The Leaf Peeper Concerts are presented each fall by Clarion Concerts in Columbia County, founded by the late musicologist and conductor, Newell Jenkins and his partner, Jack Hurley. It is the oldest classical music organization in Columbia County, New York, which is noted for its spectacular fall foliage. From its inception, the Leaf Peeper Series has added a colorful musical dimension to this autumn bounty by presenting world class chamber music concerts in various locations throughout the region. As it begins its 34th season, the Leaf Peeper Series under the direction of acclaimed flutist Eugenia Zukerman will continue to attract residents and visitors from a wide area with programs that focus on traditional and contemporary chamber music.

Mission Statement

Clarion Concerts in Columbia County promotes the performance of traditional and contemporary chamber music in Columbia County, New York, and the surrounding areas by presenting the annual Leaf Peeper Concert Series in the fall.  Clarion encourages a wide spectrum of listeners to attend its concerts, including children and young adults; it seeks to enhance listeners’ understanding of chamber music by offering an educational component to its programs; it provides performance opportunities for promising young professionals; and it supports the expansion of the chamber music repertoire by commissioning new works by worthy composers.


Newell Jenkins and Jack Hurley established the Clarion Music Society in New York City in 1957.  Jenkins specialized in music of the Baroque period.  Studying extensively in Europe, he unearthed the music of Giovanni Battista Sammartini, a sixteenth century composer who taught Gluck but whose work had been largely forgotten.  Sammartini laid a foundation for the style of Mozart and Haydn. Through research on Vivaldi and other composers, Jenkins carried their music to the attention of music lovers in the United States.  Under Jenkins’s direction, Clarion became known world-wide for its early music concerts, played on modern and period instruments.  For nearly forty years Jenkins added the Leaf Peeper Concerts and the Roeliff-Jansen Concert Choir to his busy schedule of concertizing, recording, and researching in Europe and beyond.   He died in Columbia County at eighty-one in 1996.

In June of that year, Clarion Concerts of Columbia County, Inc., became independent of the New York City organization and Sanford Allen was appointed Music Director. Mr. Allen, formerly violinist with the New York Philharmonic, who performed as soloist with many orchestras nationwide, including the New York Philharmonic, Detroit and Baltimore symphonies, has given recitals and participated in chamber music concerts in many parts of the world. Under his direction, the Leaf Peeper Concerts Series continued Newell Jenkins’s commitment to music of the Baroque era, but also expanded the repertoire with music of the 19th and 20th centuries. Furthermore, each year, Clarion commissioned a new work by a noteworthy contemporary composer.

When Sanford Allen announced his intention to retire at the end of the 2014 season acclaimed American flutist Eugenia Zukerman was appointed Music Director-Designate. The final concert of the 2014 season was entitled “Celebrating Sanford Allen”, in tribute to Mr. Allen’s outstanding contributions to classical music in Columbia County as both leading performer and Music Director. Eugenia Zukerman succeeded Allen and became the third Music Director of Clarion Concerts on October 26, 2014.

About Our Music Director

In addition to being a famous soloist and outstanding chamber musician, Eugenia Zukerman was for thirteen years distinguished Artistic Director of the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival. Prior that, Ms. Zukerman interviewed and created more than three hundred portraits as an Arts Correspondent for CBS Sunday Morning, for which she received an Emmy nomination for broadcast journalism. Clarion Concerts is indeed fortunate that she was enthusiastic about becoming Music Director, following Newell Jenkins and Sanford Allen.

Eugenia Zukerman has performed as soloist with many of the world's finest orchestras, including the Tokyo Philharmonic, the Royal Philharmonic, the China Philharmonic, and the Israel, Moscow, Prague and Scottish Chamber Orchestras. The breadth of her appearances in North America is remarkable - engagements with more than eighty orchestras nationwide, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, National Symphony in Washington DC, the Montreal and Vancouver Symphonies and the National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico. Performances and a recording of Lowell Liebermann's Concerto for Flute and Orchestra Op.39 with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra conducted by Andrew Litton (Delos) led to a rewarding connection between Eugenia Zukerman and the orchestra. Zukerman and retiring Music Director Allen first appeared together in the opening Leaf Peeper Concert of the 2014 season, which honored the late Charles Dodson. Appropriately enough, they began with a duet for flute and violin by C.P.E. Bach. Zukerman also appeared in the sold-out Newell Jenkins Memorial Baroque Concert in Copake.

Eugenia Zukerman has over two dozen discs to her credit, including releases on the Delos, SONY Classical, Pro Arte, Vox Cum Laude and Newport Classic labels. Her most recent recording, Flesh & Stone: The Songs of Jake Heggie was released on the Americus label with all proceeds benefitting Classical Action; Performing Arts Against AIDS.

Board of Directors
John Bevan, President
Jay Rohrlich, Vice President
Alice Platt, Secretary
Monica Sinclair, Treasurer
Richard Collens
George Faison
Dave Hall
Josh Lipton
Virginia Martin
Don Moore
Eugenia Zukerman, Music Director
Clarion Concerts in Columbia County, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Content Copyright © Clarion Concerts in Columbia County, Inc.  All rights reserved.




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