Glenn Dicterow, Concertmaster and Solo Violin
Susanne Mentzer, Mezzo-Soprano
Joseph Alessi, Trombone
Matthew Muckey, Posthorn
Women of The Dessoff Symphonic Choir, James Bagwell, Music Director
The Cathedral Choristers of The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Bruce Neswick, Conductor
Children's Choir of the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola, Mary Huff, Director
Violinist Glenn Dicterow has established himself worldwide as one of the most prominent American concert artists of his generation. His extraordinary musical gifts became apparent at the age of 11 when he made his solo debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic (where his father Harold Dicterow served as principal of the second violin section for 52 years) in Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto. In the following years Mr. Dicterow became one of the most sought after young artists appearing as soloist from coast to coast. He went on to win numerous awards and competitions including the Young Musicians Foundation Award and Coleman Award (Los Angeles), The Julia Klumpke Award (San Francisco) and the Bronze Medal in the International Tchaikovsky Competition (1970). He is a graduate of Juilliard, where he was a student of Ivan Galamian. Other teachers have included Joachim Chassman, Naoum Blinder, Manuel Compinsky, Jascha Heifetz and Henryk Szerying.
At the age of eighteen he appeared as soloist with the New York Philharmonic under the baton of Andre Kostelanetz in the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto. In 1980 he joined the New York Philharmonic as Concertmaster and has since performed as its soloist every season. Prior to joining the New York Philharmonic, Dicterow served as Associate Concertmaster and Concertmaster of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Mr. Dicterow's discography includes Copland's Violin Sonata, Largo, and Piano Trio; Ives' Sonatas nos.2 and 4 and Piano Trio; and Korngold's Piano Trio and Violin Sonata, all for EMI. He is also featured in the violin solos in Strauss' Ein Heldenleben and Also Sprach Zarathustra with Zubin Mehta on the CBS label. Other compositions committed to disc are works of Wieniawski with Mr. Mehta and the Los Angeles Philharmonic; Lee Holdridge's Violin Concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra; Shostakovitch's Violin Concerto No. 1 with the New York Philharmonic under the baton of Maxim Shostakovitch on a Radiothon recording; and the Philharmonic's two recordings of Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade with Yuri Temirkanov on the BMG label and Kurt Masur on Teldec. Dicterow's most recent CD releases are a solo recital for Cala Records entitled New York Legends featuring Corigliano's Sonata for Violin and Piano, Korngold's Much ado About Nothing, the premiere recording of Leonard Bernstein's Sonata for Violin and Piano, and Martinu's Three Madrigals for violin and viola, in collaboration with Karen Dreyfus, violist and Gerald Robbins, pianist. Also just released is the Bernstein Serenade with The New York Philharmonic and Leonard Slatkin entitled "New York Philharmonic / An American Celebration" available on the Philharmonic's own label. Mr. Dicterow can also be heard in the violin solos of the film scores for The Turning Point, The Untouchables, Altered States, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast and An Interview With A Vampire among others.
Mr. Dicterow also enjoys an active teaching career. He is on the faculty of the Juilliard School and Manhattan School of Music. Both Dicterow and his wife, violinist Karen Dreyfus, are founding members of The Lyric Piano Quartet, which is in residence at Queens College.
Susanne Mentzer is a celebrated mezzo-soprano specializing in the music of Rossini, Strauss, Mozart, Berlioz and Mahler, has appeared with some of the greatest opera companies, orchestras and festivals in North America and Europe, as well as the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, and on tour to Japan with the Metropolitan Opera, Mostly Mozart and the Bavarian State Opera. As a specialist in trouser roles, most notably for her portrayals of Cherubino (Le Nozze di Figaro), Strauss' Der Komponist (Ariadne auf Naxos) and Octavian (Der Rosenkavailer), she is also noted for her bel canto style, lauded for her performances of Bellini's Romeo in I Capuleti ed i Montecchi, Adalgisa in Norma, Jane Seymour in Donizetti's Anna Bolena and Rossini's heroines in Barbiere di Siviglia and La Cenerentola. Ms. Mentzer also enjoys a significant concert and recital career, with a particular interest in chamber music.
In addition to her active performance career, Ms. Mentzer is Professor of Voice at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music in Houston, and frequently gives master classes and adjudicates competitions throughout the country. From 1991-2006 Susanne Mentzer organized the annual Jubilate benefit concert featuring stars of the opera and dance world to support Chicago's Bonaventure House, a residence for people living with AIDS.
Joseph Alessi was appointed Principal Trombone of the New York Philharmonic in 1985. A graduate of the Curtis Institute, he was previously second trombonist of the Philadelphia Orchestra and principal trombone of L'Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal.
In April 1990, he made his solo debut with the New York Philharmonic, performing Creston's Fantasy for Trombone, and in 1992 premiered Christopher Rouse' s Pulitzer Prize winning Trombone Concerto with the Philharmonic. His most recent appearance with the Philharmonic as soloist was in performances of Melinda Wagner's Trombone Concerto in 2007. Other solo engagements have included the New Japan Philharmonic, Nagoya Philharmonic, Orchestra of Teatro Bellini, Mannheim National Theater Orchestra, Hauge Philharmonic, Helsinki Philharmonic, and the Colorado, Alabama, Santa Barbara, Syracuse, and Puerto Rico symphony orchestras.
Joseph Alessi is the recipient of the 2002 International Trombone Association Award. Currently on the faculty of the Juilliard School, his students now occupy posts with many major symphony orchestras throughout the world. As a clinician for the Edwards Instrument Co., he has also given master classes worldwide and has toured Europe extensively as a master teacher and recitalist.
Mr. Alessi has also performed with major concert bands, including the U.S. Marine Band, the U.S. Army Band (Pershing's Own), the U.S. Navy Band, and the U.S. Military Band at West Point. In addition, he has performed with the Maria Schneider Orchestra, the Village Vanguard Orchestra, and has recorded with J.J. Johnson and Steve Turre.
Mr. Alessi can be heard on recordings on the New York Philharmonic Special Editions, D'Note, CALA, Summit, Sony Classical, and Philips labels. Further information about Mr. Alessi can be found on his own website, www.slidearea.com
Matthew Muckey, Associate Principal Trumpet of the New York Philharmonic, joined the Philharmonic in June 2006 after graduating from Northwestern University, where he received a bachelor's degree in music and studied with Charles Geyer and Barbara Butler. A native of Sacramento, California, he has appeared as soloist with the Omaha Symphony, Sacramento Philharmonic, California Wind Orchestra, Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra, and on NPR's program "From the Top". He has also played with the Boston Pops Orchestra, New World Symphony, and Chicago Civic Orchestra. Mr. Muckey was a Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center during the summers of 2003 - 2005, and was the recipient of the Roger Voisin Award in 2004 and 2005.
The Dessoff Choirs are some of New York City's leading choruses. Founded in 1924 by Margarete Dessoff, it has established a reputation for pioneering performances of choral works from the pre-Baroque era through the 21st century. The "s" in Choirs connotes the group's various ensembles, including a large Symphonic Choir that appears with major orchestras, a mixed ensemble of 75 voices, and a smaller Chamber Choir assembled for more intimate works.
Dessoff is active in New York's musical life, presenting its own concerts under the baton of Music Director James Bagwell and in collaboration with ensembles ranging from the Kronos Quartet to the Mark Morris Dance Group. In June, The Dessoff Symphonic Choir will appear with the New York Philharmonic in two programs: Britten's War Requiem and Mahler's Symphony No. 8 (the famous Symphony of a Thousand). Both are under the direction of Lorin Maazel, and Dessoff is honored to be sharing the stage as he leads his final performances as Music Director of the Philharmonic.
Last season, Dessoff appeared with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, Yuri Temirkanov conducting; and at Avery Fisher Hall with the American Symphony Orchestra, Leon Botstein conducting. Other recent engagements have been with the Czech Philharmonic, the NHK Symphony Orchestra of Tokyo, and with Tan Dun in his haunting Water Passion after Saint Matthew.
Dessoff's next concert is on March 7 at St. George's Church in Manhattan; the concert will be recorded for commercial release and will feature American music from Billings to Ives. For more information, please visit www.dessoff.org.
JAMES BAGWELL, Music Director of The Dessoff Choirs, maintains an active schedule throughout the United States as a conductor of choral, operatic, and orchestral literature. Recent engagements include concerts with the Jerusalem Symphony and the Tulsa Symphony. Last summer Maestro Bagwell returned to the Bard SummerScape Festival to lead the musical Of Thee I Sing, and celebrated his tenth season as Music Director of Light Opera Oklahoma. He is also Director of Choruses for the Bard Music Festival, for its summer program at Bard College and its New York appearances at Alice Tully Hall.
Maestro Bagwell prepares The Concert Chorale of New York, which appears with major orchestras; is artistic director of The New York Repertory Singers; and conducts the Berkshire Bach Society Choruses. Since 1997, he has been Music Director of the May Festival Youth Chorus in Cincinnati. He is also the Director of the Music Program at Bard College, and will launch a new graduate program in choral conducting through the Bard Conservatory of Music later this year.
The Cathedral Choir of Girls, Boys and Adults is one of two choirs at St. John the Divine, sharing the musical ministry of this sacred place with the recently-established Parish Choir. The treble choristers, 24 in number from grades 4 through 8, all attend the Cathedral School on scholarship. They rehearse three days a week and sing, on average, 8 services a month. The adults of the choir, a faithful core of staff and volunteers (many of whom are veterans of several years), complement the trebles and sing the vast majority of services with them. A substantial number of these adults are former choristers from Episcopal choirs throughout the United States and, as such, are singularly well-poised to offer not only musical support but also superb example in citizenship and commitment. The choir has toured throughout the United States and England, and plans are currently in place for the choir to travel to sing at the Anglican cathedral in Montreal this coming June.
BRUCE NESWICK, is the newly-appointed Director of Music at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, having previously served as the Canon for Music at the Cathedral of St. Philip, Atlanta; and, prior to that, as the Assistant Organist-Choirmaster for the Girl Choristers at Washington National Cathedral and Director of Music at St. Albans School for Boys and the National Cathedral School for Girls. Active in the field of church music, Mr. Neswick holds the Fellowship degree from both the Royal School of Church Music (for whom he has conducted several courses for boy and girl choristers) and the American Guild of Organists. A published composer of choral and organ music, Mr. Neswick is the first-place winner of three international organ improvisation competitions. A graduate of Pacific Lutheran University and the Yale School of Music, he is represented by Phillip Truckenbrod Concert Artists.
The Children's Choir of Saint Ignatius Loyola is comprised of talented fifth through eighth graders who rehearse once a week and sing monthly for Solemn Mass, as well as for Christmas Eve, Holy Week, and Confirmation liturgies. The Children's Choir performs on the popular St. Ignatius Christmas Concert in December and for the Spring Concert in May, as well as on the church's Sacred Music in a Sacred Space series. Recent performances include Mendelssohn's Paulus and Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors, and this April, the children will sing Bach's Saint Matthew Passion.
MARY WANNAMAKER HUFF, Director of Children's Choirs at the Church of Saint Ignatius Loyola, conducts and administers four graded children's choirs of 110 children in grades one through ten. Her choirs sing for numerous liturgies during the school year in addition to performing on the church's acclaimed concert series under the direction of Kent Tritle. Ms. Huff is also Associate Director of Music at Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, where she directs three children's choirs and assists her husband, Director of Music Andrew Henderson, in all aspects of the music program, including playing the organ for liturgies, accompanying and conducting.
Ms. Huff graduated cum laude from Furman University in 1999 and Yale University in 2001, with degrees in organ performance. Since then, she has taught music to children of all grade levels (K4-12) in Catholic, independent, and inner-city schools. Mary currently serves as secretary on the executive board of the New York City Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.