The Sembrich
Stephanie Blythe and Craig Terry at The Sembrich, 2014. Photo Credit: Craig MurphyStephanie Blythe and Craig Terry at The Sembrich, 2014. Photo Credit: Craig Murphy

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The Sembrich's 2019 season, "Music for a New World"

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Performers: Past & Present

Every summer world-renowned musicians perform in The Sembrich’s historic and intimate setting


Bel Canto Institute founded in 1987 by Metropolitan Opera Prompter and Assistant Conductor Jane Bakken Klaviter, is a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization whose purpose is to perpetuate, teach and keep alive style and tradition in 19th and 20th Century Italian Opera. These goals are achieved through Summer Programs and Youth Division Summer Programs for singers, coaches and instrumentalists where they are immersed in the study of style and tradition by means of performance classes, private coachings (singers), sectionals and ensembles (instrumentalists), private voice/instrumental lessons, Italian language classes, lectures, and performances. Instrumentalists will work on both operatic and symphonic repertoire as well as solo and ensemble playing. Florence, the heart of Italy’s Tuscany region, is the setting for this program, which is dedicated to the late Maestro Luigi Ricci, Ms. Klaviter’s long time mentor and friend.

Opera Saratoga, began with a production of Die Fledermaus at the Diamond Point Theatre on July 5, 1962, playing to an audience of 230. The Company now calls Saratoga Springs home and performs for more than 25,000 people annually. To date, the Company has performed ninety different fully-staged works by fifty-two different composers, including thirty-three works by American composers and ten premiere productions. Throughout its history, the Company’s continued success has been shaped by visionary leaders, talented artists, and critically acclaimed productions.

Seagle Music Colony is the oldest summer vocal training program in the United States and the premier opera and musical theatre producing organization in the Adirondack region of upstate New York. The next generation of opera stars performs selections from the upcoming season of productions. The Children’s Opera presents an abbreviated version of Humperdinck’s HANSEL AND GRETEL, which tells the traditional fairy-tale story with rich vocal music.

Since 1998, the Silver Bay Quartet had been a part of the Sembrich summer music series. Under the leadership of violinist Martin Meade, the Silver Bay Ensemble serves in residence for the summer at nearby Silver Bay Association, a YMCA Conference center.  The string quartet performs there regularly, at weekly recitals, daily evening vespers and at Sunday morning worship services.


Daniel Szasz (violin) is concertmaster for the Lake Placid Sinfonietta.  Active as a concert soloist, chamber musician and recitalist, he is a versatile musician, interested in performing both standard and less familiar repertoire.  Mr. Szasz has been consistently praised for his “expressive, rich and warm sound” as well as for his “strong, confident, and assertive playing.” His performances, including “From the Carpathians to the Appalachians,”  have been described as “breathtaking” and “exquisite” and have generated great enthusiasm among his audiences and in the press.

Christopher Johnson (pianist) currently performs over 30 engagements each year as critics extol his work.  Since his critically acclaimed sold-out New York recital debut at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall in 1996 and performance at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall in 1997, Mr. Johnson has appeared extensively in recital, on radio and television, as soloist with orchestras and in chamber ensembles throughout the United States, Canada, Central and South America, and Europe.

Viktor Antipenko: (Tenor) Winner of the 2010 Sembrich Voice Competition, the young St. Petersburg native studied voice and choral conducting at the prestigious Glinka Choral College in St. Petersburg, Russia. While there, he recorded Prokofiev’s On Guard for Peace with Yuri Temirkanov and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra. Upon his graduation he joined the Mariinsky Opera House, performing as a choral and solo artist. Later he also graduated from the Saint Petersburg Conservatory. Mr. Antipenko is a recent graduate of the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, where he studied with Bill Schuman. Mr. Antipenko is also a winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Eastern Region At home in both orchestral concerts and recitals, he performs Russian Art and Folk Songs with unmatched knowledge of style and finesse.

As director of Victorian Whispers, an educational program development agency, Mary Jeanne Bialas has made NY State history come alive for audiences of all ages. A graduate of SUNY Potsdam (BA English) holding graduate degrees, including a Masters and CAS in Educational Administration from SUNY Oswego, she completed further graduate work at Utica College of Syracuse University. As a secondary English/Drama instructor for 34 years, she developed extensive living history programs solidifying history’s place in American and British literature. Using her background in costume design and her love for antique clothing, she has designed traveling multi-media exhibits adding to her vision of 19th century life. New programs focus on the impact of Victorian society and politics upon the fashions, gender roles, education, travel and transportation, social expectations, and life in general during the 1800’s.

Stephanie Blythe has sung in many of the renowned opera houses in the US and Europe including the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Seattle Opera, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, and the Opera National de Paris. Her many roles include the title roles in Carmen, Samson et Dalila , Orfeo ed Euridice, La Grande Duchesse, Tancredi, Mignon, and Giulio Cesare; Frugola, Principessa, and Zita in Il Trittico, Fricka in both Das Rheingold and Die Walküre, Waltraute in Götterdämmerung, Azucena in Il Trovatore, Ulrica in Un Ballo in Maschera, Baba the Turk in The Rake’s Progress, Ježibaba in Rusalka, Jocasta in Oedipus Rex, Mere Marie in Dialogues des Carmélites; Mistress Quickly in Falstaff, and Ino/Juno in Semele.

Ms. Blythe has also appeared with many of the world’s finest orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Opera Orchestra of New York, Minnesota Orchestra, Halle Orchestra, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Ensemble Orchestre de Paris, and the Concertgerbouworkest. She has also appeared at the Tanglewood, Cincinnati May, and Ravinia festivals, and at the BBC Proms. The many conductors with whom she has worked include Harry Bicket, James Conlon, Charles Dutoit, Mark Elder, Christoph Eschenbach, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Alan Gilbert, James Levine, Fabio Luisi, Nicola Luisotti, Sir Charles Mackerras, John Nelson, Antonio Pappano, Mstislav Rostropovitch, Robert Spano, Patrick Summers, and Michael Tilson Thomas.

Ms. Blythe was named Musical America’s Vocalist of the Year for 2009. Her other awards include the 2007 Opera News Award and the 1999 Richard Tucker Award.

The Brooklyn Art Song Society (BASS) will enter its fifth season of first-music making in the Fall of 2014, having already earned a reputation as one of the preeminent organizations dedicated to the vast repertoire of poetry set to music.  The New York Times called BASS “a company well worth watching” and Voce di Meche hailed, “as long as BASS is around we do not need to worry about the future of art song in the USA.”  BASS’s innovative programming is epic in scope yet presented in intimate settings. Past highlights have included performances of the complete songs of Charles Ives and Henri Duparc, a festival of works from Franz Schubert’s last year, five concerts dedicated to the iconic love triangle between Clara Schumann, Robert Schumann, and Johannes Brahms, and an ongoing project to present the complete lieder of Hugo Wolf. Committed to keeping art song relevant in our time BASS has collaborated closely with important living composers such as Tom Cipullo, Herschel Garfein, Daron Hagen, Libby Larsen, Lowell Liebermann, James Matheson, and Yehudi Wyner, and has commissioned works from up-an-coming composers Michael Djupstrom, Marie Incontrera and Michael Rose. The 2014-15 season includes a five-concert survey of the songs of Les Six, Hugo Wolf’s complete Goethe-Lieder, and the release of its first album on GPR records featuring world premiere recordings of five song cycles.  Besides a full season of events in Brooklyn, BASS will travel to Boston, Chicago, South Bend, and Portland, ME.  In the summer BASS is the Fonzaley Resident Ensemble at the Sembrich in Bolton Landing, New York and the ensemble in residence at the Lake George Music Festival.  This season features over 30 of the finest young interpreters of art song.

Cantores Minores is the Warsaw Boychoir of St. John the Baptist Cathedral and was founded ten years ago by its present American-born-and-trained conductor Joseph A. Herter. For the past nine years it has been affiliated with the Basilica Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Warsaw’s Old Town. During the past decade, the choir has concertized in fourteen countries, taken part in sixteen festivals both in Poland and abroad, performed with such prestigious orchestras as the National Philharmonic in Warsaw and Sinfonia Varsovia, and taken top prizes in choral competitions in Moscow and Lecco, Italy. The choir received international attention when it was one of two European choirs to perform in a concert in the Vatican’s Sala Nervi in January, 2000.

Samuel Caviezel (clarinet), a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, joined The Philadelphia Orchestra in the fall of 1998, under the baton of Wolfgang Sawallisch, after having served as principal clarinet of the Grand Rapids Symphony for two years. Mr. Caviezel has performed extensively both in and outside of The Philadelphia Orchestra, performs chamber music, and teaches privately and at Temple University.

Neil Chassman (lecturer), author of “Pure Genius: The Art and Mind of Peter Schwarzburg” was chairman of art at Southern Methodist University and Western Illinois University and a visiting senior professor at Brisbane College in Queensland, Australia.  He has written numerous catalogues, conducts poetry readings and continues to critique exhibitions throughout the Hudson Valley region.

David Cramer (flute) is a native of Cleveland, Ohio.  He joined The Philadelphia Orchestra as assistant principal flute in 1981 and became associate principal flute in 1984.  Mr. Cramer has participated in the Tanglewood Festival and the Central City Colorado Opera Festival. Before joining The Philadelphia Orchestra, he was a member of the Montreal and Pittsburgh symphonies.

Davydov/Fanning Duo (cello and piano): Since founding the duo, Davydov and Fanning have undertaken extensive concert tours of Europe—some of which were recorded for Radio Netherlands. Radio audiences throughout the northeastern U.S. and Canada have heard them on Morning Pro Musica’s Live Performers Series on WGBH-FM, Boston; in a live concert performance on WNYC, New York; and frequently on Vermont Public Radio.

John Douglas (1956-2010) conducted over 50 different operas of wide-ranging styles including Prokofiev’s The Love of Three Oranges, Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites, Cavalli’s L’Egisto, Britten’s Owen WingraveDon GiovanniDie FledermausLa CenerentolaLes Conted d’Hoffmann and Falstaff. He made his professional conducting debut with La Traviata in 1987. He served as the Director of the Apprentice Program for the Lake George Opera from 2003-2010. He also served as Chorus Master and Head of the Music Staff during this time.

Duo Beija-FlorHailed for their “sophisticated approach,” their “great rhythmical energy” as well as their “original repertoire,” Quebec-based Duo Beija-Flor present a program of ethno-classical repertoire that creates a perfect fusion between classical and world music. Whether it’s the festive energy of the Balkans, the reflective solitude of Asia or the passionate rhythms of the Latin world, Marie-Noélle Choquette (flute) and Charles Hobson (guitar) transport their audience to the four corners of the world with authenticity and refinement.

The EastRiver Ensemble is a collective of top-notched musicians from north China, based out of New York City’s Chinatown, which perform under the auspices of the Mencius Society for the Arts. Drawing upon the timeless folk repertoire of the Hebei and Donbei regions of China, EastRiver plays traditional music with flair. Unlike other Chinese ensembles, EastRiver is uniquely led by the yangqin, a Chinese version of the hammered dulcimer which showcases the beauty and precision of this music. The ensemble’s style is a mark of the evolution of the Chinese repertoire.

Pianist Marianna Humetska is a winner of numerous prizes and diplomas in international competitions, among which include the Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians and Diaghilev Competition in Moscow, “Virtuosos of the Year 2000” Competition in St. Petersburg, Dvarionas Competition in Vilnius, and the  Honens Competition in Calgary. Ms. Humetska is also a winner of the “Galaxie” Rising Stars Award of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the “Debut” Young Artists Auditions, and the Marusia Yaworska Award from the University of Ottawa. Born in Lviv, Ukraine, Ms. Humetska holds a Diploma with Honours from the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, an Artist Diploma from the Glenn Gould School of Music in Toronto, and a Masters Degree from the Lviv Music Academy.
Marianna Humetska regularly concertizes in some of the world’s prestigious music festivals and has also performed in some of the world’s most celebrated concert halls. In addition to her solo and orchestra performances, Ms. Humetska is also very much in demand as a chamber musician and collaborative artist.

Hyperion String Quartet: Described as “vivacious” by New York City’s WQXR public radio and “a single breathing organism…bringing grand and glorious life to the music” by Classical Voice of North Carolina, the Hyperion String Quartet has won first prizes at the Coleman, Music Teachers National Association and Green Lake chamber competitions and was the bronze medal prizewinner at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition.  Since their formation in 1999 at the Eastman School of Music, they have performed from California to New York’s famed Lincoln Center and have had live radio and television appearances in California, Connecticut, New York, Wisconsin and Canada.  Members of the quartet have performed with such artists as Toby Appel, Melvin Chen, Jennifer Frautschi, Benny Kim, Anne Marie McDermott, Lorna McGee, Sophie Shao, Eugenia Zukerman and the Miro and Rossetti String Quartets. The Quartet currently is based in Saratoga Springs, New York, where they are directors and coaches for the Chamber Music Program of the Saratoga Springs Youth Orchestra.  They were recently the inaugural Joseph Fisch/Joyce Axelrod Resident String Quartet at San Diego State University in association with the La Jolla Music Society.

Marta Felcman is a leading Argentine pianist. Acclaimed internationally as a recitalist, soloist and chamber musician, Ms.Felcman is the winner of a number of important piano competitions in her home country. Her performances have won critical acclaim in the press in Europe, South America and the United States. She has been praised for her sensitive musicianship and interpretative genius.

Michael Fennelly (pianist): Following his sold-out recital debut in Carnegie’s Weill Hall, pianist Michael Fennelly has toured the world with an array of dynamic programs.  A United States winner of the Horowitz Competition, Michael Fennelly has received top prizes from the Young Artist Peninsula Music Festival, the Young Keyboard Artist Association, and the Artist International Competition. He has performed in Moscow Conservatory’s International Chopin Symposium, New York’s Schoenberg Music Festival, and Italy’s Wilhelm Kempff Beethoven Seminar, and in master classes under John O’Connor, Richard Goode, and Abbey Simon.

Mark Gigliotti (bassoon) joined The Philadelphia Orchestra as assistant principal bassoon in 1982.  He became associate principal in 1984 and has been co-principal since 1999.  He began his professional career with the Hague Philharmonic Orchestra in the Netherlands and has also been principal bassoon of the Pittsburgh Symphony.  He has performed under some of the world’s greatest conductors, including Eugene Ormandy, Leonard Bernstein, Riccardo Muti, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Raphael Frühbeck de Burgos, Klaus Tennstedt, Eugen Jochum, Loren Maazel, Simon Rattle, and James Levine.

Grupo Rebolu, Music From South America is an Afro-Colombian musical ensemble comprised of some of the finest folk musicians in the United States. Grupo is dedicated to preserving the rich musical traditions and exciting sounds and rhythms of their ancestors, the Afro-descendants of Colombia’s Caribbean coast.

Soprano Julie-Anne Hamula is vocalist for a “Tribute to Marcella Sembrich.” Pianist Michael Fennelly is accompanist. Ms Hamula is a finalist in the 2012 Sembrich Vocal Competition held recently at the Kosciuszko Foundation in New York City.  She is the 2012 Winner of the Jenny Lind Competition, the 2011 winner of the Marcella Kochanska Sembrich Vocal Competition sponsored by the American Council for Polish Culture, and a recipient of a 2011 CareerBridges Encouragement Award. Last year, she was also a finalist in the Liederkranz Competition General Opera Division, and the recipient of the Phyllis Bryn-Julson Award at the Civic Morning Musicals Competition in Syracuse, NY. She has also been a finalist for the Dallas Opera Guild Competition and the Fielder Grant for Vocal Careers.

Michael Harney has been the tea buyer and blender of Harney & Sons for twenty years. He travels to Asia and meets with tea producers from all the major tea countries looking for the season’s best teas. He graduated from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration.

Christopher Dylan Herbert has received acclaim for his “smooth baritone voice,” his “consistently warm sound” and his “versatile dramatic abilities.”He recently won an encouragement award from the Sullivan Foundation, garnered the French Consulate Award in the Gérard Souzay Competition, received third prize in the Kurt Weill Foundation’s Lotte Lenya Competition, and was a finalist in the Liederkranz Foundation Competition. During 2009, Mr. Herbert performed the role of Sid in Britten’s Albert Herring with Opera Vivente, the role of Connie in Ricky Ian Gordon’s The Grapes of Wrath at the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival, and the role of Il prigioniero in Mascagni’s Il piccolo Marat with Teatro Grattacielo in Avery Fisher Hall. Mr. Herbert holds a B.A. in Music and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from Yale University and an M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard University.  He also serves as the Director of Advancement for the charitable institution Sing for Hope.

Conductor Joseph Herter was born of Polish descent in 1945 in Detroit, Michigan. He is a graduate of the School of Music at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he studied conducting with Elizabeth Green, Thomas Hilbish, Maynard Klein and Gustav Meier. He continued his studies in choral conducting at Westminster Choir College with Robert Shaw in 1981, and in orchestral conducting at the Berkshire Music Institute in Tanglewood, with conductors Seiji Ozawa and Kurt Masur in 1984. He has twice been the recipient of fellowships from the Kosciuszko Foundation in New York.  Since 1974, Herter has lived in Poland, where he first worked as music director at the American School of Warsaw. During the past thirteen years, he has been guest conductor at the National Opera, Polish Radio Theater, numerous festivals and with many orchestras throughout Poland, including the Warsaw National Philharmonic, with whom he recorded the sound track of the Polish feature film and TV serial “Alchemik.”

Musicologist and editor Barbara B. Heyman is the author of the award-winning Samuel Barber: The Composer and His Music (Oxford University Press, 1992, 1994). Her Comprehensive Thematic Catalog of the Complete Works of Samuel Barber is forthcoming next year, and she is working on a revised, expanded edition of the biography as well as the Collected Letters of Samuel Barber. A pianist, Heyman earned a B.A. from Barnard College, an M.S. from Columbia University, and after a twenty-year hiatus—during which she raised four children and had the audacity to pursue violin studies—she earned a master’s degree at Queens College and a Ph.D. from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, both in musicology. (She had the distinction of going directly from eligibility for student rush tickets to senior discounts non-stop.)

Hyperion String Quartet: Described as “vivacious” by New York City’s WQXR public radio and “a single breathing organism…bringing grand and glorious life to the music” by Classical Voice of North Carolina, the Hyperion String Quartet has won first prizes at the Coleman, Music Teachers National Association and Green Lake chamber competitions and was the bronze medal prizewinner at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition.  Since their formation in 1999 at the Eastman School of Music, they have performed from California to New York’s famed Lincoln Center and have had live radio and television appearances in California, Connecticut, New York, Wisconsin and Canada.  Members of the quartet have performed with such artists as Toby Appel, Melvin Chen, Jennifer Frautschi, Benny Kim, Anne Marie McDermott, Lorna McGee, Sophie Shao, Eugenia Zukerman and the Miro and Rossetti String Quartets. The Quartet currently is based in Saratoga Springs, New York, where they are directors and coaches for the Chamber Music Program of the Saratoga Springs Youth Orchestra.  They were recently the inaugural Joseph Fisch/Joyce Axelrod Resident String Quartet at San Diego State University in association with the La Jolla Music Society.

Philip Kates (violin) has been a member of the Philadelphia Orchestra since 1980 and concurrently a frequent Guest Concertmaster with Peter Nero and the Philly Pops and of the Orchestra Society of Philadelphia, with which he has made nearly annual solo appearances since 1981. He also is joined in concert by colleagues of the orchestra. Recital and chamber music performances have been many and varied, including the Philadelphia premiere of the Delius Violin Concerto in 2002. Mr. Kates is also a composer of several dozen works for voice, solo violin and various chamber groupings. He leads an active life in community service, raising funds for numerous humanitarian charities and other organizations.  As an educator, Mr. Kates has presented programs to children in schools throughout the United States and in conjunction with tours of the Philadelphia Orchestra to Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, England, Wales, Poland, Japan, Malaysia, Viet Nam and China. Mr. Kates was recently honored by a very generous gift from Hilarie and Mitchell Morgan to endow his chair in the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Raul Jaurena: (bandoneon), master of the Tango, is among today’s most prominent bandoneon players. His music plays a very personal tribute to the influences of his native South America and his adopted hometown of New York. It combines the traditional roots of the tango and the style of the “Tango Nuevo” influenced by Astor Piazzolla. The bandoneon has influenced Jaurena’s life right from the cradle. He was raised in Uruguay and his father taught him how to play the bandoneon – at the age of eight he already joined a tango orchestra. The fascination for this highly emotional music grabbed him and has not let go of him ever since.

Christopher Johnson (pianist) currently performs over 30 engagements each year as critics extol his work.  Since his critically acclaimed sold-out New York recital debut at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall in 1996 and performance at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall in 1997, Mr. Johnson has appeared extensively in recital, on radio and television, as soloist with orchestras and in chamber ensembles throughout the United States, Canada, Central and South America, and Europe.

Kofi and Sankofa African Drum and Dance Troupe brought the thrilling sounds, customs and culture of Africa to The Sembrich lakeside the summer of 2011. This program was made possible, in part, with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts Decentralization Program and Warren County.

Jeffrey Lang (horn) keeps a busy schedule performing and teaching in the greater New York-Philadelphia area. A graduate of the Juilliard School, he holds the positions of associate principal horn of The Philadelphia Orchestra and principal horn of the American Symphony Orchestra. Formerly principal horn of the Israel Philharmonic, he has performed as guest principal horn of the Bavarian Radio Orchestra, the New York City Opera Orchestra, and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. He has also performed with the New York Philharmonic and the Metropolitan Opera.

Founded in 2011, the Lake George Music Festival began as a vision for Lake George – a vision that the performing arts are a vital community asset that can nourish many different segments of the local community. An inaugural season was held mid-August of that year. Volunteer musicians from around the world gathered in beautiful Lake George and presented three concerts; each to a full house of enthusiastic audience members. Season two, held the following summer, increased to a full week event. 70 musicians signed on to participate, presenting chamber music and full orchestra concerts to over 2,000 spectators.

Since its conception, the Lake George Music Festival has brought together professionals, current students, or alumni from many prestigious institutions including the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, the symphonies of Atlanta, Richmond, New World, Dallas, Boise, Detroit, Lansing, the Pittsburgh Opera, the Ying Quartet, Astral Artists, and nearly every music conservatory in the nation including the Curtis Institute of Music, the Juilliard School, and the Eastman School of Music.

Thomas Larson lectures on the musicians of the Titanic, the music of Samuel Barber, memoir, the craft of nonfiction, and the “social author” in the digital age throughout the United States. He is the author of  The Memoir and the Memoirist: Reading and Writing Personal Narrative,  Swallow Press / Ohio University Press, 2007. His book, now in its third printing, is the first of its kind to evaluate the dramatic rise of the memoir in the last twenty years and to explore the craft and purpose of contemporary memoir writing. For twelve years, Larson has been a contributing writer for the weekly San Diego Reader where he specializes in investigative journalism, narrative nonfiction, and profiles. For theReader Larson has written more than forty cover stories.

The internationally celebrated soprano, Evelyn Lear (1926-2012), sang more than 35 operatic roles in the great opera houses of the world. She has appeared as a star with virtually every major opera company in the USA, from the Metropolitan Opera to San Francisco Opera.  In Europe, Ms. Lear appeared at La Scala, Covent Garden, the Paris Opera, Vienna State Opera, and the Berlin, Hamburg and Munich Operas.

Sarah F. Liebowitz (pianist) is Research Associate Professor of the Laboratory of Behavioral Neurobiology at the Rockefeller University, NY.  She is the daughter of Katherine H. Fryer, artist, teacher and writer, and grand-daughter of Sidney and Louise Homer.

The Lyric Consort: Formed in 1993 to explore the myriad riches of the a cappella tradition, The Lyric Consort’s performances and wide-ranging repertoire have garnered consistent critical acclaim. The Consort has performed throughout eastern and central Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New York.

Jon Marans A highlight of our Weekends with the Masters 2011 summer series was a pair of readings of the play “Old Wicked Songs” by Jon Marans. Mr. Marans, who directed his play which portrays the relationship of a young American concert pianist with his Viennese professor.

Mary Ann McCormick (mezzo-soprano) has been hailed in the press as “charismatic,””spell-binding,” and “elegant.” Her international credits include “Isabella” in L’italiana in Algeri at La Scala, “Azucena” in Il Trovatore at the Teatro Regio Torino, and “First Maid” in Elektra with Christoph von Dohnanyi at the Opéra National de Paris.  She has also performed “Maddalena” in Rigoletto under Daniele Gatti at the Teatro Comunale di Bologna and with Seattle Opera and Gluck’s Alceste under Bruno Bartoletti at the Teatro Regio di Parma.

Marga Mitchell was born in Caracas, Venezuela. She relocated to Rome during five years, where she perfected her studies of art and singing, alternating with performances in different cities. In New York, she participated in Midnight Summer Night at Lincoln Center in 1992-1994, Tango Fest-Broadway at Town Hall, and the Ravinia Festival in Chicago 1997-1998.  She sang in the famous  Opera María de Buenos Aires by Piazzolla with the Pan-American Symphonic Orchestra in Washington DC. Also, she participated in the 10th & 11th International Tango Festival in Montevideo, Uruguay. In 1999, she performed at The White House with the group Quintango along with movie star Robert Duval. She was invited as a special guest in the Latin American Concert with the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Official Radio in Vienna, Austria and performed in the San Martin Theater for the first International Festival of Buenos Aires, Argentina. In the United States she was invited to sing the Venezuela Anthem at Shea Stadium in New York City and also participated in the Buenos Aires Festival at the World Financial Center. She has been a soloist with different orchestras around the world, including the Pan-American Symphony Orchestra in Washington DC, the Symphony Orchestra of Richmond, Virginia, the Philharmonic Orchestra of Stuttgart, Germany, and has been a special guest of the group Tango Five, in Germany. Other performances include; All That tango winner of the 2002 ACE Award as Best Musical Production, Life’s tango, Tangomania, & I Love Tango. She has released four CDs: “Marga canta tangos”, arranged and produced by Raul Jaurena in Canada; a live concert with the Philharmonic of Stuttgart, produced by Bauer Studios along with Tango Five in Germany, “Marga Sings to the World” in 2005 and Latin Grammy winner album “I love Tango” in 2007

British pianist Simon Mulligan began playing at the age of 3 and quickly established himself in the music world as a multi-faceted virtuoso. He celebrated his début aged 19 at London’s Barbican Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; a month later he recorded his first compact disc under the direction of Yehudi Menuhin. This led to a seven-year collaboration and friendship, culminating in what was to be Lord Menuhin’s final concert in Dusseldorf, March 1999. Described by The Times of London as ‘the most abundantly gifted of pianists’, Simon performs and records internationally as a soloist and chamber musician. He has made over twenty recordings for compact disc, including performances of Martinu’s Triple Concerto (conducted by Menuhin), Rozsa’s Spellbound concerto with the BBC Symphony conducted by Slatkin, Mussorgsky’s Pictures At An Exhibition, his own Suite for Piano and Orchestra, the Beethoven Sonatas, and the Nocturnes of Chopin. As a chamber musician, Simon collaborates with many notable artists, including violinist Joshua Bell, with whom he has appeared at New York’s Carnegie Hall, London’s Wigmore Hall, Hamburg’s Musikhalle, Tokyo’s Suntory Hall, the 2002 Grammy Awards, and a recent performance for President Obama at Ford’s Theater in Washington, DC.. In other fields, Simon has supported Van Morrison, Dame Shirley Bassey and Liza Minnelli, and was invited to perform for Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family at London’s Royal Albert Hall.

Music from Salem is a chamber music series that brings together musicians of international reputation to prepare and perform chamber music, as well as to lead educational workshops and seminars, in the peace and beauty of rural Washington County, New York.

Hailed as “America’s premier uilleann piper” by The Boston Globe, Jerry O’Sullivan enjoys a busy career as a soloist and collaborative artist. Noteworthy performance and recording highlights include appearances with Sir James Galway and Bonnie Rideout, engagements at New York’s Lincoln Center and St. Patrick’s Cathedral and tours throughout Israel and Japan. Jerry is the featured piper on the soundtrack to the Ron Howard film Far and Away and has been a featured soloist in both The Boston Pops and The Nashville Symphony. In addition, his own recordings have landed on numerous “best of” lists and he is featured on Grammy Award-winning recordings by The Paul Winter Consort and The Boston Pops.

David Pasbrig (piano) is known for his “Impressive…range of tonal qualities and technical finesse” (Schenectady Gazette) and “a rare ability to reach across into the audience” (Rena Fruchter). Pasbrig is equally in demand as soloist, chamber musician and pedagogue. He has been heard in Carnegie Hall, The Kimmel Center, The Kennedy Center, The Seoul Performing Arts Center (Korea) and The Academy of Music.  Recent engagements include master classes and concerts in Shenyang, Dalian, Panju and Beijing, China; concerts with Ann Fontinella at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall; with the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra at Verizon Hall; at the Scotia Festival in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and with the Luzerne Chamber Music Festival.  As a chamber musician he has collaborated with artists including Sergiu Schwartz, David Arnold, Laurie Heimes, members of The Philadelphia Orchestra, and is a founding member of the TRIPOD trio.  He can be heard on Centaur and New World Records.

A New York Times critic recently declared pianist Marc Peloquin‘s “energetic approach yielded a performance that was refreshing and alive. Individual lines rang out with remarkable definition and clarity…” Appearances have taken him from the Palacio de Belles Artes in Mexico City, the American Academy in Rome, Germany’s Darmstadt Festival and the Cultural Center of Roubaix, France, to New York City spaces including Merkin Concert Hall, the Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of Modern Art and Bargemusic. A refined and sensitive chamber musician, he and fellow pianist Roberto Hidalgo are the dynamic ensemble Split Second.

Marc Peloquin’s debut CD, works for solo piano of Otto Leuning, is available on the CRI label. Currently, a 3-disc set of the solo piano works of David Del Tredici is in process with Naxos Records. A native of Rhode Island, Marc received his Doctor of Musical Arts from the Manhattan School of Music with additional studies at Boston University, the New England Conservatory and Tangelwood. He is visiting lecturer at the New School University, a Resident Teaching Artist at the Bloomingdale School of Music and resides in New York City.

Elizabeth Pitcairn is a celebrated violin virtuoso and she has recently been named the Artistic Director of the Luzerne Chamber Music Festival. The artist performs in partnership with one of the world’s most legendary instruments, the Red Mendelssohn Stradivarius of 1720, said to have inspired the Academy award-winning film “The Red Violin.”  The film features a ravishing score by composer John Corigliano.

The Puppet People are inspired by popular folk- and fairytales in creating entertainment appropriate for both the young and the young-at-heart. Their fantasy, The Firebird, features beautifully handcrafted marionettes, lavish costumes, vivid sets and a large body puppet -masterfully accompanied by Stravinsky’s musical score from “The Firebird” ballet.

The Raya Brass Band is an acclaimed ensemble that features some of NYC’s finest Balkan musicians. With its energetic and engaging show, Raya Brass Band draws its audiences from both average listeners and folk music lovers. The Dance Party features spirited Balkan rhythms and gorgeous Gypsy melodies played on reeds, accordion, brass and drums.

RESONANZ, founded in 2009 by Metropolitan Opera mezzo Heidi Skok, offers intensive training for young singers, combining classes in meditation and yoga with advanced vocal studies, master classes and performance opportunities.

Barrymore Scherer (lecturer) is a music critic for The Wall Street Journal and a contributing editor of The Magazine Antiques, and Art & Auction magazine. He is author of the critically acclaimed book Bravo! A Guide to Opera for the Perplexed (Dutton-Plume), The History of American Classical Music (Naxos/Sourcebooks, 2007), and contributor to the book Giacomo Meyerbeer: A Reader (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008). As a lecturer he has given numerous presentations for institutions including the Cooper-Hewitt Museum, the New York Philharmonic, and the National Gallery. On radio, he has been a regular commentator for NPR’s “Performance Today,” and the nationally syndicated program, “First Hearing.”

Aaron Sherber (lecturer) has been the music director of the Martha Graham Dance Company since 1998 and has led them in acclaimed performances at venues throughout the United States, England, and China, including City Center and the Joyce Theater in New York, the Kennedy Center and the Library of Congress in Washington DC, Sadler’s Wells in London, and the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing.

Jake Shulman-Ment Quintet presented an evening of traditional gypsy and klezmer music with an ensemble comprised of violin, trumpet, accordion, string bass and cimbalom (or tsimbl in Yiddish), a beautiful East European hammered dulcimer.  Following in Bartók’s footsteps, Jake recently was in Romania collecting folk music. He performed at The Sembrich during the summer in 2011′s Weekends with the Masters series.

Since 1998, the Silver Bay Quartet had been a part of the Sembrich summer music series. Under the leadership of violinist Martin Meade, the Silver Bay Ensemble serves in residence for the summer at nearby Silver Bay Association, a YMCA Conference center.  The string quartet performs there regularly, at weekly recitals, daily evening vespers and at Sunday morning worship services.

Sylvia Stoner A diverse professional singer and actor, Sylvia has performed across the country in opera and theater. Regional opera credits include the Des Moines Metro Opera, Shreveport Opera, Opera Omaha, Union Avenue Opera, Kentucky Opera, Lake George Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Kansas Concert Opera and the Kansas City Puccini Festival. Selected roles include Lisa in Pikovaya Dama, Tatiana in Eugene Onegin, Manon in Manon Lescaut, Nedda in I Pagliacci, and Marguerite in Faust. She has performed various chamber works including Resphigi’s Il Tramonto in Italy with Orvieto Musica, as well as contemporary classical with the NewEar Ensemble, and early music with the Spencer Consort.  She most recently was the soprano soloist in Haydn’s Creation with the Battenkill Chorale.

She was a regional winner of the National Council Auditions for the Metropolitan Opera, and a finalist in the Marcella Sembrich competition, the Naftzger and NATS competitions.  Acting credits include the national tour of Terence McNally’s MARIA CALLAS:  MASTERCLASS, as well as productions with the Kansas City Repertory Theater, the New Theatre, the Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre, Starlight Theater, and Quality Hill Playhouse.

As a stage director, she has directed for the Lyric Opera of Kansas City’s Education Program, the Civic Opera of Kansas City, the Kansas City Opera Institute, the KU Chamber Opera, the UMKC Conservatory of Music, Skidmore College, Washburn University, and Kansas City Young Audiences.

She obtained her Doctorate of Musical Arts Degree with honors in vocal performance at the University of Kansas and is currently the Artist-in-Residence in Voice at Skidmore College.

Carol-Ann Elze Sussdorff  Carol Ann Elze-Sussdorff, a faculty member at Skidmore College, served as music instructor at St. Mary/St. Alphonsus School in Glens Falls, where she founded a comprehensive choral and music instruction program for elementary to middle school students. Carol Ann has served as Music Director and Conductor of the Glens Falls Symphony Children’s Chorus since 2009, and has been the accompanist for Adirondack Voices since 1999. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance from the Crane School of Music where she performed both solo and chamber works.

As a pianist, Carol Ann performed at the Sagamore Hotel from 1985-1993. She has accompanied classes for Northeast Ballet, where she played master classes for Sean Lavery and Kyra Nichols of NYCB, and former NYCB principal dancer, and Founding Artistic Director of Miami City Ballet, Edward Villella. While at Skidmore, she has enjoyed playing master classes for baritone Nathan Gunn, and Kirsten Simone of the Royal Danish Ballet.

She is the organist and choir director of the United Methodist Church of Queensbury, and maintains an active accompanying schedule collaborating with area standout students for recitals, auditions, and NYSSMA performances.

Alexandre Tchaplinsky graduated with honors fron Saint- Petersburg Glinka Choral College and then continued his education at St. Petersbuh State Consevatory (class of world-famous Russian choir conductor Elizaveta Kudriavtseva). In 2010 Alexandre received his M.A degreem and now he is a teacher, choirmaster and accompanist at the Glinka Choir College and Saint-Petersburg Conservatory. Alexandre continues old traditions of Russion conducting school, teaching next generations of young musicians. Being a winner of the 2011 Russian National Chroal Conductors Contest he preforms recitals as pianist, choral and symphony conductor in Saint-Petersburg, Moscow, Paris, Palermo and New York.

Debra Jean Templin is 30-year veteran of theatre, film and television.  Ms Templin has played important roles with many of America’s most prestigious regional companies. She is the recipient of Philadelphia’s Barrymore Award for Outstanding Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical and the Los Angeles Arts Council’s Richard Burton Award in Acting. She is deeply moving in her newer performance (in which she plays 7 women who survived the sinking of Titanic).

Cherven TraktorFrom traditional folklore to the sounds of today, Cherven Traktor (червен трактор) plays Bulgarian music on authentic folk instruments: Nikolay Kolev-gadulka, Donka Koleva-vocals, Belle Birchfield, tambura, Michael Ginsburg – tapan (two-sided bass drum) and vocals

David Troiano (Tenor Soloist, Organist and Choral Director) continues to appear in diverse in both diverse and fascinating musical endeavors. His lyric tenor has been heard in a substantial amount of roles in Opera and Oratorio including Zarzuelas with the Opera Factory of Chicago; numerous Orchestral Concerts; and over 80 recitals of American Art Song recitals with great acclaim throughout the United States, Canada, Bahamas, Poland, Portugal and in Mexico with pianist Joseph Gurt. In 2007 he participated in the Festival of Spanish and Latin American Art Song held in Barcelona. With the Comic Opera Guild he has made many premiere recordings of the operettas by Victor Herbert and musicals by Jerome Kern. Mr. Troiano can also be heard as the Narrator on the World Premiere recording of the Christmas Oratorio by Paul Paray sung entirely in French. He completed the M.M. Degree in Voice at Wayne State University in Detroit and received several awards including the Frederich Schorr International Voice Competition.

 Alina Voicu: (piano) Born in Romania, Voicu moved to the USA in 1993 with her husband, violinist Daniel Szasz. In 1995 she completed her master’s degree at Bowling Green State University, and in 2000 she received a doctorate in piano performance from The University of Alabama. Voicu has performed extensively as a soloist and in chamber music concerts in Romania, Austria, Hungary, Italy, and the United States and served on the boards of many professional organizations, including as vice-president and president of Birmingham Music Teachers Association and Alabama Music Teachers Association. Voicu is the founder and director of Indian Springs Piano Competition, a contest which has been open to talented high-school pianists since 1998. She and her husband are the proud parents of Alex and Angela.

Megan Weston (soprano): Hailed as “a delightful surprise, displaying a gorgeous, light lyric soprano” (Eric Meyers, Opera), and “remarkable virtuosity and charm” (Martin Bernheimer, Financial Times), Megan Weston first gained international attention for her portrayal of Lisa in La sonnambula with Sumi Jo and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s conducted by Will Crutchfield at the Caramoor International Music Festival.  She recently sang Messiah solos with the San Diego Chamber Orchestra conducted by Jung-Ho Pak, which was taped for UCSD-TV.  In 2009, she appeared as Jenny Lind in the US premiere of Chopin and the Nightingale at the Sembrich Museum.

Catherine Wolf: “My solo show grew out of dramatic and amusing family stories told to me by my mother and grandmother.  When I recognized that bringing those characters to life for a larger audience would be entertaining and interesting “On Becoming”, was born. In the show I recall through songs and stories, my emergence as an actress while growing up surrounded by the famous and talented personalities in the family and beyond; Grandmother, Lea Luboshutz, the violinist, and larger than life individual, who had concertized for the Court of the Romanoff’s and all over Europe and was brought to America by the famous impresario Sol Hurok; my Great Uncle and Aunt, Pierre Luboshutz and Genia Nemenoff, world famous Duo Pianists; and my illustrious Uncle Boris Goldovsky, who for 30 years was heard on the radio every Saturday, discussing the operas during the intermissions of the Metropolitan Opera Broadcast. Now, a working actress in NYC, I share the outrageous and stirring experience of auditioning and working with Harold Pinter on Broadway and recount how I used my colorful family to enhance my performance as Jennifer Connelly’s mother in the Film Little Children. I find that the senior populations really appreciate the show, as many of them still remember my family and can identify with me, yearning to find my own way to success while influenced by wonderful and crazy superstars.”

In a review from November 30, 2012 Joel Benjamin writes: “(Catherine) bravely fashioned a perfect gem of a show … honed to a burnished finish, with humor, feeling and a physicality that rivals a great mime’s. Here is an autobiography in song that is honest, funny and poignant.”

Ms. Wolf is the Founding Producing Director of The Colleagues Theatre Company whose mission is to find and create work for the seasoned professional artists. Some of the actors who Ms. Wolf attracted to The Colleagues Theatre are; Rosemary Harris, Tammy Grimes, Kitty Carlise Hart, Phillip Bosco, Dina Merrill, Alvin Epstein, Peggy Pope, Margery Beddow, Sandy Duncan, Rita Gam, Anne Jackson, Kim Hunter, Richard Easton, Joan Copeland, and Don Amendolia.

Since his appointment by Eugene Ormandy as principal oboe of The Philadelphia Orchestra in 1977, Richard Woodhams has earned a reputation as being among the world’s foremost oboists.  He studied at the Curtis Institute of Music with the late John de Lancie, Mr. Woodhams’s distinguished predecessor in the Orchestra and former director of that school. Mr. Woodhams has appeared as soloist on numerous occasions throughout the United States in a variety of repertoire. He has performed and recorded Richard Strauss’s Oboe Concerto with Wolfgang Sawallisch, and has also recorded two concertos by the 18th-century astronomer, composer, and oboist William Herschel with Philadelphia’s Mozart Orchestra.

Writer and lecturer Peter Wynne has reviewed opera, theater and classical music for The (Bergen) Record, The (Newark) Star-Ledger and The (Scranton) Times. His feature articles on opera and musical theater have appeared in Opera News and the playbills published by the Metropolitan, New York City, Pittsburgh and New Jersey State Operas. He has lectured at the National Critics Institute, the American Museum of Natural History, Binghamton, Rutgers and Scranton Universities and at New York University, where he earned his M.A. in drama more years ago than he cares to remember.