Pamela Steele is in her 13th year as volunteer president of the Ensemble Music Society. EMS, established in 1944, presents a six-concert season at the Indiana History Center Theater at 7:30 p.m., preceded by an informance session at 6:45 p.m. The Ying Quartet opens the 2004-’05 season on Oct. 13. Steele spoke with NUVO about her dedication to EMS and chamber music. Q: What’s unique about Ensemble Music Society?

A: We bring ensembles from around the world to Indianapolis. Everyone also does master concerts at schools. Music is something that must be handed down from master to student. You can’t learn from reading a book. A student had a question about fingering. During one of The Ying Quartet’s previous three appearances with EMS, David Ying handed a high school student his cello.

Q: Why do you keep bringing The Ying Quartet back?

A: You’ll remember that they opened the Indiana History Center Theater, so they’re special to us in that way. But The Ying does such exciting things. They have two major projects. One is to commission young, American composers to build an American sound in string quartet music. The other they call “Musical Dim Sum” to develop works by living Chinese-American composers. They’ll be playing these new works along with both well-known and lesser-known compositions in the standard repertoire.

They will arrive at 4:55 p.m. on Oct. 12 and immediately do a WFYI-90.1 FM live radio interview from 7-8 p.m., on “The Classical Connection” with Michael Toulouse. Next morning they’ll be at Eastwood Middle School and perform a mini-concert at Hooverwood prior to the public concert at 7:30. Next morning they’re at Broad Ripple High School and Heritage Christian before flying back home to Chicago to prepare for their next destination.

Q: Why should NUVO readers attend?

A: Because it’s so much fun. Intelligent fun. It’s live performance. You never know what’s going to happen. The Indiana History Center Theater is a 300-seat hall, wear what you like, sit where you want. To sit so close to genius for two hours is exciting. For more on EMS: 254-8915 or www.ensemblemusic.org.

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