New musical group formed

BETHANY - A new musical organization has been formed and will offer area residents a series of summer concerts.

Chamber Music @ Bethany, Inc. was founded in October by classical clarinetist Richard Barnes, a 35-year resident who serves as president of the group. He has lined up a number of chamber music ensembles to play selections from Mozart and Schubert to Villa Lobos and Schostakovich next June.

"Everything will be pleasing to the ear," said Barnes. "The musical selections just flow." The musicians are all recognized professionals from Connecticut and New York City, he added.

Four performances are scheduled on the first four Friday evenings in June for the initial series. They will be held in the Bethany Historical Society building at 512 Amity Road (RT 63).

The new, non-profit organization has a concert series budget of $20,000. It is hoped that individuals as well as corporations will help support its cultural endeavors. The chamber music group is seeking financial support in the form of grants, donations, membership, program booklet ads, concert sponsors, piano sponsors, patrons and supporters.

The concerts, which will begin at 8 p.m., are:

· June 4: The Cantilena Trio (formed in 1993), composed of clarinet, cello and piano, with guest soprano Katie Hereld of Cheshire. Works by Ries, Schubert and Brahms.

· June 11: The Adaskin String Trio (formed 1994) and a clarinet quartet. Works of Sibelious, Ernst von Dohanany, Hummel and Mozart. The Nutmeg Youth String Ensemble will perform from 7 to 7:30 p.m.

· June 18: A piano and violin duo playing a sonata by Camille Saint-Saens, plus a clarinet, flute and piano trio performing works of Danzi, Faure and Schostakovvich.

· June 25: The Allegretto String Quartet, playing a work of Felix Mendelssohn. A clarinet quintet will also play works of Mozart and Franz Krommer.

Tickets will be priced at: adults $15, seniors $12 and children $8 (preschoolers free). For further information, interested people can contact Barnes at 393-0427; e-mail or write Chamber Music @ Bethany, Inc. at P.O. Box 154, Bethany, CT 06524.The website is

Barnes, who has a degree in mechanical engineering, began his interest in music at age 11. "I started playing in dance bands at 13," he said. During two-years in the United States Army, he played a clarinet with the Second Army Band. Barnes has studied with the chief clarinetist of the Metropolitan Opera. In 1993 he founded the Cantilena Trio, which subsequently presented two benefit concerts for open space in Bethany. He has also played with the Adaskin Trio, which is based in Hartford, and will play with several of the other ensembles in June.

Classical music has provided a unifying theme throughout Barnes' life. Now he hopes that the summer series of chamber music will delight long-time fans and find new ones in Bethany and its surrounding communities.