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Academy Quartet- "Variations on Variations"
Unitarian Universalist Church of the South Hills
Pittsburgh, PA
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Academy Quartet- "Variations on Variations"
The Academy Quartet has presented delightful, unstuffy concerts of great music since 2012. The friendly and informal atmosphere we create invites listeners to engage with the music as a natural part of their lives. Our repertoire combines the well-loved classics of the string quartet repertoire with rarely-heard gems and attractive new works. Members of the quartet are Jorie Butler-Geyer and Leah Givelber, violins, Warren Davidson, viola, and Robin Hasenpflug, cello.

Theme and Variations is a perennial favorite musical style for composers and audiences. As the basic musical material is creatively reinterpreted, a theme and variations movement has the perfect balance of novelty and familiarity to delight the ear and the mind. Our concert dives into the riches of the string quartet repertoire and pulls out a variety of variations. They use different source material  original melodies, folk songs, and pop tunes; they are free-standing or part of a larger work; they are composed by one person or a bunch of composers, each contributing a variation in their personal style. The father of the string quartet, Joseph Haydn, appropriately takes the spotlight in two quartets with glorious variation movements, including variations on the Austrian national anthem - which also serves as the alma mater for the University of Pittsburgh.

Variations on a Russian Folk Song - various composers
String Quartet in C, Op. 76 #3  Joseph Haydn
Stylistic Variations on Smoke on the Water arr. Kenneth Abeling
String Quartet in D, Op. 20 #5  Joseph Haydn
(Program subject to change)

Artist's Bios:
Born into a musical family, violinist Jorie Butler-Geyer has performed in orchestral and chamber music concerts on three continents (so far!), and was recently appointed Principal Second Violin of the Westmoreland Symphony. In 2018, she was Chamber Artist-in-Residence at Strings Music Festival in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, performing as a member of Quartet Bellini in concert halls, college campuses, and rehabilitation centers. Ms. Butler-Geyer received her Bachelors and Masters degrees from Rice University Shepherd School of Music and completed her Masters of Music at Roosevelt Universitys Chicago College of Performing Arts. Her principal teachers include Paul Kantor, Yuan-Qing Yu, and Almita and Roland Vamos. When she isn't practicing or stuck in traffic, Jorie likes visiting museums and dogspotting.

Leah Givelber is an accomplished performer and violin teacher. She began playing violin at the age of 4 and holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music and New England Conservatory. She has brought her love of the violin and classical music to students as a teacher for the past two decades; her goal as a teacher is to help her students find beauty in music, life, and in themselves through mastery of the violin. As a performer, Leah can be found playing with the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Opera and the Pittsburgh Symphony. Leah works on the Pittsburgh Girls Choir administrative team, advocating for her belief in the arts as a powerful tool for both performers and audiences.

Violinist/violist Warren Davidson is the artistic director of Academy Concerts, and the wide variety of music represented in these concerts reflects his musical experiences. As a teen, he was deep into old-time fiddling and jazz; in college, he performed Eastern European folk music with the Duquesne University Tamburitzans; and he only came to serious study of the violin while a junior at Duquesne when he began lessons with Alan Grishman. Before completing his doctoral studies in violin at West Virginia University, Dr. Davidson earned an MA in music theory and composition at the University of Pittsburgh, a BA in Philosophy and Psychology and an MM in violin at Duquesne, and a two-year certificate program in chamber music at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He is married to Donna Penoyer, a jewelry artist and retired stilt-walker who enjoys listening to tango music together while dinner is prepared.

Cellist Robin Hasenpflug has performed throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe. She is the principal cellist of the Butler Symphony Orchestra and performs regularly with the Academy Chamber Orchestra. She has recently performed as a soloist with the Greenville Symphony and is a substitute cellist for the Nashville Opera Orchestra.


Unitarian Universalist Church of the South Hills (View)
1240 Washington Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15228
United States


Music > All Ages
Music > Classical
Music > Early/Baroque

Kid Friendly: Yes!
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


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