On a chilly evening in December 2002, Chatter – A Chamber Ensemble was created by violinist/Associate Concertmaster of the NMSO, David Felberg, and cellist/composer Eric Walters (1968-2016). Its purpose was to perform concerts featuring contemporary repertoire and promoting the use of unusual instrumentations.
In 2008, Church of Beethoven was founded by cellist Felix Wurman who was soon joined by his friend David Felberg. At The Filling Station on 4th Street in downtown Albuquerque, Felix and David made espresso, played music with fellow musicians, passed the basket. Tony Hunt became the First Poet.
From the proceeds of the basket, the rent was paid, the coffee was purchased – sometimes the musicians were paid. Idyllic days for the Sunday morning Filling Station audiences; perhaps a bit harder on Felix, David and the musicians.
To meet the spatial and other needs of an enthusiastically growing audience, CoB moved to The Kosmos, 1715 5th Street NW. The dream was to create great music in an unusual, intimate venue—an alternative to the concert hall.
Felix Wurman died at age 51 in December 2009. His friend and colleague David Felberg took up the baton, the responsibilities, and the passion of Church of Beethoven. Soon, he was joined by James T. Shields, principal clarinet of the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra.
In June 2011, Club Beethoven was launched with the intent of bringing new audiences to downtown Albuquerque on Sunday evenings. Great classical music in the club-style atmosphere of a black-box performance space in the Hotel Andaluz.
Unforeseen events required us to change the name from Church of Beethoven and in January 2012, all three series became linked to the original creation, CHATTER. Thus: Chatter at … occasional larger-scale performances in a variety of locations; Chatter Sunday, the weekly Sunday morning fulcrum of the organization; and Chatter Cabaret, the uptown, nightclub sister.
In September 2015 Chatter Sunday moved to Las Puertas–an event center with a specially created live chamber music space–located at 1512 1st St NW in Albuquerque.
Ensemble Music New Mexico was established to bring the three performance entities under one parent board and one operating budget. David Felberg Artistic Director | James T. Shields Associate Artistic Director