Buffalo Chamber Music Society

Gift to the Community Concerts

Now in its 22nd season our Gift to the Community series continues to feature some of the world's most exciting young artists. Two performers from previous seasons won 1st prize at the coveted Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow and 10 series performers have been awarded highly competitive Avery Fisher Career Grants. This season the three artists will astound you with their unique creativity and incomparable technique.

Clementina Fleshler - Executive Director
Gift Artists this Season
Sunday Afternoons at 3 p.m.
The Gift to the Community Recital Series is made possible through a grant from the Cameron and Jane Baird Foundation.
Benjamin Baker, violin
with Janice Carissa, piano
Sunday, September 19, 2021 at 3:00 pm
Mary Seaton Room
Kleinhans Music Hall
  • Copland----Sonata for violin & piano
  • Beethoven ---- Violin Sonata in A major, Op.30, No.1
  • Franck ---- Sonata in A major for violin & piano

Benjamin Baker, a New Zealand native, has moved audiences around the world with his musicianship, performing as far afield as Lebanon, China, Australia, throughout Europe and the U.S., and on tour in South America. He has performed as soloist with the Royal Philharmonic in London, English Chamber Orchestra, Royal Northern Sinfonia, London Mozart Players, Bristol Metropolitan Orchestra, Sinfonia Cymru in Wales, National Children's Orchestra in Manchester, Auckland Philharmonia, Maui Pops Orchestra, and South Carolina’s Long Bay Symphony. He has been reengaged to appear with the English Chamber Orchestra this season, performing the Strauss Concerto.

Nathan Lee, piano
SUNDAY APRIL 3rd, 2022 at 3:00 pm
Mary Seaton Room
Kleinhans Music Hall
  • Suite de Pièces -------- Jean-Baptiste Lully
  • Symphonic Études -----------Robert Schumann
  • Frühlingsglaube -------- Franz Schubert
  • Litanei Liebesbotschaft ----- arr. Franz Liszt
  • Intermezzo Op. 118 in E-flat minor, No. 6 ----- Johannes Brahms
  • Sonata No. 2 in G-sharp minor ----- JAlexander Scriabin

Pianist Nathan Lee is a young artist who connects with his audiences by sharing a depth of musical expression well beyond his years. He was recently honored with the special Tabor Foundation Award at the 2019 Verbier Festival Academy in Switzerland, and at the age of fifteen he won First Prize in the 2016 Young Concert Artists International Auditions and no less than fourteen special Concert Prizes, plus the Mortimer Levitt Piano Chair of YCA.

Nathan Lee began playing the piano at the age of six and made his orchestral debut at the age of nine. He is from the Seattle area, where he studied with Sasha Starcevich. Mr. Lee has also worked with Craig Sheppard, and regularly works with YCA alumni Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Ilana Vered. He currently studies at The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia with Robert McDonald.

Steven Banks, Saxophone
with Xak Bjerken, piano
Sunday, January 30, 2022 at 3:00 pm
Mary Seaton Room
Kleinhans Music Hall
  • Creston---- Sonata in Eb major, Op.19
  • Decruck---- Sonata in C# minor for Alto Saxophone & piano
  • Brahms----- Sonata in F minor for clarinet & piano
  • Steven Banks---- Come As You Are

Recognized for his “glowing mahogany tone” (Seen and Heard International) and “breathtaking” (Classical Voice of NC) performances, Steven Banks is establishing himself as an important young artist on the saxophone, which is rarely heard as a solo concert instrument.

Steven Banks is the first saxophonist to earn a place on the Young Concert Artists roster in its 59-year history, capturing First Prize at the 2019 Young Concert Artists International Auditions as well as the special Korean Concert Society Prize (for support of his Kennedy Center debut), Buffalo Chamber Music Society Prize, Saint Vincent College Concert Series Prize, Sinfonia Gulf Coast Prize, Tannery Pond Concerts Prize, Usedom Music Festival Prize, and Washington Performing Arts Prize.