Tonight: Chamber music a go-go with CSO violinist Erik Peterson and friends

The beauty of chamber music is in its intimacy and immediacy; you can't help, as an audience member, being caught up in the interplay and, even better, the moment. And at tonight's Chamber Music Series Concert at the Denver School of the Arts, which raises funds for the DSA Orchestra, expect moments to spare: DSA visiting artist Erik Peterson and a quartet of fellow Colorado Symphony companions will perform two very different pieces, strung together by dark themes: Schubert's personal death march, "Death and the Maiden," and "Black Angels," George Crumb's modern work for electric string quartet, which incorporates maracas, crystal glasses and tam-tams into the overall score. Not the usual boring classical evening -- no sir!

Peterson says the unusual slate was chosen with the young listeners and players of the DSAO in mind: "The standard classic audience is really not exposed to this kind of music," he notes. "Many people are afraid to program it for fear of frightening audiences away. "Black Angels" was written about the Vietnam war, and it's full of weird sounds: There's shouting and chanting and whistling, and lots of unusual instruments, like gongs, maracas and crystal glasses."

That said, you don't have to be Goth to enjoy this concert: See and hear Peterson, violinist David Waldman, violist Kelly Shanafelt and cellist Thomas Heinrich go electric and eclectic tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Denver School of the Arts Concert Hall, 7111 Montview Boulevard; buy tickets, $10 to $15, online or at the DSA box office. Visit the DSAO website for more information.

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