The Grace Church Concert Series continues in 2017 with two outstanding performances.

A Celebration of Austrian Composer Friedrich Gulda—Cello and wind ensemble

Sunday, April 23, 2017,  5:00 P.M.    Tickets

The Austrian pianist and composer Friedrich Gulda was noted for his renditions of the classical repertoire, his improvisatory jazz interpretations, and his eccentricities, which included jazz improvisations in the middle of classical pieces and the release of his own obituary so that he could perform at a “resurrection party.” Martha Aldrich and Claudio Abbado are among his many students. In 1980, he wrote a Concerto for Cello and Wind Orchestra, which has been called “as moving as it is lighthearted,” involving jazz, a minuet, rock, a smidgen of polka, a march, and a cadenza with two spots where the solo cellist must improvise. The Classical Conditioning Blog calls it “a wild ride, equal parts gorgeous, heroic, and hilarious. You have never heard anything quite like it.”

The Shenandoah University Wind Ensemble is one of the premier performing groups within the Shenandoah Conservatory. Under the tutelage of Dr. Tim Robblee, the Director of Bands and Associate Professor of Conducting, it has become known for its wide-ranging repertoire, from classical to contemporary music, by some of the most popular writers and arrangers in America. Cello soloist Sebastian Bäverstam grew up in Newton, MA, and began cello study at age three. At age six, Sebastian gave his first full recital at Harvard, and performed his first solo concerto at age seven. He has appeared on NPR’s “From the Top” program, and has toured China, Venezuela, and Brazil as a soloist, and performed with national and international orchestras.


Amit Peled and his cello gang—Cello ensemble

Friday, June 2, 2016,  7:00 P.M.  Tickets

(note the special day and time)

“Creating music with ‘my very own flesh and blood’ students has been truly special for me. Witnessing how they blossom on stage, engage with the public, and create magical moments has given me the greatest pleasure as a musician and a teacher.”

From the United States to Europe, the Middle East and Asia, Israeli cellist Amit Peled, a musician of profound artistry and charismatic stage presence, is acclaimed as one of the most exciting instrumentalists on the concert stage today. At 6’5” tall, Peled started life as a basketball player and was called “larger than life” when he enveloped his cello and “Jacqueline du Pré in a farmer’s body.” Peled often surprises audiences with the way her breaks down barriers between performers and the public, making classical music more accessible to wider audiences. Tim Smith of the Baltimore Sun reflected on a recent performance: “Peled did a lot of joking in remarks to the audience. His amiable and inviting personality is exactly the type everyone says we’ll need more of if classical music is to survive.”

During the 2016/17 season, Mr. Peled will continue sharing with audiences the sound of the historic cello of Pablo Casals. The instrument, a Goffriler ca. 1733, was personally handed to him by the Maestro’s widow, Mrs. Marta Casals Istomin. Mr. Peled has performed as a soloist with many orchestras, and in the world’s major concert halls such as: Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall, New York; Salle Gaveau, Paris; Wigmore Hall, London; Konzerthaus, Berlin; and Tel Aviv’s Mann Auditorium. Following his enthusiastically received Alice Tully Hall concerto debut playing the Hindemith cello concerto, the New York Times stated that his playing possessed “Glowing tone, a seductive timbre and an emotionally pointed approach to phrasing that made you want to hear him again.”  One of the most sought after cello pedagogues, Mr. Peled is a Professor at the Peabody Conservatory of Music of Johns Hopkins University.