Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State

Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center to mark pianist’s birth with Classical Coffeehouse Oct. 24 and concert Oct. 25 at Penn State

In tribute to the legacy of one of the biggest names in sweeping piano music, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center artists will mark the 150th anniversary of the Russian musician’s birth with “Rachmaninoff Celebration.”

The concert will be at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 25 in Recital Hall.

Tickets are $48 and $34 for an adult; $26 and $18 for those 18 and younger; and $5 per University Park student. They are available for purchase online. Tickets are also available by calling 814-863-0255 or in person, weekdays 10 a.m.–4 p.m., at Eisenhower Auditorium.

Visit “Rachmaninoff Celebration” online for more information about the ticketed concert and a free Classical Coffeehouse.

A supreme virtuoso pianist and composer, Sergei Rachmaninoff stole the hearts of listeners worldwide with his swaying melodies, lush orchestration, technical skill and “singing” tone. He emerged as one of the last great Russian composers of Romantic classical music.

Soprano Erika Baikoff, pianist Gilles Vonsattel, violinist Benjamin Beilman and cellist Clive Greensmith will trace the lineage of the virtuoso’s performance style by playing some of Rachmaninoff’s most dramatic compositions, as well as works written by his mentors and influencers, including:

  • Anton Rubinstein, “Romance” from “Soirées à Saint-Petersbourg” arranged for Piano, Violin and Cello, Op. 44, No. 1;
  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, “Souvenir d’un Lieu Cher” for Violin and Piano, Op. 42;
  • Mily Balakirev, "Song of the Goldfish" for Voice and Piano;
  • Modest Mussorgsky, “Where Are You, Dear Star?” for Voice and Piano;
  • Rachmaninoff, “Arion” for Voice and Piano, Op. 34, No. 5;
  • Mikhail Glinka, “The Lark” for Voice and Piano;
  • Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, “Does Not the Wind Blow” for Voice and Piano, Op. 43, No. 2;
  • Rachmaninoff, “These Summer Nights” for Voice and Piano, Op. 14, No. 5; and
  • Rachmaninoff, “Trio Élégiaque” in D minor for Piano, Violin and Cello, Op. 9.

The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center is an ensemble with the center. The touring ensemble performed at Penn State five times since 1988. It also performed in a number of virtual events during the pandemic. Pianist Vonsattel performed at Schwab Auditorium in 2018 with Escher String Quartet.

Rachmaninoff himself made a visit to Penn State for a solo performance at Schwab Auditorium on Feb. 3, 1943. He died less than two months later.

A sentimental program

The Russian classical romance art music genre suits Baikoff, whose parents are Russian, and she said the program is specifically touching to her, especially “The Golden Fish Song,” a story embedded in Russian culture. The ensemble and Baikoff will perform Balakirev’s inspired “Song of the Goldfish” at the Recital Hall concert.

“It really reminds me of learning to read with my grandmother and dancing to all of this very traditional Russian music, and all the kind of joy and despair that it has all in one song,” Baikoff said.

Read more of a Center for the Performing Arts interview with Baikoff.

Classical Coffeehouse

The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center visiting musicians will present an intimate mini-concert Classical Coffeehouse featuring excerpts from the society’s repertoire and will engage in conversation with attendees.

Snacks and refreshments will be served before the 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 24, event in Hintz Family Alumni Center’s Robb Hall. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Seating is limited, but standing room is available when seating is full.

The event is free for University Park and high school students. A $15 donation is suggested for each person who isn’t a student. Choose what you give.


Thank you to the Penn State School of Music for hosting the concert presentation.

Classical Coffeehouse is presented in collaboration with the Penn State Alumni Association in partnership with the Blue & White Society, the PSU Music Service Club and the Penn State Coffee Club.

Support for the concert is provided by Norma and Ralph Condee Chamber Music Endowment

Pieter and Lida Ouwehand Endowment provides support for the concert and Classical Coffeehouse.

Support for accessibility services is provided by William E. McTurk Endowment for Program Support and Gerald B. M. Stein Memorial Endowment.

A grant from the University Park Student Fee Board makes Penn State student prices possible.