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Live classical chamber music is also back in Buffalo this September

In addition to the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra performing live at Kleinhans Music Hall Friday morning and again on Saturday night at 7:30 (look for a review of this concert on these pages) smaller groups, known as “chamber groups” are also performing in smaller venues, and this week there’s a strong Buffalo-Fredonia connection.

The BPO will get things rolling with their Friday morning “coffee concert” (featuring music by Beethoven and Ravel) leaving Friday night open for a number of their musicians to “moonlight” with the Camerata di Sant’Antonio, performing this September 24 at 8:00 pm at the St. Anthony of Padua Church located at 160 Court Street (corner South Elmwood) right behind Buffalo’s City Hall.


I got to preview tonight’s concert when it was offered last week, also at St. Anthony’s, as a gift to the community by the Hispanic Heritage Council of WNY.  The concert was/is titled “Sueños latinos” or “Latin Dreams” and featured the Waltz movement from “Impressions” by Brazilian-American composer Clarice Assad, daughter of the famous guitarist Sergio Assad, one half of a guitar duo with his brother Odair.  Speaking of guitars and guitar duos, the Artistic Directors of the JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition, the Castellani Andriaccio guitar duo, were there because one of the teachers in their studio, guitarist Ricardo Saeb, played the Fandango from Quintet No. 4 in D by Luigi Boccherini, the Italian composer who found so much success in Spain.  For a sample of that performance, which will all be repeated this Friday, September 24 at 8 pm at the St. Anthony Church, click here.

The Camerata, conducted by Christopher Weber, is chock full of BPO professionals, included, within the chamber orchestra, a stunning string quartet made up of Hee Sagong and Cindy Lin, violins, with Anna Shemetyeva (the BPO’s Associate Principal Violist) and cellist David Schmude.  I was quite impressed at their balance and musicianship and ability to evoke strong emotions in the audience. Other works appropriate for this Hispanic Heritage Month concert will be African-American composer William Grant Still’s “Danzas de Panama” and Mexican composer Arturo Márquez’s hypnotic “Danzón No. 2.”

Tickets are $15 at the door but note that admission to regular season concerts is free for ages 17 and under or with a current college ID.  Masks are required.


It happens far too often in this mid-market town that on any given night there will be competing offers.  You’d expect that in Manhattan, but here we are with another chamber orchestra, the Western New York Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Glen Cortese, at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 724 Delaware Ave, Buffalo, NY 14209, with a 7:30 pm program this Friday, September 24. Their program is called Classics #1: “Bach to Basics” and features the Fredonia Chamber Choir.  On the program are four works by the great Baroque composer (some might say the greatest composer ever) including Bach’s Cantata No. 160 (I know my redeemer liveth), “Sheep May Safely Graze,” arranged by Cortese, the Brandenburg Concerto No. 3, and the Cantata No. 80 (Ein feste berg) (“A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”).

The Friday night 7:30 concert at the Westminster Presbyterian Church on Delaware Avenue is FREE although donations are encouraged! Masks are required.

Fortunately, if you’re willing to take a 40-minute drive, you don’t have to choose between Chamber Orchestras, because WNYCO will repeat the concert this Sunday, September 26, 2021 at 4 pm in King Concert Hall on the SUNY Fredonia campus.  The SUNY Fredonia Ticket Office can be reached at (716) 673-3501 PHONE or email regarding Masks are required.


The “Friends of Vienna” will kick off their 43rd Anniversary Season of chamber music concerts for the public on this Sunday, September 26, at 3:30 pm, at their usual venue, the Unity Church, 1243 Delaware Avenue, about two blocks south (uphill) of Gates Circle in Buffalo.  All parking spots behind the church are available for your use on Sundays and overflow parking is available next door, behind the Gromo Sinus Center.  (That’s where I park, easy in and out, avoid the crowds.)

Ekstasis Duo

So, the concert this September 26 at 3:30 is with the Ekstasis Duo: Cellist Natasha Farny and pianist Eliran Avni, both from the Fredonia School of Music.  The duo will present a program of women composers entitled “Women’s Voices” including the following works of music by Lili Boulanger, Henriette Bosmans, George Walker, Alma Mahler, and Alexander Zemlinsky.

Tickets: $14, students $5 at the door, cash or check only.  Masks are required.

Written by Peter Hall

Peter Hall

Peter Hall continues trying to figure out how "it" all works. For over 20 years, as a producer and program host on WNED Classical (94.5 FM), he's conducted over 1,000 interviews with artists as he asks them to explain, in layman's terms, "what's the big picture here?" These days Peter can be heard regularly on Sunday afternoons from 1 to 5.

On “Theater Talk” (heard Friday mornings at 6:45 and 8:45 a.m. on WBFO 88.7 FM) his favorite question of co-host Anthony Chase is simply "What's goin' on?" As mentioned recently in Buffalo Spree magazine, Peter's "Buffalo Rising reviews are the no-holds barred 'everyman's' take."

A member of Buffalo's Artie Awards Committee, Peter holds a B.A. in Comparative Literature from Columbia University and an M.B.A. from SUNY at Buffalo. For over twenty-five years he was an adjunct professor for Canisius College’s Richard J. Wehle School of Business.

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