Fredonia offers unique concert experience with SHUFFLE

Submitted Photo The SHUFFLE Concert lineup of, from left, Sofia Nowik (cello), Hassan Anderson (oboe), Eliran Avni (piano), Moran Katz (clarinet), Ariadne Greif (soprano) and Brendan Speltz (violin) will perform in Fredonia’s Rosch Recital Hall on Saturday, Oct. 28 at 8 p.m.

The State University of New York at Fredonia School of Music, in partnership with Rockefeller Arts Center, brings unique chamber performance experience to Rosch Recital Hall during Fredonia’s Family Weekend 2017.

On Saturday, Oct. 28 at 8 p.m., SHUFFLE Concert will take the stage for an evening of inspiring and energetic performance by the group’s exceptionally accomplished chamber musicians. Reserved seating tickets are $20 ($5 for students with ID) and are available at the Fredonia Ticket Office by calling 673-3501, online at, or in-person in the Williams Center.

A modern day ensemble that delivers the unexpected, New York-based chamber music ensemble SHUFFLE Concert changes the rules of performance as we know it. Conceived by SHUFFLE’s artistic director and pianist, Eliran Avni (who is also the newest member of the Fredonia piano faculty), SHUFFLE was born while Avni was exercising on the elliptical machine at the gym. His MP3 player jumped from a Pretenders song to the first movement of Prokofiev’s Fifth Symphony, nearly causing him to lose his balance… and thus, the idea for SHUFFLE was born.

“SHUFFLE was not created with the intention of replacing the usual classical concert format, but as an alternative,” Avni said. “And, in fact, it really isn’t a classical concert. It’s a completely different beast-which in turn makes it unique and interesting.”

Unique to SHUFFLE’s performances is the manner in which the program is selected. The audience is invited to actively participate in the selection of works to be performed by choosing from a menu of more than 30 works derived from 15 different styles, with works ranging from solos and duos, to trios, quartets, quintets and sextets. Genres vary from classical, baroque and romantic, to Jazz, Latin and Broadway. The result is a highly engaged audience and a high-energy performance that is appropriate for all ages.

“Pianist Eliran Avni has created a concert experience for the digital age, in the form of an iPod-‘style’ shuffle. His SHUFFLE Concert is a unique concept in which the audience determines the programing from a music ‘menu’,” wrote Karen Bloom in Rockville Center Herald.

SHUFFLE’s members are exceptionally accomplished chamber musicians; they are graduates of such schools as Juilliard, New England Conservatory, Oberlin, Manhattan School of Music and Bard College and have all individually won numerous prizes and have performed extensively as soloists and collaborative musicians throughout the world. This performance will feature Sofia Nowik (cello), Hassan Anderson (oboe), Eliran Avni (piano), Moran Katz (clarinet), Ariadne Greif (soprano) and Brendan Speltz (violin).

Since its inception, SHUFFLE has performed in a variety of concert settings, including the Duplex, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, the Rose Studio at Lincoln Center, Merkin Hall and Rhinebeck Chamber Music Society Series in New York; Buck Hill Skytop Music Festival in Pennsylvania; Molloy College in Long Island; Los Angeles’s L’Ermitage Concert Series, Lancaster Performing Arts Center and Pepperdine University Center for the Arts in California, and Canada’s Chamberfest Ottawa, and presented residencies at East Stroudsburg University and Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania; Mirman School in Los Angeles; The Dalles Middle school, Oregon; and the International School in Herzeliya, Israel, to name a few.

In December 2012, the ensemble made its New York City Merkin Hall debut, which was broadcast on WWFM and WQXR, and which included the premieres of new works by Avner Dorman and Jonathan Keren. The ensemble’s debut eponymous CD was released in October 2013. In 2014, to celebrate its fifth anniversary, SHUFFLE introduced its first Composition Competition, awarding prizes to composers Piotr Szewcyzk, Kevin Wilt and Oran Eldor for their original compositions for the ensemble.

Last year, SHUFFLE released its long-awaited interactive video project that allows presenters and audiences to choose their own musical adventure in the comfort of their own home. The video includes five segments, each in a different musical style. The viewer is invited to watch them in any particular order of their choice. In addition, the ensemble also released two short trailer videos from live performances in October 2015 at the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert, CA and Merkin Hall. The first trailer explains the SHUFFLE rules and the second presents audience responses to the SHUFFLE concept and performances. Both can be viewed on the Media page on the SHUFFLE website.

In addition to their regular touring schedule, the 2017-2018 season finds SHUFFLE Concert creating an exciting, new project titled “1933,” a unique concert experience dedicated to music composed and premiered during this pivotal year in human history. Scheduled to premiere in January of 2018 at the Dell E. Webb Center in Wickenburg, Arizona, “1933” will feature SHUFFLE’s interactive musical program with a multimedia visual presentation of historic events, art and architecture of the period, and illuminated by an original lighting design.

For more information about this and other SHUFFLE projects, visit their website,