Baroque and Blues Pre-Concert Letter

In our next concert, we travel through time examining the masters of the baroque period through the eyes of composers from different centuries. The concert opens with Vivaldi’s Sonata in D Major for Violin and Piano, RV 10, arranged and extensively re-imagined by Respighi in 1910. David Ying joins Juliana for an arrangement of Bach’s two-part inventions (originally for keyboard). David Ying and Elinor Freer team up for Francois Francoeur’s Cello Sonata in E Major and the Frescobaldi/Cassadó Toccata for Cello and Piano. Cassadó attributed his Toccata for Cello and Piano (written in 1925) to Frescobaldi, an Italian Baroque master, in order to achieve greater notoriety for the work. Both pieces are virtuosic and lyrical showcases for the cello and we know you’ll enjoy hearing these great works.


In the second half, we hear Bach through the compositional lens of French pianist and composer, Jacques Loussier (b.1934), who is well known for his jazz interpretations of some of Bach’s greatest works. We are thrilled to present The Bach Book played by Dariusz Terefenko, Jeff Campbell and Eric Metzgar.


We invite you to join us for a complimentary wine tasting during intermission. The Pre-concert chat is at 3:30pm and the performance begins at 4pm.


Erik and Juliana

A Couple of Couples Pre-Concert Letter

Happy 2018! It has been far too long since our last performance and we can’t wait to see all of you and enjoy our next beautiful concert. The palpable extra dimension of connection when hearing and watching couples play music together was the inspiration behind inviting Phil, Keiko, Ahrim and Robin to play this concert.

A work we have wanted to program for years, Arensky’s stunning Quartet for Violin, Viola and Two Cellos is dedicated to the memory of Tchaikovsky and features a depth of sonority reflective of Arensky’s sadness at the loss of his friend and mentor. This unique combination and instrumentation of couples provides the perfect opportunity to hear this rich work. The first half features Ravel’s Sonata for Violin and Cello and Paul Wianko’s American Haiku, a thrilling work for viola and cello by a gifted cellist and rising star in the composition world. The first half concludes with the effervescent and vivacious String Trio by Jean Francaix. 

We invite you to join us for a complimentary wine tasting during intermission. The Pre-concert chat is at 3:30pm and the performance begins at 4pm


Erik and Juliana

Strings at the Strath Pre-Concert Letter

We are pleased to return to this unique venue at the Strathallan Hotel for our second concert of the season. In addition to the glorious music, we hope you enjoy the stunning view from the top of the hotel during this change of season.

Violinist and Eastman Professor Federico Agostini returns to our series while the new ESM Professor of Viola and former violist with the Pacifica Quartet, Masumi Rostad, joins us for the first time. In addition to beloved works of Brahms and Mozart, this program will also feature American composer Walter Piston’s viola and cello duo (1953). Xeletis Xkwechech by Jonah Murphy, SCMR’s Composition Competition High school winner, is an intriguing work for string quartet and sine wave. SCMR’s Eastman-Hanson Players, an exciting new collaboration between SCMR and ESM, will perform this piece.

We invite you to join us for a complimentary wine tasting during intermission. The Pre-concert chat is at 3:30pm and the performance begins at 4pm. Please also remember that complimentary valet parking is available.


Erik Behr and Juliana Athayde, Artistic Directors

Mozart and Pärt in Harmonie Pre-Concert Letter

We are excited to open our 41st season in an intriguing new Rochester venue, the Lyric Theatre.  The sublime beauty and rich history of this performance space captured our attention and we have chosen a wind octet as the perfect ensemble to showcase the unique acoustics and stunning visual landscape of the Lyric Theatre.

We begin our acoustical exploration of the Lyric Theatre with Fratres by Arvo Pärt. Beat Briner beautifully arranged this minimalist work for wind octet. The wind octet, or Harmonie Ensemble, was a staple group of Mozart’s time and formed the foundation of the wind section for many orchestras. Mozart’s beautiful Serenade in C minor will follow the Pärt. We will also perform arrangements of Mozart’s opera overtures and a short work by Beethoven as well as the music of Mozart’s closest composer friend, Myslivecek. Making his SCMR debut, George Sakakeeny is the new professor of bassoon at ESM and one of the most celebrated pedagogues and performers of his generation. Don’t miss this concert of unforgettable music in a stunning venue!

We invite you to join us for a complimentary wine tasting during intermission in the lobby.  Pre-concert chat is at 3:30pm and the concert is at 4:00pm.

Erik and Juliana


Celebrate SCMR with Jon Nakamatsu Pre-Concert Letter

Culminating our 40th anniversary season, we welcome back internationally renowned pianist, Jon Nakamatsu, for our final concert. We are honored that Jon has served as SCMR’s first-ever Artist in Residence this year and we celebrate this partnership by hearing Rochester’s favorite pianist perform great masterworks of the repertoire. We are also excited to be joined by half of the Ying Quartet, Phillip and David Ying, in what promises to be a wonderful concert. The talented Hochstein Piano Trio begins the evening with the first movement of Mendelssohn’s jubilant Piano Trio No.1. Erik and Jon will then dazzle the audience with Kalliwoda’s showpiece for oboe and piano, Morceau de Salon. The first half ends with Haydn’s virtuosic Piano Trio No.44 in E Major. We continue to search for new and old works that haven’t yet made their way to the SCMR stage over the past 40 years – the Haydn and Kalliwoda are both SCMR premieres! The evening concludes with one of the most glorious works for strings and piano, Brahms’ eloquent, expansive and thrilling Piano Quartet No.1 in G Minor, written when Brahms was just twenty-eight!

This concert is performed in honor of John Bouyoucos, SCMR co-founder, and is generously underwritten by John’s family. We are pleased to offer the complimentary wine tastings at intermission and invite you to join us!

PLEASE NOTE: This concert is on FRIDAY and the pre-concert chat is at 7pm and the performance begins at 7:30pm.

Erik and Juliana

Mozart and a Guggenheim Fellow Pre-Concert Letter

Our next concert offers an extremely wide range of styles and musical languages. There is something for everyone in this eclectic concert, featuring a staple of the chamber music repertoire in Mozart’s Oboe Quartet and the world premiere of Adam Roberts’ Oboe Quartet. This premiere is a result of a generous commission from Jim Willey, an SCMR board member and composer, and we were fortunate to pick Adam before he was named a Guggenheim Fellow and was too swamped to take on our commission!

 Bookending the concert are two thrilling works, Zoltán Kodály’s Serenade and for two violins and viola, and Café Music by Paul Schoenfield. Of his playful and approachable work, Schoenfield notes that the piece draws on “early 20th-century American, Viennese, light classical, gypsy, and Broadway styles”. Kodály’s Serenade blends folk-like melodies with modern harmonies; esteemed Hungarian composer Bela Bartok noted that Kodaly’s works “are the most perfect embodiment of the Hungarian spirit”.

We are pleased to offer complimentary wine tastings at intermission and invite you to join us!  The pre-concert chat is at 3:30pm and the performance begins at 4pm.

Erik and Juliana

Bach to the Future Pre-Concert Letter

Happy (belated) New Year and thank you for two wonderful and sold-out concerts at the Strathallan!  We are excited to return to Hochstein for the final three concerts of the season. Our next concert features the music of J.S.Bach, but with a twist.  We will perform his music as arranged by other great composers, such as Mozart and Rachmaninoff.  We will also perform Sitkovetsky’s arrangement of Bach’s Goldberg Variations for string trio featuring Juliana Athayde, Marc Anderson and Benjamin Krug.  Hearing this piano work performed as a string trio brings a whole new level of appreciation for this masterwork.  Mendelssohn was one of the first composers to promote Bach’s genius and Shannon Nance will perform a collection of early works that clearly show Bach’s compositional influence. Bach’s style is re-imagined in the twentieth century as we conclude the program with the fun and pleasurable Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano Trio by Claude Bolling performed by Rebecca Gilbert, Chiao-Wen Cheng, Jeff Campbell and Dave Mancini.

We are pleased to resume the complimentary wine tastings at intermission and invite you to join us!  The pre-concert chat is at 3:30pm and the performance begins at 4pm.

Erik and Juliana

Great Cello Quintets Pre-Concert Letter

We are thrilled with the response to our sold-out opening concert at the Strathallan and are eagerly awaiting this next concert in the CityView Ballroom where we can enjoy great musicians playing exquisite music while taking in the stunning colors of the fall season.

Our concert features one of the most iconic string chamber music works, Schubert’s String Quintet in C Major.  This beautiful and expansive masterpiece will be paired with Boccherini’s charming and lyrical String Quintet in C Major, another work for this interesting ensemble of string quartet plus an extra cello.  Robin Scott (making his SCMR debut!) and Phillip Ying of the Ying Quartet will perform, along with RPO’s Thomas Rodgers and the dynamic ESM faculty cello couple of Steven Doane and Rosie Elliott.  The concert begins with Never the Same River by Harry Stafylakis, the winning college division work from our composition competition.  Five talented ESM students will perform this ethereal and evocative work as part of our new initiative to facilitate relationships between young performers and composers in a professional setting.

In addition to the breathtaking views, we hope you will take advantage of the other amenities at the Strathallan, including two spectacular restaurants (SCMR patrons will receive a 10% discount at both Hattie's and Char) and complimentary valet parking.  The pre-concert chat is at 3:30 pm and the performance begins at 4:00pm.

Erik and Juliana

Mendelssohn's Magnificent Octet Pre-Concert Letter

Our 40th anniversary season opens with one of the greatest chamber music works ever written - Mendelssohn’s youthful, exuberant and life affirming String Octet.  We can’t wait for you to experience this bright and sunny work while taking in the stunning 360 degree views of Rochester from the Strathallan Hotel’s top floor Cityview Ballroom.  This season celebrates the idea of ‘Tradition Meets Innovation’; to this end, the beloved Mendelssohn will be preceded by three gems of the repertoire that have never been performed on our series: Johan Halvorsen - Passacaglia on a Theme by Handel, Friedrich Hermann - Capriccio for Three Violins, and David Popper - Suite for Two Cellos.  Throughout our season, we will showcase treasured chamber music works alongside SCMR premieres of both contemporary and long-standing works.

In our first performance, we are delighted to feature the talents of violinists Juliana Athayde, Shannon Nance, Thomas Rodgers, and Aika Ito, violists Carol Rodland and Marc Anderson, and cellists Ahrim Kim and Keiko Ying.

We hope that you will enjoy not only the beautiful views from the top of the Strathallan but also the hotel’s other amenities, including two spectacular restaurants (SCMR patrons will receive a 10% discount at both Hattie’s and Char) and complimentary valet parking. Pre-concert chat is at 3:30pm and the performance begins at 4pm.


Erik and Juliana

Nakamatsu and Chamber music

"Along with his September duties with the RPO, Jon Nakamatsu is on board as artist in residence for the 40th season of The Society for Chamber Music in Rochester, which has found an intriguing new venue for its concerts: The CityView Ballroom at the Strathallan Hotel, 550 East Ave." Jeff Spevak, Democrat and Chronicle

Mainly Mozart Festival

"Special note should be made of the woodwinds — whose principal oboist, Erik Behr, and principal clarinetist, Boris Allakhverdyan — contributed solos of a beauty to make angels weep." -Marcus Overton, The San Diego Union-Tribune