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The Concord Chamber Players, ensemble in residence at the Concord Chamber Music Society, are committed to the highest standards of music making. Its musicians include members of acclaimed chamber ensembles and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Their artistry and eloquence have endeared them to CCMS audiences since their debut in 2001. Along with CCMS Director and Boston Symphony Orchestra Violinist Wendy Putnam, members include Violist Steven Ansell, Cellist Michael Reynolds, Pianist Vytas Baksys and Clarinetist Thomas Martin. The Concord Chamber Players also direct and participate in CCMS’s Education and Outreach Programs.
Steven Ansell joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra as Principal Violist in September 1996, occupying the Charles S. Dana Chair, having already appeared with the BSO in Symphony Hall as guest Principal Violist. He is a member of the Muir String Quartet which he co-founded in 1979, and tours worldwide with the quartet. Mr. Ansell often appears as soloist with the BSO, is a member of the Boston Symphony Chamber Players, and is a professor at Boston University.
Michael Reynolds has been the cellist of the Muir String Quartet since its inception in 1979. As a member of the Muir Quartet and as soloist and chamber musician, he regularly tours worldwide. A native of Montana, he received his professional training first at the Curtis Institute of Music, and later with studies at Yale University. Mr. Reynolds has taught at Boston University’s College of Fine Arts since 1983. He is co-founder and Executive/Artistic Director of Classics for Kids Foundation. In 2009, he also founded the Montana Chamber Music Society. Mr. Reynolds has served on the faculties of the New England Conservatory, Rutgers University, the University of Utah, and the University of California-Santa Cruz. He received an honorary doctorate from Rhode Island College in 1995. In his spare time he is an avid fly fisherman and outdoorsman.
Vytas J. Baksys is an active freelance collaborator performing throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. Since 1989 he has been the faculty pianist with the Fellowship Conducting Program at Tanglewood. He is a frequent keyboardist with the Boston Symphony and Boston Pops orchestras, and also works with other area ensembles. Of Lithuanian descent, Mr. Baksys is a graduate of the New England Conservatory and the State University of New York at Stony Brook. His principal teachers include Angel Ramon Rivera, Victor Rosenbaum, and Gilbert Kalish.
Thomas Martin is Associate Principal Clarinetist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Principal Clarinetist of the Boston Pops Orchestra. Mr. Martin began his professional music career as a clarinetist, saxophonist, and flutist at age thirteen, performing with several big bands and combos in his native Wisconsin. He later attended the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, where his clarinet studies were with Stanley Hasty and former Boston Symphony clarinetist Peter Hadcock. Through his association with the Boston Symphony and Boston Pops, Mr. Martin has worked with most of the world’s leading conductors, soloists, and entertainers. Outside of these two orchestras, he maintains an active schedule as a soloist, chamber musician, and teacher. His performance of the east coast premiere of Elliott Carter’s Clarinet Concerto at Tanglewood in 1998 was highly praised, and he played that work again at Tanglewood in 2008 as part of that summer’s Carter Centenary Celebration. His performances with the Boston Pops included a 100th anniversary tribute to Benny Goodman in June 2009; he gave the American premiere of Carter’s Poems of Louis Zukofsky with soprano Lucy Shelton as part of the 2009 Festival of Contemporary Music at Tanglewood; and he appeared as soloist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in August 2010 performing Leonard Bernstein’s Prelude, Fugue, and Riffs for clarinet and jazz ensemble with Robert Spano conducting. In May 2010 he performed with the Hawthorne String Quartet at the Prague Spring Music Festival, where he also gave the premiere of a new clarinet sonata composed for him by Sir André Previn, with the composer at the piano.