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Oboist Rising

Megan Kyle of Parvenue (photo by Megan Metté)

Among the many valuable services that Jon and Lázara Nelson, the owners of the Pausa Art House, have provided to the local musical scene, is that of offering an ideal, intimate venue for the performance of classical chamber music by freelance musicians who are not necessarily closely connected to the local college/university musical performance scene. Pausa remains unique as it is the only venue locally where you can enjoy a glass of wine in a relaxed atmosphere while listening to performances by accomplished classical musicians.

A case in point is the concert on Thursday September 25 at 8pm featuring a performance of 20th century chamber works by the Buffalo-based duo “Parvenue” which consists of Megan Kyle, oboe/English horn and Katie Weissman, cello. Weissman, who has a BM in cello performance from Boston University, also worked with the noted film composer Bernard Herrmann at the Royal College of Music in London. Meagan and Katie also collaborate with pianist Michael McNeill and soprano Maria Lindsey in the Buffalo Bach Project, and both are members of the new music collective Wooden Cities.

They will be joined by several other young musicians who have recently completed, or are completing advanced degrees. Flutist Lana Stafford and violinist Ana Vafai received their Masters in Music performance degrees from UB, while violist Evan Courtin is the concertmaster of the Buffalo State College Philharmonia and violinist David Adamczyk has a degree in composition from the Manhattan School of Music.

Megan Kyle earned her BM at the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music where she studied oboe with Alex Klein, former principal of the Chicago Symphony and English horn with Robert Walters, who plays English horn in the Cleveland Orchestra. Kyle has been very active on the local music scene since she moved here last summer after receiving her MM in oboe performance from DePaul University, where she studied with Eugene Izotov, principal oboe of the Chicago Symphony. Kyle teaches at Houghton College and Geneseo and has performed with the BPO, the Slee Sinfonietta and the Rochester Philharmonic.

“I love the Buffalo music scene,” says Kyle. “There is so much energy and talent and ideas packed into a relatively small scene, and I think because of that there is more cross-pollination among different groups and types of music than you might find in a larger city. This brings me to Wooden Cities, because I think that group is a good example—everyone comes to the group from a slightly different direction, with a different background and interests, and the variety of repertoire we do reflects that in a way that I think is great. Being in Buffalo and playing with Wooden Cities has pushed my boundaries, which is so exciting.”

Their Pausa program is anchored by two masterpieces of 20th century British music for the oboe, the 1927 Quintet by Arthur Bliss and the 1932 Phantasy Quartet by Benjamin Britten, composers, who, though stylistically distinct in many ways, have in common a lush, melodic sensibility. “I have wanted to perform these pieces since I was an undergraduate,” says Kyle, “when I first heard the recording that my teacher, Alex Klein, made with the Vermeer Quartet. I love the sound world of oboe with strings, and these are amazing examples of that genre, which I always think of as beginning with the Mozart Oboe Quartet.

Other works to be performed include Sea Change, a duo for English horn and cello by Jeffrey Stadelman, chair of the Music Department at UB, that ends with a direct quotation of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde taken from the mournful English horn solo that begins the third act of the opera; the rarely programmed Diaphonic Suite No. 4 by Ruth Crawford-Seeger, step-mother of folk singer legend Pete Seeger; Honegger’s Trois Contretemps, for piccolo, oboe/English horn, violin and cello and Finnish composer Kalevi Aho’s Seven Inventions and Postlude, a work described as sharing “a lushness and dramatic sense with Bliss and Britten, but in the context of late 20th-century tonality”.

Tickets: $7; students: $5. Information:

Gift to the Community Series Debut

The venerable Buffalo Chamber Music Society’s Tuesday night concert series will not begin until the middle of October, but their three-concert “Gift to the Community Series” opens in the Mary Seaton Room of Kleinhans Music Hall this Sunday, September 21 at 3pm with a performance by pianist Andrew Tyson. A winner of the prestigious Young Concert Artists International Auditions, Tyson was also one of the five classical soloists, or groups, awarded the highly coveted Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2013. His packed recital program includes a sonata by Mozart, a set of Mazurkas and a Ballade by Chopin, and a pair of rarely offered Preludes by Henri Dutilleux, as well as Schumann’s mighty Symphonic Etudes, Op. 13. Admission to the event is free.

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