St. Cecilia Music Center and Grand Rapids Symphony Announce Partnership for 2015-2016 Season

Media Contacts:
Samara Napolitan
Grand Rapids Symphony
616.454.9451 x 110

Sally Zarafonetis
SallyZara Public Relations
(616) 656-5885

Catherine Holbrook
St. Cecilia Music Center
Executive Director
(616) 459-2224

St. Cecilia Music Center and the Grand Rapids Symphony are partnering during their 2015-2016 season to bridge connections among a mutual audience and to share their 86-year collaborative history with classical music lovers.

Starting in the 2015-2016 Season, both organizations will share value with some of their most loyal supporters by offering a discount on tickets to their respective series subscribers for three of their best Classical and Chamber Series concerts.

“The purpose of cross promoting concerts with our two organizations is that there are many concert goers who are fond of classical music. For St. Cecilia Music Center, we have developed an amazing three-concert series with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. We want to introduce Grand Rapids Symphony subscribers to these amazing chamber music concerts within the intimate setting of Royce Auditorium, which has been recognized as one of the finest acoustic spaces in the world to hear chamber music according to many acclaimed international artists who have performed here,” says St. Cecilia Music Center’s Executive Director Cathy Holbrook.

Chamber music is a form of classical music that is composed for a small group of instruments—traditionally a group that would perform in a palace chamber. Most broadly, the term “chamber music” includes art music that is performed by a small number of performers – each performer playing an independent part of the music. 

Holbrook explains, “Because of its intimate nature, chamber music allows the audience to hear each musician as they perform their music, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center features the finest chamber musicians in the world resulting in outstanding performances each time that they play here. These Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center concerts are breathtaking concerts to experience.”

President and CEO of the Grand Rapids Symphony Peter Kjome says, “Collaboration between organizations enables us to increase our collective impact and provide value to our community. The Symphony is glad to make great music more accessible through these exciting offers in partnership with St. Cecilia Music Center.” 

Grand Rapids Symphony Crowe Horwath Great Eras series subscribers can enjoy SCMC’s “Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center” series at a 10% discount. Performances include: The Golden Age of the Violin on Nov. 12; Piano Extravaganza on Jan. 21; and Virtuosity on Mar. 17. 

St. Cecilia Music Center “Presenting Series” Subscribers can enjoy a 10% discount on the following Richard and Helen DeVos Classical series performances by the Grand Rapids Symphony: Brahms’ German Requiem on Nov. 20 & 21; Dvořàk’s Seventh on Jan. 29 & 30, and Pines of Rome on April 22 & 23.   

“The Grand Rapids Symphony’s Richard and Helen DeVos Classical Series features world-renowned conductors and soloists performing with the exceptional members of our orchestra. A highlight of this season will be our orchestra’s concerts under the direction of eight distinguished guest conductors—any one of whom could be our next Music Director,” says Kjome. 

To order subscriptions to St. Cecilia’s Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Series, call 616-459-2224 at St. Cecilia Music Center. To become a Crowe Horwath Great Eras series subscriber at the Grand Rapids Symphony, call 616-454-9451 x 4 (Day) or 616-885-1241 (Evening), or visit the Symphony online at  

Subscribers of these series will be provided with a discount code to be used in ordering 10% off tickets eligible for this program. Grand Rapids Symphony tickets can be purchased online at by calling 616-454-9451 x 4 Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m. This offer is available at the St. Cecilia Music Center Box Office online at or over the phone by calling 616.459.2224 ext. 201.

For 132 years St. Cecilia Music Center has upheld its mission of promoting the appreciation, study and performance of music in order to enrich the lives of the residents of West Michigan. It is the oldest arts organization in West Michigan and was established by six women who wanted to promote the musical arts in West Michigan. St. Cecilia Music Center served as the first home for the Grand Rapids Symphony as 25 musicians and members of the Society began meeting to practice in 1917. 

In the years following, this group of musicians performed concerts, developed a constitution, and garnered support from the lady members of St. Cecilia and other various individuals and organizations. The Grand Rapids Symphony was officially organized in 1930 and is nationally recognized today for the quality of its concerts and educational programs. Ten concert series and more than 400 performances are presented each year, touching the lives of some 170,000. 

About The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Series at St. Cecilia Music Center   

November 12, 2015 marks a new three-year partnership between St. Cecilia Music Center St. Cecilia Music Center is thrilled to continue its collaboration with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Beginning their second three year contract with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and its artistic directors, David Finckel and Wu Han, who were named “Musicians of the Year” by Musical America in 2012, St. Cecilia Music Center will bring the finest Chamber Musicians in the world to the Royce Auditorium stage. 

The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center series begins on November 12, 2015 with co-artist director and cellist David Finckel returning with violinists Benjamin Beilman, Sean Lee and Danbi Um and violist Paul Neubauer. The program, entitled “The Golden Age of the Violin” celebrates the zenith of the expressive violin style epitomized by the legendary Fritz Kreisler. Audiences will hear:

Leclair Sonata in E minor for Two Violins, Op. 3, No. 5 (1730)
Dvorák Terzetto in C major for Two Violins and Viola, Op. 74 (1887)
Borodin Quartet No. 2 in D major for Strings (1881)
Ysaye Sonata in E minor for Violin, Op. 27, No. 4 (1924)
Kreisler Quartet in A minor for Strings (1919)

On January 21, 2016, The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center series will feature a piano extravaganza. Two pianos and four pianists will take the stage for a night of pianist bliss. This mesmerizing evening features pianists Alessio Bax, Juho Pohjonen, Orion Weiss and Wu Quain sharing the stage and at times a piano! The program includes: 

Arensky Silhouettes, Suite No. 2 for Two Pianos, Op. 23 (1892)
Bartók The Miraculous Mandarin for Piano, Four Hands, Op. 19 (1918-19)
Lutoslawski Variations on a Theme by Paganini for Two Pianos (1941)
Rachmaninov Symphonic Dances for Two Pianos, Op. 45 (1940)

March 17, 2016 will close the CMS series with co-artistic director and pianist Wu Han, performing with colleagues, Benjamin Beilman, Kristin Lee and Sean Lee, violin; Richard O’Neill, viola and Nicholas Canellakis, cello. This program entitled “Virtuosity” is an evening of intimate concertos shining a spotlight on each instrument throughout the program.

Mozart Quartet in E-flat major for Piano, Violin, Viola, and Cello, K. 493 (1786)
Schubert Rondo in A major for Violin and String Quartet, D. 438 (1816)
Mendelssohn Double Concerto in D minor for Violin, Piano, and Strings (1823)

For more information about the performing artists and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center see

About the Grand Rapids Symphony’s Richard and Helen DeVos Classical Series Concerts

Three Richard and Helen DeVos Classical series concerts will be presented within the Special Grand Rapids Symphony / SCMC Exchange Series. 

The first of three will take place on November 20 and 21, 2015 with the Grand Rapids Symphony performing “Brahms’ German Requiem” featuring Guest Conductor and Music Director candidate, Rune Bergman and the GR Symphony Chorus directed by Pearl Shangkuan. A hero, a parent and a kindred spirit inspire this deeply moving and uplifting concert. Anchoring the program is Johannes Brahms’ most ambitious and thoughtful composition, his “German Requiem,” written to honor the passing of his mother. Also featured is Sibelius’ “In Memoriam,” a stirring march-like memorial to honor a Finnish patriot, and Arvo Pärt’s most popular work, “Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten.”  

On January 29 and 20, 2016, the Grand Rapids Symphony will present “Dvořàk’s Seventh.” Guest conductor and Music Director candidate Mei-Ann Chen returns to Grand Rapids to lead works of joy and love. Erich Korngold, best known for his swashbuckling Hollywood film scores, wrote “Much Ado About Nothing” when he was all about 21. The audience will almost see Beatrice and Benedict sparring and falling in love as the Grand Rapids Symphony orchestra performs this suite. The Avery Fischer Career Grant winner Karen Gomyo will traverse Max Bruch’s sunny “Violin Concerto in G minor,” and Dvořàk’s Seventh Symphony will bring melodies and rhythms evoking his native bohemia.

Finally, the sounds of home influence “Pines of Rome” on April 22 and 23, 2016. The concert begins with Bartok’s virtuoso “Violin Concerto No. 2,” echoing the sinuous melodies and dances of his native Hungary. The piece will be performed by another Avery Fischer Career Grant winner, Arnaud Sussmann. The program continues with a Bach-inspired piece by Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos and orchestrated versions of two Debussy piano preludes.  “Pines of Rome” crowns the program as Respighi conjures images of the ancient empire, led by returning guest conductor and Music Director hopeful Marcelo Lehninger. 

For more information about Richard and Helen DeVos Classical series concerts, visit