The Sierra Chamber Society



2008 Season


Program Notes





May 17, 2007    Rehearsal Gallery

A long overdue gallery of photos from 4.1.07 is located here.


March 28, 2007    Tentative 2007-2008 Season

We are considering:

Joaquin Rodrigo – Violin Sonata

Boccherini – Guitar Quintet in D major

Dvorak – String Quartet No. 8 Op 80 E major


Joseph de Bologne de Saint George – String Quartet No 5 in E flat

Rachmaninoff – Piano Trio No 1 in G minor

Schubert – String Quartet "Death and The Maiden" D.810 D minor


Jean Francaix – Divertimento for Flute and Piano

Samuel Barber – Summer Music for Wind Quintet

Beethoven – Quintet for Piano and Winds


Shostakovich – String Quartet No 1.

Debussy – Cello Sonata

Mozart String Quartet "Dissonant"


Haydn – Piano Trio

Stravinsky – Suite Italienne for violin and piano

Debussy - String Quartet



March 28, 2007    April 1, 2007 Program Notes posted

You can find them here. (Hint: April Fools!)


February 14, 2007    Rehearsal Photos

A gallery of photos from the January 2 rehearsal is located here.


January 20, 2007    February 4, 2007 Program notes posted

You can find them here


December 5, 2006    Rehearsal Photos

A gallery of photos from the December 3 rehearsal is located here.


October 2, 2006    Rehearsal Photos

A gallery of photos from the September 30 and October 1 rehearsals is located here.


October 1, 2006    A New Season: From the Director

Welcome, everyone, old and new friends, to the 20th season of the Sierra Chamber Society! Permit me a few comments as we pass this milestone. Each year, Joseph Way, Greg Mazmanian, Richard Gylgayton, Barbara Andres, (of late, Charlie Prager), various guests, and I have sat together to throw our ideas for an upcoming season into the hopper. As well, we take into account comments from our musicians and audience. At these lengthy sessions, we review the catalogue raison of works we’ve played. In print, this substantial volume occupies almost as many pages as the California Voters’ Guide! There are the complete string quartets of Shostakovich, most by Beethoven, Mozart, Bartok, many by Haydn, Schubert, Mendelssohn, and Brahms, the "most important" by Schumann and Dvorak, the complete chamber works of Poulenc, Debussy, and Ravel, with plenty of adventuresome surprises by the likes of (Joseph) Marx, Martinu, Walton, Ginastera, Arnold and Schulhoff, to name a few. Our ensembles have ranged from solos and duo sonatas, up to large groups assembled for knock-out performances of Mendelssohn’s Octet for Strings (twice), Copland’s Appalacian Spring in his original, 13-instrument arrangement for Martha Graham, Nonets by Martinu and Villa Lobos, the Dvorak Wind and String Serenade (twelve musicians), The list is too long to even summarize in this confined space. We’ve commissioned new works by celebrated film composer Lawrence Rosenthal and jazz artist Bevan Manson, sponsored student competitions, in short, endeavored in all ways to provide for the starving child of live chamber music performance. But really, the point is the music itself, the actual concerts and the musicians.

I have, in past programs, paid homage to the devotion and inspiration shown by our select society. You will recognize faces that have aged (I won’t say grown old) with us over our entire two decades. The musicians who know us best, and remember many are esteemed members of one of the world’s great orchestras, often tell me that the Sierra Chamber Society is the high point of their musical life. If you’ve have had the good fortune to watch or, as I have, participate in musical rehearsals, it’s safe to assume you too have been struck by the discipline, the intelligence and articulate direction, the unsentimental craft with which they heat up and cool down, soften and harden, hammer and burnish the raw stuff of notes on the page into that most tender, exquisite, and, at times, ethereal thing, the finished performance. There are many times I feel as if a guest angel had dropped in on proceedings. In the end, it’s only the music that matters.

I will confess to you that music is my earliest and only enduring connection to a higher power, remains the most direct and, for me, only trustworthy route to a state of being I long to sustain throughout my life. I hope you share in this reverential regard, and, talk of angels and higher power aside, that we can enter together into the presence of this endless source of illumination, and take away a lasting glow. So, please celebrate with me the unique gifts we share today and in this 20th season.

Stevan Cavalier

Director, Sierra Chamber Society


9/28/2006    October 1, 2006 Program Notes Posted

You can find them here.


8/13/2006    A Few Words from Bevan Manson

Bevan Manson's Trio for Violin, Cello, and Piano, commissioned by the Sierra Chamber Society, is a challenging, virtuosic piece written in an American vernacular style.  It features some energetic and
rhythmically complex writing, particularly in the outer movements. Balancing those is a simple and lyrical slow third movement.

The composer comments "While I am known as a jazz pianist, this piece is not jazz.  If there is some subliminal influence, it is in the harmony.  There are also some passages reflecting some passionate
discussions about music between Stevan Cavalier, Joe Way, and myself."

Bevan's new work will be featured in the second concert of the 2006-2007 season, December 3, 2006.

Check out Bevan's web site here.


Program Changes to the 2006 season

Due to some scheduling issues on the part of our musicians we have had to bump some pieces around. The current 2006 Season page reflects these changes. No pieces have been dropped. The last two concerts of the season have been swapped around and the Ravel Chansons has been moved to the December program.


Hello and Welcome to the new site.

Welcome to the new Sierra Chamber Society website. We are very excited about this upgrade and plan to add new content on a regular basis. So come back often.

Please note that the Program Notes page now has complete programs going back to the 2002 season. These are the program notes as they appear in the handout at our concerts in PDF format. Refer to that page for details.


This News page waslast updated on 07/20/2008