Symphony got you down? Seeking something more intimate and nuanced, where you can listen and watch a small group of musicians bounce musical phrases off one another? These selections from Boston’s thriving chamber music scene will appease your desires for unique programming, inexpensive tickets, and spectacular performances. – Bryce Lambert


A Far Cry

Straddling the gap between chamber ensemble and orchestra, A Far Cry is one of Boston’s freshest musical acts. This self-conducted chamber orchestra of young players is characterized by great exuberance and an invigorating and inventive take on classical performance. A busy concert season takes them all over the country and all about Boston, from Jordan Hall and the Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum to JP. Eclectic and unique programs combined with a collective virtuosity explain their exponentially growing popularity.


Boston Symphony Chamber Players

Comprising the principal players of the BSO, the Boston Symphony Chamber Players offer a four concert season in Jordan Hall, a short walk down Huntington from their regular home at Symphony Hall. Concerts often feature distinguished guest performers. A litany of recordings has brought world renown to this ensemble of the BSO’s most distinguished players.

(credit: AP)

First Monday at Jordan Hall

Jordan Hall
New England Conservatory
30 Gainsborough St.

We have Laurence Lesser, virtuoso cellist and NEC President Emeritus, to thank for these free and highly underrated concerts held on the first Mondays of October, November, December, March, April, and May. Lesser started the series in 1985, and has been inviting distinguished NEC faculty members to perform for the public in Jordan Hall since. It’s the most economical and easy-to-keep-track-of season in town.

(credit: AP)

Boston Early Music Festival

Every two years, BEMF puts on the largest early music festival in the world. Mainstage events include a fully staged Baroque opera, a massive exhibition, and performances by some of the leading names in period performance. Popular demand has brought about an annual concert series of some of the best period chamber music you’ll hear in Boston. When the week-long festival does come around, the events to watch out for are the fringe concerts. You could easily spend the entire week hopping from venue to venue, from one inexpensive chamber performance to another, hearing music like it hasn’t been heard for 300 years.

Bryce Lambert blogs on the Boston arts scene at, offering the occasional review and commentary on local shows, concerts, and art exhibitions.