Tamara Keshecki, Flute, Executive/Artistic Director
Tamara Keshecki, flute, is the Director and Founder of Musical Chairs Chamber Ensemble, Inc., a non-profit arts organization in NYC. As Artistic Director of MCCE, Ms. Keshecki is the creative, producing force that drives all of MCCE’s programming. She is responsible for the creation of numerous commissions and premieres including from composers Andrew Sterman (Philip Glass Ensemble), Sean Friar (Prix de Rome), Elizabeth Nonemaker, Laura Kaminsky and Mick Rossi (Paul Simon). Ms. Keshecki deeply believes in a community-based approach to the arts. It’s this approach that has led MCCE to create The Roaring Chorus, a free choral program for seniors in partnership with the NYPL; provide afterschool music instruction for elementary and intermediate school students; perform a free, four-part concert series annually for developmentally disabled individuals; to support young and emerging composers via premieres and commission through MCCE’s Annual Composer Search competition; and create MCCE’s Annual Open Air Music Festival.
A previous Artist-in-Residence at Cobham International School in London, England, Ms. Keshecki has taught masterclasses at the International School of Monagas in Maturin, Venezuela and Saint Maur’s International School in Yokohama, Japan. Keshecki was the principal flutist for the Austrian American Mozart Ensemble in Salzburg, Austria (2001). She is a member of Angelic Ensemble and has performed with the Ensemble at venues as diverse as St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, St. Joseph’s Seminary and for Cardinal Timothy Dolan. As a freelance flutist, Ms. Keshecki has performed at venues as diverse as Symphony, Space, Solar One Music Festival, Oheka Castle, Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, The New York Historical Society, and CultureFest in Bryant Park. Keshecki has been on the faculties of the Wagner College Academy of the Arts, SI Jewish Community Center, and was the Classical Music Artist-in-Residence for the National JCC Maccabi ArtsFest (2007). She is featured on the recent CD “Fantasie for Rock Band and Orchestra” by Andrew Rosciszewski. Ms. Keshecki has been a guest lecturer for many organizations including New York University, Arts & Business Council of NY, Wagner College, St. John’s University, Bayonne Public Schools (staff development), and researched and presented the keynote speech at the 2010 Staten Island Legislative Breakfast for the Arts entitled “Arts Funding Trends on Staten Island and the Economic Impact Non-Profit Arts Have on Local Communities.” Keshecki holds a Bachelor of Music from New York University and a Master of Music in flute performance from NJ City University.
Hilary Purrington , MCCE's 15th Season Composer-in-Residence
Hilary Purrington is a New York City-based composer of chamber, vocal, and orchestral music. Her work has received recognition from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP), the International Alliance for Women in Music, and the National Federation of Music Clubs (NFMC), among others.
Purrington’s orchestral and chamber works have been performed by many distinguished ensembles, including the Peabody Modern Orchestra, the American Modern Ensemble, Voices of Change, and the Chicago Harp Quartet. Her orchestral work Likely Pictures in Haphazard Sky, premiered by the Yale Philharmonia, has been read by the Philadelphia and American Composers Orchestras and performed by the Minnesota Orchestra. Recent commissions include new works for the New York Youth Symphony, the NOVUS Trombone Quartet, and Washington Square Winds. Upcoming projects include commissions the Philadelphia Orchestra and the American Composers Orchestra. She will also serve as composer-in-residence for the Musical Chairs Chamber Ensemble in its 2018-19 performance season.
Purrington has also composed several works for dance. Most recently, the Albany Symphony commissioned Patterns, a new work for chamber orchestra. Inspired by the life of fashion arbiter Ellen Louise Demorest, the piece featured the Albany Berkshire Ballet with choreography by Mary Talmi. In 2018, Purrington participated in Periapsis Music and Dance’s Emerging Artist Residencies and created a new work-in-progress with choreographer Annalee Traylor. While completing graduate studies at The Juilliard School, Purrington collaborated with choreographer Stephanie Terasaki to create a new work for brass quartet and dance.
Also an accomplished vocalist, Purrington has developed a reputation as a skilled composer of solo and choral music. Her song For your judicious and pious consideration was premiered by mezzo-soprano Adele Grabowsky on the 2016 NY Phil Biennial’s New Music New Haven concert. In 2015, the Eric Stokes Fund commissioned Purrington to compose a new song cycle about the devastating effects of climate change. The resulting work, A Clarion Call, was premiered at the 2017 Conference for Ecology and Religion hosted by the Yale Divinity School. Recent vocal commissions include new works for the Melodia Women’s Choir of NYC, inFLUX, and the Bowers/Fader Duo. In November 2018, the Yale Glee Club will premiere a newly commissioned choral work.
Originally from Longmeadow, Massachusetts, Purrington lives and works in New York City. She holds degrees from the Yale School of Music, The Juilliard School, and the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University.
Madeline Casparie is a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music where she studied the cello with Evangeline Benedetti and Ardyth Alton. She later continued her cello studies with Jascha Silberstein, former principal cellist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. She was a member of the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra and spent many years as principal cellist for both the Staten Island Symphony and Opera at Florham. Madeline was a member of the now-retired Staten Island Chamber Music Players String Quartet for more than 30 years, performed with the Serenade Chamber Music Series and as soloist with the Staten Island Philharmonic. In addition to these organizations, Madeline continues to serve as principal cellist with the Orchestra of St. Peter by the Sea and the Paper Mill Playhouse.
In addition to performing, Madeline enjoys teaching at her private studio where she teaches a wide range of ages and abilities. She coaches an adult chamber group and is the founder/director of the newly formed Staten Island Philharmonic Youth Orchestra.
Violinist Izabella Liss Cohen has enjoyed a multi-faceted career as a solo, chamber, and orchestra musician. She has been honored to work under the batons of many great conductors, among them Valeri Gergiev, Yuri Temirkanov, Yuri Bashmet, and Robert Spano. Izabella has been a member of the Philharmonia Virtuosi, Westchester Chamber Orchestra, and American Russian Young Artists Orchestra. An active recitalist, orchestra, and chamber musician, she has toured the US and abroad, and has participated in festivals such as Tanglewood, Bar Harbor, and White Nights.
A dedicated music educator, Izabella ran a strings program for ten years at the Kent Place School in Summit, NJ, while maintaining a private studio. She has served as Director of Chamber Music at InterSchool Orchestras of New York, and as chamber music coach for the NJ Youth Symphony. Her achievements in string pedagogy have been recognized by New York’s Concert Festival.
A long-time resident of Staten Island, Izabella has been a three-time recipient of the Performing Arts Grant. She has also collaborated on numerous projects with the Wagner College Theater, and has served as assistant concertmaster and personnel manager of the Staten Island Symphony. A native of Tbilisi, Georgia, Izabella is a graduate of Brooklyn College and Manhattan School of Music, where she studied with Burton Kaplan, Masao Kawasaki, and Itzhak Perlman. Izabella made her New York recital debut in 2000 at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall, as the winner of Artists International Auditions.
Lucy Corwin, violinist and violist, is currently a member of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. An active freelancer in the Greater New York Area, she has been principal violist and soloist with the New York Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, the Brooklyn Chamber Orchestra, and the Staten Island Philharmonic, and toured with the New York Philharmonic throughout Europe, Asia, and South America. When living in Italy, she was principal violist of the Orchestra dell’Accademia Santa Cecilia in Rome and participated in the Spoleto Festival.
As a chamber music performer and teacher, she is a member of the Musical Chairs Chamber Ensemble and the Viva Voce String Quartet, coaches violin and viola students of the Greater Newark Youth Orchestra and the MANY (Musical Advantage for Newark Area Youth), and has worked with members of the Interschool and Metropolitan Youth Orchestras. She has been a teacher of orchestral music at Tottenville High School, Staten Island, and Wagner College.
Dr. Corwin holds a Ph.D. in Musicology from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Barnard College and a Master's degree from Columbia University.
Joseph d'Auguste has "consistently stood out" (New York Times) for displaying his "great virtuosity" (Columbia Spectator) in his roles as a performer, teacher, clinician, and artistic director. Constantly in demand throughout the tri-state area, the "richly equipped clarinetist" (SI Advance) maintains a busy schedule due to his great versatility.
The guitarist Oren Fader played Brilliantly.” — The New York Times.
“His scholarship, technique, and intelligent musicianship are plainly evident and the beauty of his tone is consistently compelling.”— Guitar Review
Classical and electric guitarist Oren Fader (www.orenfader.com) has performed in Asia, Europe, and throughout the United States. Recent concerto performances include the Villa-Lobos Guitar Concerto with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and Rodrigo’s “Concierto de Aranjuez” with the New Jersey and the Omaha Symphonies.
Mr. Fader has performed hundreds of concerts with a wide range of classical and new music groups, including the Met Chamber Ensemble (directed by James Levine), New York Philharmonic, Talea Ensemble, ICE, Mark Morris Dance Group, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.
He has premiered over 200 solo and chamber works with guitar, and can be heard on over 45 commercial recordings and film.
Mr. Fader received his undergraduate degree from SUNY Purchase and his Master of Music degree from Florida State University. His major teachers include David Starobin and Bruce Holzman. Since 1994 Mr. Fader has been on the guitar and chamber music faculty of the Manhattan School of Music.
Pianist Joseph Kubera has been a leading interpreter of contemporary music for the past three decades. Recent activities include a video of John Cage’s Music of Changes for Swiss RSI Television and performances at Cage 100th birthday celebrations at Carnegie Hall in New York, and in Boston and Philadelphia. He has been soloist at such festivals as the Warsaw Autumn, Berlin Inventionen and Prague Spring, and has worked closely with such legendary composers as Morton Feldman, La Monte Young, and Robert Ashley. He toured widely with the Cunningham Dance Company at Cage’s invitation, and he has recorded the Music of Changes and Concert for Piano and Orchestra. Mr. Kubera has been awarded grants through the National Endowment for the Arts and the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts.
In addition to his work with Musical Chairs, Mr. Kubera is a core member of S.E.M. Ensemble, the DownTown Ensemble and Ostravska Banda, and he as performed with a wide range of New York ensembles and orchestras ranging from Steve Reich and Musicians to the Brooklyn Philharmonic. Mr. Kubera’s playing may be heard on the Wergo, Albany, New Albion, New World, Lovely Music, O.O. Discs, Mutable Music, Cold Blue, and OpusOne labels.
He plays regularly with Con Vivo Music, Musical Chairs Chamber Ensemble, and Artists by Any Other Name; recent performances include concerts at Barclays Center and NJPAC. He completed his undergraduate training at Mason Gross School of the Arts in the studio of Jonathan Spitz and is now pursuing his master's degree at the Aaron Copland School of Music, studying with Marcy Rosen.
Vincent Livolsi holds a Bachelor of Arts in Classical Percussion Performance as well as Music Education from New Jersey City University.
As a freelance percussionist, he has performed with the New York Baroque Orchestra and Chorus, Bulgarian Opera Orchestra, Princeton Symphony, Arts Alive International Touring Ensemble, Musical Chairs Chamber Ensemble (MCCE), and Rhythm Sticks Marimba and Percussion Duo (featuring NJSO percussionist, James Neglia).
As a drum set artist, Vincent is currently involved with the Midtown Direct Rep Theatre Company, residing at the South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC), who’s recent musical, Rated P, opened to rave reviews at the West Side Theatre in New York City. Vincent also serves as Teaching Artist for Paper Mill Playhouse’s New Voices Summer Musical Theatre Conservatory and maintains a busy performance/recording schedule with various jazz/rock/pop acts throughout the Tri-State Area. He is an active member of the original progressive rock band, Eyes On Infinity and has composed music for the television program New York Giants Online as well as for several commercials for companies such as Ford Motor Company and Dania Jai-Alai Arena.
A native of Taiwan, pianist Wen-Yi Lo, received her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from The Juilliard School as a scholarship student of Oxana Yablonskaya. She began her musical training at the age of six and won numerous national competitions in her country. Selected by the Government of Taiwan to further her studies under the Child Prodigy Music Study Abroad Program, Ms. Lo came to the United States to enter the Pre-College Division of Juilliard where she studied with Leonard Eisner.
Subsequently Ms. Lo has been a top prize winner in various International competitions, including the William Kapell International Piano Competition, the Citta di Marsala International Piano Competition and the V. Bellini International Chamber Music Competition in Italy. In 1990 Ms. Lo was presented in her New York Debut at Carnegie's Weill Recital Hall as Winner of Artists International's Young Artist Debut Piano Award. Since then she has given an abundance of recitals in the United States, the Far East and Europe. Ms. Lo has also been featured on WQXR's Young Artists Showcase in New York.
Recently she was awarded the Certificate of Excellence for her extraordinary dedication and achievement in the field of piano teaching by the International Concert Alliance and has also received the Distinguished Pedagogy Award from the International Music and Arts Society. She is a member of the Musical Chairs Chamber Ensemble and has been a faculty member for the Academy of the Arts at CSI and at Wagner College since 1993.