Our Story – Susan’s Story

headshot susan waterburyMusic is as diversified in genres and expression, as wine is by varietal and vintage. For many, this makes the two perfect companions. Today, we tell Susan’s story. Susan Waterbuy is co-owner of Red Newt Cellars Winery and Bistro, and has been instrumental in developing the current music program. 

Susan Waterbury is Professor of Violin at the Ithaca College School of Music in Ithaca, NY and maintains an active performing schedule. She has also taught at the Cleveland Institute of Music with the Cavani String Quartet as String Quartet in Residence, at The University of Memphis as an Associate Professor of Violin and member of the Ceruti String Quartet, and at Garth Newel Music Center as Co-Artistic Director and Artist in Residence.

For eleven years, Waterbury was a founding violinist in the Cavani String Quartet. Cavani performed and taught regularly for concert series and festivals throughout the U.S. and abroad and garnered many awards including First Prize in the Walter W. Naumberg Chamber Music, Cleveland Quartet, and Carmel chamber music competitions. Cavani also received prizes in the Banff International, Fischoff, and Coleman competitions. Susan plays on an 1865 Postiglione violin and also enjoys playing Old Time fiddle and other improvised music with her banjo playing husband, playing on her grandfather’s fiddle. 

She and David Whiting married in November of 2015. Their mutual love of music and her passion for exploring music in alternative spaces kick-started the music at Red Newt Cellars. First, Red Newt Cellars began the Sunset Chamber Music nights. This series takes place in the evening in order to capture the beauty of the Finger Lakes sunset over Seneca Lake. These programs draw on incredible musical talent in the Finger Lakes as well as from musicians across the globe. Held three or four times per year, the idea is to bring chamber music into non-traditional environments, with less structure than traditional classical music venues. The space is more intimate and encourages the creation of a connection between the musicians and the audience. 

In 2019, we launched a lunchtime music series happening concurrently with our lunch service. The result is an afternoon that is both relaxing, full of energy, friendship bringing in some of our region’s greatest talent. The lunchtime program is every Sunday from 1:00 PM until 2:30 PM. The variety of music changes each week and our local musicians love playing in our space. We have enjoyed such success with this program that we will be expanding this program to Saturdays as well. 

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