Phil Rehard, concert manager of Slee Hall at the University at Buffalo is looking forward to once again hosting a full semester of musical programs. “I am proud to be part of a team that continued to present music during the pandemic via streaming,” says Rehard. “We learned quite a bit through that process, but there is nothing like live music.”
On Tuesday September 14, the Center for 21st Century Music presents conductor Christian Baldini leading the Slee Sinfonietta in the music of Baldini, Donatoni, Felder, and Takemitsu. A faculty recital on September 17 by Michael Serio, piano with James Kosnik, organ and piano, features pieces for solo instruments by Bruhns, Chopin, Granados, and Widor, as well as works for two pianos by Rachmaninoff and Copland’s Billy the Kid Suite. Cutting-edge contemporary ensemble Hanatsu Miroir presents a program on September 23 with music by Aperghis, Harvey, Felder, Larossa, Murail, and Tejera.
The Friends of Vienna opens its season on Sunday, September 26, at 3:30 p.m. in the Unity Church, 1243 Delaware with a recital by Natasha Farny, cello, and Eliran Avni, piano, both faculty in the Fredonia School of Music. “We’ve decided to call our program ‘...From the Shadows,’” says Farny, who notes that the works on this program have not been performed much. “George Walker was an important composer during his day, having been the first Black musician to graduate from the Curtis Institute of Music, receive a graduate degree from Eastman, and win several important awards, including the Pulitzer Prize. I only recently learned of his sonata, which was written in 1957. In it, I heard several themes that reminded me of music from Breakfast at Tiffany’s (“Moon River”) and West Side Story. After some research, I realized that Walker’s sonata came before these blockbuster works.
“During our COVID summer of 2020, I discovered these gorgeous five songs by Alma Mahler. We were tickled by the fact that she had studied with Alexander Zemlinsky, who was hopelessly in love with her, and thought it would be amusing to have them on the same program. Henriëtte Bosmans, also on the program, was a Dutch, half-Jewish, bisexual performer who lived through two world wars. Her incredible cello sonata, written for her Jewish brother-in-law in 1919, shows her strength of character.”
The Roycroft Chamber Music Festival in East Aurora has featured concerts the first two weekends of June for more than twenty-five years, but had to cancel its season in 2020, and postpone the 2021 festival to September. “The RCMF missed our audience and our musicians during 2020,” says Festival co-chair Martha Buyer. “We will have a gala fundraiser on Thursday, September 9 at the Mansion at Knox Farm, benefiting both organizations, with musicians, many of whom are members of the BPO, in a preview evening of this year’s program.” Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served (tickets are $50). The next day’s concert includes the Mozart Piano Quartet in g minor K. 478 and Beethoven’s String Quartet Op. 74 The Harp. Saturday’s program includes Benjamin Britten’s Fantasy Quartet Op. 2 for oboe and strings, and Brahms’ Piano Quartet in g minor Op. 25. All events begin at 7 p.m. roycroftchambermusic.org