Since its founding in 1998, the Chameleon Arts Ensemble has built a reputation as Boston’s most adventurous chamber ensemble, integrating old and new repertoire into unexpected chamber music programs that are themselves works of art. This innovative ensemble draws those who love the adventure of music – classic and contemporary. A Chameleon concert is a multifaceted experience in an intimate environment joining audience and musicians in an exuberant celebration of music.
Chameleon has earned critical acclaim for both its innovative programming and world-class performances, and the expansion of the Ensemble’s offerings is a testament to the support it enjoys from music lovers in the Boston area. Chameleon Up Close, a recital series featuring members of the ensemble in an intimate café-style setting, was introduced in 2015 to consistently capacity audiences, and a special presentation of Bach’s complete Brandenburg Concertos was sold out for two performances in December of the same year.
The musicians of Chameleon are among the area’s most highly respected and sought-after performers, with growing national and international reputations. Their superb artistry and finely honed collaborative skills ensure luminous performances and dynamic musical dialogues. The Boston Globe called them an “all-star lineup of chamber musicians,” and The Boston Phoenix hailed “A performance that was as tender as it was ferocious, as expansive as it was intimate, as mysterious as it was open-hearted…I doubt I’ll ever hear it played better.”
Artistic Director Deborah Boldin brings a vast knowledge of the chamber music repertoire and a passion for contemporary music and works by neglected composers. Her programs offer an inimitable mix of the witty and the sublime, the adventurous and the beloved. The Boston Globe praised her for “knowing what goes with what on a program” and hailed “Planning a good chamber music program is a delicate art unto itself, and few in town have mastered it as persuasively as the Chameleon Arts Ensemble.” Chamber Music Magazine applauded “fanciful programs and superb playing,” and The Boston Musical Intelligencer praised Chameleon for “keeping the element of adventure alive…not just as sophisticated craft, but as a labor of love.”
The Ensemble has been recognized nationally with awards from the National Endowment for the Arts for its fall 2017 and 2015 programs, Koussevitzky Music Foundation awards in 2015 and 2004, and 2009 and 2007 Adventurous Programming Awards from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers and Chamber Music America. Chameleon has served as artists-in-residence at Lee University and as ensemble-in-residence for Northeastern University’s Fusion Arts Exchange, a summer program for international students sponsored by the US State Department. The Ensemble has been featured on WGBH Radio, WHRB Classical, and WBUR Radio Boston.
In addition, the Ensemble infuses all of its programs with a public-spirited sensibility through Chameleons in the Community, an ongoing outreach effort to increase the accessibility of classical music and create connections between the arts and everyday life. More than a thousand tickets have been donated to constituents of organizations such as the Pine Street Inn and Project Step, and Chameleon dedicates one concert in every season as a benefit for a local public service charity. The Ensemble’s spring music education program, including a free family concert and a series of concerts, demonstrations, and workshops for students in grades 3-5 from the Boston Public Schools, has brought more than 6,000 children a first experience with classical music.