The Symphony of Westchester

 

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The Symphony of Westchester

History and Highlights
Barry Charles Hoffman
Robert Sherman
Symphony Personnel
Board of Directors
Advisory Board
Volunteers and Ushers

The Symphony of Westchester
History and Highlights

The Symphony of Westchester is a professional orchestra that has gradually become known in Westchester County and its surrounding area for our first rate and inspiring performances, world class soloists, exciting and engaging programming, the commissioning and premiering of new and meaningful compositions and our exemplary outreach programs for children. Now in its seventeenth year at Iona College in New Rochelle, New York, The Symphony of Westchester was founded as The Westchester Chamber Orchestra in 1984 by its Artistic Director, Barry Charles Hoffman. The continued growth and success of The Westchester Chamber Orchestra since its series began at Iona College in 1997, inspired Maestro Hoffman to expand the orchestra in 2010, renaming the orchestra, The Westchester Chamber Symphony. Now, in our inaugural season as The Symphony of Westchester, we plan to fulfill our new mission to program larger fully symphonic orchestral works for greater Westchester audiences.

The commissioning and premiering of new works is an important part of our mission. In 1996, under the direction of Maestro Hoffman, we commissioned and premiered many works of noted American composer Seymour Barab. These have included: The Selfish Giant (broadcast on WQXR), Three Riddles in the Talmudic Tradition, and How The Elephant Got Its Trunk. Additionally, we commissioned noted composer Jon Deak to write Duo Concertante for Violin and Chamber Orchestra, which we premiered at our Iona College series with New York Philharmonic concertmaster Glenn Dicterow and his violist wife, Karen Dreyfus as soloists in 2000. Among several works we commissioned noted composer Charles Griffin to write for us, is his Concerto for Orchestra, which we also premiered at our Iona College series in 2008.

Equally true to our mission to bring quality music educational programs to Westchester's neediest, we are very proud of our two exemplary annual programs: our Jazz Institute For Homeless Children (since 1996) and our Composers of the Future Program (since 2001). Our Jazz Institute for Homeless Children, held at the Westhab Family Center in White Plains, received Arts Westchester's prestigious award for Contribution to Education and Community in 2000. Our Composers of the Future program, is produced in collaboration with New Rochelle's Songcatchers (an after-school music program). The extraordinary compositions of these children and performed yearly in one of our Iona series concerts.

The Symphony of Westchester has presented many noted and distinguished soloists in our performances. These have included: violinists Alex Abayev, Glenn Dicterow, Kerry McDermott and Elmar Oliveira, violists Lawrence Dutton, Karen Dreyfus and Emannuel Vardi, flutist Carol Wincenc, clarinetist Stanely Drucker, oboist Matt Sullivan, bassoonist Lennie Hindell, guistarist David Starobin, cellist Amit Peled and pianists Lucille Chang, Alon Goldstein and Adam Kent.

This season, The Symphony of Westchester continues with its carefully crafted programming in compelling renditions of our most beloved and treasured orchestral repertoire.

The richness and rewards are here.
Come join our adventure!



Barry Charles Hoffman
Founder and Artistic Director

Barry Charles Hoffman
Barry Charles Hoffman

Mr. Hoffman has made his musical mark on Westchester County as conductor, energetic advocate of new music and tireless champion of music as a vital thread of the community fabric. He was schooled at the Manhattan School of Music, receiving his bachelor's degree in violin performance. Mr. Hoffman has studied conducting with John Miner and, more recently, David Gilbert, and counts his participation in the Los Angeles Philharmonic Conducting Institute and the Pierre Monteux School for Advanced Conducting Studies among his most valued educational experiences.

Barry Charles Hoffman has been primarily noted for his highly engaging and moving performances with The Symphony of Westchester, which he founded in 1984 and continues to serve as Artistic Director. Reviewers have called the WCS's performances under Maestro Hoffman "imaginative," "exuberant," "daring," and "reverent." His versatility on the podium has been showcased at the WCS's Iona College Series, where his innovative mix of newly commissioned works and standard favorites have won consistent acclaim.

Maestro Hoffman is also creator of the many outreach programs of the WC0 which include: Annual Jazz Institute for Homeless Children (Westhab Family Center in Elmsford), Annual Composers of the Future Program (in collaboration with Songcatchers of New Rochelle), and Annual Student Piano Competition of Contemporary American Composers (New Rochelle Public Library).

Maestro Hoffman is now embarking on the creation of a second orchestra, the Harlem Chamber Orchestra, which will be based in Harlem, New York. Conducted by Maestro Hoffman, the HCO will be comprised predominantly of African American musicians. The Harlem Chamber Orchestra's mission will be to perform standard orchestral repertoire mixed with repertoire that reflects African American cultural themes, and to provide New York City's Harlem area schools with an infusion of ongoing classical music workshops and programs. He and his wife, Adele, herself a WCS violinist and orchestral music teacher in the Bronxville Public Schools, reside in New Rochelle.

Robert Sherman
Host and Narrator

Robert Sherman
Robert Sherman

Broadcaster, writer, teacher and radio personality, Robert Sherman is probably best known for his work at WQXR, where he has been Program Director, Executive Producer and (currently) Senior Consultant. A Westchester resident for well over thirty years, Robert Sherman has long been indispensable to the musical life of the region. For twenty four years he presided in "The Listening Room," and he continues to present such award-winning series on the station as "Woody's Children," "Metropolitan Opera Previews" and "The McGraw Hill Company's Young Artists Showcase." He writes a weekly music column for the Westchester section of The New York Times and recently co-authored The Complete Idiot's Guide to Classical Music.

Symphony Personnel
2013-2014 Season

Violin I
Alex Abayev, Concertmaster
Catherine Cheong-Seon Yang
Tetyana Byelgorodska
Mune Takahashi
Emily Vold
Noah Luft-Weissberg
Shshi Hori
Gregor Kitzis
Peter Borten

Violin II
Ben Hellman, principal
Marina Fragoulis
Suzanne Davies
Blustine
Nataliya Samulova
Gabi Rengel
Naomi Kim
Carrie Dowell
Jane Kittredge
Magdalena Garbalinska
Carrie Brandt

Viola
Joel Rudin, principal
Joanna Smulakowski
Tina-Ying Chang Chien
Midori Witkoski
Hannah van der Swaagh
Suzanne Bilyeu
Elise Frawley
Alice Model
Tia Allen
Corey Ramey

Cello
George Dewar, principal
Daryl Nuccio
Peter Howard
Gilberta Gelaj
Suji Kim
Jeanette Stenson
Elina Lang
Anne Marie Tranchida

Bass
Nate Chase, principal
Paul Nemeth
Vitaly Schepilo

Flute I
Kaoru Hinata

Flute II
Koaki Shinkai

Piccolo
Seth Rosenthal

Oboe I
Mark Synder
Rita Mitsel

Oboe II/English Horn
Karisa Werdon
Keve Wilson

Clarinet I
Allen Blustine

Clarinet II
Christopher Bush

Bass Clarinet
Wojciech Komsta

Bassoon I
Lennie Hindell

Bassoon II
Monica Ellis
Lisa Alexander

Contra bassoon
Joelle Amar

Alto saxophone
Matthew Willis

Tenor saxophone
Marc Phaneuf

Baritone saxophone
Patience Higgins

Horn I
John-Morgan Bush

Horn II
Luiza-Raab Pontecorvo

Horn III
Jessica Santiago

Horn IV
Bert Hill

Trumpet I
Brad Siroky

Trumpet II
Jim Lake

Trumpet III
Sam Nester

Trombone I
Erik Bestmann

Trombone II
Sara A. Lewis

Trombone III
Jon Greenberg

Tuba
Ethan Morrison

Piano
Adam Kent

Guitar
Greg Utzig

Timpani and Principal Percussion
David Cox

Percussion
Barbara Alan
Douglas Feig

Librarian/Administrative Assistant
Ben Hellman

Operations Manager
Rosemarie Costellano

Board of Directors

Eugene Mittelgluck, President
Adele Hoffman, Vice President/Secretary
Dr. Norman Gordon, Treasurer
Paul Feiner, Homeless Shelter Outreach Coordinator
Yuhanna Edwards

Executive Director

Barry Charles Hoffman

Advisory Board

David Amram
Elizabeth Fleischer
David Gilbert
Joanne Murphy
Zachery Sheer
Robert Sherman

Volunteers

Bob Bengis
Harrison Brussel
Mira Bramson
Rene Escala
Nancy Gibbs
Betty Goldstein
Joan Goldstein
Sam Goldstein
Dr. Norman Gordon
Rhoda Khan
Elaine and Gene Mittelgluck
Eleanor Seifter

Ushers

Olivia Brustra
Nora Gerson