History of Music Concert Series, April 17. Medley: A Historical Sampling of Baroque to Modern Music

The Simons Center is pleased to present a new musical series in collaboration with the Stony Brook University Music Department to showcase local Stony Brook talent and highlight the history of music,

Inaugural Performance
Wednesday April 17
Reception: 4:30pm, Simons Center Lobby
Performance: 5:00pm, Simons Center Della Pietra Auditorium, room 103

Medley: A Historical Sampling of Baroque to Modern Music

This program features pianist Owen Dodds and cellist Sameer Apte performing a smorgasbord of works from the baroque to the present. The work features well known composers like J.S. Bach and Rachmaninoff alongside contemporary masters George Crumb and Bright Sheng. The concert also features a newly composed work by Dodds to open the performance. The musicians will guide the audience as they are transported through the different musical eras.

“Many members of our community are very interested in music, and we have the privilege to be on a Campus with a superb music school. We thought it would be really nice to learn from our local professional musicians their view on the history of music in a series of concerts. They graciously agreed, and this will be the first of a series of concerts that promises to be captivating and highly instructive.” – Luis Alvarez-Gaume, Director of the Simons Center for Geometry and Physics


There Are No Tunes Left, Owen Dodds (b. 1995) 7.5 min

Prelude from Suite in D Minor, BWV 1008, J.S. Bach (1685-1750) 3 min

The Drunken Fisherman, Bright Sheng (b. 1955) 4 min

Le Rappel des oiseaux, Jean Philippe Rameau (1683-1764) 3 min

Processional, George Crumb (1929-2022) 12 min

Sonata for Cello and Piano in G Minor, Op. 19, Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943) 10 min

I. Lento – Allegro moderato


Photo credit: Delphine Skene

Owen Dodds is a pianist and composer from Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He currently lives in New York where he performs as a classical soloist, chamber musician, songwriter, and performer/composer of electro-acoustic music. Owen was recently featured as a soloist at Carnegie Hall in May of 2022, at Czech Center New York in 2020, and at The New School’s Tech Forward concert series in 2021. His modern folk duo, Early Gray, has performed at Lincoln Center’s Clark Studio Theatre, has been featured on PBS North Carolina, and has collaborated with artists including Gabriel Kahane and Tanner Porter. Owen has appeared as a concerto soloist with the University of North Carolina School of the Arts Symphony Orchestra and the National Honoured Academic Orchestra of Ukraine. He will perform Bartok’s 3rd piano concerto with the Stony Brook Symphony Orchestra in February of 2025. Owen’s teachers have included Vladimir Valjarevic of Mannes School of Music, Gila Goldstein of Boston University, and Dmitri Shteinberg of UNC School of the Arts. Owen is currently pursuing his Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Stony Brook University in the studio of Gilbert Kalish.

Photo credit- Gautam Apte

American cellist Sameer Apte (b. 1997) is currently a doctoral candidate and teaching assistant at Stony Brook University, where he studies with Colin Carr and teaches the undergraduate cello class. Apte has performed as a substitute with the Aeolus Quartet and alongside members of many major American orchestras, and collaborated as soloist with conductors Carl Topilow, Stephen Schultz, and Gerard Schwarz. From 2020-2022 he was a fellow at the Aspen Music Festival, where he performed in the Aspen Chamber Symphony and joined the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble for the world premiere of Du Yun’s Oksoko, and a fellow of Aspen’s Center for Orchestral Leadership. A 2019 fellow of the Tanglewood Music Center and a 2017 fellow of the Pacific Music Festival, Apte has served as principal of both festivals’ orchestras. In 2016, Apte was a fellow at Madeline Island Chamber Music in Wisconsin.

Apte was a member of the conductorless New England Conservatory Chamber Orchestra and founded the Murr Trio, which held a fellowship in the school’s Community Performances and Partnerships program. He was a four-year recipient of Carnegie Mellon University’s cello prize and a three-time winner of the Harry G. Archer prize for solo excellence. He performed both Walton’s Cello Concerto and Andrew Dewey’s Hedonism as soloist with the Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic, where he was principal cellist from 2016 to 2019. Apte is also a former member of the Carson String Quartet, which from 2017-2018 was quartet-in residence with the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh and performed frequently on Carnegie Mellon’s Chamber Series. The Carson String Quartet was also the 2019 ensemble-in-residence of the Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth’s emerging artists program. In 2021, Apte earned his master’s degree from the New England Conservatory under Paul Katz, to whom he was class assistant and a recipient of the Gregor Piatigorsky scholarship. He previously attended Carnegie Mellon University, studying cello under Anne Martindale Williams and orchestral conducting under Daniel Nesta Curtis. His other cello teachers include Michael Haber, Martha Baldwin, David Premo, and Brinton Smith. In chamber music, he has studied under David Harding, Merry Peckham, Mark Steinberg, and Yo-Yo Ma.

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Sameer Apte began his studies at age three under Nicole Clouser at The Music Settlement. Outside of music, he enjoys reading, running, chess, looking for wildlife outdoors, and supporting Cleveland sports. He also is a freelance contributor to ecological research and writes questions for high-level trivia competitions.