Southminster’s Sunday Piano Series for COVID

By Roland Graham

Southminster United Church and the Master Piano Recital Series are responding to social isolation with a six-part, live-streamed Sunday Piano Series on Sundays at 3 p.m. from May 10 through June 14.

The mini-series will be broadcast on the Music at Southminster Facebook page. It will feature talented emerging pianists from around the world playing 60-minute programs from the great treasury of classical piano repertoire.

These events are designed to foster a sense of community through shared experience at a time when many are struggling to cope with extended social isolation. Beautiful music, especially by composers who were themselves sequestered and isolated, expresses the inexpressible, offering respite from loneliness and despair.

From J. S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations, commissioned by an insomniac to help him pass the dark, silent hours, to Beethoven’s Sonata, Op. 110, written as the “prisoner” of advanced deafness, to Viktor Ullmann’s Seventh Sonata, composed in 1944 in the Theresienstadt Concentration Camp, music has so often consoled people through the unimaginable.

But as often as it explores the depths of misery and despair, music heralds new life, celebrates gaiety and distracts from the mundane with fantastical scenes and engaging characters, as encountered in works such as the Nutcracker and Mother Goose suites by Tchaikovsky and Ravel.

The need for human connection is shared equally by people who make music and those who absorb the vibrations. Whether you are with one or two loved ones or all alone, these recitals, offered humbly from artists’ homes, are intended for you.

The series is being offered free of charge, thanks to a group of generous music patrons whose contributions will cover artist fees and production costs. Donations to Southminster’s music program will be gratefully accepted, with funds going toward the permanent installation of streaming equipment at the church among other initiatives.

Paraphrasing perspicacious Sunny Ritter, who recently performed a recital in Southminster’s noon-hour series, “the corona ƒƒƒ (musical symbol, Italian) resembles an individual in isolation, indicating a prolonged period of silence.” Southminster’s live-streamed music events “defy corona, celebrating music’s power to bring people together, whatever the circumstances.”

To “attend” these concerts, visit the Music at Southminster Facebook page ( each Sunday at 3 p.m.. You do not need a Facebook account to view the concert (check browser settings or update your software if you have trouble).

To support Southminster’s music activities, visit to make a secure donation. A charitable tax receipt will be issued.

See the lineup and find complete series details at

Roland Graham is artistic director of the Master Piano Recital Series and of Southminster United Church.




 Sunday, May 10
with Ben Cruchley
Works by Viktor Ullmann and Beethoven

 Sunday, May 17
with Mathieu Gaudet
Works by Schubert

 Sunday, May 24
with Ishay Shaer
Works by Beethoven and Stephen Heller

 Sunday, May 31
with the ZUMI Piano Duo
Works by Mozart, Liszt, Ravel,
Tchaikovsky, Dvorak and Brahms

 Sunday, June 7
with Chad Emry Heltzel
J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations 

Sunday, June 14
with Alexander Bui
Works by Schubert, Brahms, Liszt, Schumann and Nelson

Share this