The Austin Chronicle

Golden Hornet Project

Chamber music lives!

By Robert Faires, May 26, 2006, Arts

The drag about all that great chamber music that Mozart wrote is that there isn't any more of it being made. Since he died, he hasn't produced a single new quartet or trio. And the same goes for Beethoven, Brahms, Haydn, Mendelssohn, Schubert, and those other slackers in the Dead Composers Society. Fortunately, the Golden Hornet Project is around to pick up the slack, giving us regular infusions of new chamber music by local composers. Over the past seven years, GHP masterminds Graham Reynolds (Golden Arm Trio) and Peter Stopschinski (Brown Whörnet) have hosted more than two dozen concerts featuring new compositions by more than 30 composers – many of them, like Reynolds and Stopschinski, drawn from Austin bands and the contemporary music scene. And far from being stuffy concert-hall black-tie affairs, these come-as-you-are performances take place in chambers where chamber music isn't usually heard. This week, for example, the project is wheeling a baby grand into Hyde Park Theatre for a program of new trios, composed and improvised, by the likes of P. Kellach Waddle, who plays bass with the Austin Symphony and has been twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in Music; Josh Robins of the Invincible Czars; David Wyatt of the Ron Titter Band and Stinky del Negro; Maurice Chammah of the Red Armada Quartet, Tristero, Amazing!, and the Bishop Elect; and, of course, hosts Stopschinski and Reynolds, who will be handling honors on the keyboards. Joining them will be violinist Bruce Colson, who plays with the Austin Symphony, the Austin Lyric Opera Orchestra, and the Renaissance folk rock ensemble Mundi; and cellist Jon Dexter of rock band What We Know. As long as we can't get Mozart to bang out any new chamber works, why not get hooked on some composers who can continue to tickle our ears with fresh music for small ensembles?

The Golden Hornet Project's Concert of Very New Work for Cello, Violin, and Piano will be held Tuesday, May 30, 8pm, at Hyde Park Theatre, 511 W. 43rd. For more information, visit

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