St. Luke Lutheran Church is proud to be the home of the Paley Music festival in Richmond. Alexander Paley is a virtuoso pianist from Russia who performs several classical music concerts in our musically rich sanctuary each year. Concerts were cancelled during the COVID pandemic, but we were delighted to welcome them back in Fall 2022, and again on June 23, 2023, for one evening. The Paley Music Festival this Fall will be held on the last weekend of October 2023- see poster below.
September 16 – 18, 2016
Despite many other enticing concerts that weekend, the Paley Festival had excellent audiences for all three concerts September 16-18. Highlights of the concerts were the Arensky Piano Trio, the Brahms Horn Trio, and the Prokofiev Cello Sonata as well as the complete Vivaldi “Seasons” for 4-hand piano. Guest musicians were clarinetist Chuck West, Jay Ferree, French horn, and Daisuke Yamamoto, concertmaster of the Richmond Symphony. If you would like further information as it becomes available, please complete the form at the bottom of this page, or follow the Logo link to the Paley Festival website.
A Winter Weekend with Alexander Paley
– January 2016
Alexander Paley returned to Richmond unusually on the last weekend in January and played two concerts at St. Luke. The first was on Saturday January 30 at 7:30pm, called “Solo Piano Music for Piano Music Lovers” and included the complete Chopin waltzes, and piano preludes from Rachmaninoff, Opus 3, no.2 and Opus 23 complete. The second concert was on Sunday afternoon, January 31, at 3:00pm, consisting of children’s classical music. He played Children’s Album by Tchaikovsky, Mother Goose Suite by Ravel, and Peter and the Wolf by Prokofieff. Daniel Stipe from Trinity Lutheran Church also played the Mother Goose Suite with Mr. Paley, in a four-hand version. There was a full-house for both concerts.
You may view these photos full-size by clicking on any one photo
Photos from the Sunday Afternoon Concert – Beauties and Beasts
The 2015 Festival
The Alexander Paley Music Festival, which is in its 18th year, returned to St. Luke on September 25, 26, and 27, 2015. Alexander Paley, a Russian virtuoso pianist, is widely recognized for his exceptionally broad and extensive repertoire of concerti and solo piano works, his dazzling technical prowess, and his convincing, personal interpretations. On the Friday evening, at 7:30pm, he played solo pieces and after the intermission, 4-hand pieces with his wife, Pei-wen Chen, also a gifted pianist.
On the Saturday evening, at 7:30pm, he played in a performance of Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle, the work’s first performance in Richmond for over 50 years. The performance was conducted by Erin Freeman, the conductor of the Richmond Symphony Chorus, with 24 chorus members and 4 soloists, and with Daniel Stipe on the organ.
The Sunday afternoon performance at 3:00pm included Maurice Ravel: Violin Sonata No. 2; Francis Poulenc: Sonata for Clarinet and Piano; and Claude Debussy: Violin Sonata. Another favorite in a fresh guise sent us home smiling: Camille Saint-Saéns’ Carnival of the Animals, for piano, 4-hands. Pei-wen Chen played 4-hand with Alexander Paley, Charles West (Professor of Music at VCU) played clarinet, and the Richmond Symphony Concertmaster, Daisuke Yamamoto played violin. There will be opportunities after each performance to meet with the musicians.
Photos from the 2015 Festival
Photos from the Festival 2014