CPS Features a Classical Ensemble with an Innovative Twist


The Calefax Reed Quintet will perform Bach’s Goldberg Variations and other classical favorites in concert through the CPS Guest Artist Series at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 11 at SUNY Potsdam’s Sara M. Snell Theater.

Community Performance Series in Potsdam is pleased to present the CALEFAX Reed Quintet on Sunday, Nov. 11 at 7:30 p.m. in the Helen M. Hosmer Concert Hall at SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music. An ensemble member will give a free pre-concert lecture at 6:30 p.m.

The Amsterdam-based quintet launches its U.S. tour in Potsdam with a performance of Bach’s “Goldberg Variations,” as well as pieces by Maurice Ravel and Edvard Grieg. 

Featuring Oliver Boekhoorn (oboe), Ivar Berix (clarinet), Raaf Hekkema (saxophone), Jelte Althuis (bass clarinet) and Alban Wesly (bassoon), CALEFAX offers a unique twist on the traditional reed quintet. 

The Times of London raved, “CALEFAX [is] five extremely gifted Dutch gents who almost made the reed quintet seem the best musical format on the planet.”

Unique to their performance, the quintet performs standing up and always introduces themselves and the program to the audience. The five musicians also arrange, recompose and interpret all genres. From early music to classical, and jazz to world premiere pieces, in the hands of CALEFAX, all music sounds fresh and new.  The ensemble will share the secrets of their virtuosity during a series of masterclasses on Monday, Nov. 12 at The Crane School of Music. Each instrumentalist will conduct independent masterclasses from 9 to 10 a.m., and the ensemble will come back together to conduct a second hour session at 10 a.m. 

CALEFAX has received various awards and prizes since their debut in 1985. Some of the most prestigious honors include the Philip Morris Kunstprijs (1997), the Kerjes van Groenekan-prijs (2001), and the VSCD-prijs (2005). The group also feels at home outside the boundaries of classical music, as shown by their fruitful collaboration with the Tony Overwater Trio in recent years.

Tickets range from $18 to $30, with additional discounts for students, seniors  and SUNY Potsdam faculty and staff. Tickets can be purchased online at www.cpspotsdam.org, by phone at (315) 267-2277, or by visiting the CPS Box Office, located in the lobby of the Sara M. Snell Music Theater on the SUNY Potsdam campus, or at Northern Music & Video in downtown Potsdam.

Established at 1989, CPS at SUNY Potsdam is a college-community partnership presenting world-class performing artists and arts education opportunities in Northern New York. This rich mixture of programming links communities, classrooms and audiences of all ages and preserves access to the performing arts for future generations.

For more information about CPS events, visit www.cpspotsdam.org.

Founded in 1816, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of only three arts campuses in the entire SUNY system. SUNY Potsdam’s arts curriculum offers the full palette: music, theatre, dance, fine arts and creative writing. No matter the discipline, people from all backgrounds can find their creative compass at Potsdam, with myriad arts immersion experiences available for both campus and community.