Musician Biographies, New York Chamber Soloists

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CURTIS MACOMBER (violin) is one of the most versatile soloists/chamber musicians before the public today, equally at home in repertoire from Bach to Babbitt. As member of the New World String Quartet from 1982-93, he performed in virtually all the important concert series in this country, as well as touring abroad. He is the violinist of Speculum Musicae and Da Capo, and a founding member of the Apollo Trio. His most recent recordings include a solo recording (“Casting Ecstatic”) on CRI, the complete Grieg Sonatas on Arabesque, an all-Steve Mackey record (“Interior Design”) on Bridge, and the complete Brahms Sonatas, also for Bridge. Mr. Macomber is presently a member of the chamber music faculty of the Juilliard School, where he earned B.M., M.M., and D.M.A. degrees as a student of Joseph Fuchs. He is also on the violin faculty of the Manhattan School of Music, and has taught at the Tanglewood, Taos, and Yellow Barn Music Festivals.

EMILY POPHAM GILLINS (violin) has traveled throughout the United States, Europe, Korea, and Israel as a soloist and collaborative chamber musician. As first violinist of the Degas String Quartet and a member of the International Sejong Soloists, she has performed at the Library of Congress and the Kennedy Center. Other collaborations include concerts at the Prussia Cove International Musicians Seminar and the Aspen, Ravinia and Taos Music Festivals. Emily completed degrees from Indiana University, the Juilliard School and Manhattan School of Music studying with Miriam Fried, Robert Mann, and Sylvia Rosenberg. She has served as assistant concertmaster of the Sarasota Opera Orchestra and as a faculty member of the Summertrios Music Festival in Pennsylvania. She is currently a member of Ensemble ACJW and performs regularly at Carnegie’s Weill Hall. Emily joined the New York Chamber Soloists in 2008.

YNEZ LYNCH (viola), an original member of the New York Chamber Soloists, has been viola soloist with the Musica Aeterna Orchestra and the Festival Orchestra of New York at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. She has also performed with the Festival Winds and appeared as guest artist with the American and Emerson String Quartets and the Paris Piano Trio. She has performed in the chamber orchestra and as viola soloist at the Casals Festival in Prades, France, and in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Ms Lynch toured the United States and Europe as a member of the original cast of New York Pro Musica’s production of The Play of Daniel, which was recorded by Decca. She has also recorded for CRI and Nonesuch, and has made many radio and television appearances in North America and Europe.

ADAM GRABOIS (cello) has a varied career as chamber musician, soloist, teacher, and recording artist, and is the founder of the record label Reflex Editions. About his first recording The Philadelphia Inquirer wrote, “Sometimes, the way he plays with the sound of a single note has enough emotional sustenance in it to launch a half-dozen distinct feelings in quick succession.” A second disc, DUOS: Martinu, Ravel, Kodaly, was released to critical acclaim in 2008. Recent appearances include the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Morgan Library in New York City, the National Gallery in Washington, and the Getty Center in Los Angeles. He is also the cellist of the Lile Piano Trio and a member of the Finckel Cello Quartet. Past collaborations have included performances with Menahem Pressler and Mikhail Baryshnikov. Educated at Swarthmore College, he studied with David Finckel and has taught as his assistant. He is on the faculty of the Kinhaven Music School in Vermont and the Weston Music Center in Connecticut. His cello was made by Samuel Zygmuntowicz in Brooklyn in 1998 and his bows were made by Ole Kanestrøm in 2004 and 2008.

JENNIFER GRIM (flute) Hailed by The New York Times as “a deft, smooth flute soloist,” Jennifer Grim has performed across the United States as an active solo and chamber musician of both the classic literature and contemporary music. She is a member of the Zéphyros Winds, New York Chamber Soloists, and the Proteus Ensemble. She has also performed with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble, Speculum Musicae, and ensemble 21. As a soloist, she has performed all of the flute concerti of Mozart with the Vermont Mozart Festival. Currently principal flute of the Vermont Mozart Festival, Ms. Grim has performed at the Aspen Music Festival and the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival. A native of California, Ms. Grim received her bachelor’s degree from Stanford University, and her Masters and Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Yale School of Music. Ms. Grim is currently Assistant Professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

MELVIN KAPLAN (oboe), founder/artistic director of the New York Chamber
Soloists and the Festival Winds, has been for more than 40 years one of America’s most influential forces in chamber music, both as a renowned performer and as manager, teacher, lecturer and writer. As a soloist, he has premiered works by Vaughan Williams, Ezra Laderman, Hugh Aitken, Gunther Schuller, Mel Powell, Heitor Villa-Lobos and Jean Francaix. On the faculty of the Juilliard School for 30 years, Mr. Kaplan was also for many years featured regularly as a lecturer/performer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He founded and was Artistic Director of the Vermont Mozart Festival.

ALLEN BLUSTINE (clarinet) is a member of the New York Chamber Soloists and the award-winning new music ensemble Speculum Musicae (of which he is currently the President and Director). An active proponent of new music for the clarinet, he has premiered over 100 solo and chamber works including Milton Babbitt’s “My Ends are My Beginnings,” Donald Martino’s “Triple Concerto,” Elliott Carter’s “GRA (New York premiere),” Pulitzer Prize-winner Wayne Peterson’s “Peregrinations” for solo clarinet and, most recently, Pulitzer Prize-winner Mario Davidovsky’s “Synchronisms No. 12 for clarinet and electronic sounds.” He was principal clarinetist of the Japan Philharmonic in the early 1970s and the Musica Aeterna Orchestra at the Metropolitan Museum and has frequently performed with the New York Philharmonic. He is currently on the faculty of Columbia University and is a founding member of the North Country Chamber Players in New Hampshire and the associate director of the Institute and Festival for Contemporary Performance at Mannes College of Music in New York.

Bassoonist ANDREW SCHWARTZ has appeared throughout the world as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral player. Mr. Schwartz has performed solo concertos in some of the world’s great concert halls, including Boston’s Jordan Hall, Alice Tully Hall in New York, and Vienna’s Musikverein. He is a member of the New York Chamber Soloists, The Little Orchestra Society, and the Scandia Orchestra in New York, and has performed regularly with the Metropolitan Opera and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. One of the most prominent musicians playing historical bassoons, Mr. Schwartz is principal bassoon for the leading period instrument organizations: Handel & Haydn Society, Boston Baroque, The American Classical Orchestra, Sinfonia New York, Rebel, Concert Royal, Washington, D.C., Bach Consort, and Musica Angelica in Los Angeles. His many recordings include Mozart’s Da Ponte operas and The Magic Flute, as well as the complete works for wind ensemble on the Decca/L’Oiseau Lyre label.

SHARON MOE (horn) is a frequent soloist throughout the U.S. and has performed as a soloist in France, Spain, and South America. Ms. Moe was solo horn for the premiere of Leonard Bernstein’s Mass at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., and for the premiere of Oliver Messaien’s From the Canyon to the Stars at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. Her compositions have received several awards from ASCAP, and have been performed in Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Alice Tully Hall, and Merkin Hall, and at the Aspen, Spoleto, and Miami Festivals. Her work Windows was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

IAN DONALD (horn) is a California native who received a degree in French horn performance from the University of Southern California, where he studied with James Decker. While in Los Angeles, he played on numerous studio recordings for film and television, and performed throughout the area in groups including the San Diego Symphony, the New West Symphony, and the Fresno Philharmonic. Mr. Donald has traveled throughout the United States, performing with classical, pop, and Broadway tours. Since moving to New York City in 2003, he has performed with the New York City Ballet and the New York City Opera, as well as many regional orchestras and chamber ensembles. Mr. Donald can frequently be heard in Broadway pit orchestras, having performed in more than a dozen different productions.

ELIZABETH METCALFE (piano, harpsichord) made her solo debut with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra at the age of twelve, and subsequently performed with the Orchestra throughout eastern Canada. Mrs. Metcalfe has appeared as piano and harpsichord soloist and as a chamber musician throughout the United States, in repertoire ranging from 17th-century harpsichord music to contemporary music for both piano and harpsichord. She was a founding member of both the University of Vermont Baroque Ensemble and the Vermont Contemporary Music Ensemble. With the New York Chamber Soloists she has been a featured artist at the Mostly Mozart Festival, the Caramoor Festival, the Vermont Mozart Festival, and on tours of France, Spain, and South America.

Ensemble Biography, New York Camber Soloists

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Acclaimed as an outstanding ensemble of distinguished virtuosi, performing widely diverse repertoire in creatively programmed concerts, the New York Chamber Soloists have maintained a unique niche in the chamber music world for over five decades. This twelve-member ensemble of strings, winds, and keyboard can increase to as many as twenty with the addition of guest artists, giving it the flexibility to offer many works that are seldom heard due to the unusual instrumental combinations for which they were written.

With more than 250 works in their repertoire, the Chamber Soloists have made a valuable contribution to the musical life of this country, and have helped to expand the audience for chamber music. Their programming innovations have included Bach’s complete Brandenburg Concerti in a single concert; “Paris in the ’20s”; an American Classics program; the complete Mozart horn concerti; and song cycles, cantatas, and operas from Monteverdi to Aitken. They have added substantially to the catalog of 20th century chamber works, with the more than 25 compositions written for them by such significant composers as Gunther Schuller, Mario Davidovsky, Ezra Laderman, and Mel Powell. The group has also commissioned works for children, including Ferdinand the Bull from noted American composer Hugh Aitken, and compositions based on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Gerald Fried and Tania French.

The ensemble has compiled an impressive record of repeat engagements in North America and abroad, including eleven European tours, six Latin American tours, and numerous tours of the Far East and South Pacific. In the United States, the Chamber Soloists have appeared frequently in New York City at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Lincoln Center, in Washington at the Library of Congress, the National Academy of Sciences, the Kennedy Center, and the National Gallery of Art, at major universities across the country from Boston to Berkeley, and at the Mostly Mozart, Sun Valley, and Caramoor Festivals. Recent performances include two at the Casals Festival, as well as the debut of the Chamber Soloists’ new initiative, a large-scale orchestral program featuring luminaries such as Richard Stoltzman, Menahem Pressler, and Anton Kuerti. These programs have been huge successes at venues including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Kravis Center, UCLA, and the University of Arizona. The New York Chamber Soloists were in residence at the Vermont Mozart Festival every summer from its inception in 1974 through its last year in 2010.

Six Sextets Program

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New York Chamber Soloists

  • Jennifer Grim, flute
  • Melvin Kaplan, oboe
  • Allen Blustine, clarinet
  • Andrew Schwartz, bassoon
  • Sharon Moe, French horn
  • Ian Donald, French horn
  • Curtis Macomber, violin
  • Emily Popham Gillins, violin
  • Ynez Lynch, viola
  • Adam Grabois, cello
  • Elizabeth Metcalfe, piano

Six Sextets Program

Concerto in G minor for flute, oboe, bassoon, violin, cello, & keyboard
Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)

Allegro ma cantabile
Allegro molto

Overture on Hebrew Themes for clarinet, strings and piano
Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953)

Sextuor for Piano & Winds
Francis Poulenc (1899-1963)

Allegro vivace
Finale: Prestissimo


Theme and Variations in F Major for two horns and strings, K. 287
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

Ricercare à 6 for oboe, clarinet, bassoon, violin, cello, and keyboard
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

Allegro assai

Sextet in E-flat Major for two horns and strings, Op. 81b
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)

Allegro con brio
Rondo: Allegro

New York Chamber Soloists

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New York Chamber Soloists
New York Chamber Soloists

We open the season in classic fashion with this elegant ensemble of strings, wind and piano known for creatively programmed concerts and widely diverse repertoire, from Baroque through the modern era. The 13 Chamber Soloists perform frequently at New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and maintain an active touring schedule at major universities from Boston to Berkeley. The group’s founder, oboist Melvin Kaplan, is a former Juilliard teacher who directs the renowned Vermont Mozart Festival.

Photo credit: Courtesy Melvin Kaplan Inc.

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Pianists: Lilya Zilberstein and Sons

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 Gerzenberg Duo—Daniel, 20, Anton, 15
Gerzenberg Duo—Daniel, 20, Anton, 15
Lilya Zilberstein
Lilya Zilberstein

Three for the price of one! For two decades the Moscow-born Lilya Zilberstein has earned a reputation as one of the world’s most fabulously gifted artists, winning prestigious international competitions, appearing as featured soloist with the Berlin Philharmonic, London Symphony, and Montreal Symphony, among others, and making critically acclaimed recordings for EMI and Deutsche Grammophon. A longtime favorite of Civic Music and Peninsula Music Festival audiences, she’ll return to perform music by Rachmaninov, Schubert, Mozart, and Brahms.

Making this an extra-special evening for Civic Music subscribers, she’ll be accompanied by a pair of rising young talents – her sons Daniel, 20, and Anton, 15, making their American concert debut! Already performing professionally as the Duo Gerzenberg, they have been featured in concert with the Taipei Symphony Orchestra, and Daniel won first prize in the Steinway Competition in Hamburg. Lilya Zilberstein is represented by Schmidt Artists International, Inc.

* This concert opens a two-night dual engagement in partnership with the Green Bay Symphony Orchestra. Civic Music members are eligible for a reduced-rate ticket of $20 for Saturday night’s Symphony concert, also at Holter Auditorium, with Ms. Zilberstein as featured soloist on Dimitri Shostakovich’s Concerto for Piano, Trumpet and Strings. The program also includes music of Bach, Mozart and Copland. Designate this additional purchase, if desired, on your membership order form.

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Burning River Brass

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Burning River Brass
Burning River Brass

A holiday treat! Returning to Holter Auditorium with their crowd-pleasing Christmas program is one of America’s favorite brass ensembles. Burning River Brass serves up a touch of tradition, a dash of jazz and a healthy measure of festive cheer with time-honored carols and their very own big band “Nutcracker.” Phrases such as “power and virtuosity” and “harmonious blend” have been used to describe the sparkling sound of these Cleveland-based performers, but “entertaining” is really the one best descriptor.

Photo: Courtesy Arts Management Group

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Jitro, Czech Girl Choir

Girls Choir from the Czech Republic

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Jitro, Czech Girl Choir
Jitro, Czech Girl Choir

Jitro, meaning “daybreak” in Czech, is one of the world’s premiere youth choirs. Based in Hradec Kralove, a town in the Czech Republic, Jitro is an organization of 500 girls in seven preparatory ensembles, of which only the most talented 25 to 50 qualify to tour. For 35 years they have been admired the world over for their tone, intonation, and rich blend of sound and energetic vitality. A favorite in Europe, they broke through with United States audiences with a much-heralded appearance at the national conference of the American Choral Directors Association.

Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra

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the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra on their home stage

This is a free bonus concert for new members who join for the 2012-13 concert series!

It’s tradition! For the fifth consecutive season, Brown County Civic Music closes its annual concert series with the majestic power and superb musicianship of one of America’s preeminent orchestras. Back yet again by popular demand, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra will present a typically appealing program and also offer Green Bay audiences a glimpse of their invitational performance at the Spring for Music festival at Carnegie Hall in May 2012. From delicate solo passages to bold sweeping crescendos, the full-time professional musicians of the MSO demonstrate anew there’s nothing quite like an evening of live classical music.

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