Chamber music figures large in the Basil’s musical life. His first exposures to chamber music came in the form of recordings of Schubert’s Trout Quintet, the Mozart Clarinet Quintet and Beethoven’s early string quartets, played on his parent’s record player, often with him accompanying. Intimate collaboration and the joy of making music with friends makes this facet of Basil’s musical career perhaps the most important.
As a member of the Aurora String Quartet (comprised of members of the San Francisco Symphony) Basil played many programs, including West Coast premieres of works by Harbison, Tower, Benjamin Lees, George Tsontakis and many others. The quartet recorded the complete Mendelssohn string quartet cycle for Naxos records. Duo Esprit (with harpist Ann Marie Liss) created a new wealth of repertoire for the combination, and many well received concerts.
Basil has collaborated with many distinguished artists, including Jeffrey Kahane (pictured with members of the CSO here), Menahem Pressler, Gilbert Kalisch, Jerome Lowenthal, Ida Kavafian, Rachel Barton-Pine, Oleh Krysa, Charles Castleman and many others. Summer festivals have brought him together with great colleagues for spirited music-making.
Coaching chamber music is a great love of Basil’s–mentoring aspiring players on some of the greatest music ever written remains a strong passion.