Violinist Pinchas Zukerman returns to the Bay Area for a performance with his trio at the Green Music Center on Friday, and then plays a program of sonatas in three area venues as part of Chamber Music San Francisco. He’s had a varied career, as soloist, conductor, and teacher, but says that the experiences of playing chamber music are formative for young players.

There’s more information about the concerts at the Green Music Center and Chamber Music San Francisco websites.

He’s joined in his trio by his wife, cellist Amanda Forsyth, and pianist Angela Cheng, and playing this repertoire reminds him of the experience of playing with Jaqueline du Pre and Daniel Barenboim in the 1970s. “To play chamber music with your own family, it’s fantastic. I recommend it highly.” Zukerman founded the Young Artists Program at Canada’s National Arts Center, and says the foundation for understanding music and people comes from playing in intimate groups. “Chamber music is the essence of it all.  We teach 9, 10, 11 year olds, immediately, they come to our program in Ottawa and they sit down and play chamber music. And within two or three days they’re actually talking to each other! All of a sudden an 11 year old, a 12 year old, 13, they’re all talking to each other, chamber music does that. It’s listening, it’s opening up all the channels of communication that you need as a musician, as a person.”

Zukerman and Angela Cheng will play a program of Mozart, Beethoven, and Brahms at Herbst Theatre on Saturday, at the Lesher Center in Walnut Creek Sunday afternoon, and at the Oshman Family JCC Monday night.