History

Please explore Geneva Music Festival’s history of growth, community service and artistic excellence!

  • 2018

    In 2018, attendance reached a record of more than 1,280 people in Geneva, Canandaigua, Auburn and Skaneateles, with several full-capacity crowds in the Gearan Center for the Performing Arts’ Froelich Hall. Over the course of three weeks, we presented 14 concerts from a variety of musical genres including Classical, Blues and Jazz, and music and poetry shared the stage at several events. We also continued our theme-week format with “Music, Poetry, and Perspectives: A Celebration of African American Culture,” which enabled us to introduce poet Mwatabu Okantah, exceptional pianist Michelle Cann, Broadway and television star Syndee Winters, and percussionist T.S. Monk.

    • Jinjoo Cho and Hyun Soo Kim: La Fin De Siècle

      • Gearan Center for the Performing Arts
      The acclaimed young violinist and pianist return to open the Festival, featuring more »

      The acclaimed young violinist and pianist return to open the Festival, featuring works from the turn of the 19th century. Hear the last expressive gasps of romanticism in Chausson's Poeme and Faure's Violin Sonata as well as the influence that WWI had on music in works by Schulhoff and Britten.

    • A Transfigured Night

      • Gearan Center for the Performing Arts
      Cavani String Quartet members Si-Yan Lei and Eric Wong, with Jinjoo Cho, Geoffre more »
      Cavani String Quartet members Si-Yan Lei and Eric Wong, with Jinjoo Cho, Geoffrey Herd, and Max Geissler explore the diverse and expressive styles from the turn of the 20th century featuring Fauré’s Quartet No. 1 in c minor and Schoenberg’s poetic masterpiece, Verklarte Nacht. Children 18 years and younger are welcome to attend the concert for free.
    • Cavani Quartet: “Collage: Music and Poetry”

      • Gearan Center for the Performing Arts
      The Quartet-in-Residence at the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Cavani Quartet more »
      The Quartet-in-Residence at the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Cavani Quartet (Annie Fullard, Mari Sato, Eric Wong, Si-Yan Li) has been described by the Washington Post as “completely engrossing, powerful and elegant.” Their impressive 30-year career has garnered many significant awards and honors and they have commissioned, premiered and performed the music of more than 30 living composers. With poet Mwatabu Okantah, they'll present a program of spoken poetry woven in and around music, a variation on their “Collage: Music and Poetry” project. Children 18 years and younger are welcome to attend the concert for free.  
    • Blues and Spirituals

      • Gearan Center for the Performing Arts
      The exceptional pianist Michelle Cann makes her GMF debut, performing with Eliot more »
      The exceptional pianist Michelle Cann makes her GMF debut, performing with Eliot Heaton, Geoffrey Herd, Shawn Moore, Colin Brookes and Max Geissler. The program features Dvorak’s “American” String Quartet as well as David Baker’s piano trio Roots II and other works inspired by African American music. Children 18 years and younger are welcome to attend the concert for free.
    • LENA: A Moment with a Lady

      • Gearan Center for the Performing Arts
      Audiences are transported back in time with Broadway star Syndee Winters (Hamilt more »
      Audiences are transported back in time with Broadway star Syndee Winters (Hamilton, The Lion King, Pippin) in her one-woman show. “LENA: A Moment with a Lady,” uses powerful vocals and a rich story line to share the most pivotal moments in Lena Horne’s life. In the 1940s and '50s, Ms. Horne topped the charts with hit songs like "Stormy Weather" and "The Lady Is a Tramp," and starred in numerous films. Recognized as an influential African-American pioneer in entertainment, she broke new ground when she signed with MGM studios and became one of the first artists to break the color line. Accompanied by a jazz quintet, Syndee will perform many of Lena’s most popular tunes in her telling of this wonderful artist and civil rights leader’s story. Children 18 years and younger are welcome to attend the concert for free.
    • T.S. Monk: A Centennial Celebration of the Great Thelonious Monk with Special Guest Syndee Winters

      • Smith Opera House
      Come be a part of this Thelonious Monk centennial celebration. TS, his son and i more »
      Come be a part of this Thelonious Monk centennial celebration. TS, his son and international jazz sensation, leads a riveting night of jazz from the drum set. Syndee Winters makes a special appearance to open the show; Geneva's MLK Choir will also make a guest appearance. Sponsored by Lyons National Bank. Children 18 years and younger are welcome to attend the concert for free. See TS perform on video.
    • Raymond Nagem Organ Recital

      • Westminster Presbyterian Church in Auburn
      Raymond Nagem, associate music director at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine more »
      Raymond Nagem, associate music director at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in NYC, performs great works by Bach, Mozart and others and showcases the organ of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Auburn. Children 18 years and younger are welcome to attend the concert for free.
    • Ettore Causa and Friends: Chamber Music Finale

      • First Presbyterian Church of Skaneateles
      One of the world’s leading viola soloists plus GMF founding musicians Hannah Col more »
      One of the world’s leading viola soloists plus GMF founding musicians Hannah Collins and Geoffrey Herd, and friends, violinist Shawn Moore and pianist Esther Park, perform treasured chamber works including Bartok Piano Quintet in C Major and Haydn String Quartet in D Major Op. 1 no. 3. Children ages 18 and younger are welcome to attend the concert free of charge.
    • Bluegrass at Ravines

      • Ravines Winery
      Don’t miss this Father’s Day show of footstompin’ fiddlin’ fun! Food also will b more »
      Don’t miss this Father’s Day show of footstompin’ fiddlin’ fun! Food also will be available for purchase at the event. Children 18 years and younger are welcome to attend the concert for free.
  • 2017

    The 2017 Season of the Geneva Music Festival had a record 1,150 people in attendance at a total of 14 concerts. From stages and concert halls around the world,  The Cavani Quartet, Jinjoo Cho, Ani Kavafian, Clive Greensmth, Hannah Collins, Michael Compitello and Eliot Heaton led performances from  a wide range of musical genres, including chamber, classical and bluegrass. Raymond Nagem, associate music director at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in NYC, showcased the majestic organs of Presbyterian Church in Geneva, United Church of Canandaigua, and Auburn’s Westminster Presbyterian Church.

    One of the highlights of this season was a two-concert celebration of jazz, with La Voz De Tres and The Thomas Bergeron Quartet. Multi-instrumentalist Paul McCandless was a special guest for both concerts.

    The 2017 season was made possible by private and corporate funds, as well as public funds from NYSCA’s Decentralization Program, administered locally by Finger Lakes Community Arts Grants (FLCAG) and CNY Arts, Rochester Community Foundation, Wyckoff Family Foundation, Geneva Rotary, the City of Geneva, Williams Family Foundation, Sands Foundation, Delavan Foundation and the Spring Hill Fund. As the season came to a close, GMF announced the receipt of an Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

    • Dashon Burton, Baritone & Christopher Janwong Mckiggan, Piano

      • Gearan Center for the Performing Arts
      This concert features first-time GMF artist Dashon Burton along with returning f more »
      This concert features first-time GMF artist Dashon Burton along with returning festival favorite Christopher Janwong Mckiggan for a remarkable pairing that is sure to be an event not to be missed.
    • Classic and Romantic: Mozart, Mendelssohn and Schumann

      • Gearan Center for the Performing Arts
      Violinists Geoffrey Herd and Eliot Heaton as well as other GMF veterans return t more »
      Violinists Geoffrey Herd and Eliot Heaton as well as other GMF veterans return to GMF for an evening of romantic masterpieces. Including the Schumann Piano Quintet and Mendelssohn F Minor Piano Trio.
    • Concierto: Chamber Music with a Latin Flavor

      • Gearan Center for the Performing Arts
      GMF artists capture the spirit of Latin America with an evening of chamber music more »
      GMF artists capture the spirit of Latin America with an evening of chamber music featuring fiery works of the greatest Latin and Spanish composers.
    • Dance Workshop with Amaya Dance and Double D

      • Gearan Center for the Performing Arts
      Get your dance shoes out of the closet! Come learn from some of the best Latin d more »
      Get your dance shoes out of the closet! Come learn from some of the best Latin dance professionals in the country! Workshops for beginners to advanced dancers featuring salsa and bachata!
    • Viva el Tango! An Evening with JP Jofre

      • Gearan Center for the Performing Arts
      Argentinean bandoneonist JP Jofre infuses this concert with the spark of syncopa more »
      Argentinean bandoneonist JP Jofre infuses this concert with the spark of syncopated Latin rhythms and his innovative nuevo tango style. Guitarist Kenneth Meyer and award winning pianist Cahill Smith and other GMF artists will join him for an unforgettable night of new and old Tango masterworks.
    • Bluegrass and Farm Feast!

      • Ravines Winery
      Bluegrass fans will enjoy this lively concert! Violinist Eliot Heaton and cellis more »
      Bluegrass fans will enjoy this lively concert! Violinist Eliot Heaton and cellist Max Geissler return with Greg Robbins on bass to bring you some good old fashioned American music.
    • Organ Splendor: Joseph Ripka, Organ

      • Westminster Presbyterian Church in Auburn
      Master Organist Joseph Ripka presents a program highlighting the rich variety of more »
      Master Organist Joseph Ripka presents a program highlighting the rich variety of organ music from the 17th through 20th centuries.
    • Hear and Now: Hannah Collins & Clara Lyon

      • Ravines Winery
      Cellist and Geneva Native Hannah Collins joins forces with violinist Clara Lyon more »
      Cellist and Geneva Native Hannah Collins joins forces with violinist Clara Lyon for an evening of contemporary works. Both musicians at the forefront of the contemporary music field, this concert promises to be an expose of new and rarely performed works. Come taste some of the best wines in the region and enjoy an exceptional performance.
    • Laurie Smukler and Friends

      • Gearan Center for the Performing Arts
      Violinist Laurie Smukler teams with GMF musicians for an evening of exceptional more »
      Violinist Laurie Smukler teams with GMF musicians for an evening of exceptional music making.
    • Cavani Quartet

      • Gearan Center for the Performing Arts
      GMF is proud to open our 2017 season with the Cavani Quartet, winner of the Naum more »
      GMF is proud to open our 2017 season with the Cavani Quartet, winner of the Naumberg Chamber Music Award. The Quartet-in-Residence at the Cleveland Institute of Music, it has been described by the Washington Post as “completely engrossing, powerful and elegant.” This will be a fantastic season kick-off! Dmitri Shostakovich String Quartet No. 1 I. Moderato II. Moderato III. Allegro Molto IV. Allegro Joaquín Turina La oración del torero, Op.34 Franz Schubert Death and the Maiden I. Allegro II. Andante con moto III. Scherzo: Allegro molto IV. Presto
    • Jinjoo Cho and Friends “America the Beautiful”

      • First Presbyterian Church of Skaneateles
      Internationally acclaimed violinist Jinjoo Cho joins GMF's exceptional line up o more »
      Internationally acclaimed violinist Jinjoo Cho joins GMF's exceptional line up of artists for chamber music concerts in Geneva and Skaneateles. Experience the wonderful variety of music created here in America. This concert features the music of immigrant Americans as well as the father of American sound, Antonin Dvorak. Avner Dorman "Tree-YO!" I. Lento II. Scherzo III. Andante IV. Presto Richard Danielpour "Book of Hours" I. Morning II. Midday III. Afternoon into Evening IV. Night Osvaldo Golijov "Tenebrae" Dvorak: Op. 97 "American" I. Allegro non tanto II. Allegro vivo III. Larghetto IV. Finale: Allegro giusto
    • Music from the Heart: Classic and Contemporary

      • Willard Memorial Chapel, Auburn
      This concert highlights two of today’s most glorified composers, John Corigliano more »
      This concert highlights two of today’s most glorified composers, John Corigliano and Jennifer Higdon, both Grammy Award and Pulitzer Prize winners. Also featured are two of our most beloved composers of the past, Schubert and Saint-Saens. Corigliano: Snapshot Circa 1909  Schubert: String Trio D. 581  I. Allegro moderato II. Andante III. Menuetto: allegretto IV. Rondo: allegretto Jennifer Higdon: Piano Trio I. Pale Yellow II. Fiery Red Saint-Saens: Piano Quartet Op. 41  I. Allegretto II. Andante maestoso ma con moto II. Poco allegro piu tosto moderato IV. Allegro
    • La Voz De Tres

      • Gearan Center for the Performing Arts
      The first event of our two concert Jazz Celebration! Chilean vocalist Natalia Be more »
      The first event of our two concert Jazz Celebration! Chilean vocalist Natalia Bernal, keyboardist Mike Eckroth, and seven-string guitarist Jason Ennis blend the infectious rhythms and nuanced songwriting traditions of Latin America, original compositions and picks from the great American songbook into a surprising improvisational texture. They’ll also present interpretations of the music from their recent album “Sueños y Delirios” (Dreams and Deliria). Multi-instrumentalist Paul McCandless will join as a special guest.
    • The Thomas Bergeron Quartet

      • Geneva on the Lake
      The Thomas Bergeron Quartet will be joined by a string quartet of GMF artists-in more »
      The Thomas Bergeron Quartet will be joined by a string quartet of GMF artists-in-residence to bring love and romance to the Festival with a jazz-chamber fusion from Bergeron’s latest album. Held at the beautiful Geneva on the Lake resort, the concert will include new jazz interpretations of the music of Rachmaninoff, Liszt, Takemitsu and Scriabin, in addition to some original compositions and jazz standards. Multi-instrumentalist Paul McCandless is special guest. Drinks and hors d'oeuvres available on the terrace at 3:30 p.m., concert begins at 4 pm.
    • Organ Recital featuring Raymond Nagem

      • Presbyterian Church in Geneva
      Raymond Nagem, associate music director at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine more »
      Raymond Nagem, associate music director at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in NYC, will perform his own transcription of Prokofiev's witty “Music for Children,” as well as music by J. S. Bach, Felix Mendelssohn, Max Reger, and Louis Vierne. Prelude and Fugue in D Major, BWV 532                     Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750) Music for Children, Op. 65                                                 Sergei Prokofiev (1891–1953) Promenade A Little Story Tarantella Waltz Rain and Rainbow March Sonata in B-flat Major, Op. 65, No. 4                             Felix Mendelssohn (1809–1847) Allegro con brio Andante religioso Allegretto Allegro maestoso e vivace Six Trios, Op. 47                                                                      Max Reger (1873–1916) Canon in E Major Gigue in D Minor Canzonetta in A Minor Scherzo in A Major Siciliano in E Minor Fugue in C Minor Berceuse from 24 Pièces en style libre, Op. 31             Louis Vierne (1870–1937) Final from Symphony No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 14           Louis Vierne (1870–1937)
    • Hear and Now: New Morse Code

      • Gearan Center for the Performing Arts
      New Morse Code is devoted to bold and engaging performances of music worth shari more »

      New Morse Code is devoted to bold and engaging performances of music worth sharing. Omnivorous, rigorous and inventive, Hannah Collins and Michael Compitello activate the unexpected range and unique sonic world of cello and percussion to catalyze and champion the compelling works of young composers. This exciting duo returns to Geneva Music Festival to perform the culmination of their project with composer Chris Stark in this long-awaited conclusion.

      The Language of Landscapes                                 Christopher Stark (b. 1980) Down Down Baby                                                      Robert Honstein (b. 1980) 1. Follow the Leader 2. Daydream 3. Singing Lesson 4. Strange Dance 5. Daydream 2 6. Down Down Baby
    • Ani Kavafian & Clive Greensmith: Slavic Serenade

      • First Presbyterian Church of Skaneateles
      In the season’s chamber music finale, world-renowned artists and GMF favorites c more »
      In the season’s chamber music finale, world-renowned artists and GMF favorites cellist Clive Greensmith and violinist Ani Kavafian return to perform some of the most exciting works of chamber music with GMF founding artists Geoffrey Herd, Hannah Collins and Eliot Heaton. Shostakovich Two Pieces for String Octet, Op. 11 I. Prelude II. Scherzo Shostakovich Trio No. 1, Op. 8 Rachmaninoff Trio élégiaque No. 1 in g minor Dvorak Piano Quintet in A Major, Op. 81 I. Allegro, ma non tnato II. Dumka: Andate con moto III. Scherzo (Furiant): molto vivace IV. Finale: Allegro
    • Bluegrass at Ravines Winery

      • Ravines Winery
      TICKETS ARE SOLD OUT. This Father’s Day concert is sure to please! Violinist Eli more »
      TICKETS ARE SOLD OUT. This Father’s Day concert is sure to please! Violinist Eliot Heaton joins local artists for an afternoon of high-octane fiddling and bluegrass at Ravines Winery! A Father’s Day BBQ with all the trimmings will be available for purchase at the Ravinous Kitchen from noon to 5 p.m. Admission to the event is free.    
  • 2016

    2016 Strings event at the Gearan Center in Geneva featuring two violins, two cellos and two violas.Our 2016 season was spectacular, with unprecedented variety and excellence. Thirteen diverse and exciting concerts were performed by many returning festival favorites and several new faces as well. Our new artists included violinist and Juilliard Professor Laurie Smukler as well as internationally acclaimed and award winning baritone, Dashon Burton.

    A central element to the GMF 2016 was our Latino Cultural Celebration which featured both Hispanic music and dance elements. In addition to traditional chamber music which highlighted some Hispanic composers, audience-favorite bandoneonist JP Jofre returned once more for a concert of Tangos and Latin fusion. Amaya Dance company was in residence, offering a Latin dance workshop as well as performances.

  • 2015

    The 2015 season was our 5th Anniversary and was truly an exceptional celebration of the Arts and music in the Finger Lakes. It was another year of growth in many realms. Skaneateles was added to the list of concert venues in addition to Geneva, CananPhoto of a cellist and percussionist.daigua and Auburn giving audiences across the Finger Lakes Region easy access to world class performances.
    Music lovers of all varieties were treated to outstanding Chamber Music, adventurous New Music, and two new genre of music, Jazz and Bluegrass. Violinist Ani Kavafian, cellist Clive Greensmith and jazz trumpeter Thomas Bergeron were among the many talented artists on the 2015 roster.

    Thanks to a generous donation of time and effort by the Nixon Peabody Law firm, the GMF became designated as a 501c 3 non-profit organization which allowed the Festival to apply for new sources of funding. A generous grant from the Wyckoff Family Foundation enabled an expansion of outreach to children and the public schools. Free concerts were given for students at Geneva High School, North Street Elementary, Auburn Senior High School, the St. Peter’s Community Arts Academy and the Geneva Community Center.

  • 2014

    In 2014, the Festival became well established as a regional Festival with eight concerts across Geneva, Canandaigua and Auburn. In addition to performing at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, GMF offered concerts in churches and wineries. Musical diversity was key with the addition of Argentinean bandoneonist JP Jofre who delighted audience members with a Tango Nuevo concert at Ravines winery. New Music Ensemble Vicennium Void gave Festival patrons their first taste of contemporary music while they sipped fine wine at Billsboro winery. Clive Greensmith entertained concert goers in Auburn with a cello recital and Zahari Metchkov offered a majestic organ recital.

    The Geneva Community Projects acted as GMF’s fiscal sponsor which allowed the Festival to receive funding from Finger Lakes Community Arts Grants and accept tax deductible donations from businesses and individuals. These activities along with collaboration and support from other Arts organizations including the Smith Center for the Performing Arts helped to strengthen GMF’s community presence, allowing it to quickly become an important and well supported community organization.

  • 2013

    2013 was a break out year for the Festival as it expanded its reach both to the west in Canandaigua and to the east in Auburn, NY. The beautiful Willard Memorial Chapel, with it’s stunning Tiffany windows and fine acoustics became the Festival’s second home. In addition, GMF continued to expand its roster of world class artists and included violinist Ani Kavafian a senior artist with of the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society.

    With the help of Geneva Community Projects as our fiscal sponsor, the Festival was able to begin to explore grant opportunities and other avenues for support. The Arts and Cultural Council of Rochester helped Festival organizers learn about promotional activities and arranged legal counsel for the Festival to become a non-profit organization.

    With exceptional artistic excellence and ever increasing efforts to reach a broad range of audiences along with collaboration with other Arts organizations, the Festival cemented itself as an important region-wide organization.

  • 2012

    In 2012 GMF expanded to three concerts over two weekends, included many talented new artists from the national and international stage, and grew from a local to a regional Festival offering concerts both in Geneva and Canandaigua. Among the new artists performing were violists Eric Wong and Colin Brookes, cellist Andrew Hayhurst and bassist Gregory Robbins. Musical highlights of the season included the Brahms and Shostakovich Piano Quintets. Generous support was provided by Nozomi Williams, who played an integral role in helping the Festival become established in the cultural community of the Finger Lakes.

  • 2011

    The Geneva Music Festival was founded in 2011 by violinist and Geneva native Geoffrey Herd in effort to give back to his hometown. Herd gathered a group of talented musicians which included Geneva natives violinist Eliot Heaton and Cellist Hannah Collins to perform a weekend long festival which included concerts at HWS colleges as well as an education program in the Geneva City School District.