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A Chamber Music Cornucopia

A Chamber Music Cornucopia
The BCMS, A Musical Feast and the Slee Beethoven Cycle, all at once

Buffalo Chamber Music Society

The Montrose Trio makes its local debut on the next Buffalo Chamber Music Society’s concert series in the Mary Seaton Room of Kleinhans Music Hall on Tuesday November 17 at 8pm. The new trio, just formed in 2014, quickly vaulted into the spotlight as one of the best piano trios in the country, and that is no surprise considering the artistic pedigrees of its members.

Canadian born Jon Kimura Parker is best known as a well-regarded concert pianist, who has extensively toured, both in North America, and worldwide. He has appeared with the BPO several times, most recently in the final concert of the 2013-14 concert season, where he delivered a vividly original interpretation of Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini under the baton of music director JoAnn Falletta.

As it turned out, Parker was the final pianist who appeared with the now disbanded, legendary Tokyo String Quartet, in the final season of its 44 year existence. A backstage conversation at that event, with the quartet’s violinist Martin Beaver and cellist Clive Greensmith led to the Montrose Trio’s creation. All three members of the Montrose Trio have enjoyed extensive careers as soloists, both in North America and Europe. The trio gave its debut performance in Detroit, with subsequent performances at Wolftrap, and its current season includes concerts in Philadelphia, New York, Vancouver, Portland, Baltimore, La Jolla, and Hong Kong.

The Montrose Trio will perform the first works written for the piano trio medium, by composers at the very heart of the classical repertoire: Beethoven’s Trio in E flat major, Op.1, No.1 and Brahms’s Trio in B major, Op.8, along with a relative rarity, Spanish composer Joaquin Turina’s Trio in B minor, Op.76, a work that has only been performed once before in the 90 plus year history of the BCMS.

BCMS Gift to the Community

Besides bringing the best national and international classical music groups to their Tuesday evening series, the BCMS also sponsors a series of free concerts. The next event, on Sunday November 15 at 3pm features the young, award winning Korean cellist Sang-Eun Lee, accompanied by pianist Noreen Polera. Lee’s program includes the Sonata No.1 in E minor, Op.38 by Brahms, the familiar Sonata in G minor by Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky’s lively Suite italienne, and the rarely programmed Sonata for solo cello by the now sometimes inexplicably overlooked contemporary American master, George Crumb.

Tickets: $20/$10; free admission for Middle/High School students. Information:

A Musical Feast

The Burchfield Penny Art Center is celebrating the legendary media scholar, Dr. Gerald O’Grady, former UB professor of English who led the media revolution in Buffalo in the early 1970s, making it among the first cities in the nation to create a public access center for film and video equipment and education.

A Musical Feast the resident musical ensemble at the BP, will open its season in conjunction with this celebration with a concert on Friday November 13 at 8pm. The first half of the concert will feature the Chinese musician Daisy Wu playing the guzheng, a traditional 18 string plucked instrument similar to the European zither, in Water, a remix of “Shall We Gather at the River,” by the iconoclastic American composer Charles Ives, and “High Mountains and Flowing Water,” a classic Chinese melody, while pianist Jiheng Teng will perform another popular Chinese melody. There will be a screening of SPYR, a video by Christoph Lemmen, with music by the German composer Ruth Wiesenfeld performed by violist Mike Flemming, while Colleen Marie will offer a video/art performance of a new work, Dame Gothel.

The second half of the program will feature Joshua Smith performing his composition, Shakuhachi, or “Crimson Sky” on bamboo flute, while Olivier Pasquet’s videos Fomalhaut and Searching, on a theme suggested by the early 20th century German author Herman Hesse will be interpreted by percussionist John Bacon. In a more traditional mode, the Fredonia String Trio—violinist David Cowell, violist David Rose and cellist Natasha Farny, will perform Mozart’s Divertimento for String Trio in E-flat Major, K. 563. Cowell and Farny will also perform the Passacaglia in G minor on a theme by Handel, by Norwegian composer Johan Halvorsen (1864-1935).

Tickets: $20/$10 students/Burchfield Penney members. Phone: 878-6011 or visit:

Slee Beethoven Cycle Returns

The first three installments of the complete string quartet cycle of Beethoven will take place this weekend in Slee Hall on the UB Amherst Campus at 7:30pm on Friday (11/13), Saturday (11/14) and Sunday (11/15) with the Escher String Quartet as guest artists. Violinists Adam Barnett-Hart and Aaron Boyd, violist Pierre Lapointe, and cellist Brook Speltz were all students at the Manhattan School of Music when they formed their string quartet, named after the Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher, in 2005. The Escher quartet was mentored by the Emerson Quartet, and it received a highly coveted Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2013, an award rarely given to an ensemble. Their recent recordings of the complete quartets of Alexander von Zemlinsky garnered uniformly favorable reviews.

The opening concert on Friday includes the Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 127, the Quartet in F Major, Op. 18, No. 1 and the Quartet in C Major, Op. 59, No. 3. Saturday evening’s concert includes the Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 74 (“The Harp”), the Quartet in G Major, Op. 18, No. 2 and the Quartet in C-sharp minor, Op. 131. The Escher’s final concert on Sunday afternoon at 3pm includes the Quartet in D Major, Op. 18, No. 3, the “Grosse Fuge,” Op. 133 and the Quartet in F Major, Op. 59, No. 1.

Tickets: $15/10 seniors students; free for UB students.


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