Each of these venues offers musicians and audiences a variety of opportunities to experience Orion’s performances and repertoire.
“Each hall we play in has special qualities,” said clarinetist and Executive Director Kathryne Pirtle. “PianoForte is our most intimate setting—our audience is literally several feet away from us! It is almost like performing in a large living room, the way chamber music was originally intended. Nichols Hall has wonderful acoustics in a larger space for a warmer, more reverberant sound. We have not yet played a concert in our new Aurora venue, but judging from what we have tried there, it is going to be a wonderful chamber music hall with a balanced, warm sound.”
“Pianoforte has a modern and edgy feel and sound, somewhat raw, as if you are inside the instruments,” described Ramniceanu. “Nichols is a perfect hall for chamber ensembles; it’s intimate even though you feel like you are on a great stage performing there. Our new venue in Aurora should provide a perfect balance between the other two venues, and it’s so nice to have a beautiful church and its acoustics to perform in.”
In comparing the chamber music experience to that of playing with a large orchestra (which all the Orion musicians do when they are not playing together), Pirtle shared, “Playing chamber music in a wonderful ensemble is one of the most satisfying musical experiences of my life. I love being able to perform a wide range of challenging music with such incredible musical partners.” Ramniceanu added, “You are so much closer to the audiences, they almost become one with you. We react to them so much, it is quite wonderful. We literally share our musical souls in this close relationship.”
Schmück agreed. “A substantial part of the energy of each venue is the audience—the people who are listening—and I am grateful that we have enthusiastic, positive chamber music audiences in all three venues.”
Pirtle suggested, “Audience members might want to consider experiencing more than one performance of each of our concert programs for an opportunity to hear the different acoustics of our venues and enjoy multiple performances of each piece. Any patron can come to multiple performances of one concert for free with their ticket.”