Atlanta Chamber Players
PO Box 5438 • Atlanta, GA 31107
Vice President--------------Charlie Chitwood
Vice President-------------Jim Throckmorton
Artistic Director-----------Elizabeth Pridgen
Executive Director-----------Rachel Ciprotti
Artistic Director Emeritus-------Paula Peace
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Phyllis Abramson · Ron Antinori · Charlie Chitwood · Sally George
Bob Irvin · Mark Kelley · Catherine Massey · Ann Marie McPhail
Sue Morgan · Paula Peace · Nick Shreiber · Jim Throckmorton
Rod Westmoreland · Mark Williamson · Trey Wood · Patricia Yeager
Learn more about the members of our Board here.
The Atlanta Chamber Players, a mixed ensemble of strings, winds and piano, were founded in 1976 and are celebrating their 40th Anniversary Season in 2015-2016. The ensemble has earned a national reputation as a pioneer among chamber groups and is widely respected among arts organizations in the Southeast.
The ACP’s broad repertoire includes traditional masterpieces (Beethoven, Brahms) as well as contemporary classics (Crumb, Messiaen). ACP also has a long-standing commitment to performing the music of living American composers.
Elizabeth Pridgen, Artistic Director
Pianist Elizabeth Pridgen has distinguished herself as a soloist and chamber musician and has appeared in concerts and recitals across the globe. She is thrilled to lead the ACP ensemble as it enters its 40th season. Elizabeth performs regularly at festivals including the Rome Chamber Music Festival in Rome, Italy, the Strings Music Festival in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival, the Aspen Music Festival, the River To River Festival, the Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival, the Water Island Music Festival, and the Madison Chamber Music Festival. An avid chamber performer, she has collaborated with artists such as Elmar Oliveira, Robert McDuffie, Yo-Yo Ma, Lynn Harrell, Hilary Hahn, Sarah Chang, Anne Akiko Meyers, Jennifer Koh, Nadja Salerno- Sonnenberg, the Diaz String Trio, Cuarteto Latinoamericano, and the American String Quartet. She performs regularly with violinist Amy Schwartz Moretti and cellist Julie Albers as a member of the Cortona Trio and with the Georgian Chamber Players.
Elizabeth is currently a Distinguished Artist and Piano Chair at the McDuffie Center for Strings and holds the G. Leslie Fabian Piano Chair at the Townsend School of Music at Mercer University. She received her Master of Music degree at the Juilliard School where she studied with Joseph Kalichstein and earned her bachelor's degree at the Peabody Conservatory of Music as a student of Ann Schein.
Rachel Ciprotti, Executive Director
Rachel was born and raised in Marietta, Georgia. After attending Dartmouth College where she received a B.A. in English, she began her arts career working for the prestigious Tanglewood Music Center at the Boston Symphony. Following a stint at Maryland Citizens for the Arts, Rachel returned to her home state in 2011, where she has worked as Director of Community Outreach at the Georgia Symphony Orchestra, and in various roles at other local nonprofits. She serves as Marketing & Social Chair on the Board of the Atlanta Chapter of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN). She received an MBA from Kennesaw State University in 2014 and is a member of the Atlanta Regional Commission's 2015 Arts Leaders of Metro Atlanta.
Paula is the founder of the Atlanta Chamber Players and served as the group’s Artistic Director for all but a few months of its first 38 seasons. For the group she produced concerts and performed in more than 250 cities; produced, edited, and performed on all six ACP recordings and CDs; produced and performed more than 100 regional and world premieres in Atlanta; and designed and performed hundreds of concert programs, educational lectures and master classes throughout the South. She has served as Visiting Assistant Professor of Piano and Coordinator of Chamber Music at Georgia State University and was an Artist in Residence at Kennesaw State University. As soloist, Paula has appeared with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, DeKalb Symphony, and the Lanier Symphony. In demand as a collaborative pianist, she performed with top prize winner Amy Porter at the Kobe International Flute Competition in Japan, and in the brass world has performed with Charles Vernon, Stephen Burns, Eric Ruske, Scott Hartmann, Michael Mulcahy and her husband Michael Moore. She has performed with clarinetist Richard Stoltzman with the Chamber Music Society of Emory. She received her BMus from Florida State University in the studio of Leonidas Lipovetsky, and her MMus from State University of New York at Stony Brook, where she studied piano with Martin Canin and did extensive chamber music coaching with Gilbert Kalish, Samuel Baron, Bernard Greenhouse, Timothy Eddy, Alvin Brehm and David Glazer. Other significant teachers include Virginia Hutchings, Menahem Pressler, and Leonard Shure. Summer performances include the Aspen Music Festival and Institut de Hautes Etudes Musicales in Crans, Switzerland. Public Broadcasting Atlanta selected Paula Peace as Lexus Leader of the Arts in 2004. In 2015, she received the Phoenix Award from Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed for her decades of service to the community, and in 2016 she was a recipient of the Governor's Awards for the Arts and Humanities, recognizing her contributions to music and to communities statewide.
Founded in 1976 by pianist Paula Peace and flutist Melanie Cramer, the ACP has spent 40 years performing critically acclaimed concerts in hundreds of cities throughout the United States, Europe, and Mexico and reached millions worldwide through live international radio broadcasts. Led for its first 38 season by legendary founder Paula Peace, the ACP began its 39th season in 2014 with an outstanding successor as Artistic Director, Elizabeth Pridgen.
The mission of the ACP is to contribute to the future of chamber music by providing a world-class mixed ensemble chamber music experience to a broad audience crossing demographics, through the performance of traditional and modern chamber music repertoire and the commissioning of new works by the group.
To promote new chamber compositions in the Southeast, the Antinori
Foundation and the ACP launched “Rapido! A 14-day Composition Contest”
in 2009. Rapido! expanded to 29 states in 2010 by adding the New England and Midwest regions. 2012 has seen Rapido! expand to all 50 US states by adding new partner ensembles in the Southwest and West Coast, promoting up to 500 entries by composers of all ages and resulting in premiere performances in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, and San Francisco, as well as Atlanta. Robert Spano and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra joined the Rapido team in 2012 by adding an ASO orchestral commission to the prize.
The ACP’s broad repertoire includes traditional masterpieces (Beethoven, Brahms) as well as contemporary classics (Crumb, Messiaen). ACP also has a long-standing commitment to performing the music of living American composers. The ensemble has premiered more than 90 works to Atlanta audiences, including world premieres commissioned from composers such as Michael Gandolfi, David Amram, Anne LeBaron, two works from Pulitzer-Prizewinner John Harbison, and a 2014 commission from Adam Schoenberg.
ACP recordings have consistently earned accolades, from performances of compelling contemporary works on Conversations — “… intense and exciting, yet subtle and well-shaped …” (American Record Guide) — to famous-and-rare salon works on Soirée Sweets — “… elegant … full, deep lyricism … real chamber music …” (Gainesville Times).
The ensemble appears in numerous artistic, educational, and outreach concerts
each season, as well as touring residencies and television and radio
broadcasts. As Affiliate Artists at Georgia State University’s School of Music
1990–2006, ACP presented concerts, lectures and master classes. The group was in residence at Kennesaw State University from 1996–2003 and was the Candler Ensemble in Residence at Emory University from 1982–1987. In 1979, ACP was among the first ensembles nationally to participate in Chamber
Music America’s prestigious Paul Residency Program.
In 2014, the ACP won the American Prize for Chamber Music Performance.
- Founding Artistic Director Paula Peace retired in 2014 and was succeeded by pianist Elizabeth Pridgen.
- ACP won the 2014 American Prize in Chamber Music Performance.ACP was selected from a nationwide pool of applicants. The American Prize is a series of new, non-profit, competitions unique in scope and structure, designed to recognize and reward the best performing artists, ensembles and composers in the United States based on submitted recordings.
- ACP premiered Rapido!® A 14-Day Composition Contest in 2009 with
the vision and support of The Antinori Foundation; the Fall 2009 Competition
Concert was chosen as a “Top 10 Classical Music Performance of 2009.”
Rapido’s second cycle in 2010-2011 expanded to 29 states by adding partner
ensembles in New England (Boston Musica Viva) and Midwest (Chicago’s
Fifth House Ensemble.) More than 250 composers submitted entries, leading
to First Prize Commission winner John Elmquist’s Junk Shot being premiered
in Atlanta, Boston and Chicago during Fall 2011.
- Summer 2012 featured ACP in four performances at the International Chamber Music Festival of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Included was a world premiere of Michael Kurth's Alallal for all seven players.
- The 35th Anniversary Season included national concerts in New York's Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall and Boston's Jordan Hall for acclaimed performances of Arthur Foote and John Harbison, plus the 2010 ACP Commission Canzona Nova: A Fractured Fairy Tale, by Michael Gandolfi.
- During the group’s milestone 30th Anniversary Season in 2006 – 2006, ACP was named “Best of 2005 in Classical Music” by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and awarded the Phoenix Award by Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin for the group’s “active commitment to the performing arts and contributions to enhance the city’s artistic reputation.”
- Capping the 30th Anniversary celebration was a June 2006 European concert tour to Paris, Rome and Lausanne, where the group presented premiere performances of Pulitzer Prize winning composer John Harbison’s Songs America Loves to Sing, commissioned by the ACP and recorded in fall 2006 at the Dozier Center for the Performing Arts.
- The ACP was twice featured on NPR’s Performance Today during live international broadcasts from Spivey Hall during the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. Their celebrated performance of Beethoven’s Clarinet Trio is included on NPR’s history-making CD, Spirit of ‘96.
- In 1998 the ACP recorded a series of eight hour-long live radio programs, which have been broadcast throughout Georgia’s 14-station Peach State Public Radio Network. ACP’s concerts also are frequently broadcast on WABE 90.1 FM Radio’s Atlanta Music Scene, as well as on NPR’s Performance Today.
- During ACP’s Silver Anniversary Season, marking 25 years of artistic excellence, the ensemble released two new CD recordings. Footeprints celebrates American composer Arthur Foote: “… they play with great generosity, technically well-balanced and crisp, but with color and warmth …” (Creative Loafing); “… it’s highly recommended – Grade A!” (Atlanta Journal Constitution). The second major release, Sacred Theory of the Earth, showcases music by American composer Anne LeBaron: “The ACP handle this terribly difficult music with technical savvy, and with the musical personality and aplomb to pull it off.” (Creative Loafing)
- Songs America Loves to Sing, the group’s fifth CD, was released in April 2007 on MSR Classics and features Mozart, Dello Joio and Bunch, in addition to the Harbison premiere. International and national critics acclaim the CD as “… a delight from start to finish …” (BBC Music Magazine, December 2008) and say, “This is a highly gratifying recording, offering variety and splendid playing.” (American Record Guide Review, January/February 2008)
- The ensemble has been featured three times on the prestigious Signature Series at Atlanta’s Rialto Center for the Performing Arts, and its members have appeared as soloists in Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with the DeKalb Symphony Orchestra.
The Atlanta Chamber Players have toured extensively, including a Summer 2012 tour to the International Chamber Music Festival of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, a 35th Anniversary Northeast Tour, a 25th Anniversary Season international tour in France, a 2006 European Concert Tour to Paris, Lausanne and Rome, and nationally from Washington, D.C. to Los Angeles, and from Camden, Maine to Key West, Florida. We have played in more than 200 cities to date, concertizing in significant music capitals, as well as presenting numerous residencies throughout the region on the Southern Arts Federation Touring Program.
- San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
- Paris, France (American Cathedral)
- Orléans, France (Salle de l’Institut)
- Nuits St. Georges, France (Clos de Vougeot Château)
- New York, NY (Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Merkin Concert Hall)
- Boston, MA (Jordan Hall, Charles River Concert Series)
- Washington, DC (National Gallery of Art, Phillips Collection)
- Cincinnati, OH (Cincinnati Composers Guild)
- Los Angeles, CA (Claremont Colleges)
- Charleston, SC (Spoleto Festival)
- Anniston, AL (Alabama Shakespeare Festival)
- Roanoke Chamber Music Society (VA)
- Tampa Symphony (FL)
- Memphis Chamber Music Society (TN)
- Savannah Symphony (GA)
- Huntsville Chamber Music Society (AL)
- Gainesville ProMusica Concert Series (GA)
- The Cloister, Glynn County Mozart Society (Sea Island, GA)
- A.R.T. Station (Tifton, GA)
- Owensboro (KY)
- Wilmington, Charlotte (NC)
- Montgomery, Mobile (AL)
- New Orleans, Lafayette (LA)
- Jackson, Biloxi, Hattiesburg (MS)
- Daytona Beach, Pensacola, Lakeland, Melbourne, Lake Wales (FL)
- Columbus, Macon, Albany, Statesboro, Augusta & Brunswick (GA)
Universities & Colleges: Concerts & Residencies
- Artists in Residence: Georgia State University (1991-2006),
- Artists in Residence: Kennesaw State University (1996-2003)
- Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN)
- University of Kentucky (Lexington, KY)
- Florida State University (Tallahassee, FL)
- Auburn University (Auburn, AL)
- Ole Miss (Oxford, MS)
- Clemson University (Clemson, SC)
- University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa, AL)
- Tuskeegee Institute (Tuskeegee, AL)
- University of Georgia (Athens, GA)
- Berry College & Shorter College (Rome, GA)
The ACP performs in a variety of venues, enabling the group to reach a wide range of audiences. During this 35th season, we will perform at the following locations:
- The Ahavath Achim Synagogue (Srochi Chapel) will be the site of the ACP’s Chamber Music in Sacred Spaces – “New Voices” concert on November 9, 2014. This is a return engagement for the ACP at this venue, the spiritual home of a century-old congregation that built its present facility in 1958. [view map]
- The New American Shakespeare Tavern — How about a little beer with your chamber music? Atlanta audiences will have two opportunities to hear the Atlanta Chamber Players in a British pub environment this year, at the Chamber Music at the Tavern – “Act One” concert October 7, 2014, and again at the Grand Finale” season-ending concert May 5, 2015. [view map]
- Spivey Hall, located on the campus of Clayton State University, is a 400-seat, acoustically superior performing arts venue that has presented the best in classical music and jazz to the metro Atlanta area since 1991. The ACP will perform the “2 + 3” concert there on February 27, 2015. [view map]