Cantor Joseph Ness
Cantor Ness has composed over 935 compositions spanning both the liturgical and concert genres. He has been commissioned by major musical figures such as Lukas Foss and Fred Sherry, and he continues to compose and arrange for leading hazzanim. Ness has collaborated with many orchestras and ensembles including the Brooklyn Philharmonic, Los Angeles Jewish Symphony, Manchester Orchestra (England), American Symphony Orchestra, Jerusalem Great Synagogue Choir, the Group for Contemporary Music, and The Washington Festival Orchestra. He has conducted several choral-orchestral masterpieces such as The German Requiem (Brahms), The Symphony of Psalms (Stravinsky), Choral Fantasy (Beethoven), and Elijah (Mendelssohn), in addition to a wide variety of orchestral and chamber instrumental music. Because of Cantor Ness’ creative programming and noteworthy performances, Beth El Temple is a three-time winner of The National Solomon Schechter Award for Excellence in the Performing Arts. As part of a series of musical interpretations of biblical stories, he composed Jacob’s Ladder; The Akedah, performed in 2005; and Sarah & Hagar, premiered at The University of Hartford, in 2006. Ness’s outstanding liturgical service for women’s choir premiered at the Cantor’s Assembly in Toronto, Canada, in 2011. In June, 2012, he was honored for his 20th Anniversary at Beth El Temple. Cantor Ness presents several dynamic lectures and inspiring concerts throughout the year.
Rolf Schulte, Violinist
German-born Rolf Schulte, whom The New Yorker has called “one of the most distinguished violinists of our day,” started playing the violin at age five under his father’s tutelage. He later studied with Kurt Schäffer at the Robert Schumann Institute in Düsseldorf, attended Yehudi Menuhin’s summer course in Gstaad, Switzerland, and studied with Franco Gulli at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena before moving to the United States to study with Ivan Galamian at The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. At age 16, he made his orchestral debut with the Philharmonia Hungarica in Cologne, playing Mendelssohn’s Concerto. Under the auspices of Young Concert Artists he gave his New York debut at Town Hall to great acclaim.
He has since performed with the Berlin Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic, Frankfurt Museums Orchester, Stuttgart Staatsorchester, Bamberg Symphony, Orchestra del Teatro La Fenice in Venice (in Stravinsky’s Concerto under Robert Craft), RTE Irish National Symphony in Dublin, and the Radio Orchestras of Berlin (RSO), Cologne (WDR), and Stuttgart (SDR) under conductors Christoph von Dohnányi, György Lehel, Tamas Vásary, Max Rudolf, Dennis R. Davies, Daniel Nazareth, Alexander Lazarov, Guido Ajmone-Marsan and many others. In 1990 he performed Roger Sessions’ Violin Concerto with the Radio Orchestra of the USSR in Moscow under the direction of Lukas Foss and presented American music in recital.
After many years of collaborating with the leading composers of his time, such as Elliott Carter (whose Fantasy he premiered at Harvard), György Kurtág (whose Kafka-Fragments he gave the American première of at Tanglewood), Milton Babbitt (whose The Joy of More Sextets and Little Goes a Long Way he premiered at the Library of Congress and Harvard), Donald Martino (whose Violin Concerto and Romanza he premiered), Mario Davidovsky (whose Synchronisms No.9 he premiered at MIT), Aaron Copland and John Cage, Rolf Schulte happily now returns to the repertoire of his early adulthood, applying the lessons learned from intensive work with living composers, to the music of Schumann, Beethoven, Schubert, Mozart, Brahms, Bartók, Janácek, Stravinsky, Debussy, Ravel, Webern, Schönberg, Berg, etc.
Mr. Schulte has appeared with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the 1990 Kuhmo Music Festival in Finland. His numerous recital performances include the cycle of ten
Beethoven sonatas at Harvard, Dartmouth, and Middlebury Colleges, and the complete violin works of Igor Stravinsky at the 92nd St. Y and Berliner Festwochen, among other places. From 1999-2001 Rolf Schulte held a residency at Harvard University during which he presented new works by Carter, Donald Martino and Milton Babbitt.
His long and distinguished discography includes recordings of Arnold Schoenberg’s Violin Concerto with the London Philharmonia (Naxos), Robert Schumann’s Works for Violin and Piano (Centaur Records), and several pieces of Elliott Carter: Violin Concerto (with the Odense Symphony), Four Lands and Duo (all on Bridge Records), Schönberg Phantasy, op. 47 and String Trio op. 45 (Naxos, nominated for a 2010 Grammy award), Violin Concerto No.1 by Paul Ruders (Bridge) and the Concerti of Roger Sessions and Donald Martino (available on iTunes). Mr. Schulte performs on a 1780 violin made by Lorenzo Storioni, Cremona.
Tomer Gewirtzman, Piano
Hailed by The Washington Post as an artist of “formidable virtuosity and stylistic sensitivity,” pianist Tomer Gewirtzman has impressed audiences around the world. His performances with orchestra have taken him from New York’s Carnegie Hall (the Bartok Concerto No. 3 with the Juilliard Orchestra conducted by David Robertson), to Israel (with the Israel Philharmonic, Israel Symphony, Jerusalem Symphony, Israeli Chamber Orchestra and New Haifa Symphony Orchestra) to St. Petersburg, Russia (with the Mariinsky Orchestra) to locations throughout the U.S. (with the Charlottesville Symphony, Symphony Silicon Valley, the Aspen Concert Orchestra, the Shreveport Symphony, North-West Florida Symphony, Bucks County Symphony and South Arkansas Symphony).
Tomer Gewirtzman was selected to perform at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall for the American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic, and at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater in the America-Israel Cultural Foundation Gala honoring the memory of Vera Stern. This season, he gives numerous performances and educational residences as a Fellow of Carnegie Hall’s Ensemble Connect and a recital at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall as Winner of Juilliard’s Leo B. Ruiz Memorial Recital Award.
Mr. Gewirtzman’s busy career has also included performances with Symphony Silicon Valley, the Aspen Concert Orchestra, the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra, the North-West Florida Symphony Orchestra, and the South Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Gewirtzman has performed at festivals in the U.S. including Bravo! Vail, Yellowbarn, the Aspen Music Festival, PianoFest, PianoTexas, Summit Music Festival, and New York’s International Keyboard Institute Festival, and abroad at the International Academy of Music in Italy, the Musica Mundi Chamber Music Festival in Belgium, Tel – Hai International Master Classes in Israel, and Germany’s Usedom Music Festival.
At the 2015 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, he was awarded First Prize as well as five performance prizes. Other accolades include First Prize at the 2014 Wideman International Piano Competition in Louisiana, the Piano Prize and Audience Prize at the 2013 America – Israel Cultural Foundation’s Aviv Competition, Third Prize at the inaugural Midwest Piano Competition in Iowa in 2014, First Prize and a special prize for a commissioned piece at the 2010 Clairmont Competition in Israel, and First Prize at the 2010 Piano Forever competition in Ashdod, which gave him a full scholarship to attend master classes in the U.S. and an opportunity to perform as soloist with the Ashdod Symphony Orchestra. He has also won First Prizes at the Chopin Competition for Young Pianists in TelAviv, the Rig’ey See Piano Competition in Ashdod, the Pnina Zaltzman Piano Competition for Young Pianists in KfarSava, and the Tel-Hai International Piano Masterclasses Concerto Competition. After winning Second Prize at the International Russian Music Piano Competition in San Jose, he captured First Prize at the Aspen Music Festival Concerto Competition. He has received Top Prizes in other international competitions such as the International Keyboard Institute Festival Piano Competition in New York, Arte Con Anima Piano Competition in Greece, and the International Baltic Piano Competition in Poland.
Last season’s highlights include the Bartok Concerto No. 3 at Carnegie Hall with the Juilliard Orchestra conducted by David Robertson, as winner of Juilliard’s Concerto Competition; debut recitals at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Paradise Valley United Methodist Church, Morning Musicales, at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, and on the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts; the Brahms Piano Concerto in D minor with the Bucks County Symphony, and the Medtner Piano Concerto No. 2 with Russia’s Mariinsky Orchestra in St. Petersburg.
Standing ovation after Rachmaninoff’s second piano concerto at the Aspen Music Festival
Tomer Gewirtzman started his musical education at the age of 8, with Ms. Raaya Shpol at the Rubin Conservatory in Haifa, and continued his piano studies with Prof. Vadim Monastirski from the Rubin Academy in Jerusalem. From 2008 to 2011, he served in the Israeli Defense Forces, in the “Outstanding Musician” program, where he combined regular military service, with extensive music studies at the University. He completed his bachelor’s degree at the Buchmann-Mehta school of music in Tel-Aviv, in the studio of Arie Vardi. He earned his Master’s degree and Artist Diploma at the Juilliard School, working with Maestro Sergei Babayan, where he received the prestigious Kovner Fellowship award.
John F. Mastroianni
Saxophonist, Woodwind Doubler, Composer, Arranger, Clinician
John has performed as a professional musician since he was fifteen years old. His talents as a saxophonist, woodwind doubler, composer, and arranger have led him to a diversity of musical experiences.
John earned a B.S. in Music Education and a B.M. in Jazz Studies from the University of Bridgeport, an M.A. in Jazz Performance/Composition from New York University, and is currently enrolled in the 092 Administrative Certification Program at the University of Bridgeport. He has studied saxophone with Phil Woods, Dick Oatts, Joe Lovano, and Gary Klein, and composition with Jim McNeely, Bill Finegan, Tom Boras, Neil Slater, and Mike Carubia.
John has performed, toured and/or recorded with artists such as Mel Lewis, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Smokey Robinson, Louie Bellson, Charli Persip and Supersound, Harvie Swartz, Jim McNeely, Jay Leonhart, Rufus Reid, Gerry Mulligan, Lew Anderson, Clint Holmes, Roger Kellaway, the Glenn Miller Band, Sonny Costanzo, Johnny Mathis, Aretha Franklin, Natalie Cole, Donna Summer, Tony Bennett, Barry Manilow, Nick Brignola, the New England Jazz Ensemble, and many others! He also has performed with the Rhode Island Philharmonic, the Norwalk, New Haven, and Hartford Symphonies, and at the Foxwoods, Mohegan Sun, Shubert, Palace, Goodspeed Opera House and Oakdale theaters. John also played in the orchestra for the Broadway(NYC) production of “Three Penny Opera,” and has been a featured artist at the New England Saxophone Symposium.
John’s three recordings as a leader, entitled Cookin’ On All Burners (Stash), The Time Being (Jazz Alliance), and Live at the Silvermine (Jazzheads), have all earned him critical acclaim. He is also a featured soloist and composer/arranger on the New England Jazz Ensemble recordings, Version 3.0 (Brownstone), Storm Before the Calm (Sea Breeze), Wishes You A Cookin’ Christmas (Sea Breeze), Live at the Pittsfield Jazz Festival (Sea Breeze), and Peter and the Wolf (NEJE).
In addition to being a free-lance musician, John performs with his own quartet, and leads his own sixteen piece jazz orchestra that he composes and arranges all of the music for. John’s music has been performed and recorded by his quartet and jazz orchestra, the Sonny Costanzo Big Band, the John Allmark Jazz Orchestra, the Army Blues Band (Washington D.C.), the New England Jazz Ensemble, the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, DIVA, and many high school, college, and professional jazz ensembles throughout the United States. His big band charts are currently published by Walrus Music Publishing/Otter Distributors, and Barnhouse/Smart Chart Music Publications.
John has taught at New York University, Albertus Magnus College, the University of Bridgeport, the New York State Summer School for the Arts, Bridgeport Central High School, New Canaan High School, Hall High School, the Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz at the Hartt School of Music, and for the Canton Public Schools. Currently, he is an Assistant Professor in Residence of Jazz Studies at the University of Connecticut, and the founder and music director of the Young Artists Summer Jazz Workshop. In December 2002, John was named by SBO Magazine as one of 50 directors in the United States that “make a difference,” and in March 2004, John was chosen by the Connecticut Music Educators Association (CMEA) as the Secondary School Teacher of the Year. In 2010, he was honored by Starthmore’s Who’s Who as an individual who has demonstrated leadership and achievement in his profession. John was chosen as the 2013-14 West Hartford Public Schools Teacher of the Year, and he is a two-time Music Educator GRAMMY nominee. He was honored by the University of Bridgeport as a 2014 Distinguished Alumni. John was named and honored as the 2014 Connecticut Teacher of the Year!
L-R: Bottom: Victor Arduini, guitar, Alan Piacenta, lead vocals, Chris Bonito, drums
L-R: Top: Darryl LaTorra, guitar, Jackson LaRose, bass, Richie Ruglio, piano and vocals
The New Remains musicians have been providing the “Classic Rock Experience” throughout New England since 2003. The band was initially conceived as an “Acoustic Rock Trio” but soon expanded into a full-fledged act that became known for its outstanding musicianship and creative interpretations of some of the best known and occasionally unheard classics from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. Featuring the voice of Alan Piacenta, they covered some of the best known artists such as Led Zeppelin, Elton John and Pink Floyd. Tonight, they are thrilled to be onstage with the Beth El Symphony Orchestra for the second time. For more information, please visit our website at Betheltemplemusic.com
Alan James Piacenta, Lead Vocalist – Born in Hartford, Alan has been singing and doing vocal impersonations since childhood. Known locally as “The Man of Many Voices," Alan sings a host of artists from Aerosmith to Zeppelin and everything in between. He currently performs solo/duo shows at local restaurants and can be heard showcasing many different genres of music including big band Sinatra hits.
Alan had a long run with Hartford’s own hard rock band Sinis-Gally, playing in venues throughout New England and New York City from 1981-1993. Reforming in 2003, members of that band became The Remains and then, in 2010, The New Remains. Alan has played with the New Remains for four shows at Mohegan Sun’s Wolf Den. In vocal contests at Mohegan Sun, he placed 2nd and 4th runner-up out of hundreds of singers two years in a row. When the New Remains hit the stage, it won’t be the first Alan has played with this group of musicians who he also calls good friends. “Playing with these friends and great musicians with an orchestra is a fantasy gig come true!” says Alan. “As usual, I can’t wait to hit the stage!”
Chris Bonito – Drums – Chris Bonito is a professional drummer and drum instructor. Originally from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Chris has been playing drums and percussion for most of his life. He has performed with many different bands throughout NH and the seacoast since 1981, and has been playing the local CT music scene since 2003. His musical influences and training range from classical music, jazz and fusion, to all forms of rock and roll. Chris teaches drum lessons to interested students of all levels and holds a BA in Music Performance from the University of New Hampshire. He has played drums on two nationally released recordings by the band Telergy: “The Legend of Goody Cole” and “Hypathia,” which also feature guest appearances by well- known progressive rock artists. In addition, Chris recorded percussion for three nationally released new age classical recordings by Tim Janis: “Along the Shore of Acadia,” “Flowers in October” and “December Morning.” He is currently performing with the bands Mixed Signals, High in the 80s, Mac Daddy (as a guest performer) and The New Remains. When not performing or teaching, Chris works as a graphic designer in the print media and digital fields.
Daryl LaTorra – Guitar – A native of Hartford, Daryl is a founding member, composer and guitarist of the original band Sinis-Gally. He started playing guitar in clubs at the age of 14 and has played over 1,000 live shows at venues such as CBGB's, Toad's Place, the Agora Ballrooms and the Mohegan Sun Wolf Den.
A versatile musician of many styles, including Country, Blues, Rock and Heavy Metal, he has 35 years of experience in the music industry. He is also a co-founding guitarist of the New Remains (2004-2014). He is currently working on several projects; recording and performing live with bands such as Mac Daddy and DLP.
Jackson LaRose, bass guitar – Jackson LaRose lives with his wife and two children in Southeastern Connecticut; he is an accomplished bass-guitar player and has been playing with the “New Remains” band over the past year following in his father, John LaRose’s footsteps. In addition to his accomplishment as a bass guitarist, Jackson has a deep interest in the Aztec Chinampa Agricultural System still used successfully by some of today’s farmers, and he hopes eventually to implement this sustainable method in Connecticut to establish a source of food production based on tree crops.
Victor Arduini has quite the history within the national and local music scene since 1981. He was a founding member of the Progressive Heavy Metal band Fates Warning (83-86). He has also played with some of Connecticut’s finest musicians throughout his career including Sinis-Gally – voted Hartford Advocate’s Best Live Rock Band two years in a row (1989/1990) – and Connecticut’s “Classic Rock Experience,” The Remains, playing to packed venues including The Wolf Den at Mohegan Sun. He recently released his first joint solo project Arduini/Balich to worldwide critical acclaim. When not playing music he is a registered nurse/dementia practitioner who’s passion is working with the elderly. He is also very active with his wife Lorie in her “AID A Pet” program, which provides essential food and medical services to pets in need.
Richie Ruglio has been active in the Greater Hartford area music scene for more than 35 years. A protégé of organ virtuoso Joe Urrichio, he has performed on many recordings as a studio musician and has travelled extensively throughout the United States performing Classic Rock. Mr. Ruglio has additionally been a part of several prominent local rock bands, including 3 Sides Live, Eclipse and MacDaddy, and he has a long personal and professional relationship with The New Remains. He is very excited to perform these great songs with The New Remains in this concert at Beth El Temple.
Performers for Dramatic Music with a Russian Twist – 4/7/19
Zhanna Alkhazova, soprano
Zhanna Alkhazova has most recently made her debut in the title role of Turandot with NJ Verismo Opera. Her voice has been described as “sultry” and “rich with power to spare”, “an instrument capable of heart-stopping mastery.” Her operatic credits include dramatic title roles in Tosca and Aida, Elisabetta in Don Carlo, Tatiana in Eugene Onegin, Micaela in Carmen and Nedda in Pagliacci, among others. She is an active performer on concert stages throughout the United States, including a Carnegie Hall debut in 2014. Internationally, she has performed in Canada, Italy, Ireland and Russia, where she headlined a critically acclaimed recital tour. Ms. Alkhazova was awarded top prizes in the NJ Verismo Opera Competition, the Barry Alexander International Vocal Competition, the Arkadi Foundation Competition and the Rhode Island NATS Competition. Originally from Moscow, Russia, Ms. Alkhazova grew up in the New England area where she completed her studies, graduating with a Master of Music Degree from Boston University. She currently resides in New York City.
For more info go to zhannaalkhazova.com
Tamila Azadaliyeva, pianist
Tamila Azadaliyeva was born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, where she received her B.M. degree from Tashkent State Conservatory. She came to the United States in 2000 to study with Oxana Yablonskaya at the University of Hartford Hartt School, where she received her Graduate Professional Diploma in May, 2003 and then her Master’s degree the following year, while studying with Luiz de Moura Castro. Tamila has been a guest soloist with several orchestras and performed as a soloist and chamber musician in the United States, Italy, Spain, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. She has performed several times at Beth El Temple; her most recent performance was during the Fall of 2018 in which she participated as one of four exceptional pianists in a two- piano concert. Among her many awards are First Prize in the Connecticut State Young Artists’ Piano Competition; Third Prize in the International New England Chamber Music Competition in Boston, Massachusetts, the Piano Duo Prize at the FORUM Internacional de Musica Barcelona Ciutat, and a Finalist’s Diploma in the International Competition in Bologna, Italy. In addition to performing, Ms. Azadaliyeva teaches piano at the University of Hartford Hartt School and the Loomis Chaffey School. Her students have been prizewinners in local, state, national and international competitions and have performed in Carnegie Hall, National Suzuki Conference in MN and World Piano Forum in Cincinnati, Ohio.
For more info go to hartford.edu/hcd/music/music-faculty/tamila-azadaliyeva.aspx
Gennady Vysotsky, bass
Mr. Vysotsky was born in the beautiful seaside city of Odessa, which is located in southern Ukraine, and graduated from the Odessa School of Music. He became interested in acting at an early age, and began to explore that interest by participating in a number of musical theater performances, as well as appearing in several motion pictures. After immigrating to the United States, Mr. Vysotsky graduated from the University of California at Davis, earning a double degree in economics and mathematics. At the same time, he continued his musical education, and in the last few years has participated in productions of The Magic Flute and Macbeth with the San Francisco Lyric Opera. Mr. Vysotsky recently moved to New York City to further pursue his musical career; notable engagements include the roles of Colline in Puccini’s La Boheme, Leporello in Don Giovanni, Figaro in Marriage of Figaro, Dulcamara in L’elisir d’amore and Mephistopheles in Faust.
Max Weinstein, singer, actor, dancer
A West Hartford, CT native, Max Weinstein is now a New York based actor, singer and dancer. This past January, he traveled to Shanghai to appear as Greg in a Baayork Lee-directed production of A Chorus Line. The show’s Chinese premiere was an immense success overall and for Weinstein himself, as he carves a place for himself in the entertainment industry. Mr. Weinstein received his BFA from NYU Tisch Drama in 2018 where he performed in HAIR (Claude) among others, and received an Outstanding Achievement award upon graduation. Looking towards the future, Weinstein speaks of aspirations of a fruitful career on stage and screen but asserts a specific love of working on stage. He identifies the stage as a haven of mindfulness and introspection that has real power to affect change. “If my work can bring joy, a respite from troubles, or even more profoundly, cause someone to look inward, to examine their lives, their relationships, experience an emotion that they’ve repressed – that’s one of the main reasons I’m an actor.” Other professional credits include the Ivoryton Playhouse and Playhouse on Park.
For more info go to maxjweinstein.com or @maxjweinstein
Alex Nakhimovsky, pianist
She has toured internationally, and performed and recorded with distinguished jazz musicians including Steve Swallow, Bob Moses, Paul Brown, Lew Soloff, Jerry Neiwood, Mike Stern, Steve Davis & Will Lee. Reviews and articles about her work have appeared in publications including People Magazine, USA Today, JazzQuad.Ru, Jazziz Magazine, Jazz Podium Magazine, Jazz USA, the New York Times, New York Newsday & the Boston Globe.
Performers for JUST 2 PIANOS – 10/28/18 AT 7PM
Cihan Yücel, pianist
Born in Ankara in 1987, Cihan Yücel began his piano studies at age six. In 1998, he entered Hacettepe University Ankara State Conservatory and studied piano under the tutelage of Menekşe Akar. In 2009, Cihan came to the United States for his Master’s degree, studying with Paul Rutman and Anne Koscielny at The Hartt School. His leaning towards chamber music during his master’s studies brought him success as his chamber music group became the State Winner and National Finalist in the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Competition in 2011. Mr.Yücel has performed hundreds of solo and chamber music concerts in the U. S. A., Europe and his native Turkey, including a solo recital that was broadcast on the Turkish National Radio (TRT – Radyo 3). He performed Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the accompaniment of the Presidential Symphony Orchestra of Turkey and received great attention and admiration at all his performances.
In master-classes and workshops all around the world, Cihan Yücel was also given the opportunity to study with the biggest names of his instrument, including Andrej Jasiński, Pavel Gililov, Florence Millet, Yefim Bronfman, Stephen Hough, Vladimir Feltsman, Martin Berkovsky, Oxana Yablonskaya, Bruno Canino, Bernd Glemser, and Mariangela Vacatello, Jeffrey Kahane, Markus Tomas, Aarpm Shorr, Pamela Mia Paul, and Sheila Arnold.
Among his long term mentors were composer İlhan Baran, pianists Eric Trudel, Louis de Moura Castro, David Westfall, Pete Woodard, music theorists Patrick Miller, Akane Mori and music historians Thomas Schuttenhelm, Ira Braus and Kenneth Nott, who raised Cihan in the fields of improvisation, counterpoint, chamber music, piano pedagogy, music theory and music history along his musical journey. Cihan is currently pursuing a DMA at the Hartt School of University of Hartford where he is currently employed as a staff accompanist.
Jimin Han- pianist
South Korean pianist Jimin Han was born in 1989 and began studying piano at the age of five. In 2007, she made her solo debut recital performing in the 24th Annual Young Musical Recital at the Young San Arts Performance Hall, while studying at the Sunhwa Arts High School in Seoul. Ms. Han is a recipient of awards at the Teenager Music Competition, the Chopin International Competition in Hartford, Paderewski International Competition in Hartford, and the Beijing International Music Festival Academy. Jimin Han earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in piano performance from Yonsei University and an artist diploma with the 20/20 performance ensemble. She is currently a DMA candidate at the Hartt School where she studies with David Westfall.
Kamilla Mammedova made her solo debut recital at Carnegie Hall in 2006 for which she received an outstanding performance award. Since pursuing a career in piano performance, she has received many awards and scholarships including the I. Kahn Piano Award, the R. Hanson Scholarship, Artists International Alumni Award, and the Evelyn Bonar Storrs Scholarship from the Musical Club of Hartford. Ms. Mammedova has participated in many piano festivals, orchestral performances in several countries, solo and chamber ensemble recitals, competitions, master classes and lectures with world renowned musicians. In 2007, she performed in New York City in a concert dedicated to the famous Azerbaijan composer Gara Garayev under the patronage of the United Nations mission of Azerbaijan in N.Y She holds graduate degrees with honors from both the Azerbaijan Academy of Music and the University of Hartford’s Hartt School. Tonight is Ms. Mammedova’s second appearance in a concert at Beth El Temple. She previously performed the Grieg Piano Concerto with the Beth El Orchestra under the baton of Cantor Ness in 2008. Ms. Mammedova is on the piano faculty for the college and community division at the University of Hartford’s Hartt School.
“Harris Goldsmith from New York Concert Review wrote: “Ms. Kamilla Mammedova, excellent young pianist, played her debut recital in New York’s major concert hall, Carnegie Hall, with an assured, dignified traversal; she quickly established her credentials by playing with firm no-nonsense rhythms and a solid, singing “down-to-the-bottom-of-the-keys” tone. She brought solidity, lucidity and architectural overview to Rachmaninoff’s Variations on a Theme of Corelli. She interspersed that objective clarity of purpose with moments of lovingly nuanced passing details, and her excellent rendition also made the most of the work’s similarity to the same composer’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. Ms. Mammedova’s performances went to the heart of the matter; lovely playing, singing tone.”
Lan-Ya Huang, started her piano training at the age of 6. By the age 12, she was the winner of several prizes at the annual National Piano competition in Yunlin County, Taiwan. Her winning piano playing was described as “expressive with delicate musicality” and “musically very intelligent with a great deal of fluidity and facility”. Lan-Ya Huang continues to perform as a soloist and collaborates in chamber ensemble performances. Ms. Huang is currently the Principal Keyboard of the New Britain Symphony Orchestra. She was recently a featured performer for the presentation of The Carnival of the Animals, by Camille Saint-Saëns, with New Britain Symphony Orchestra at the New Britain Museum of American Art and the Welte Auditorium at Central Connecticut State University. Ms. Huang holds a Bachelor of Music degree summa cum laude in piano performance and a Master of Music degree in Piano Pedagogy from the Hartt School of Music, U. of Harford, where she studied under Dr. Paul
Rutman. She was on the piano faculty of the Hartt School Community Division from 2002-2010, and she continues to teach privately. Ms. Huang is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda Music Honor Society since 1997 and a member of the Hartford Chapter of Connecticut State Music Teacher Association Affiliate with Music Teacher National Association since 2003. Ms. Huang also earned a diploma in Music Business Administration from Trebas Institute, in Montréal, Quebec, Canada.
Margarita Nuller, pianist
Margarita Nuller is a graduate of St. Petersburg Conservatory, Russia. She studied with Kasimir Grinasuk, Edward Bazanov, and Luiz DeMoura Castro. Since her arrival to the United States in 1990, she has performed extensively as a soloist and chamber musician in the New York metropolitan area and New England. Ms. Nuller presented her debut recital at Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, New York City as a winner of Artist International Auditions. Her CD of Russian music was released on LÁrt label in 2003. Her most recent performances include solo recitals in Brazil, Portugal, and New England. Ms. Nuller was on the faculty of the University of Hartford (CT), the Mussorgsky College of Music (Russia), and the Connecticut Conservatory in New Milford, CT. Currently, she is on the faculty of the Kent School, and maintains a private piano studio in New Fairfield, CT.
Tamila Azadaliyeva, pianist
Originally from Uzbekistan, Tamila came to the United States to study with Oxana Yablonskaya at the University of Hartford Hartt School, where she received her Graduate Professional Diploma and then her Master’s degree the following year, while studying with Luiz de Moura Castro.
Tamila has performed as a soloist and chamber musician in the United States, Italy, Spain, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. She has been guest soloist with several orchestras including the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. Here, at Beth El, Tamila has performed Stravinsky Concerto for Piano and Winds, Franck Symphonic Variations For Piano and Orchestra, Bach D minor Concerto, BWV 1052, Schumann Concerto in A-minor, Op.54, Mozart Concerto in D minor, K.466, and Mozart Double Concerto, K 365 (with Margarita Nuller).
Among her many awards are First Prize in the Connecticut StateYoung Artists’ Piano Competition; Third Prize in the International New England Chamber Music Competition in Boston,Massachusetts, the Piano Duo Prize at the FORUM Internacional de Musica Barcelona Ciutat, and a Finalist’s Diploma in the
International Competition in Bologna, Italy. An avid chamber musician, Tamila performs as a member of Clara Piano Trio and also as a duo with her partner, cellist Peter Dzialo. Tamila and Peter recorded two albums on the LPR label, which feature works for cello and piano by Schubert, Haydn, Popper, Bach-Kodaly and the never before recorded cello sonata by Rhene-Baton.
In addition to performing, Tamila teaches piano and chamber music at the Loomis Chaffey School and the Hartt Community Division U. of Hartford; she also maintains a private studio in West Hartford.
Performers for ERETZ ERETZ ERETZ – 6/3/18 AT 7PM
Yevgeny Yontov, Piano
Yevgeny Yontov was the finalist in the 2017 Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition, Yevgeny Yontov has established himself as one of the most promising Israeli pianists of his generation.
In addition to being a finalist, Yevgeny received the Prize for Best Performance of Chamber Music, and the Prize for the Best Israeli Pianist. Other international top prizes include the gold medal at the Wideman International Piano Competition in Louisiana, 1st prize at the Tel-Hai International Concerto Competition in Israel, and additional prizes in competitions such as the Boesendorfer International Piano Competition in Arizona, the Olga Kern International Piano Competition in New Mexico, and the International Piano Competition in Pinerolo, Italy.
A founding member of icarus Quartet, a 2piano/2percussion chamber group, and Artistic Director of The Second Movement chamber concert series in New Haven, Connecticut, Yevgeny holds chamber music close to heart. He has played as a chamber musician in Israel, Europe, the US, Canada, and South America, in venues that include Carnegie Hall in New York and the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington D.C. Chamber colleagues include distinguished artists, such as David Shifrin, Roberto Diaz, Paul Neubauer, and members of established string quartets like the Orion, Dover, Aviv, and Miro Quartets. Yevgeny has also performed in numerous chamber festivals, most notably twice as a Protege Artist in “Chamber Music Northwest” in Portland, Oregon.
As a solo artist, Yevgeny has performed on stages in Israel, the US, Korea, and many European countries. Orchestral engagements include numerous orchestras in the US, including orchestras in Florida, Connecticut, Louisiana and Arkansas, and all major Israeli orchestras, including the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Israel Symphony Orchestra, and the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra. He also performed on Israeli national TV, and recorded for Israeli, US, Portuguese and Spanish radios. Yevgeny’s debut CD, “Schubert: Piano Variations,” was released on Naxos Records in 2017, and includes seldom performed piano variations and fragments by Schubert, as well as his relatively newly discovered Grazer Fantasie.
For more info on Yevgeny go to http://yevgenyyontov.com/
Micha Biton is one of the early pioneers of the renowned music scene in Sederot, Israel. As a small child he performed in major festivals and competitions representing his city and was considered a musical child prodigy.
His father, Amram Biton, recognized his suburb musical talent when Micha was the tender age of five, and he encouraged him to take the stage from that age. Micha sang songs in Spanish, Moroccan, and French and captivated the audience. He has been singing ever since, in synagogues as a youth cantor, on stages all over the country and throughout the world.
Micha grew up in an extraordinary musical neighborhood, where creativity was abound and children sang and played instruments, formed informal youth ensembles and dreamed of the bands that they would create that would make them famous in the future. At the age of nine, Micha already knew in his heart that music would be his life and his livelihood.
But Micha’s life took a dramatic turn when his father Amram died suddenly at the age of forty one, leaving his widow—Perla— to care for 10 young children alone. The oldest was 14 years old and the youngest was only 11 months old. Micha was nine when his father passed away, an event which profoundly impacted his outlook, his writing, and his personal direction.
After his father’s death, a decision was made to move Micha to a foster family in Jerusalem—a decision that would forever change Micha’s life. Micha became the foster child of the author Galila (and Avi) Ron-Feder, and eventually would become the subject of her most beloved youth novel “El Atzmi.” Over the past forty years, over one-million children have had the pleasure of reading this moving story about finding hope through despair, of seeking light through darkness.
But Micha is much more than the character in a story. His dramatic childhood, the impact of his strong Moroccan ethnic roots coupled with the influence of Galila and Avi’s cultural Ashkenazic influences led to the formation of a musician who passionately calls upon both sides of his upbringing to create songs of hope and joyfulness.
Founder of the popular band Tanara in the 1990s, Micha was one of the first Israeli musicians to experiment with “Ethnic Rock,” combining western rock music with Moroccan inspired scales and instrumentation. Following Tanara, Micha released five studio solo albums of original music, one album of prayers and psalms (ancient and original texts) with his former American partner Lisa Tzur, and a live compilation album/DVD from all of his original works recorded in Tel Aviv in March 2013.Micha was also the subject of Rock in the Red Zone” documentary…. http://www.rockintheredzone.com/ filmed in 2007, which will be shown locally before he arrives for the concert. Micha now performs across Israel and abroad, bringing his story and his songs of inspiration and joy to audiences throughout the world.
Performers for ROCK OF AGES BEMA CONCERT – 12/3/17 AT 7PM
Cantor Joseph Ness – Conductor/Artistic Director
Israeli violinist Kobi Malkin, is making his mark as both as an exciting soloist and a perceptive chamber musician. As a soloist, Kobi has appeared with the Ashdod Chamber Orchestra, the Haifa Symphony Orchestra, the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, the Jerusalem Music Academy Symphony Orchestra Haifa, New England Conservatory’s Philharmonia, Symphonette Ra’anana, the Ruse Philharmonic Orchestra and the Young Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra, under the batons of such conductors as Ze’ev Dorman, Stanley Sperber and Hugh Wolff.
Kobi won the prestigious Ilona Kornhauser prize in the America-Israel Cultural Foundation’s Aviv Competitions. He is also a prizewinner of New England Conservatory’s Concerto Competition, Haifa Symphony Orchestra’s Zvi Rotenberg Competition, the Canetti International Violin Competition and New England Conservatory’s Violin Competition, and has performed at an array of venues such as New York’s Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, Boston’s Jordan Hall, Vienna Konzerthaus, Ruse’s Philharmonic Hall and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.
As an avid chamber musician, Kobi has collaborated with Itamar Golan, Miriam Fried, Frans Helmerson, Hsin-Yun Huang, Kim Kashkashian, Alan Kay, Marcy Rosen, Roger Tapping and Peter Wiley. He has performed at numerous festivals, such as Ravinia, Music@Menlo, Yellow Barn, the Perlman Music Program and the Marlboro Music Festival, and worked with notable artists such as Pamela Frank, Ivry Gitlis, Vadim Gluzman, Leonidas Kavakos, Itzhak Perlman and Pinchas Zukerman. Kobi’s chamber performances are regularly broadcast on Israel’s classical music radio Kol HaMusika, and on WQXR and WMFT in the US.
Kobi is a scholarship recipient of the America-Israel Culture Foundation and of the Ilona Feher Foundation. He is currently a fellow in Ensemble ACJW – a joint program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School and Weill Music Institute, and teaches, as part of his fellowship in the program in Queens at PS 16 The Nancy DeBenedittis School.
He holds a Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School, where he studied with Sylvia Rosenberg and Donald Weilerstein, and a Bachelor of Music degree from the New England Conservatory, where he worked under the guidance of Miriam Fried.
He performs on a 1701 Pietro Guarneri violin, generously on loan to him by Yehuda Zisapel.
© Kobi Malkin 2016
First Prize winner of the 2013 Ima Hogg Competition, Clarinetist Moran Katz also received the Audience Choice Prize as well as the Artistic Encouragement Prize voted on by the Houston Symphony musicians. In the year of 2009 alone, Ms. Katz won the First Prize at the Freiburg International Clarinet Competition in Germany, the Second Prize at the Beijing International Music Competition for Clarinet in China and the First Prize and Overall Prize at the Midland/Odessa “National Young Artist Competition” in Texas.
Ms. Katz performs extensively throughout the United States, Europe and Asia as a soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. She has appeared as soloist with such orchestras as the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, China Philharmonic, SWR sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden and Freiburg, Collegium Musicum Basel, Houston Symphony, Midland-Odessa Symphony and Chorale, Fairbanks Symphony, Albany Symphony, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Ensemble ACJW, New Juilliard Ensemble, Haifa Symphony Orchestra, Israel Sinfonietta and the Tel Aviv Soloists Ensemble. Her performance credits include recitals for the Phillips Collection in Washington D.C., the Dame Myra Hess Recital Series in Chicago, the Detroit Institute of Arts, Rhinebeck Chamber Music Society and the Fine Arts Recital Series in Sarasota, FL; a NY debut recital at Merkin Concert Hall as part of the Tuesday Matinee Recital Series and a Debut at the Chamber Music Hall of the Berlin Philharmonic. Chamber Music appearances at the United Nations Hall (Switzerland), France’s “Les Musicales” Festival in Colmar, Les Invalides in Paris and Palais des Fetes in Strasburg, Marlboro Music Festival, Canandaigua’s Lake Music Festival, Cooperstown Music Festival, Mt. Desert Music Festival, Roaring Hooves Festival in Mongolia, the Two Days and Two Nights Festival in the Ukraine, Music in Drumcliffe (Ireland), Homburg Musiktage (Germany), New York’s Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, MoMa, Symphony Space, Miller Theater and Bargemusic, among others. She has collaborated with the Ariel, Carmel, Contemporary, Tesla, Aeolus, Dover, Benaim and Vogler String Quartets, as well as with artists such as Zubin Mehta, David Robertson, Sylvain Cambreling, Richard Goode, Vera Beths and Arnold Steinhardt.
Following an invitation of Maestro Daniel Barenboim, she joined his West-Eastern Divan Orchestra on its concert in Doha, Qatar in 2010, and in the summer of 2013 she joined it once again for a twelve-concert-tour in Europe. As a SYLFF fellow (and recipient of a scholarship from the Tokyo Foundation) she performed and taught in the Tsunami-affected prefectures in Japan in the summer of 2012.
A clarinetist for the internationally acclaimed new music ensemble “Continuum”, a member of Carnegie Hall’s Affiliate Ensemble “Decoda” and a co-founder of the innovative “SHUFFLE Concert”, Ms. Katz recorded for Albany Records, Naxos, Tzadik and Innova labels and premiered music by Mario Davidovsky, Roberto Sierra, Huang Ruo, Avner Dorman, Richard Wilson, Virko Baley, Joseph Bardanashvili and Jonathan Keren. She often plays with the Copland House Ensemble and NOVUS NY.
Ms. Katz also received the Third Prize at the 2008 Eastern Connecticut Symphony Instrumental Competition; the 2006 Francois Schapira First Prize for Woodwinds at the prestigious Aviv Competitions (Israel); First Prize at the 2004 Lions Clarinet Competition (Israel) and Second Prize in the Lions European Musical Prize 2004 for Clarinet (Italy), among others. She was the recipient of the America-Israel Cultural Foundation grants with distinction in the years 1999-2008, as well as of the Ronen Foundation and a 2010 Salon de Virtuosi Career Grant.
Ms. Katz received her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in 2006 and 2008 and an Artist Diploma in 2010 as a student of Charles Neidich and Ayako Oshima at The Juilliard School, New York, where she was admitted with presidential distinction and a full scholarship.
From 2010 to 2012, Ms. Katz was a member of Ensemble ACJW and a fellow of The Academy, a collaboration of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and the Weill Music Institute in partnership with the NYC Department of Education, performing chamber music at Carnegie Hall and bringing classical music to students in the NYC public schools. She is an adjunct faculty at Vassar College.
©2015 Moran Katz.
Performers for June 11, 2017
Tamila Azadaliyeva, piano
Symphony #7 in A major Op. 92
Ludwig van Beethoven
Originally from Uzbekistan, Tamila came to the United States to study with Oxana Yablonskaya at the University of Hartford Hartt School, where she received her Graduate Professional Diploma and then her Master’s degree the following year, while studying with Luiz de Moura Castro.
Tamila has performed as a soloist and chamber musician in the United States, Italy, Spain, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. She has been guest soloist with several orchestras including the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. Here, at Beth El, Tamila has performed Stravinsky Concerto for Piano and Winds, Franck Symphonic Variations For Piano and Orchestra, Bach D minor Concerto, Mozart Double Concerto (with Margarita Nuller) and Schumann Concerto in A-minor, Op.54.
Among her many awards are First Prize in the Connecticut State Young Artists’ Piano Competition; Third Prize in the International New England Chamber Music Competition in Boston, Massachusetts, the Piano Duo Prize at the FORUM Internacional de Musica Barcelona Ciutat, and a Finalist’s Diploma in the International Competition in Bologna, Italy.
An avid chamber musician, Tamila performs as a member of Clara Piano Trio and also as a duo with her partner, cellist Peter Dzialo. Tamila and Peter recorded two albums on the LPR label, which feature works for cello and piano by Schubert, Haydn, Popper, Bach-Kodaly and the never before recorded cello sonata by Rhene-Baton.
In addition to performing, Tamila teaches piano and chamber music at Loomis Chaffey School and Hartt Community Division and maintains a private studio in West Hartford.
Cantor Lauren Phillips, Soprano
Cantor Lauren Phillips joined Congregation Beth Israel in July of 2016. She comes to us from Congregation Sinai in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where she served as its Cantor for the past three years. While at Congregation Sinai, she founded an award-winning “Sinai in the City” program for young professionals and developed “Itsy Bitsy Sinai,” a program for children under four and their families. She has a strong background in community engagement and congregational work with all age groups. Cantor Phillips was ordained by the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 2013. She completed undergraduate studies at Tufts University and earned a Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance at The Boston Conservatory.
Event: The Israel of Things – Sunday June 5, 2016 – 7pm
Israeli vocalist Gòn Halevi – (website)
Israeli singer & pianist croons from the Great Israeli-American Songbook
Israeli pianist Boaz Sharon – (Wiki)
Critically acclaimed Israeli pianist & recording artist; piano chair at Boston U. & young Artists program at Tanglewood
Performs Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in D Flat Major
Israeli Violinist Kobi Malkin – (Website)
Award-winning Israeli violinist performances al over the world will grace us with Brahms’ Violin Concerto in D major
Cantor Joseph Ness – (Info Page)
American composer, orchestrator & arranger of hundreds of music spanning both the liturgical and concert genres conducts the orchestra and Beth l’s award-winning choirs.
Event: Broadway & Friends – Sunday Nov 6, 2016 – 7PM
Ellari Mirabel – Cantor
Cantor and resident of Florida, Chazzan Mirabel returns to her home town to sing and chant for us all weekend
Event: The Asian Influence – Sunday December 4, 2016 – 7pm
Seolyeong Jeong, Piano
Seolyeong Jeong made her solo recital debut at the age of 13 at Kumho Art Hall in Seoul, Korea. She has continued to perform solo and chamber music in major halls including the Seoul Arts Center. Ms. Jeong has participated successfully in many piano competitions and has won 1st prize in several, including the Korean Liszt Competition, Samick-Seiler Piano Competition and Korean Chopin Competition. Most recently, in 2016 she won the first prize in Connecticut’s Young Artist Competition. Seolyeong Jeong graduated from Seoul National University with a Bachelor of Music degree, Summa Cum Laude, in 2015 and is currently studying at Yale University School of Music with Peter Frankl working towards her Master of Music degree.
Kang Hua Singers of Greater Hartford – Founded in 1989, Kang Hua Singers of Greater Hartford is a group of dedicated performers actively performing locally and across the United States. Under the direction of artistic director Chai-lun Yueh, members have performed at world class venues such as Carnegie Hall in New York, Chicago Symphony Hall, Strathmore Concert Hall in Washington, Woolsey Hall in New Haven and the Bushnell Theater in Hartford; they have performed in colleges and universities including Yale, Rutgers, Temple, Trinity and University of Connecticut, among others. http://kanghuasingers.webs.com/
Chai-lun Yueh – baritone & conductor Award-winning artist and exciting, dramatic baritone with a rich and powerful voice, a music director and voice educator and first Chinese born classical musician received the nomination of the Grammy Awards. http://www.chailun.com/Pages/default.aspx
Chi Li – Violin
Chi Li regularly performs in North America, Asia and Europe. As such, he has given chamber music recitals and appeared as a soloist with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and l’Orchestre de Chambre de Toulouse. He recorded his first album at age 14 – Ysaÿe’s 6 Sonatas for Solo Violin, using a violin made by Guadagnini that used to belong to Ysaÿe himself. Chi has also participated in numerous competitions and festivals : he was awarded the laureate prize at the Montreal International Music Competition and was invited to participate in Académie Ravel in France and the Tanglewood Music Center, among others. Chi has also attended masterclasses and collaborated with world famous musicians, including Emmanuel Ax, Yo-yo Ma and Maxim Vengerov. Chi entered the Paris Conservatory (CNSMDP) at age 13, studying with Régis Pasquier, Olivier Charlier and Joanna Matkowska; he graduated in 2013. In the fall of 2016, he will continue his studies at the New England Conservatory.
Chai-lun Yueh – Baritone
Event: Musical Shabbat on Friday – Saturday, February 10 – 11
Neshama Carlebach is a leading superstar in Jewish Entertainment, is continuing the legacy established by her father Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach. Like her father, Neshama’s talent and charisma captivate and endear her to people of all ages, faiths and backgrounds. http://www.neshamacarlebach.com
Event: Special Musical Service & Dinner
Cantor Jackie Mendelson
Cantor Mendelson is a graduate of the Hebrew Union College School of Sacred Music and the American Opera Center at the Juilliard School. He is the composer of Weekday Mincha and Maariv and Improvisations on Shabbat Shacharit published by the Cantors Assembly. http://cantorjackmendelson.com/bio/
PURIM WEEKEND WITH CANTOR JACKIE MENDELSON
- Friday night service with choirs & dinner (see the new Temple Topics for details
- Saturday Shabbat services & light lunch
- Megillah reading in the Main Sanctuary followed by a PURIM party in Kessler Hall with desserts, music with Cantor Ness and special guest Cantor Lauren Phillips of Congregation Beth Israel in West Hartford
For details see this months issue of Temple Topics , email direct to BEMA@betheltemplemusic.com or call the temple office 860.233.9696.
Event: Giacomo Gates – Sunday Apr 2, 2017 – 7pm
He is truly an entertainer, for all ages and styles, as audiences enjoy the music, the interaction on the bandstand between him and his musicians, the spontaneity, the humor, the stories about the music and composers, along with their relation to everyday life. People are smiling, having a good time, while thoroughly enjoying the music. What usually lacks in most of today’s performances is obviously present… fun! http://www.giacomogates.com/