"Bach to Pops" December Concert Featured Artists

Described as having “A rich, glowing lyric sound destined for the heights" (Opera News), soprano Amelia Watkins has performed with leading orchestras and opera companies in North America, Europe and Asia, including the Los Angeles Opera, New York City Opera, Prague National Opera, Carnegie Hall, Weill Hall, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Verbier Festival, Leipzig Gewandhaus, National Arts Center, and in concert in Hong Kong. Embracing musical styles from Bach to Berio and beyond, Amelia specializes in the works of living composers. She recently drew praise for her performance as Brainy Woman in Michael Gordon and Deborah Artman’s Acquanetta, directed by Daniel Fish at the 2018 Prototype Festival.   Ms. Watkins can be heard on Albany Records in New Growth, the Grammy nominated Bobby McFerrin album Vocabularies, Missy Mazzoli’s Song From the Uproar, the upcoming studio recording of Acquanetta, and in various film and television scores. A familiar face at the Norwalk Symphony, she is always delighted to make music with Jonathan Yates, as a recital partner or conductor! www.ameliawatkins.com

Devony Smith is a versatile soprano excelling in both contemporary and traditional repertoire with her “sensuous” and “strong” voice (New York Times). A California native, Devony makes her mark on New York City as a professional member of Musica Viva NY, where she recently performed the soprano solos for Vivaldi’s Gloria,  Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem, and Carmina Burana. This year, Devony was the recipient of the Lyndon Woodside award in the Lyndon Woodside Oratorio-Solo Competition at Carnegie Hall. Also at Carnegie, she participated in the prestigious Song Continues Workshop with Marilyn Horne, Renée Fleming, and Graham Johnson. In 2019, she will present a recital in a partnership with Carnegie Hall’s Citywide Concerts.

Recently on the operatic stage, Devony performed Kate Soper’s self-accompanied opera Here Be Sirens at National Sawdust, the title role in the workshop of Matt Aucoin’s new opera Eurydice as a part of Cincinnati Opera’s Opera Fusion: New Works program, Micaëla (Carmen) at the Axelrod Performing Arts Center, Violetta (La Traviata) at the Narnia Festival, Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro) with Bronx Opera, and the title role in Cendrillon with Utopia Opera.   

Devony relishes the opportunity to perform contemporary works. As a Sorel Fellow at Songfest, she performed John Harbison’s “Simple Daylight” at Zipper Hall. As a 2017 fellow at Ravinia Steans Music Institute, she collaborated with composer William Bolcom in a concert of his music. Also at Songfest, she performed the world premiere of Ben Moore’s “John and Abigail” and the west coast premiere of John Musto's “Six Scottish Songs.”

Augusta Caso, mezzo-soprano, made her Metropolitan Opera debut in the 2017-2018 season as a Flowermaiden in Wagner’s Parsifal under the baton of Maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and her LA Opera debut as First Twin in Getty’s Canterville Ghost, a role she also sang with Center for Contemporary Opera (CCO). She sang Isaura in Tancredi rifatto at Teatro Nuovo with Maestro Will Crutchfield and covered the title role in the mainstage production of Tancredi; she also sang the title role of Carmen with New York Opera Collaborative. The New York Times called Ms. Caso’s 2016 performance of Andriessen’s Anaïs Nin with CCO “compelling” and “courageous”; she then made her European debut in the same role at the Musiekgebouw aan’t IJ (Amsterdam), which Volkskrant called “a star role.” She looks forward to returning to Anaïs Nin in Europe in 2019, again in Amsterdam and at Opera Rotterdam; she also sings the title role of Artemisia in a new opera by Laura Schwendinger, and creates the character of Marilyn Monroe in a new work by composer JacobTV in 2020. Last season, Ms. Caso made her mainstage debut at the Spoleto Festival USA as Gilade in Vivaldi’s Farnace; sang the roles of Suzuki in Madama Butterfly and Hélène in La Belle Hélène with Opera North; and sang Blanche in Dialogues of the Carmelites with Resonanz Opera. Other recent performances include Dorabella in Così fan tutte; Prince Charming in Cendrillon; the title role in La Cenerentola; Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle; Mahler’s Rückert-Lieder; and Berlioz’s Les nuits d’été. Augusta holds degrees from Williams College and the University of Oklahoma. She grew up in Phoenix, Maryland and studies with Andrea DelGiudice.

A native of Richmond, Virginia, tenor William Ferguson appeared with the Santa Fe Opera as Caliban in the North American premiere of Thomas Adès’ The Tempest and bowed in Sydney with Opera Australia singing Truffaldino in a new production of The Love for Three Oranges—a recording of which has since been released on the Chandos label. In New York, Ferguson has performed Beppe in I Pagliacci at The Metropolitan Opera as well as Candide, Nanki-Poo, the Funeral Director in A Quiet Place, Hérisson de Porc-Épic in L’Étoile, and most recently The Electrician in Powder Her Face at New York City Opera. Additional credits include appearances as George in Our Town at Central City Opera; Don Basilio/Curzio with the Los Angeles Philharmonic (Dudamel conducting) and Milwaukee Symphony (de Waart conducting); Remendado, Spoletta, and Guillot de Morfontaine at The Dallas Opera; a staged production of Handel’s Messiah with the Pittsburgh Symphony (Honeck conducting); Powder Her Face at Opéra Festival de Quebec; Andres in Wozzeck at Opera Festival of New Jersey; Male Chorus in Rape of Lucretia at Opera Memphis; Ferrando in Cosi fan Tutte at Aspen; Fenton in Falstaff and Gonzalve in l’Heure Espagnole at Tanglewood (both with Maestro Ozawa); Bentley Drummle in Miss Havisham’s Fire at Opera Theatre of St. Louis; Frederick, Nanki-Poo, and Jupiter in Semele at Opera Omaha; Frederick at Virginia Opera; Dido and Aeneas with Gotham Chamber Opera, Turandot with Opera Philadelphia, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream at both The Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia in Valencia, Spain, and Teatro Massimo in Palermo, Sicily.  He holds both a Bachelor’s and Master’s of Music degree from The Juilliard School.

A passionate concert and recital performer, Mr. Ferguson has appeared with The American Symphony Orchestra, BBC Orchestra (London), Boston Symphony Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (England), Houston Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Milwaukee Symphony, Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, Musica Sacra New York, National Symphony Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Opera Orchestra of New York, Oratorio Society of New York, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Radio Filharmonisch Orkest (Netherlands), and San Francisco Symphony; as well as the local symphony orchestras of Bellingham, Duluth, New Haven, Omaha, Orlando, Richmond, Santa Barbara, South Dakota, Wheeling, and Winston-Salem.  Furthermore, he has performed for the 92nd Street Y, Bard Music Festival, Marlboro Music Festival, and New York Festival of Song. Prizes include First Place in the Oratorio Society of New York Solo Competition, The Alice Tully Debut Recital Award, and awards from Opera Index, The Bagby Foundation, and Opera Orchestra of New York. Mr. Ferguson appears as Brian on the recording and DVD of Not The Messiah, an oratorio based on Monty Python’s Life of Brian recorded live at the Royal Albert Hall.

November "Armistice and Triumph" Concert Featured Artists

Our next Main Series concert features two soloists, Helena Brown and Edward J. Tipton, as well as the Mendelssohn Choir of Connecticut conducted by Carole Ann Maxwell.

Lauded as having a "stunningly large round sound," as well as a “steely, velvety” timbre, American dramatic soprano Helena Brown is quickly distinguishing herself as a force of nature for the international stages. She was recently awarded the Sergio Franchi Award in the Deborah Voigt/Vero Beach Opera Competition, Second Place in the Young Patronesses of the Opera/Florida Grand Opera Vocal Competition, as well as awards from the Cooper-Bing, Opera at Florham, Opera Birmingham, and Opera Ebony Benjamin Matthews vocal competitions. Helena additionally received grants from the Gerda Lissner Foundation, Giulio Gari Foundation, and Encouragement Grants from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in Philadelphia, Jensen Foundation, the Wagner Society of New York, and the MetroWest Opera Vocal Competition in Boston. Helena was a member of Sarasota Opera for their 2017 winter season as a Studio Artist, covering the role of Madame Lidoine (New Prioress) in the Dialogues of the Carmelites. That summer, she returned to the Glimmerglass Festival to sing Isabella in the American premiere of The Siege of Calais and covered Serena in Porgy and Bess. In 2018, Helena made her role debuts as Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni with Rioja Lirica/DIVAria Productions and Sieglinde in Die Walküre with Miami Wagner Institute.

Formerly a mezzo-soprano, Helena was a young artist at the 2016 Glimmerglass Festival where she performed Rebecca Nurse and covered Tituba under the baton of Nicole Paiement in Francesca Zambello’s acclaimed production of The Crucible. She made her European debut as Serena and Strawberry Woman in Porgy & Bess with New York Harlem Productions, appearing in theaters such as Grand Théâtre de Genève, Chassé Theater, and Amsterdam RAI. Additionally, Helena appeared with Minnesota Opera, performing Dryad in Ariadne auf Naxos; portrayed Bloody Mary in South Pacific at Opera Roanoke; sang Addie in Regina and Mrs. Herring in Albert Herring at Bronx Opera; covered Mama McCourt in Ballad of Baby Doe with Chautauqua Opera; and covered Grandmother Buryjovka in Jenůfa with Des Moines Metro Opera, where she also appeared in scenes concerts as Dalila in Samson et Dalila, Mistress Quickly in Falstaff, Martha in Faust, and Filippyevna in Eugene Onegin.

As a Masters student at Manhattan School of Music, Helena Brown performed the roles of the Witch in Hänsel und Gretel, Klementia in Hindemith’s Sancta Susanna, Madame Halitiere in Cendrillon, Queen Jezebel and Angel in Elijah, and in Mignon Dunn’s beloved scenes program, played Martha in Faust, Leonora in La Favorita, and Erste Magd in Elektra. She also appeared at the Crittenden Opera Festival as La Zia Principessa in Suor Angelica and Marcellina in scenes from Le Nozze di Figaro.

No stranger to contemporary music, Helena has premiered compositions as well as principal roles in opera and theater. Recently, she collaborated with Rebecca Erin Smith in the premiere of Feast for Pierrot ensemble at Manhattan School of Music. Helena also performed the actor-singer role of Mother in Bellocq’s Ophelia, written by U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey, which was presented in festival at the Kennedy Center.

Helena holds a Master’s degree from Manhattan School of Music as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Music, Summa Cum Laude, from Hollins University where she also studied arts management and theatre.

Edward “Ned” Tipton began his musical studies at the age of four, and gave his first recital at the age of six. He soon took up the violin, organ, trumpet, oboe, and flute. His first post as church organist was at the age of fourteen in his native Asheville, North Carolina, where he was a student of Marilyn Keiser and William Dan Hardin.  As a winner of a Rotary International Foundation Scholarship for the school year 1979-1980, he continued his piano studies at the Ecole Normale de Musique, Paris, as a student of Jules Gentil. He received his BM in Piano and his MM in Choral Conducting from the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, Oberlin, Ohio.  His studies of the organ works of Maurice Duruflé were with the wife of the composer, Marie-Madeline Duruflé-Chevalier. 

From 1989 until 2010 he served as Canon for Music and Organist-Choirmaster of the American Cathedral in Paris.  He was Artistic Director of Les Arts George V, the American Cathedral’s not-for-profit arts association. In 1994 he co-founded the Paris Choral Society, and under his 16-year tenure as Music Director and Conductor the “PCS” performed an impressive number of the major works for symphonic chorus and orchestra (among which were the Beethoven Missa Solemnis and Ninth Symphony, the Verdi Requiem, and the complete choral works of Maurice Duruflé during the centenary year of the composer’s birth, 2002.).  He served as Canon for Music Ministry and Cathedral Arts, at St. John’s Cathedral, Los Angeles, from 2010 until 2017. He remains a permanent member of the International Steering Committee of the Association Maurice et Marie-Madeleine Duruflé.  A resident of Atlanta from 1986 until late 1989, he was Assistant Administrator and Interim Director of the Robert Shaw Institute at Emory University, and rehearsal assistant for and a member of the Atlanta Symphony Chorus and Chamber Chorus.  

Tipton, who maintains an active international career as an organist, was a featured recitalist of the 2009 conference of the Association of Anglican Musicians in Los Angeles.  In June of 2015 he was named one of six Honorary Canons of the Cathedral Center of St. Paul (the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles) by Bishop J. Jon Bruno. In September of 2017 he performed Poulenc’s Concerto for Organ, Strings, and Timpani with the National Symphony of Costa Rica, under the baton of Maestro John Nelson. Future recitals include Trinity Episcopal Church in Asheville, and St. Philip’s Cathedral, Atlanta.

The Mendelssohn Choir of Connecticut (MCC) was founded in 1984 by alumni of the Fairfield University Chamber Singers who wished to continue their musical association with Dr. Carole Ann Maxwell. Under Dr. Maxwell’s leadership, the Choir has performed a wide range of repertoire in New England, New York, and many European capitals. The Choir’s renditions of the world’s greatest choral masterpieces have earned it a reputation as one of the leading vocal ensembles of the region. Its diverse programming reflects an extensive repertoire from all periods and genres – from classical to contemporary and from opera to theater, film, and pop. The MCC embraces a mission of developing and promoting the choral arts – a mission that begins with the training of its own members and reaches out to the entire community of Fairfield County.

The Choir’s repertory has included Bach’s Magnificat, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Meeresstille und gluckliche Fahrt, Schubert’s Miriam’s Siegesgesang, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Brahm’s Alto Rhapsody and Liebeslieder Waltzes, Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius, Vaughan Williams’s Sea Symphony and Toward the Unknown Region, Honegger’s King David, Orff’s Carmina Burana and Citulli Carmina, Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky, and the Stabat Mater and the Armed Man Mass of Karl Jenkins. The MCC has performed Requiem settings by Mozart, Verdi, Faure, Durufle, and Rutter, as well as American songbook entries from Gershwin, Sondheim, and many others and film score chorales by John Williams and Patrick Doyle. Opera in concert has been a recurring feature, including performances of Verdi’s Aida, Bizet’s Carmen, and Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess.

Over the years, the MCC has been honored to present the world premieres of The Child in Us All and the Prologue from North and South, by Tony Award winner Charles Strouse, Stephen Schwartz’s Academy Award-winning song “When You Believe” from Prince of Egypt, and “Chief Seattle” by Gregg Smith. In celebration of its Silver Anniversary, the Choir commissioned a work by Randal Alan Bass, O Divine Music, which it premiered in May 2010. That same year MCC also introduced Connecticut composer Edward Thompson’s What the Ivy Said to the Fallen Snow. In 2014 the Choir premiered Child of War by Jin Hi Kim, a setting of texts by the Vietnamese peace activist Kim Phuc.

The Choir has performed regularly with the symphony orchestras of Bridgeport, Norwalk, Wallingford, and New Haven. The ensemble has appeared several times in Carnegie Hall under the auspices of both Distinguished Choirs International and Mid-America Productions. In addition to a memorable performance at the 2006 National Pastoral Musician’s Conference in Norwalk, the Choir has also sung to enthusiastic audiences in Rome, Florence, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Galway and Dublin.

Beyond its artistic achievements, the MCC plays an important civic role through its local outreach programs, notably its Mendelssingers ensemble. The Mendelssingers regularly perform in hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities and at various community events to bring the wonder and awe of live choral music to the broadest spectrum of the Connecticut public. The Choir receives support from the Connecticut Office of the Arts, the Carstenson Foundation, and many generous corporations, businesses and individuals throughout Fairfield County.

One of America’s preeminent conductors of collegiate, community and professional choral ensembles, Carole Ann Maxwell, DSM, has been the Director of Choral Activities at Fairfield University since 1980. She is also the Founding Artistic Director and Conductor of The Mendelssohn Choir of Connecticut. In these and all her affiliations, Dr. Maxwell continuously strives for choral excellence through the total commitment and magnificent voices of thousands of gifted singers who gladly audition and travel great distances for the opportunity to work with her.

Noted for immense energy, consummate professionalism and complete dedication to the choral arts, Dr. Maxwell’s mission is to inspire and challenge each singer’s musical potential. Combining her talent with a wonderful sense of humor has set Dr. Maxwell aside from other conductors, making her extremely unique, and placing her in great demand. Her distinctive style and artistic leadership have produced critically acclaimed results from podiums throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia. In addition, Dr. Maxwell is a favorite Chorus Master for area orchestras and is a member of the Board of The Fairfield County Children’s Choir. 

Dr. Maxwell has been recognized for her artistic achievements with numerous awards. In 1992, Immaculata College presented Dr. Maxwell with the prestigious “Distinguished Music Alumna” award. The National Music Honor Society, Pi Kappa Lambda, honored her with membership citing her excellence and outstanding contributions in the field of choral music. The Connecticut Post named Dr. Maxwell a recipient of the “Woman of Substance” Award, celebrating outstanding women of the region, and Oxford Health Care honored her with its Humancare Award for her exceptional efforts in the community. In 2000, Dr. Maxwell was named “Woman of the Year” by Fairfield University Women’s Studies Program and is the 2016 recipient of the Fairfield University Distinguished Faculty/Administrator Award. Dr. Maxwell has been named to the National Jesuit Honor Society, Alpha Sigma Nu.

September Concert Featured Artist: Francisco Fullana

Spanish-born violinist Francisco Fullana, winner of a 2018 Avery Fisher Career Grant, has been hailed as a "rising star" (BBC Music Magazine), an "amazing talent" (conductor Gustavo Dudamel) and "a paragon of delicacy" (San Francisco Classical Voice). His Carnegie Hall recital debut in 2016 was noted for its “joy and playfulness in collaboration; it was perfection” (New York Classical Review).

A native of Mallorca in the Balearic Islands of Spain, Francisco is making a name for himself as both a performer and a leader of innovative educational institutions. As an orchestral soloist he has performed the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with the Bayerische Philharmonie led by the late Sir Colin Davis, the Sibelius Concerto with the Münchner Rundfunkorchester, and the Brahms Violin Concerto with Venezuela’s Teresa Careño Orchestra under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel. He has also soloed with the Vancouver, Pacific, Alabama, Maryland, Madrid, and Hof symphony orchestras and the Spanish Radio Television Orchestra, and has worked with such noted conductors as Carlos Izcaray, Alondra de la Parra, Christoph Poppen, Jeannette Sorrell, and Joshua Weilerstein.

Active as a chamber musician, Francisco has participated in the Marlboro Music Festival and its Musicians from Marlboro tours, as well as Yellow Barn, the Perlman Music Program, the Da Camera Society, and the Music@Menlo, Mainly Mozart, Music in the Vineyards, and Newport music festivals. His musical collaborators have included Viviane Hagner, Nobuko Imai, Charles Neidich, Mitsuko Uchida, and members of the Guarneri, Juilliard, Pacifica, Takács, and Cleveland quartets. And among the many chamber music engagements on his upcoming schedule, Francisco has been invited to join the prestigious CMS Two roster of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center starting in 2018.

Highlights of Francisco’s 2018-19 season include debuts with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Castilla y León Symphony Orchestra, Oviedo Filarmonía, and Santa Fe Pro Musica. Also scheduled are two weeks of activities with Poland’s Krzyzowa Festival at home and on tour, and return engagements with the Alabama, Balearic Islands, Extremadura, and Xalapa symphonies. Francisco’s ongoing collaboration with Argentinian bandoneonist J.P. Jofre will culminate with the 2018 premiere of Jofre’s Double Concerto for Bandoneon and Violin, a work commissioned by the Balearic Islands Symphony, San Antonio Chamber Orchestra, and New York City’s Metropolis Ensemble.

In March 2018, Orchid Classics released Francisco’s recording “Through the Lens of Time,” which includes Max Richter’s 2012 composition The Four Seasons Recomposedperformed with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra conducted by Carlos Izcaray. This ambitious project, recently named Forbes's CD of the Week and featured as the #1 Classical Track on Apple Music, carries forward from its modern reconsideration of Vivaldi’s beloved classic with a series of contemporary solo works for violin that also shine a new light on the Baroque musical tradition.

Born into a family of educators, Francisco first studied with Bernat Pomar in his hometown of Palma de Mallorca and later graduated from the Royal Conservatory of Madrid, where he matriculated under the tutelage of Manuel Guillén. He received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The Juilliard School following studies with Donald Weilerstein and Masao Kawasaki, and holds an Artist Diploma from the USC Thornton School of Music, where he worked with the renowned violinist Midori.

In 2015 Francisco was honored with the Pro Musicis International Award and First Prize in Japan’s Munetsugu Angel Violin Competition, as well as all four of that competition’s special prizes including the Audience and Orchestra awards. He won First Prize in the 2014 Johannes Brahms International Violin Competition in Austria. Other awards include First Prizes at the Julio Cardona International Violin Competition and the Pablo Sarasate Competition.

Francisco is a committed innovator, leading new institutions of musical education for young people. He is a co-founder of San Antonio’s Classical Music Summer Institute, where he currently serves as Chamber Music Director. He also created the Fortissimo Youth Initiative, a series of Baroque and Classical music seminars and performances with youth orchestras, which aims to explore and deepen young musicians’ understanding of 18th-century music. The seminars are deeply immersive, thrusting youngsters into the sonic world of a single composer while inspiring them to channel their overwhelming energy in the service of vibrant older styles of musical expression. The results can be galvanic, and Francisco continues to build on these educational models.

He currently performs on the 1735 "Mary Portman" ex-Kreisler Guarneri del Gesù violin, kindly on loan from Clement and Karen Arrison through the Stradivari Society of Chicago.

Dynamic Violin Star joins with Symphony to Open Season

The Norwalk Symphony Orchestra opens its 79th season on Saturday, September 29th, at the Norwalk Concert Hall with “3 Stitches in Time,” a lively program consisting of Sibelius’ Symphony No.5, Beethoven’s Violin Concerto and Arvo Pärt’s iconic short piece Fratres. “Each of the masterpieces in this program looked back in time, but were, and are, in essence new,” commented conductor Jonathan Yates, who returns for his seventh season with the Symphony.

Francisco Fullana will be the violin soloist in the Beethoven and the Pärt. “We are thrilled to bring such an amazing young talent to Norwalk area audiences,” Yates continued. Francisco Fullana is one of a handful of young musicians to be awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant for this year. A graduate of Madrid’s Royal Conservatory and New York’s Julliard School, he has already has performed major violin concertos with premiere orchestras (Mendelssohn with Bayerische Philharmonie under Colin Davis and Brahms with the Simon Bolivar Orchestra under Gustavo Dudamel). His debut recital at Carnegie Hall in 2016 received praise for its “playfulness and joy” and was described by New York Classical Review as “perfection.” Later this Autumn, Fullana returns to his native Mallorca, Spain, for a series of baroque concerts in historic locales. His remarkable versatility is revealed in his recently released CD “Through the Lens of Time” with the City of Birmingham Orchestra under Carlo Izcaray.

This September concert will be the start of an expanded six-concert season for the Norwalk Symphony. On November 10th, they will perform at Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church in New Canaan in a program that memorializes the 100th anniversary of end of World War I. In December, the Symphony will be the live accompaniment for the New England Academy of Dance’s presentation of the Nutcracker and then returns to the Norwalk Concert Hall for their traditional Holiday concert, which will include excerpts from Bach’s Magnificat. In February, West Side Story comes to life with a cast of soloists on the Norwalk Stage. In March, the orchestra joins forces with the Norwalk Youth Symphony for their annual Music for All Ages concert. Finally, on May 18th, the Season Finale will be Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, the same piece that opened their first season eighty years prior.

To quote Norwalk Mayor, Harry Rilling: “The Symphony’s long-standing commitment to providing music and educational opportunities has made them an integral part of the Norwalk community. We are so thankful for the beautiful music, magnificent performances, and enlightening discussions the Symphony brings the City of Norwalk and southwestern Connecticut every year.”

Norwalk Concert Hall is at 125 East Avenue. Individual tickets, which range from $10 for students to $50 for the best seats, can be purchased on this website or by calling the NSO office at 203 956-6771.

Norwalk Symphony Orchestra hires new Executive Director

The Norwalk Symphony Orchestra (NSO) welcomes Sandra Miklave as their new Executive Director. She began her tenure on April 1st, and is replacing outgoing Executive Director Louis Pietig. As a part of the transition, she was introduced at the Norwalk Symphony’s FIGARO concert on May 19th.

The Symphony will expand its reach with six concerts in the upcoming season, as well as provide the music for the New England Dance Theatre’s annual Nutcracker performance. The Symphony’s educational outreach program, (Not) Just for Kids, presented a week prior to each performance, introduces children to the families of instruments in the orchestra while also offering an opportunity to play these instruments.

As Miklave comes on board, the Norwalk Symphony is poised to expand its fundraising efforts, repositioning its strategic plan and mission, and working to extend collaboration with other organizations in the community it serves. “I am so excited to be working with the talented musicians and individuals involved with the Norwalk Symphony. We play in a concert hall with world-class acoustics, and musicians that rival any large-city orchestra. The Symphony is a cultural gem that needs to be discovered by more people in our community who do not know what they are missing.”

Miklave is currently the Board Chair at Stepping Stones Museum for Children in Norwalk, and has been a volunteer with the museum for 20 years. She has also volunteered with numerous local organizations, including the Norwalk High School Boys Soccer Team, Stamford Young Artists Philharmonic, the Fairfield Prep Crew Team Booster Club and various school-based organizations.

The Norwalk Symphony is also happy to announce its 79th Season beginning on September 29, 2018. For more information and subscription reservations please see elsewhere on this website or call 203.956.6771.

FIGARO! Concert Finale Featured Artists

MATTHEW CIMINO – Tenor
Don Curzio

Matthew Cimino was last seen with the Norwalk Symphony as the smuggler Remendado in their production of Carmen. Other performing credits have included Oronte in Alcina, Count Almaviva in Il Barbiere di Sivigla and Pedrillo in Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail (HillHouse Opera) as well Ralph Rackstraw in The Sorcerer, Nanki-Poo in The Mikado and Alfred in Die Fledermaus (Trouper’s Light Opera). In addition to performing, Matthew is the assistant director of Liturgical Choir at Sacred Heart University, adjunct professor of voice at Southern Connecticut State University and a private piano teacher. He holds a Master's of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Connecticut as well as a Bachelor’s in voice from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston.
 

MICHAEL COSTANTINO – Bass-Baritone
Antonio

A well-known bass-baritone in Connecticut, Michael Costantino’s singing spans a wide range of styles and roles. He is equally adroit across the many operatic roles he has performed (Papageno to Pasquale to Tonio), his musical theater favorites (Lord Chancellor to Lancelot to Jesus), American song (Ives to Rorem to Hoiby), and jazz... and crafts solo recitals that mix them all up. Festooned with a liberal wit, a high metabolism, and a Type A streak, the stage is a natural outlet for his ridiculousness. Costantino also arranges, conducts, composes, acts, directs, teaches, does voice-overs, and is a digital recording engineer, all the while holding down a career as a User Experience Architect for Warner Music Group. His undergraduate degrees are in Music and Astrophysics from Williams College, where he also received a fellowship for creative work, and his graduate degrees are in Voice and Conducting from the University of Michigan. He is married, still plays ultimate frisbee, and enjoys backpacking with his son.
 

ABIGAIL FISCHER – Alto
Cherubino

Known for her “serenely captivating” operatic presence “and disarming intimacy,” (NY Times),  Abigail Fischer has made a vibrant career starring in contemporary operas such as Missy Mazzoli's Song from the Uproar and Du Yun's 2017 Pulitzer Prize-winning Angel's Bone, as well as in more classic operas such as the title roles in Carmen and Cenerentola, with companies such as Los Angeles Opera, Chautauqua Opera and Cincinnati Opera.  Ms. Fischer has performed as a soloist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Kansas City Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Columbus Symphony, Rhode Island Symphony and Virginia Symphony. As an early music performer, she has worked with the American Bach Soloists, Rebel Baroque, Early Music New York, Boston Baroque and Mercury Houston. In 2017 she made her Italian stage debut in Bolzano, Italy in Toshio Hosakawa's The Raven, a setting of the Edgar Allan Poe text. She has sung the title role in Britten's Rape of Lucretia with Opera Memphis, Testo in Monteverdi's Il Combattimento with Gotham Chamber Opera, and premiered Lee Hoiby's This is the Rill Speaking with American Opera Projects. Originally trained as a cellist, Ms. Fischer has worked often as a vocal chamber musician, from the Marlboro Music Festival and Chamber Music Northwest, to St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble. She has premiered Elliott Carter's Mad Regales and Bernard Rands' Walcott Songs at the Tanglewood Music Festival, numerous John Zorn chamber works all over the world including the Lincoln Center Festival, and Nico Muhly's Elements of Style, also at Lincoln Center. She is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music (MM), Vassar College (BA) and Lorenzo di Medici in Florence, Italy.
 

SPENCER HAMLIN – Tenor
Basilio

Spencer Hamlin has been praised by Opera News for his “dazzling Italianate voice” and “scintillatingly smooth leggiero tenor” after performances of Tonio in La Fille du Régiment and Alfred in Die Fledermaus with Martina Arroyo’s Prelude to Performance series. This summer, Hamlin returned to Prelude, singing Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi. Hamlin recently made his New York City Opera debut as Detective Thibodeau in the New York premiere of Tobias Picker’s Dolores Claiborne. After hearing Hamlin as Nemorino in UConn Opera Theater’s production of L’Elisir d’Amore in February 2015, the Pulitzer Prize winning former Washington Post music critic Tim Page wrote: “Spencer Hamlin has a sweetly lyrical high tenor voice, which he deploys with immaculate taste, and his acting is communicative and persuasive.” Hamlin received his masters degree from the University of Connecticut where he studied under Dr. Constance Rock. Other roles have included Ernesto in Don Pasquale, The Witch in Hansel and Gretel, Almaviva in Il barbieri di Siviglia, the title role in Albert Herring, Henrik in A Little Night Music, Tamino in Die Zauberflöte, Judge Danforth in The Crucible, Laurie in Little Women, and Percy Grainger in the U.S. Premier of Justin Dello Joio’s Blue Mountain. Hamlin has performed with New York City Opera, Martina Arroyo’s Prelude to Performance series, Connecticut Lyric Opera, Opera Theater of Connecticut, Hartford Opera Theater, Wendy Taucher Dance Opera Theater, Hartford Symphony Orchestra, Rhode Island College Symphony Orchestra, and various ensembles at the University of Connecticut.


MARY PETRO NOONAN – Soprano
Marcellina

Mary Petro Noonan received a Bachelor of Music from DePaul University and a Master of Music from Yale University. Mary made her Houston Grand Opera debut in the world premiere of Harvey Milk. Other 20th Century roles include Female Chorus in Britten’s Rape of Lucretia and Miriam in Lee Hoiby’s The Scarf. A versatile and curious artist, Mary expanded her repertoire to include Iolanta in Tchiakovsky’s Iolanta, Tatyana in Eugene Onegin as well as Yum Yum in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Mikado. She has been seen by New York audiences as Mimi in La Bohéme, Margarita/Helen of Troy in Mephistofele, Micaela in Carmen, Desdemona in Otello, Georgetta in Il Tabarro, Nedda in Pagliacci and the title roles in Tosca, Suor Angelica and Dona Flor. She has appeared in concert at Alice Tully Hall with the Licia Albanese Puccini Foundation and made her Carnegie Hall debut singing Pamina in The Magic Flute with the New England Symphonic Ensemble. For international audiences, Mary has sung Pamina for the Rome Festival Opera, Margarita in Mephistofele in Tel Aviv, Israel, and Mimi in Castres, France. As an orchestral soloist, she has performed Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., the Garden State Philharmonic in NJ and the Chappaqua Orchestra, and Barber’s Andromache’s Farewell and Mercedes in Carmen with Norwalk Symphony in CT. Mary is a winner of the Metropolitan National Council Auditions and The Bel Canto Foundation Competition. She has spent the past 10 seasons in the extra chorus of the Metropolitan Opera and traveled with their tour to Tokyo, Japan. Mary recently returned from Cornwall, England where she served a week long residency as guest soloist at Truro Cathedral. She has performed similar residencies at cathedrals in Chester and Norwich.
 

ALEXANDER PATRIE –Bass
Bartolo

Alexander Patrie has played many roles both on stage behind the conducting podium.  Patrie is the Music Director (K-8) at St. Aloysius School in New Canaan. He is also the bass section leader/cantor for the Chancel Choir at St. Peter Church in Danbury, CT. Patrie has also held many lead operatic roles including Frank Maurrant (Street Scene), Sarastro (Die Zauberflote), and Count Almaviva (Le Nozze di Figaro).  Since graduating from Western Connecticut State University, Patrie has held numerous conducting positions with various groups and has performed in a wide variety of spaces in and around the state. He is also an actively performing soloist, having performed with the Hartford, Waterbury, and Danbury Symphony Orchestras. Patrie is an avid collector of scores and is currently in the process of creating the Truth Memorial Music Library in New Canaan, CT.
 

COLIN RAMSEY - Bass
Figaro

Since making his operatic debut as Sparafucile in Verdi’s Rigoletto, Colin’s “majestic, orotund, ravishing bass” (Opera Today) has been heard in repertoire spanning continents and centuries. The 2016-17 season finds him making his company debut at Opera San Jose as Raimondo in Lucia di Lammermoor. He continues his residence in San Jose reprising Colline in La Bohème and Basilio in Il Barbiere di Siviglia. He will also make his role debut as Father Palmer in the West Coast Premiere of Kevin Puts and Mark Campbell’s Pulitzer Prizewinning Silent Night.  2016-17 will also feature several concert debuts including the Verdi Requiem with the La Jolla Symphony, and Dvorak’s Stabat Mater with the Berkeley Community Chorus and Symphony. Colin’s past performances have brought him to the stages of Seattle Opera, Opera Santa Barbara, Wolf Trap Opera, Austin Opera, Sarasota Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and Los Angeles Philharmonic. He has been featured as Alidoro in Rossini’s La Cenerentola, Collatinus in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia, Seneca in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea, Mr. Kofner in Menotti’s The Consul, Il Frate in Verdi’s Don Carlo, Angelotti in Tosca, the Sprecher in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Giorgio in the US Premiere of Paisiello’s rarely performed Nina, and as a “sonorous” (Classical King Seattle) Cadmus and Somnus in Handel’s Semele. Colin also continues to make strides in the Symphonic world. The St. Paul Pioneer Press said of Colin’s Messiah performance: “At the other end of the sonic spectrum was bass Colin Ramsey, who had tremendous power and clarity in his lowest notes, making “Why do the nations so furiously rage” into the kind of attention-grabbing interlude that Handel likely intended”. His concert repertoire also includes Jesus in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle, and the Bass solos in Handel’s Messiah, the Faurè Requiem, Beethoven Choral Fantasy and the Brahms Requiem. He is a winner of the Pasadena Opera Guild Competition, 3rd Prize winner in the Rocky Mountain Region of The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and an Encouragement Award winner in the George London Foundation Competition. Colin has been trained at numerous young artist programs including those of Des Moines Metro Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Sarasota Opera, Opera Santa Barbara and the Crested Butte Music Festival performing and understudying a number of roles and working with leading professionals in the classical field. He is an Alumnus of The Manhattan School of Music where he attended as a Presidential Scholar and Theodore Presser Foundation scholar. Upon graduating, he was honored by the Hugh Ross Award, given annually to a “singer of unusual promise.” Born New York City, Colin currently makes his residence in San Jose, CA.
 

TREVOR SCHEUNEMANN – Baritone
Count

Praised by Opera News for his “lovely timbre”, and “dramatic timing”, as well as the Washington Post for his “rich and gleaming” voice, Trevor Scheunemann quickly established himself as one of opera’s leading baritones. This season, Scheunemann performs Enrico in Lucia di Lamermoor with Florida Grand Opera and Ned Keene and Peter Grimes in a return to L’Opéra de Monte Carlo; sings Guglielmo in a concert performance of Così fan tutte, Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro with Charlottesville Opera and Norwalk Symphony Orchestra, and Händel’s Messiah with National Philharmonic and Britten’s War Requiem with Lehigh University; and returns to The Metropolitan Opera for Le Nozze di Figaro. Scheunemann is in demand at revered houses around the world for his thoughtful, original portrayals of opera’s leading baritones. Highlights of his resume include performances as Sharpless in Madama Butterfly with Théâtre du Capitol de Toulouse, Washington National Opera, and Teatro Municipal Santiago; Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro with San Francisco Opera, Washington National Opera, and Opéra National de Bordeaux; Guglielmo in Così fan tutte with Oper Frankfurt and Washington National Opera; the title role in Don Giovanni with L’Opéra de Monte Carlo; Escamillo in Carmen with Ópera de Puerto Rico; and Marcello in La Bohème at Atlanta Opera and Washington National Opera. After joining the roster of The Metropolitan Opera as Curio in Giulio Cesare, Scheunemann enjoyed several return engagements including a new production of Un Ballo in Maschera under Fabio Luisi, which was also broadcast as part of the Metropolitan Live in HD series; Morales in the new production of Carmen conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin; Schaunard in La Bohème; a new production of Guillaume Tell; and Sid in La Fanciulla del West. Additionally, he headlined The Met’s Rising Stars Tour in concert across the United States. In recent seasons, he made his San Francisco Opera début as Jake Wallace in La Fanciulla del West conducted by Nicola Luisotti; appeared at L’Opéra de Monte Carlo as Donner in Das Rheingold;  performed Rameau’s Dardanus with Emmanuelle Haïm at Opéra de Lille; and joined the Glyndebourne Festival as Mercurio in L’Incoronazione di Poppea conducted by Emmanuelle Haïm, in Graham Vick’s Eugene Onegin under the baton of Vladimir Jurowski, and as Melot in Tristan und Isolde, which was commercially released on CD. Mr. Scheunemann is also a champion of new and contemporary works. He originated roles in several productions including: Joe in Christopher Theofanidis’s Heart of a Soldier, inspired by the events of 9/11 and under the direction of Francesca Zambello at San Francisco Opera; der Graf F in René Koering’s adaptation of Heinrich von Kleist’s novella Der Marquise von O with L’Opéra de Monte Carlo; as well as Sgt. Marcum in Huang Ruo and David Henry Hwang’s An American Soldier and Gary Tate in Douglas Pew and Dara Weinberg’s Penny, both as part of the American Opera Initiative at Washington National Opera. A seasoned concert artist, Scheunemann possesses a diverse repertoire of oratorio and recital work. Favorite engagements include Carmina Burana under the baton of Kent Nagano with the Montreal Symphony; Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem, Dvořák’s Stabat Mater, Vaughan Williams’ Dona nobis pacem, Britten’s Cantata Misericordium, and Purcell’s Come, Ye Sons of Art with The National Symphony; and Copland’s Old American Songs with Kansas City Symphony and Fairbanks Symphony Orchestra. Other concert highlights include performances of Händel’s Messiah and the Requiems of Faure and Mozart. Mr. Scheunemann is a distinguished alumnus of the world-renowned Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program at Washington National Opera. He was featured in a variety of roles including Schaunard in La Bohème, Masetto in Don Giovanni under the baton of Plácido Domingo, Marco in Gianni Schicchi, Larry Landau in Sophie’s Choice, and a commissioned work by Marvin Hamlisch with Plácido Domingo and Kristin Chenoweth at the Washington National Opera Golden Gala.Awards to Mr. Scheunemann’s credit include the Washington National Opera Artist of the Year, the third-place winner in Plácido Domingo’s Operalia, and Sara Tucker Study Grant from the Richard Tucker Foundation.
 

Katherine Whyte – Soprano
Countess

Katherine Whyte has performed on opera and concert stages across her native Canada, the United States and Europe. Opera Today has hailed her for her “keen artistic sensibility” while the San Francisco Classical Voice has praised her “her glamorous, vibrato-rich voice”.  Last season included her debut with the Dallas Opera as Pousette in Manon, a return to the Metropolitan Opera Company for their production of Rigoletto, the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro with Opera Saratoga, and concerts with the Kaohsiung Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestra of China’s National Opera at the Meet in Beijing Arts Festival. The 2016-2017 season included her return to the Metropolitan Opera for productions of Jenufa and Rigoletto, a debut with the Edmonton Symphony for Handel’s Messiah, Fauré’s Requiem with Manhattan Concert Productions at Carnegie Hall, and her debut with the Qingdao Symphony Orchestra in China. This season sees her return to the Metropolitan Opera for Parsifal as well as appearing in concert with the Mountain View International Festival of Song in Calgary, Alberta. Ms. Whyte’s 2014-2015 season included returns to the Metropolitan Opera Company as Brigitta in Iolanta and Canadian Opera Company as Iris in Semele at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Additionally, she was a recitalist with the Rising Star Recital series with the Metropolitan Opera Company and the Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional in Beethoven's 9th Symphony, sang the Countess in the Princeton Festival’s production of Le nozze di Figaro, and gave a concert at the Canadian Embassy in Beijing to celebrate 45 years of diplomatic relations between Canada and China. Her performances during the 2013-14 season included her Vancouver Opera debut as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Beethoven’s Mass in C Major and Stravinsky’s Pulcinella with the Houston Symphony, Carmina Burana with the National Chorale, Mozart’s Requiem with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, and Handel’s Messiah with the New Choral Society. Ms. Whyte made her debut with Canadian Opera Company in the 2011-2012 Season in the title role of Iphigénie en Tauride and returned the same season as Iris in Semele. Following her Metropolitan Opera debut in 2007 in Strauss’ Die ägyptische Helena, she has returned to the company for productions of The GamblerThe Enchanted Island, Two Boys, and Parsifal. Her other recent operatic appearances include Gilda in Rigoletto with English National Opera, the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro with Virginia Opera and Opera Hamilton, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte with Michigan Opera Theatre, Euridice in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice with Atlanta Opera, and Iphis in Handel’s Jephta with Opéra National de Bordeaux.  Ms. Whyte’s appearances on the concert stage include Mozart’s Requiem and Handel’s Messiah with the Houston Symphony, Neilsen’s Symphony No. 3 with the San Francisco Symphony, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the National Chorale and Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Mozart’s Mass in C-minor with the Vancouver Symphony, Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem with the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Costa Rica, Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the Colorado Symphony, and Handel’s Messiah with the National Symphony Orchestra. The winner of the 2007 Alice Tully Recital Competition, Ms. Whyte made her Carnegie Hall debut in Solo recital at Weill Hall in 2008.
 

CHRISTINE TAYLOR PRICE – Soprano
Susanna

Soprano Christine Taylor Price, from Tulsa, Oklahoma, is currently in the Artist Diploma in Opera Studies (ADOS) program of the Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts at the Juilliard School, where she also earned a Master of Music in Vocal Performance in 2016. ADOS is an intensive two-year advanced studies program for highly gifted and experienced singers at the post-Master’s level, led by mentor and lead teacher Stephen Wadsworth. In 2017, Ms. Price was the soprano soloist in Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with the Juilliard Orchestra at Alice Tully Hall conducted by Edward Gardner of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Norway. She was featured in the NYFOS sponsored ‘Caramoor’s Vocal Rising Star’ production and at Merkin Concert Hall, with Steven Blier accompanying. This past spring, Ms. Price was live-streamed in a Master Class at Juilliard with Emmanuel Villaume. In April, she sang Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro at Opera in Williamsburg, Jorge Parodi conducting. She was a 2017 Gerdine Young Artist at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and made a role debut as the Governess in The Turn of the Screw at Opera Columbus, directed by Stephen Wadsworth. Christine was also a soloist in the live-streamed master class with Metropolitan Opera Maestro Fabio Luisi at Juilliard.Ms. Price performed the title role of Pamina in Juilliard’s production of Die Zauberflöte, conducted by David Stern and directed by Mary Birnbaum. In May 2016, she proudly made her Carnegie Hall debut as soloist with the Cecelia Chorus of New York, Mark Shapiro conducting. She also sang Bastienne in Bastien und Bastienne at the San Diego Mainly Mozart Festival with the Mainly Mozart Festival Orchestra, Michael Francis, conductor.  In 2015-16, Ms. Price was soprano soloist in Bach’s Magnificat as part of the Music Before 1800 series, accompanied by the Juilliard 415 Orchestra, conducted by Richard Egarr. Additional credits include soloist in Music Sacra’s Songs of the Divine: a capella Masterworks including the Deutsche Motette under the baton of Maestro Kent Tritle at St. John The Divine Cathedral, and featured soloist in Joyce Di Donato’s livestreamed master class at the Juilliard School.  2014-2015 accomplishments include Songfest at Alice Tully Hall, curated by the Marcus Institute, accompanied by Juilliard Artistic Director and pianist Brian Zeger, featuring music set to the texts of Charles Baudelaire. Ms. Price sang Lucia in Britten´s The Rape of Lucretia at the Juilliard School, was a featured soloist in Argento’s Six Elizabethan Songs with the New World Symphony, as well as soprano soloist in Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the New York Philharmonic’s Young People’s Concert at Avery Fischer Hall. By special invitation she sang in legendary soprano Renata Scotto’s master class for the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program at the Metropolitan Opera. In summer 2015, Christine was a studio artist at Wolf Trap Opera performing Lucien in Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles and covering the role of Susanna in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro. Christine Taylor Price earned her Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the Manhattan School of Music, where she sang the title roles in the Manhattan Summer Voice Festival Production of Cavalli’s La Calisto and the Manhattan School of Music Senior Opera production of La Doriclea. In 2012, She made her Alice Tully Hall debut as the soprano soloist in Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with the Juilliard pre-college orchestra conducted by Adam Glaser. A graduate of the Juilliard Pre-College Division, she studies voice with Edith Wiens. Previous teachers include Pamela Armstrong, Lorraine Nubar, Ashley Putnam, and Joan Patenaude-Yarnell. Upcoming: Zerlina in Don Giovanni and The Rose in The Little Prince at Tulsa Opera in 2019.
 

LISL WANGERMANN - Soprano
Barbarina

Lisl Wangermann is a first-year student at Yale from Dallas, TX. She attended Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, and she is now majoring in music. She has previously played Amahl in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Yum-Yum in The Mikado, Lauretta in Gianni Schicci, and Luigia in Viva La Mamma. She has also been in the chorus of Donizetti's Elisir D'Amore, Mozart's The Magic Flute, Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel, and Rodgers & Hammerstein's Oklahoma!   Lisl would like to thank her voice teacher, Janna Baty, and everyone at the NSO, for providing her with this amazing opportunity!

Musician Auditions

The Norwalk Symphony is holding auditions on April 25 and 26, 2018 from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the Norwalk Concert Hall in Norwalk City Hall, 125 East Avenue, Norwalk, CT for the following positions:

  • Concertmaster - Position includes doing bowings for 1st and 2nd violins
  • Assistant Concertmaster 
  • Principal, Bass
  • Substitutes for all sections!

Audition requirements include:

  • A concerto movement of your choice
  • Selections from audition repertoire

All musicians are part-time and hired based on programming requirements and dates for the season.  

Interested applicants should send an updated resume and a preferred audition date and time to info@norwalksymphony.org, and we will do our best to accommodate your request.  The repertoire list will be sent along with your audition time. 

Norwalk Symphony's Holiday Concert “BACH TO POPS” offers Choral Music, Dance, and Season Favorites

The Norwalk Symphony Orchestra and friends have planned a joyous holiday extravaganza this year. Timed perfectly for a family event – 5 p.m. on Saturday December 16th.

The concert opens with the sound of timpani and trumpets announcing a suite from Bach’s Christmas Oratorio. The featured chorus is the Mendelssohn Choir of Connecticut with guest alto soloist Blythe Gaissert. The next part of the program is ballet, with young members of the New England Academy of Dance performing Fauré’s Pavane and Tchaikovsky’s Dance of the Snowflakes. The concert concludes with a round of holiday favorites, including Leroy Anderson’s Sleigh Ride, Lucas Richman’s Hanukkah Medley - and in keeping with an NSO tradition – everyone joining in with the Halleluiah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah.

The evening marks Music Director Jonathan Yates' sixth season of presenting innovative Holiday programs to the Norwalk area. For three years running, he led the orchestra - and the audience - in a sing along rendition of Handel’s Messiah. Last year for the first time he included dance to the program with a suite from The Nutcracker.

For the Christmas Oratorio, NSO welcomes back The Mendelssohn Choir of Connecticut under the direction of Carole Ann Maxwell. Audiences will remember their precision singing in the NSO’s 2013 production of Carmen. Blythe Gaissert, the soloist for the Bach suite, has been described by critics as follows: “her voice is strong, supple, almost buttery;” also as “having the voice and the personality to match.”

The concert takes place at the historic Norwalk Concert Hall at 125 East Avenue, where the NSO has performed for over three quarters of a century. Individual tickets, which range from $10 for students to $50 for the best seats can be purchased online or by calling the office at 203 956-6771.

(Not) Just for Kids Music Program: "Celebrate with Horns - Brass!"

The Norwalk Symphony presents the second program in its (Not) Just For Kids series on December 8 and 9.  From toots to trumpeting, our Celebrate with Horns - Brass! program is fun for kids and for grown-ups alike. Musicians from the Norwalk Symphony show how animal horns evolved into the brass instruments that now form part of the modern orchestra. Because of their varied sizes and valves, different brasses instruments can produce vastly different sounds and rhythms. Our engaging one-hour show and play program will finish with a brass "petting zoo”. Here, youngsters get to make their own sounds on brass instruments.

The music presented on this program will include excerpts from our Joys of the Season - Bach to Pops main series concert, which is on December 16th at 5 p.m. at Norwalk Concert Hall.

The Norwalk Symphony presents four sessions of Celebrate with Horns - Brass!   The first will be at City Hall Norwalk City Hall on Friday, December 8th at 4:30 p.m. (limited seating call 202 956-6771 to reserve). The next three will be at local libraries on Saturday, December 9th: Norwalk Public Library at 11 a.m,; New Canaan Public Library at 1 p.m.; and, Wilton Library at 3 p.m.

Funding for this program is provided by the New Canaan Community Foundation, Ruth Kraus Foundation and donors of the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra.

(Not) Just For Kids: Free Music Program "One Big Family – Orchestra!" this weekend

The Norwalk Symphony's (Not) Just For Kids series opens its 2017-18 season on Saturday October 28 with One Big Family - Orchestra!  This fun, free program shows how the four instrument families perform together and how each is a unique facet of an orchestra! (Not) Just For Kids demonstrates the range of sounds and how musicians produce notes and tones, that together create a symphony. Music played will include themes from NSO’s upcoming Musical Revolutionaries concert on November 4. The hour-long program ends with youngsters given the chance to try out instruments and make their own music. NSO Executive Director Louis Pietig is enthusiastic, “This is a great way to introduce music from the Norwalk Symphony into the surrounding communities, and reach a new and appreciative audience.”

One Big Family includes Norwalk Symphony Orchestra musicians sharing how, like in human families, the instruments in a particular family are related. They are often made of the same types of materials, look similar, and produce sound in comparable ways. Some are larger and some are smaller, just as parents and children are different sizes with higher and lower voices. Each of the four families (strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion) have members with specific traits.

NSO is excited that (Not) Just For Kids will begin a special Afterschool Program at Norwalk City Hall on Friday October 27 at 4pm for students from the Carver Center and Norwalk Housing Authority. If you would like to attend on Friday please call 203 956-6771 as space is limited.

Norwalk Symphony’s (Not) Just For Kids program One Big Family will be Saturday October 28 for the public at three locations: Norwalk Public Library, at 11am; New Canaan Public Library at 1pm, and Wilton Library at 3pm. Funding for this program is provided by the New Canaan Community Foundation, the Ruth Krauss Foundation, and donors of the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra.

For Immediate Release - Norwalk Symphony Board Welcomes Four New Members

For the past 78 years, the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra and its Board of Directors have been an integral part of the local community. For the 2017-2018 Season, the Board is pleased to welcome four new members to its ranks. “We now have 21 members, all of whom play an active role” said Chris Bell, Board President. “We are thrilled to have these four new members join us, and we look to expand our ranks even further in the coming years.”

Chris McCormack is no stranger to the Norwalk Symphony, having played in the viola section since 1981. He is also President of the Housatonic Community College Foundation. His regular “day job” is in environmental law and litigation with Pullman and Comley. Chris holds a BA in Music from Yale, an MA in Musicology from the Eastman School of Music, and a JD degree from Fordham School of Law.

Georgia von Schmidt is actually a returning member of the Board, having previously served from 2005 to 2008. Georgia grew up in Norwalk and played with the Norwalk Youth Symphony before attending Wayne State University. Her JD degree is from New York Law School and her Darien-based practice specializes in wills and estates, as well as in family, small business, and real estate law. Georgia served on the Darien Zoning Board of Appeals for 20 years.

Eva Toft is also a returning NSO Board member, having chaired the Special Events Committee in years past. She is a licensed real estate broker, an interior design consultant and an Adjunct Lecturer in the home design business at Fairfield University. Eva majored in International Business and French at the University of Uppsala in Sweden and has studied at the New York School of Interior Design, Fairfield University, and at Norwalk Community College.

Robert Bourguignon moved to Norwalk from New York in 2008 with his husband, Brandon. They immediately began attending Norwalk Symphony concerts and having long supported the New York Philharmonic, were delighted to find a symphony orchestra here in town. Robert practices law in New York with Troutman Sanders LLP., and Brandon volunteers with the Family Re-Entry/Champions Mentoring Program in Bridgeport. Robert’s love of classical music began when he was ten and acquired the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra's "Hooked on Classics."

Welcome to all!