Current Season

Chrystal E. Williams – Mezzo-soprano   Sunday, October 13, 2019  2:30pm  Christ Church Cranbrook 

Concert is FREE as our thank you to the musical community!

*Tickets must be reserved visit our online tickets page starting September 8, 2019. Two tickets per person.

Chrystal-E.-Williams-Blue_2-1Mezzo-soprano Chrystal E. Williams has been described by leading critics as “strong and so assured,” “lithely negotiating the coloratura demands before descending into a robust low register,” and “poised, polished, in complete command of the vocal calisthenics.” She is a winner of Astral’s 2014 National Auditions.

Chrystal E. Williams was the First Prize and Audience Choice winner of Sweden’s 2014 Wilhelm Stenhammar International Music Competition. Upcoming, she gives her Merkin Concert Hall recital debut, and revisits the role of Rebecca in Charlie Parker’s YARDBIRD for Atlanta Opera, which she created for Opera Philadelphia and has revisited with Arizona Opera, at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, and in co-production with Hackney Empire and English National Opera. Recent roles include Elizabeth Keckley/Coretta Scott King in Appomattox for Washington National Opera, Hannah in Birmingham (U.K.) Opera Company’s The Ice Break, and Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel for Knoxville Opera. She has been soloist with the Cairo Symphony Orchestra, Sweden’s Norrköpings Symfoniorkester, and The Philadelphia Orchestra, among others. She holds degrees from the Academy of Vocal Arts, the Yale School of Music, and Carnegie Mellon University.

Performing Schumann; Britten; Gershwin; Kern


 Camille Thomas – Cellist  with Roman Rabinovich – Pianist  

Tuesday, November 19, 2019   7:30pm     Congregational Church of Birmingham UCC


 96365.2“Camille Thomas… has all the requisite technique and produces a sound I can only liken to drinking hot chocolate: delicious, warming, full of flavor.”— Gramophone

“Mr. Rabinovich performed with uncommon sensitivity and feeling.” -New York Times

Nominated as Newcomer of the year 2014 by the French-Grammys ‘Les Victoires de la Musique’, the Franco-Belgian cellist Camille Thomas was chosen by Musiq’3 – RTBF to represent Belgium at the European Broadcasting Union Competition, where she was awarded the 1st price and named “New Talent of the Year  2014”.

Roman Rabinovich is the winner of the 12th Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition. He has performed throughout Europe and the USA in such prestigious venues as Leipzig’s Gewandhaus, London’s Wigmore Hall, the Great Hall of Moscow Conservatory, Cité de la Musique in Paris and the Millennium Stage at Washington DC’s Kennedy Center.
Performing Brahms E minor Cello Sonata; Franck A minor Sonata; Beethoven 7 Variations; Messiaen Louange


Alvin Waddles – Pianist, Singer, Composer and Director and Friends  

Sunday, December 1, 2019   2:30pm        Congregational Church of Birmingham UCC

9316-AlvinWattles“Alvin’s musical career is a Detroit story. He has enormous talent that he uses with grace. Alvin has never stopped expanding his horizons. “—John Osler

We heard your requests, suggestions and pleas and are thrilled to celebrate the return of Alvin Waddles and Friends as they lift your spirits during this holiday season.

Mr. Waddles, a gifted pianist and Detroit jazz legend will present a program of unforgettable music that will weave together classical, chorale, jazz, blues and holiday flavor into an afternoon of pure music magic.

Mr. Waddles, a product of the Interlochen Arts Acad- emy and the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre and Dance is equally at home on the recital and opera stage or directing church choirs and musical theater productions. For one special performance, Mr. Waddles will be joined by a stellar assembly of singers hand picked from various churches and concert halls in the metro Detroit area along with Detroit jazz royalty. Together they will bring the audience a “holiday gift” that will celebrate the very best in our community.

Soloists and chorus perform holiday music from carols to spirituals


Dizhou Zhao – Pianist  with musicians from the DSO Wind Section

Sunday, February 9, 2020  2:30pm          Christ Church Cranbrook


Dizhou-Zhao-Headshot_2-272x410Dizhou Zhao has been hailed as “a fully fledged artistic force” by The Philadelphia Inquirer, and Fanfare Magazine says the pianist “offers the blend of passion and intelligence that characterizes the mature artist” and that he “lives fully in the music.” Mr. Zhao was born and raised in China, where he began studying the piano at the age of four in his hometown of Shanghai.

A winner of Astral’s 2012 National Auditions, he is also winner of numerous competition prizes, Mr. Zhao captured the top prize at Australia’s Southern Highlands International Piano Competition, the International Keyboard Institute & Festival’s Dorothy MacKenzie Artist Recognition Scholarship Awards, and the Louisiana International Piano Competition, which included concert engagements in France, Russia, and Australia as well as a solo performance in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall.

Performing Elgar Romance for Bassoon; Poulenc Trio for Oboe, Bassoon and Piano; Rossini Bassoon Concerto



Escher String Quartet   Tuesday, March 24, 2020  7:30pm  CONCERT POSTPONED

Congregational Church of Birmingham UCC

EscherThe Escher String Quartet has received acclaim for its expressive, nuanced performances that combine unusual textural clarity with a rich, blended sound. A former BBC New Generation Artist, the quartet has performed at the BBC Proms at Cadogan Hall and is a regular guest at Wigmore Hall. In its home town of New York, the ensemble serves as Season Artists of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, where it has presented the complete Zemlinsky Quartets Cycle as well as being one of five quartets chosen to collaborate in a complete presentation of Beethoven’s string quartets. Last season, the quartet toured with CMS to China.
The Escher Quartet has made a distinctive impression throughout Europe, performing at venues such as Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Berlin Konzerthaus, London’s Kings Place, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Slovenian Philharmonic Hall, Auditorium du Louvre and Les Grand Interprètes series in Geneva. With a strong collaborative approach, the group has appeared at festivals such as Heidelberg Spring Festival, Incontri in Terra di Siena Festival, Dublin’s Great Music in Irish Houses, Risør Chamber Music Festival in Norway, Hong Kong International Chamber Music Festival and Perth International Arts Festival in Australia.
Performing Haydn G major Quartet Opus 72, No. 1; Kreisler Quartet in A minor



Sergei Babayan – Pianist    Sunday, May 3, 2020 2:30pm    Christ Church Cranbrook


“Sergei Babayan has often been called one of the greatest pianists of our time, but he has so far remained known mainly among true pianomaniacs.  Babayan’s wealth of expressive variation stems from much more subtle means, which are to be found in his unbelievably flexible fingers, arms, wrists and hands.”  Bachtrack
Hailed for his emotional intensity, bold energy and remarkable levels of color, Sergei Babayan brings a deep understanding and insight to an exceptionally diverse repertoire. Le Figaro has praised his “unequaled touch, perfectly harmonious phrasing and breathtaking virtuosity.” Le Devoir from Montreal put it simply: “Sergei Babayan is a genius. Period.”
Sergei Babayan has collaborated with such conductors as David Robertson, Neeme Järvi, Yuri Temirkanov, Thomas Dausgaard, Tugan Sokhiev, and Dima Slobodeniouk, among others. Over the years, Babayan has performed with Valery Gergiev numerous times to great critical acclaim, including appearances at the International Festival “Stars of the White Nights”, the Moscow Easter Festival, the Barbican Centre with Mo. Gergiev conducting the London Symphony Orchestra, in St. Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theatre, the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, Théâtre des Champs-Elyseés in Paris, at the Salzburg Festival, and at the Rotterdam Philharmonic-Gergiev Festival where Babayan was artist-in-residence.

All Chopin program