vignola, and Howard Alden. Leading instrumentalists from the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, and Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society have been featured each season on Parlance Chamber Concerts.