Irreras chamber series delivers ‘more intimate’ music experience

Posted: Thursday, November 1, 2012 2:30 am | Updated: 11:53 am, Thu Nov 1, 2012

By Ben Beagle

BATAVIA — To open the first concert in the Irrera Brothers Chamber Music Series on Sunday, brothers John and Joseph Irrera have chosen two pieces from a husband and wife composing duo.

The pieces — “Three Romances for Violin and Piano, Op. 94” by Robert Schumann and

“Three Romances for Violin and Piano, Op. 22” by Clara Schuman — are small works

that show the strong connection between a husband and wife, said Joseph Irrera, a pianist.

“And with us being brothers,” he said, “we feel that we can capture a similar family connection through our own playing of the pieces.”

The performance begins 4 p.m. Sunday at Stuart Steiner Theater in the Genesee Center for the Arts at Genesee Community College, 1 College Rd.

The Irreras, who are both Batavia natives and acclaimed musicians, will also play a selection from Vitali (“Chaconne in g minor) and Prokofiev (Sonata for Violin and Piano in D Major).

The series opener will be “a celebratory gala event,” Joseph Irrera said, with a reception and a meet-the-artists session to follow the performance. The brothers will also have copies of their recent CD available for purchase and signing.

“We want to make these big events. Not just something where you come and listen to music and go home,” Joseph Irrera said. In the chamber setting they hope to have “interaction with the audience before, during and after performances.”

And while the events may be big, the number of performers allows the chamber series to offer “a more intimate setting of music and culture,” Joseph Irrera said.

“That’s the beautiful thing about chamber music is it’s presented in a more intimate setting,” Joseph Irrera said.

Joseph Irrera, 30, made his concert debut at age 18 with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and has performed both in the United States and abroad. John Irrera, 27, has won numerous competitions and been featured soloist with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, among others. The brothers debuted at Carnegie Hall in 2009 after winning an international music competition that they had each entered separately and unbeknownst to each other. In March, they returned to Carnegie Hall after winning the same competition, this time as a duo.

Three other concerts are planned in the Irrera Brothers Chamber Music series, which

continues into April and will feature performances in months that the Genesee Symphony Orchestra does not have a concert. The series is a collaboration between the Irreras and the GSO. John Irrera, a violinist, was named in September as concertmaster of the GSO.

“It’s a real honor to come back, as being born and raised in Batavia, and to start such a wonderful program with a wonderful organization like the GSO” Joseph Irrera said.

The four concerts will feature guests both near — a vocalist and pianist from Buffalo State

College — and far — Texas, Costa Rica and Arizona, among others.

“We have a wide selection of programming so there’s something for everyone from

classic violin and piano to more modern percussion,” John Irrera said. “If you haven’t had

the experience to see a percussion duo, it’s quite exciting, especially when they do their marimba solos.”

Each of the concerts is scheduled for Stuart Steiner Theatre. All will start at 4 p.m. Here’s a capsule look at the series; musical programs are still being determined:

— Jan. 27, 2013: Pianist Isabelle Aubin and vocalist Holley Bewlay from Buffalo State


— March 24: Jose Pablo Quesada and Won Young Lee are a piano duo from Texas and

Costa Rica.

— May 19: Escape 10 Percussion duo features Annie Stevens and Andrea Venet, who are from Arizona and Virginia.

Tickets to each concert are $20 for adults and $10 for students. Available online at, at GSO concerts, in Batavia at Roxy’s Music Store, 228 West Main St., and GO ART! Cultural Center, 201 East Main St., and at the door.