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Classical 101

Sunday at Central appoints new artistic director

The Calidore String Quartet performing on stage
Sunday at Central
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Sunday at Central
Violinist Jeffrey Myers, left, performs with the Calidore String Quartet on Sunday at Central in 2015.

Columbus native Jeffrey Myers, first violinist with the internationally acclaimed Calidore String Quartet, has been appointed artistic director of Columbus’ Sunday at Central concert series.

Myers succeeds David Niwa, who served as artistic director of Sunday at Central and as assistant concertmaster of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra until his death on Sept. 1.

A 2007 graduate of Upper Arlington High School, Myers said Niwa had been considering stepping down from his role as artistic director of Sunday at Central. In 2020 or 2021, Niwa reached out to Myers to ask if he would consider leading the series.

“As somebody who grew up watching those concerts and being inspired by the artists on stage that I was mentored by in Columbus, and other artists who came through town, I of course said yes immediately,” Myers said. “So it’s a really special thing to come full circle and now to be onstage and organizing the concerts.”

Jeffrey Myers, violinist with the Calidore String Quartet
Marco Borggreve
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courtesy of the artist
Jeffrey Myers, first violinist with the Calidore string Quartet

Myers says he plans to continue Niwa’s original vision for Sunday at Central. That vision includes featuring local professional musicians in performances of standard chamber repertoire.

“That was very important to David, and it’s very important to me. That aspect of Sunday at Central will definitely continue.”

Sunday at Central also regularly presents performances by up-and-coming chamber ensembles from beyond Columbus. Myers says he will also continue this part of the series’ mission.

“Living in New York, I’ve seen a few new acts come through town, and anyone new and exciting that I could think of that would be important for Columbus to hear was also interesting to him (Niwa),” Myers said.

Sunday at Central’s regular Where Are They Now? concerts, featuring performances by rising-star musicians raised in Columbus, have been a mainstay of the series. That initiative, Myers says, will continue under his leadership.

“Like David took a chance on our quartet, I would like to find another quartet like that to take a chance on,” Myers said.

Niwa’s passing has necessitated some changes to Sunday at Central’s 2022-23 season plans. Other Columbus professional violinists will perform in Niwa’s place on the November 2022 and March 2023 concerts. Myers says he will step in to perform the recital Niwa and his wife, pianist Mariko Kaneda, had planned to perform on May 28, 2023, but the repertoire might change.

Concerts for the 2022-23 season will take place Sundays at 3 p.m. at Broad Street Presbyterian Church in Downtown Columbus and at the Ohio History Center.

As Myers carries forward Niwa’s legacy at the helm of Sunday at Central, he also holds on to the legacy of Niwa’s friendship, from which he grew as a musician.

“He was always very kind,” Myers said. “He was just always a very caring person.”

Classical 101
Jennifer Hambrick unites her extensive backgrounds in the arts and media and her deep roots in Columbus to bring inspiring music to central Ohio as Classical 101’s midday host. Jennifer performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago before earning a Ph.D. in musicology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.