Geneva Music Festival Announces Virtual Season: “A Musical Offering”


Events take place from June 5 – June 26, 2020

The Geneva Music Festival has developed a robust, online program to provide audiences with interactions with world-class musicians and music. Events take place from June 5 through June 26, overlapping the time the festival would have been celebrating its tenth season in-person in Finger Lakes venues.

“We’re excited to offer virtual programming for people to enjoy while we wait to return to live performances,” says violinist Geoffrey Herd, director of GMF. “The pandemic has pushed us to quickly innovate how we connect with our audience. While live performances have a unique thrill, this is a great opportunity for people to engage in meaningful way with musicians and composers. The best part of all of this is that these innovations are here to stay and will continue to enrich our organization going forward.”

Through digital technology, GMF patrons and global audiences can experience performances by cellist Clive Greensmith, violinist Jinjoo Cho, and the Latin jazz band La Voz de Tres. Audiences can interact directly with two Pulitzer Prize-winning composers, Jennifer Higdon and Shulamit Ran, and discuss the music of Florence Price with one of her 21st-century champions, pianist Michelle Cann. Violinist Ani Kavafian will share stories of her long and varied career as one of America’s most prominent chamber musicians. GMF’s mission of community engagement continues through an online masterclass with the students from St. Peters Community Arts Academy as well as a series of video lectures for Geneva City School District students and staff, the Boys and Girls Club, Geneva YMCA and other groups.

All events will be available on YouTube following their premieres, as well as shared with schools and retirement communities throughout the Finger Lakes.

Programs will be presented on several different online platforms – YouTube, Zoom and Facebook.

A complete schedule of events follows; instructions for connecting with each are available on the festival’s website,, in the 2020 Season section.



Friday, June 5, 7 p.m. – “Why the Devil Chose the Violin” with Jinjoo Cho

One of America’s most prominent young concert violinists Jinjoo Cho explores why, early in its history, the violin was thought of as Satan’s instrument. Examining the instrument’s Eastern origins and the “Orientalism” mindset of Europe that perceived Eastern culture as sensual and uninhibited, Cho explores how our fear of the unknown creates misperception. 


Thursday, June 11, 7 p.m. – A Discussion with Jennifer Higdon   
Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Jennifer Higdon joins participants via Zoom to discuss her work, “Scenes From the Poet’s Dream.” Links to a recording and program notes will be available on the GMF website one week prior to the event, along with the Zoom invitation.  Participants can then ask Higdon questions about her music and life.


Saturday, June 13, 7 p.m. – An Evening with La Voz de Tres   
In this livestreamed performance, Chilean vocalist Natalia Bernal, keyboardist Mike Eckroth and seven-string guitarist Jason Ennis return to GMF with their blend of infectious rhythms of Latin America, original compositions and picks from the Great American Songbook.   


Wednesday, June 17, 7 p.m. – A Discussion with Shulamit Ran   
Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Shulamit Ran joins participants via Zoom to discuss her compositions, String Quartet No. 2, “Lyre of Orpheus,” and “Soliloquy.” Links to recordings and program notes will be available on the GMF website one week prior to the event, along with the Zoom invitation.  Participants can then ask Ran questions about her music and life. 


Saturday, June 20, 7 p.m. – A Living Room Recital with Clive Greensmith, cello   
Join renowned cellist Clive Greensmith for an evening of solo cello music, including works by Bach and Cassado. Greensmith, former cellist of the Tokyo String Quartet and faculty member at the Colburn School of Music, is widely acclaimed as one of the great cellists of our time. Audience members will have the opportunity to take part in a Q&A throughout the performance. 


Wednesday, June 24, 7 p.m. – Michelle Cann and Geoffrey Herd on composer Florence Price   
Pianist Michelle Cann and violinist Geoffrey Herd discuss Florence Price’s amalgamation of German romanticism and African American traditional music and dance in creating the unique musical idioms in her Piano Concerto and “Five Folk Songs in Counterpoint.”


Friday, June 26, 7 p.m. – Ani Kavafian, A Life in Music.  
GMF director Geoffrey Herd sits down with violinist Ani Kavafian to discuss her long and varied career. Kavafian is an artist with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and Professor at the Yale School of Music. She has performed in many of the world’s great concert halls and has soloed with nearly every major orchestra in the United States.


“We hope people will join us as we share music together, a gift for all of us, artists and audiences alike,” says Herd. “Until we can perform live for you again, please remember, music opens our hearts and helps us feel more connected to others, to ourselves, and to the world around us.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *