Chamber Music Week: Four of the premiere area chamber groups offer concerts this week


A Musical Feast, the Friends of Vienna, the Buffalo Chamber Music Society and the Camerata di Sant’Antonio each offer a concert over the span of five days.

A Musical Feast

Charles and Irene Haupt’s long-running concert series, A Musical Feast, opens its new season on Friday October 14 at 8pm, in, the Tower Auditorium in the Burchfield Penny Art Center on the Buffalo State Campus. The series has earned an enviable reputation for presenting eclectic programs, and this concert continues in that tradition, featuring works for saxophone, cello and violin. Fredonia School of Music saxophone faculty members Wildy Zumwalt and Diane Hunger combine to offer the area premiere of “Black”, by the contemporary American composer Marc Mellits. The two alto saxophonists engage in a high energy, but still very intimate dialogue, that demands that the listener sit up and pay close attention, since there is no other option nor, indeed, is one needed. Debussy composed “Syrinx”, his short, but astonishingly evocative piece for solo flute in 1913, but Zumwalt will demonstrate that the piece works equally well for alto sax, especially when the piano part of the piece is performed by Buffalo native Amy Williams, professor of composition and piano at the University of Pittsburgh.

Williams will be joined by UB professor of cello Jonathan Golove for a pair of works. Robert Schumann originally composed Kinderszenen, (Scenes from Childhood) his beloved collection of 13 short pieces for piano in 1839, but shortly afterwards the German cello virtuoso and pedagogue Friedrich Grützmacher transcribed it for cello and piano, and an updated version of Grützmacher’s transcription will be featured in this program. Golove was inspired to compose his “Kreisler’s Coat” for cello and piano by Schumann’s set of fantasies for solo piano, Kreisleriana, which was in turn inspired by E. T. A. Hoffmann’s fictional writings, the inspiration for Jacques Offenbach’s opera “The Tales of Hoffman”. Another inspiration, says Golove, was the great German violinist, “Fritz Kreisler, whose violin tone has always evoked for me images of golden colors and sensations of warmth.” Golove will also perform the Sonata for solo cello, by the Austrian-born composer Egon Wellesz, a rarely programmed piece that is one of the early wave of works for cello solo, a genre almost completely neglected after Bach. Finally, Fredonia faculty violinist David Colwell and pianist Dmitri Novgorodsky piano perform Edvard Grieg’s Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 3 in C minor, a once very popular piece that rarely finds a place in contemporary recitals.

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

The Friends of Vienna

Fredonia is only 50 or so miles away from Buffalo, but all too often Buffalo music lovers choose not to make that drive to attend musical events, which is a shame since the Fredonia School of Music is home to some of the most talented musicians in Western NY. The Friends of Vienna will feature two of these artists in their next concert on Sunday October 16 at 3:30pm in the Unity Church, 1243 Delaware Avenue in Buffalo. Cellist Natasha Farny, who recently completed her second tour of Brazil, is always a welcome guest on this series, and for this recital she will be joined by fellow faculty member pianist Mikyung Kim, who will be making her series debut.

While their program includes Beethoven’s “Sonata No. 3 in A Major”, one of the bedrocks of the Germanic tradition of works composed for cello and piano, it has, overall a decided French flair. Originally written for voice and piano, Gabriel Faure’s “Après un rêve” has taken on a life of its own in the transcription for cello and piano, as has Maurice Ravel’s “Pièce en Forme de Habanera”, originally composed for bass voice and piano. Universally regarded as one of the masterpieces written for the cello, Debussy’s “Sonata for Cello and Piano”, one of the composer’s last works, is a staple of the modern cello repertoire. While Bohuslav Martinu is a Czech composer, his “Theme and Variations on a Slovak Folksong” fits nicely into this program, since Martinu made his home in Paris, between the two World Wars. Lastly, perhaps in a bow to her recent Brazilian concert tour, Farny will perform the haunting “Aria Cantilena” from Brazilian composer Heitor Villa Lobos’ “Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5”.

Tickets: $12; $5 students. Information:

Buffalo Chamber Music Society

The venerable Buffalo Chamber Music Society is the second oldest such society in the United States, and it will open its 2016-2017 concert series with the Buffalo debut of the critically acclaimed Auryn Quartet, a German string quartet, on Tuesday October18 at 8pm in the Mary Seaton Room of Kleinhans Music Hall. Their program will include works by two of the stalwart composers of the classical string quartet tradition. Haydn, the inventor of the string quartet form, will be represented by one of his very last works in the genre, the Quartet in G major, Op.77, No.1, and Mozart by his Quartet in C major, K.465 ‘Dissonant’.  Béla Bartok, along with Shostakovich, one of the undisputed 20th century masters of the string quartet format, composed six string quartets, and the Auryn Quartet will offer his early, “String Quartet No. 2”. Igor Stravinsky, on the other hand, had a rather low opinion of the genre, but while he composed his Three Pieces for String Quartet as something of a parody, the delightfully quirky work has turned out to me surprisingly popular with lovers of the genre.

Tickets: $25; free admission for Middle/High School students. Information:

The Camerata di Sant’Antonio

For their last two seasons, the musicians of the Camerata de Sant’Antonio, under the leadership of their conductor and founder, Christopher Weber, were able to offer what they called a series of ‘pay it forward’ events. No admission fee was charged, but donations were solicited from concert goers, with all proceeds going to several different and worthy local charitable organizations. Concertgoers who attended any of these very successful past events might want to consider supporting the efforts of the Camerata by attending its upcoming fundraiser. On Tuesday October 18 the Camerata di Sant’Antonio presents “Forbidden Dance”, in the Grand Lobby of Shea’s Performing Arts Center, an evening featuring tango and nuevo tango music.

Doors open at 6:30 pm with Shea’s top-shelf cocktails and complimentary hors d’oeuvres, with your first cocktail on the house. The tango music, and the dancing, begins at 7pm.

Tickets: $25 at the door, or reserve by calling 856-3626.
20.00 per ticket for groups of 10 or more!

Music of Piazzolla, Albinez, Assad, Gardel, & Ginastera as well as the WNY premiere of tango “Buena Riga” by Latvian composer Georgs Pelécis.

About the author

Jamie Moses

Jamie Moses founded Artvoice in 1990

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