Bistro Concert Series

Serving up another kind of fare: swing, jazz, folk fiddle, blues guitar and more…

Check out the listings below for details on our 2018 Bistro Concert Series events at Shenandoah Valley Westminster-Canterbury. This will give you some insight about the high caliber of performers we host every month. Just $10 at the door; and the public is invited. The Bistro Concert Series is sponsored by Union Bank and Trust.

Proceeds benefit the SVWC Fellowship Fund. In fact, over the past ten years, proceeds from the Bistro Concerts have reached over $42k contributed to the Fellowship Fund. Now that is music to our ears!

NEW TO SVWC…Fireside Recitals will take place on Wednesday evenings and will feature advanced graduate students from Shenandoah University’s Conservatory of Music. The great fireplace in the Bistro provides the backdrop, hence their name: Fireside Recitals.


Friday, January 18, 2019, 7:30 p.m. – Open to the public/$10 at the door

What Does a Two Bass Hit sound like? No, it’s not baseball. The January Bistro Concert is something else. Donovan Stokes and Kevin Johnson will play a program for double string basses, two of them. Don’t be fooled. This is serious music, with a little fun along the way.

Donovan Stokes teaches jazz and classical bass and serves as String Chair at Shenandoah University Music Conservatory. As a composer he has been honored with important commissions. As a chamber musician he has collaborated with other outstanding chamber players. He also performs Jazz, Americana, Rock and Gypsy Jazz. He holds advanced music degrees from Vanderbilt University and Indiana University and is active in international bassist workshops, publications and intensive one-week instruction for advanced bassists.

Kevin Johnson, a former student of Prof. Stokes at SU, is classically trained and comfortable with many musical genres. He often performs jazz and bluegrass. He has played here in the Bistro Concerts Series the last five Novembers with the Caleb Nei Jazz Quartet. He is Managing Editor of the world’s premier online magazine for bassists ( and devoted to fostering community education about music through promoting local bass events, workshops and performances.

Two Bass Hit is unique. They are committed to enhancing the way people appreciate the double bass. Exploiting the six-octave range and tonal complexities of their instruments, they dexterously tour the literature of classical works, traditional jazz, bluegrass, gypsy (Django Reinhardt) jazz, Celtic tunes and music from China, Brazil, France, India and Iceland – a sumptuous musical tour.


Wednesday, February 6, 2019, 7:30 p.m. – Open to the public/FREE
Aaron Chow is a Pianist, Doctoral student of John O’Connor at Shenandoah University.


Friday, February 15, 2019, 7:30 p.m. – Open to the public/$10 at the door

Romanian violinist Irina Muresanu has won the hearts of audiences and critics alike with her “irresistible,” (Boston Globe) exciting, elegant and heartfelt performances of the classic, romantic and modern repertoire. The Los Angeles Times has written that her “musical luster, melting lyricism and colorful conception made Irina Muresanu’s performance especially admirable”. Her performances have been frequently cited as among the Best of Classical Music Performances by the Boston Globe, most recently for a 2016 recital titled “Rorem, Ravel, and Rags.”

Muresanu has performed in renowned concert halls throughout North America, Europe and Asia. Her solo engagements include concerts with the Boston Pops, the Miami Symphony Orchestra, the Williamsburg Symphonia, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande (Geneva), the Transvaal Philharmonic (Pretoria, S. Africa), the Romanian National Orchestra, the Orchestre de la Radio Flamande (Brussels), the Boston Philharmonic, amongst others.

An active chamber musician and recitalist, Ms. Muresanu is a member of the Boston Trio. She has appeared in such festivals and venues as Bargemusic in New York, the Rockport Festival in Massachusetts, Bay Chambers concert series and Bowdoin Festival in Maine, the Strings in the Mountains and San Juan Music Festival in Colorado, Maui Chamber Music Festival in Hawaii, Reizend Music Festival in Netherlands, Festival van de Leie in Belgium, and the Rencontres des Musiciennes Festival in France and Guadeloupe islands.

In 2013, Muresanu introduced her “Four Strings Around the World” project, a solo violin recital featuring works of composers inspired by various musical cultures around the world. Critic Keith Powers noticed the formidable virtuosic stamina and originality of this program in the Cape Cod Times:
Four Strings Around the World not only extends the superbly talented Muresanu in new directions, but offers a glimpse into variations of violin technique and approach that would only be gleaned by attending different concerts in various country fairs, Irish pubs, campfire gatherings and parlors. “Four Strings Around the World” sparked an orchestral project called “Strings Across Europe,” a program in which Muresanu performs multiple roles as soloist and conductor. She premiered this program with longtime collaborators at Symphony New Hampshire in November 2017.

Irina Muresanu is an avid performer of new music, especially by American composers. Her recent recording releases include the Thomas Oboe Lee’s Violin Concerto (dedicated to Ms. Muresanu) on the BMOP label, and works of Elena Ruehr on Avie Records. Ruehr’s aforementioned album “Lift” was included on Keith Powers’ 13 Best Classical Music Recordings of 2016. She has also recorded the complete William Bolcom sonatas on the Centaur label with pianist Michael Lewin, funded by the Copland Recording Grant. In Europe, her recording of the Guillaume Lekeu and Alberic Magnard late Romantic Violin and Piano Sonatas with pianist Dana Ciocarlie for the AR RE-SE French label has sparked enthusiasm.

Irina Muresanu currently serves on the faculty the University of Maryland and has taught at Boston Conservatory and in the Harvard and MIT Music Departments. She received the prestigious Artist Diploma degree and a Doctor in Musical Arts degree from the New England Conservatory. She plays an 1849 Giuseppe Rocca violin and an Étienne Pajeot bow.


February 6, 2019, 7:30 p.m.                     Aaron Chow, Pianist, Doctoral student of John O’Connor
March 6, 2019, 7:30 p.m.                         Vocal students of Dr. Byron Jones, Opera Scenes
April 3, 2019, 7:30 p.m.                            Chamber music students of Professor Doris Lederer

For questions or directions, call 540-665-0156.