Director's Message
July 28, 2022

Dear Sierra Chamber Society Patron/Fan/Friend…

The Sierra Chamber Society is proud to announce its 2022/23 Concert Season, our 36th.  I will be previewed program dates and order below in a moment…

It is that time of year, after two years “respite,” when I must beseech each and everyone of you to donate.  I will not belabor the effects of the last three troubled seasons.  Suffice it to say the SCS has, without donor appeal, through strict frugality, managed to maintain its marginal working bank balance.  Thanks to all of you who helped sustain us in the interval.

Nor do I wish to belabor my plea.  I’m quite sure that all of you understand.  Most recently, to those who attended the spectacular performance of Robert Sirota’s and my long-awaited collaboration, Contrapassos for Voice and String Quartet on July 22, canceled and re-booked no less than three times in the last so many years, to those who couldn’t attend as well, we garnered an audience of sixty.  Now, this is actually a quite respectable number among chamber music endeavors, not just in the Bay Area where there are several such series to choose from although, honestly, none of which holds a candle to ours as regards quality and consistency.

To wit, the SCS netted just under one-thousand dollars versus our usual three-to-four thousand in idyllic pre-COVID times.  We cannot long exist on such gates.   Of course, we are lucky that our ever-present donors, among the historically many who, perhaps, continue to feel unsafe in an enclosed environment, even knowing our audience is highly vaccinated and masked indoors at all times, have graciously sustained us in these hard times.  Now, more than ever, the Sierra Chamber Society relies on both its generous donors and…  FILLED SEATS!!!  As Director of this precious, albeit fragile, enterprise, I implore each and every one of you...  Please.  Please.  Pull’EASE, bring a friend.  Better a baker’s dozen!!!   

In truth, Robert and I would have been thrilled to have just one or two appreciative attendees in the audience, to witness this supremely striking event.  Indeed, appreciative you were, judging from the reverential silence, standing ovation, wowed comments that followed fast on the Wings of Song.  

Bob and I were in fact blown away at the dress rehearsal.  Afterwards, Bob commented to me: “If it’s half as good tomorrow, I’ll be thrilled.”  No surprise, given the caliber of these talented and devoted musicians, the performance, featuring the formidable Telegraph String Quartet, Abigail Fischer, soprano soloist, whose voice the New York Times has called, “Luminous...Cello-Mello” the Boston Globe, “Sumptuous!”, was easily twice as impressive, spectacularly so.

This brings us to the Sierra Chamber Society’s 2022/23 Concert Season, our 36thClick here to view our season 36 schedule.

 The SCS is thrilled to see noted musicologist teacher, program annotator for the Seattle Symphony, Steven Lowe rejoin us, offering delightful, spirited, deeply-researched pre-concert talks at 2 PM, preceding each performance, lasting approximately thirty minutes. 

Of note, the Sierra Chamber Society is the cheapest ticket, i.e. THE best value by a wide margin, among like endeavors throughout the Bay Area.As always...  Season subscribers enjoy a substantial discount.  As noted above, in addition to an enlarging audience, the SCS relies on its SEASON SUBSCRIBERS not just to help sustain us through each season, but to generate a fiscal plan for the future. 

I sincerely hope that you’ll become/remain a contributor as we pick up the pieces and pickup our FOURTH decade in the chamber music business just where we left off!  Allow me point out the obvious…  Please check to see if your employer might offer MATCHING DONATIONS.  Finally, you can help to ensure the Sierra Chamber Society’s legacy by making us a vital part of your estate planning.  If you would like to know more about any of these options, please inquire at  A board member will contact you.  Tickets will be available at our website as of Monday August 15.  

Last but far from least, please be sure to visit regularly throughout the concert season for important messages and updates. 

In closing, I am excited to announce that my multi-talented son, Jordan Asher Cavalier, a UX, i.e. User Experience, Graphic Designer, has designed our new website, and will become the new Webmaster!  Speaking of “multi-talented,” Jordan is a virtuoso nyckelharpist.  Look it up.  You will be surprised by the sheer beauty, let along the long history of this ancient instrument

Wishing us all good health in the upcoming years…

Stevan Cavalier
Director, Sierra Chamber Society
All SCS concerts Sundays at 3 PM at Grace Presbyterian Church, 2100 Tice Valley Blvd, Walnut Creek, one “block” East of the Rossmoor Pkwy. turnoff.

The Sierra Chamber Society proudly invites you to subscribe to its 2021-22 (34th) concert season. You can look forward to both familiar and surprising works. The Sierra Chamber Society  welcomes back our enduring friends from the San Francisco Symphony,  and distinguished guests, including our friends, the acclaimed Telegraph String Quartet, winners of the 2016 International Naumburg competition, and soprano soloist Abigail Fischer.

The SCS continues to offer  FLEX TICKETS, i.e. although tickets will be dated as usual, you will be able to use  any  number of  this season’s  tickets at  any  concert  this season.   Use them one at a time, all at one performance, or in any combination.    

If you are unable to attend, giving your tickets to friends is a wonderful way to share your enthusiasm for the Sierra Chamber Society.Season Subscribers enjoy a substantial discount. In addition, the SCS  relies on SEASON SUBSCRIBERS to sustain it through each season.

These have been hard times. Our coffers are low and seating is limited by Covid regulations. We hope that you’ll be a contributor as we pick up the pieces and resume our 4th decade in the chamber music business!Plan to attend delightful preconcert talks at 2 PM before each program featuring noted musicologist Steven Lowe, program annotator for the Seattle Symphony. Please allow me to stress that DONATIONS are our life’s blood, allowing for seasonal programming and assuring our future.   In addition to making a personal donation, if your employer has a  matching gift  program, your gift could be doubled.  Finally, you can help to ensure the Sierra Chamber Society’s Legacy by making us a part of your  estate planning. If you would like to know more about any of these options, please inquire at A board member will contact you

'Best season ever!' But for 37 years of 'best ever's', that is! In its 38th concert season, the Sierra Chamber Society welcomes back SCS stalwarts: The Telegraph String Quartet, winners of the 2017 Walter F. Naumburg International Chamber Music Competition, in their sixth appearance on our series!

As well as violinists Liana Berube, new to the SCS in its 37th season, Dan Carlson, Principal Second Violin of the San Francisco Symphony, Marc Shapiro, acting Principal Pianists of the SFS, Jerome Simas, Principal Bass Clarinet of the SFS, along with numerous other distinguished guests.

For those in our audience who may have missed the long overdue Wold Premiere of Contrapassos for Voice and String Quartet, composed by Robert Sirota,, libretto by Stevan Cavalier, M.D., Founder, Director, and Principal Pianist, emeritus of the Sierra Chamber Society, there will be a repeat performance on December 10, 2023.

As many of you are aware, Contrapassos for Voice and String Quartet has won an official nomination for the 2023 Pulitzer price in music! This performance will be repeated shortly after its revisit in Walnut Creek, at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where it will be recorded for release on CD; shortly thereafter, to be performed at Merkin Recital Hall in NYC.

Also of note, the Sierra Chamber Society has commissioned from David Garner, Director of Composition and Chamber Music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, to compose a work, provisionally entitled, 'Cantigas for Nyckelharpa', written for Jordan Cavalier, to be joined by a distinguished ensemble of period multi-instrumentalists, modeled after the Cantigas de Santa Maria collected by King Alfonso X of Castile and Leon in the 11th century.

Flex tickets are available to all performances, that is, any number of tickets may be used at any performance. As always, updates and details to be found at

The Sierra Chamber Society welcomes you back for its Best Season Ever!'

Stevan Cavalier, M.D.
Founder, Director, Pianist emeritus
Sierra Chamber Society
July 13th, 2023