The final installment of Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra’s current Enrichment Series, “Music Dialogue” featured Felix Mendelssohn’s spirited String Quartet No. 3 in D major. Held at the University Club, the intimate concert featured conductor Heiichiro Ohyama on viola, resident violinists Kathleen Sloan and Hwi Eun Kim, and resident cellist Catherine Chan Biagini. The concert’s first half consisted of the quartet itself, a marvelous selection that exemplifies the detail put into each instrument’s respective voice, and Mendelssohn’s overall talents as a composer. The high point was the piece’s second movement, “Menuetto,” evocative of adventure and full of vibrancy, the instruments supporting one another and still managing to showcase their individual intricacies.
The evening’s “dialogue” portion was led by KCSB’s Alan Chapman, who facilitated a discussion with Ohyama, the musicians, and the audience, about Mendelssohn’s life and significance as a composer. Chapman invited questions from the audience about the evening’s concert as well as chamber music as a whole; it was insightful to hear about the industry from conductor Ohyama and the talented musicians. Chapman, informative and witty, supplemented the concert portion well, and the event took positive steps toward making chamber music more accessible to the community.