San Francisco's Home for Great Concerts since 1970

Ives Collective – Sunday, January 28 at 4 pm


Ives Collective

Kay Stern, violin
Susan Freier, violin/viola
Stephen Harrison, cello
Elizabeth Schumann, piano

Mélanie Bonis Matin et Soir for Piano Trio
Dame Ethyl Smyth String Trio (1887)
Mélanie Bonis Piano Quartet No. 1 in B-flat major, Op. 69 (1905)

Our Winter set builds on last season’s commitment to presenting lesser heard works by women composers. Mélanie Bonis just missed studying at the Paris Conservatoire under Fauré. Like so many talented women, her parents discouraged her studies, forcing her to drop out as soon as she became engaged. It wasn’t until 1891 that she was recognized via a musical competition, one that she entered under the name M. Bonis. The jury awarded her first prize, initially mistaking her for a man! Bonis was a gifted composer of songs, and her Piano Quartet in B-flat major, Op. 69 is a wonderful example of her feel for melody and atmosphere.

Dame Ethel Smyth, like Bonis born in 1858, led a very different life from her French contemporary. She was an avid member of the woman’s suffrage movement. Despite suffering the same bigotry toward her work that plagued other female composers – her father was very much opposed to her work as a composer – she became the first female composer to be granted a damehood. Her ambitious String Trio, like so much of her chamber music, has only recently been resurrected.

The Ives Collective, formed in 2015 by Co-Artistic Directors Susan Freier and Stephen Harrison, following the disbanding of the Ives Quartet, is comprised of an impressive and ever evolving roster of musicians who bring together careers worth of experience at great music making organizations such as at the San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Opera, San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, New Century Chamber Orchestra, the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, Opera Parallèle, and various university faculties and festivals.

At the core of the Collective’s inspiration is its members’ joy in playing richly varied chamber repertoire with longtime friends and colleagues for eager concert attendees. Its roster allows for the programming of virtually all the core string, wind, vocal and piano chamber music repertoire—from vocal duos to clarinet quintets to wind and string octets. While all its members have independent careers as ensemble members, soloists and chamber musicians, they strive for every opportunity to come together and share in this special collaboration aimed at presenting powerful live music experiences through fresh and informed interpretations of established masterworks and under-appreciated gems.

Ives Collective – Sunday, January 28, 2018 at 4 pm

Ives Collective
Receiving Mozart’s Spirit

Robin Sharp, violin; Susan Freier, viola; Stephen Harrison, cello; Elizabeth Schumann, piano

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Piano Quartet No. 2 in E-flat major, K. 493
Ludwig van Beethoven Piano Trio in C minor, Op. 1, No. 3
Ludwig van Beethoven String Trio in G major, Op. 9, No. 1

The Ives Collective presents powerful live music experiences through fresh and informed interpretations of established masterworks and underappreciated gems. With core members and Artistic Co-Directors Susan Freier and Stephen Harrison, the Collective wants to share their joy in bringing together old friends and new in a variety of combinations to perform the widest possible spectrum of chamber music. Their Winter series, Receiving Mozart’s Spirit, will bring back the beloved former first fiddle of the Ives Quartet, Robin Sharp, and the artistry of pianist Elizabeth Schumann to join us in concerts that will feature masterworks from the Classical period – the String Trio in G, Op. 9, No. 1 and Piano Trio in C minor, Op. 1, No. 3 by Beethoven alongside Mozart’s E-flat major Piano Quartet, K. 493.

Old First Concerts has volunteer opportunities available!

Our concerts rely on the generosity of volunteers to assist with simple tasks like:


distributing programs

box office

set-up and clean-up

Scheduling is flexible — you choose when to work! We especially need helping hands for our Friday and Saturday night performances.

An excellent opportunity for students, seniors, or anyone who possesses a love for music!

If you’d like to consider volunteering with Old First Concerts, please contact for more information.

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