News Releases

Thaler Violin Series Will Bring Exciting New Performer to Ithaca College

 ITHACA, NY — Violinist Brian Lewis and pianist Laura Kennedy will give this year’s Louis K. Thaler Concert Violinist Series performance at Ithaca College on Wednesday, March 7. The free concert will begin at 8:15 p.m. in Ford Hall in the James J. Whalen Center for Music. The program will include music of Darius Milhaud, Robert Schumann, Robert Avalon, Robert Russell Bennett and Aaron Copland.

Brian Lewis has established himself as one of today’s most versatile, talented and charismatic young violinists. In addition to concerto debuts in New York’s Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall, he has appeared with the American, Berlin (Germany), Eugene, Hartford, Kansas City, Louisiana, Odense (Denmark), Spokane, Syracuse, and Wichita symphony orchestras, among others.
Laura Kennedy has distinguished herself across the nation as a solo performer, accompanist and chamber musician, and has been featured in all three capacities on NPR’s “Performance Today.” She has appeared with many chamber ensembles and solo musicians, including performances throughout the United States with Brian Lewis.

The Louis K. Thaler Concert Violinist Series was established in the Ithaca College School of Music by the Thaler/Howell Foundation. Ani Kavafian inaugurated the series in October 2002; subsequent performers were Elmar Oliveira and Jaime Laredo. Louis’s son Manley H. Thaler and his immediate family provided the impetus for this gift. Before his death in 1979, Louis Thaler had a long and successful career as an Ithaca attorney and was the founder and senior partner in the Thaler and Thaler law firm. In addition to his professional and civic activities, Louis Thaler was an amateur violinist.

In 1927, Thaler married Rachel Shulman, a native Ithacan who studied piano at the Ithaca Conservatory of Music. Louis and Rachel Thaler were devoted supporters of the Friends of Ithaca College. The Rachel S. Thaler Concert Pianist Series, established in 1991, along with the creation of the Louis K. Thaler Concert Violinist Series, honor the Thalers’ love of music and their support of the College and the School of Music.

The Thaler/Howell Foundation, through the efforts of Manley H. Thaler, endowed both series to recognize and honor Rachel and Louis Thaler and to ensure that outstanding violinists and pianists would always perform for the Ithaca College community and residents of the surrounding area.

For more information, contact Molly O’Shea Polk in the School of Music at or (607) 274-3370.