The chamber music society Camerata Pacifica will perform this month’s program at 1 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Friday in Hahn Hall on the Music Academy of the West’s main campus.


Charles Martin Loeffler, one of those artists with the incredible luck to have been a contemporary of John Singer Sargent.

The participating Cameratans will be Arnaud Sussmann on violin, Nicholas Daniel on oboe, Warren Jones on piano, Ani Aznavoorian on cello and Richard Yongjae O’Neill on viola.

The program will consist of Benjamin Britten’s Six Metamorphoses for Solo Oboe, after Ovid, Opus 49 (1951), Paul Hindemith’s Viola Sonata in F Major, Opus 11, No. 4 (1919), Charles Martin Loeffler’s Two Rhapsodies for Viola, Oboe, and Piano (1905) and Robert Schumann’s Piano Quartet in E-Flat Major, Opus 47.

Those attending the 1 p.m. concert will hear just the Loeffler and the Schumann pieces.

The Hindemith sonata opens with one of his loveliest melodies, and the whole work must be considered one of his most accessible (though I must say that Hindemith’s reputation for writing “difficult” music is mostly unfair). Hindemith was himself a violist, so, as Noël Coward gave himself the best lines in the plays he wrote, so Hindemith gave the viola many of his best tunes.

Loeffler was born Martin Karl Löffler in Schöneberg, Germany, on Jan. 30, 1861. He became a U.S. citizen in 1887 and died in his house in Medfield, Mass., on May 19, 1935. He was, thus, 100 percent German, Prussian, in origin. For most of his life, however, Loeffler claimed to have been born in Mulhouse, in the Alsace, and denied his Germanic roots. For a German composer to deny being a German seems a bit odd, until you learn that his father, a chemist of vehement republican sentiments, was arrested and imprisoned by the Prussian government for his anti-monarchist opinions, and died of a stroke in prison before he could be released. The composer was 12 when this happened, and never forgave the German state for taking away his father.

So, after getting the best musical education that Berlin had to offer, becoming a master of the violin, he left the country for good and came to America, where he quickly became concertmaster of the Boston Symphony. He was a witty and erudite man and numbered among his friends many of the great artists and writers of his time. Recordings often pair his works with those of Charles Tomlinson Griffes, and his music is impressionistic, with a decided French flavor. He was a scrupulous craftsman, and he has a reputation for writing chilly music, but he could certainly give his emotions free rein when the occasion warranted.

For tickets and other concert information, click here or call Camerata Pacifica at 805.884.8410.

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributing writer. He can be reached at The opinions expressed are his own.