Thank you for making our 18th Festival a success!

2016 | Dates to be announced
St. Luke Evangelical Lutheran Church | Richmond, Virginia

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  • dates and programs for a “mini” Festival planned for early 2016;
  • dates and programs for 2016 Alexander Paley Music Festival;
  • availability of 2015 Festival recordings.

Please visit SUPPORT THE FESTIVAL for CDs featuring selections from past performances.

The 2015 Alexander Paley Music Festival began Friday evening, September 25, with pianist Alexander Paley playing solo, a venture into musical Impressionism “with its shimmering colors, rarified harmonies and seemingly open-ended structures,” as music critic Clarke Bustard describes it in his review. Mr. Paley was joined by his fellow pianist (and spouse) Pei-wen Chen for three four-hand works by Schubert. The program finished with Chopin and Enescu. For an enlightening description of the night, please read Mr. Bustard’s review at his blog, Letter V.

Saturday evening was, as promised, BIG, with 4 hands (on piano & organ),  4 solo vocalists, and the Richmond Symphony Chamber Chorus, performing Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle, the work’s first performance in Richmond for over 50 years. As Mr. Bustard put it, “If [Petite Messe] were a bottle of wine, it would have been uncorked and half-drunk in a music hall, with the rest blessed and used sacramentally.”

The Festival concluded Sunday afternoon with French chamber music works by Ravel, Poulenc, and Debussy, “emphasizing the effervescent spirit, colorful tonal palette and cosmopolitan perspective of that country’s composers,” as Mr. Bustard wrote in the Times-Dispatch. The final work of the festival, Camille Saint-Saéns’ Carnival of the Animals, arranged for piano, 4-hands, was interspersed by Ogden Nash’s lovably goofy verses (“If you think the elephant preposterous, / You’ve probably never seen a rhinosterous”), and the Festival ended with smiles. Richmond Times-Dispatch review

To listen to Mr. Paley playing Brahms, Two Hungarian Dances, from the 2009 Paley Music Festival, hit the play button at bottom right of this page. For Mr. Paley & Ms Chen playing four hands, visit our CONTACT page.

Paley Music Festival

Alexander Paley and Pei-Wen Chen playing Schubert at the 18th Alexander Paley Music Festival, Richmond, Virginia.