Chamber Music Quad Cities to honor memory of a founding mother in January

Local News

Brothers Gregory (cellist), right, and Thomas (pianist) Sauer will be joined by their wives, violinist Serena Canin (left) and violist Lee Taylor at the Jan. 2, 2022 concert.

If there was no Connie Sauer, there would be no Chamber Music Quad Cities.

Connie Sauer-Adams died this past April, but the nonprofit CMQC remains strong after 27 years.

The group will perform a one-hour concert in memory of the music-loving founder of CMQC — and mother of its artistic directors — on Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022 in the Trinity Episcopal Cathedral Great Hall, 121 W. 12th St., Davenport.

Gregory (cellist) and Thomas (pianist) Sauer will be joined by their wives, violinist Serena Canin and violist Lee Taylor, in a program of Mozart (Piano Quartet in E-flat Major, K 493), Schubert (String Trio in B-flat Major, D. 471) and Chopin (Piano Sonata in B Minor, Op. 58).

An outgrowth of many years of concert-giving in the Quad Cities by the Sauer brothers (who are Davenport natives), CMQC was founded in 1994. Together with pianist Robert Satterlee, the brothers established Chamber Music Quad Cities as a non-profit, 501(c)3 corporation that year and began to enlist support from the community, that has been consistent to this day.

Violinist David Bowlin assumed the artistic direction of CMQC in 2007; upon his departure in the summer of 2017, the Sauer brothers returned as artistic co-directors.

Sauer-Adams, formerly of Davenport, passed away in Tallahassee, Fla., on April 9, 2021. Born on Jan. 6, 1938 in Fort Wayne, Ind., she enjoyed a mid-century childhood in DeKalb, Ill., with her three beloved siblings before attending the University of Iowa, where she met her first husband, Ralph Sauer.

Carolyn (Connie) Sauer-Adams was the mother of Greg and Tom Sauer, and passed away in April 2021.

While Ralph studied law, Connie did her first public-school teaching in West Branch, Iowa, according to her obituary. The young couple settled in Davenport in 1963; sons Gregory and Thomas were born in 1964 and 1966, respectively.

Ever a devoted mother, Connie returned to teaching in 1977, this time in the field of special education, at the newly formed Eastern Avenue School. Her years there, working with cherished colleagues to bring hope and educational opportunity to a vulnerable population of students, were some of the most rewarding of her life, her obituary said.

After her first marriage ended in divorce, she became increasingly active in the Unitarian Universalist Church in Davenport. There she met her second husband, Leonard Adams, an economic development officer for the City of Davenport. The couple retired to Tallahassee in 2007, where Len was a faithful companion and caregiver in Connie’s protracted, courageous struggle with Parkinson’s Disease.

Greg Sauer was appointed to the music faculty at Florida State University in 2006. He taught 11 years at the University of Oklahoma, and was named Presidential Professor in 2005. Other teaching positions have been a visiting professorship at the University of California at Los Angeles, and at summer programs such as the Texas Music Festival, the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival, the Duxbury Music Festival, and the Foulger International Music Festival.

Both Greg and Tom have had extensive performing careers. Tom Sauer has performed at many of the leading festivals in the U.S. and abroad, including Marlboro, Caramoor, Music@Menlo, Chamber Music Northwest, and Taos, as well as Lake District Summer Music (England), Agassiz (Canada), Festival des Consonances (France), and Esbjerg International Chamber Music Festival (Denmark).

A faculty member of Mannes and Vassar Colleges in New York, Mr. Sauer was the founder and director of the Mannes Beethoven Institute, a highly-regarded summer program that ran for 15 seasons.

Those attending the CMQC Davenport concert will be required to wear masks. Tickets are $20, $5 for students, available in advance at and at the door, beginning one hour before the performance.  

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