April 7 – Essex Octet


Concert co-sponsored by Essex Savings Bank and Essex Financial Services

Where and When:

256 Kelsey Hill Road, Deep River, CT
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Concert begins at 3:00 pm; outer doors open at 2:00 pm; auditorium doors open at 2:30 pm.
Accessible parking, entry and seating are available.


Concert Program:

David Shifrin, clarinet
William Purvis, horn
Frank Morelli, bassoon
Ani Kavafian, violin
Ida Kavafian, violin
Steven Tenenbom, viola
Peter Wiley, cello
Timothy Cobb, double bass

Mozart Serenade for String Quintet, K. 525, “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik”

Schubert Octet in F Major, D. 803

Artist Biography:

David Shifrin, clarinet

One of only two wind players to have been awarded the Avery Fisher Prize since the award’s inception in 1974, David Shifrin is in constant demand as an orchestral soloist, recitalist and chamber music collaborator. He has appeared as soloist with leading orchestras worldwide, including the Philadelphia and Minnesota Orchestras, the Dallas, Seattle, and Houston symphony orchestras, and orchestras in Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. He has served as principal clarinetist with the Cleveland Orchestra, American Symphony Orchestra, the Honolulu and Dallas symphonies, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and New York Chamber Symphony. Mr. Shifrin has appeared in recital at such New York venues as Alice Tully Hall, Weill Recital Hall, Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, and the 92nd Street Y as well as at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. He collaborates with such distinguished ensembles and artists as the Guarneri, Tokyo, and Emerson String Quartets, Wynton Marsalis, and pianists Emanuel Ax and André Watts. An artist member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center since 1989, Shifrin served as its artistic director from 1992 to 2004. He has also been the artistic director of Chamber Music Northwest in Portland, Oregon since 1981. David Shifrin joined the faculty at the Yale School of Music in 1987 and in 2008 was appointed artistic director of the Chamber Music Society of Yale and Yale’s concert series at Carnegie Hall. He has also served on the faculties of The Juilliard School, University of Southern California, University of Michigan, Cleveland Institute of Music, and the University of Hawaii. Mr. Shifrin has recorded on Delos, DGG, Angel/EMI, Arabesque, BMG, SONY, and CRI, and has received three Grammy nominations. His recording of the Mozart Clarinet Concerto with the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra was named Record of the Year by Stereo Review.


William Purvis, French horn

William Purvis pursues a multifaceted career both in the U.S. and abroad as horn soloist, chamber musician, conductor, and educator. A passionate advocate of new music, he has participated in numerous premieres including horn concerti by Peter Lieberson, Bayan Northcott, Krzysztof Penderecki and Paul Lansky; horn trios by Poul Ruders and Paul Lansky; Sonate en Forme de Préludes by Steven Stucky; and recent premieres by Elliott Carter, Retracing II for Solo Horn and Nine by Five with the New York Woodwind Quintet. He is a member of the Yale Brass Trio, and the Triton Horn Trio, and is an emeritus member of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Mr. Purvis has been a frequent guest artist with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the Boston Chamber Music Society, and has collaborated with many of the world’s most esteemed string quartets, including the Juilliard, Tokyo, Orion, Brentano, Mendelssohn, Sibelius, Daedalus, and Fine Arts. He has recorded extensively on numerous labels including Deutsche Grammophon, Sony Classical, Naxos, Koch and Bridge. Mr. Purvis is currently Professor in the Practice of Horn and Chamber Music at the Yale School of Music, where he is also coordinator of winds and brasses, and serves as director of the Yale Collection of Musical Instruments.


Frank Morelli, bassoon

Frank Morelli, the first bassoonist awarded a Juilliard doctorate, has been a Carnegie Hall soloist nine times. He performed at the last White House State Dinner for President Clinton, is Co-principal bassoon, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and former principal, NYC Opera (27 years). Faculty positions: Juilliard, Yale, Manhattan School of Music, SUNY Stony Brook and Aaron Copland School of Music, Queens College. His 180+ recordings include MSR Classics solo CDs From the Heart, Romance and Caprice, Bassoon Brasileiro and Baroque Fireworks. Gramophone Magazine proclaimed that “Morelli’s playing is a joy to behold.” American Record Guide stated: “the bassoon playing…is a good as it gets.” Of his recent foray into the world of jazz on the CD, The OX-MO Incident with saxophonist Keith Oxman on the Capri Label, Jazz Weekly.com stated: “Morelli makes the usually unwieldy bassoon work wonders on … tunes such as “Stanger In Paradise” (and) “Happy Talk” …. [He] does wonders on the samba’d take of “Baubles, Bangles and Beads” and the team bops with delight to [Jeff] Jenkins’ ivories on a fun-filled “Surrey With The Fringe On Top.” Morelli glistens on the classical-themed “Full Moon and Empty Arms” and is elegiac on “Three For Five.”

The Orpheus CD “Shadow Dances,” featuring Frank Morelli, won a 2001 Grammy. He is also heard in the accompaniment on two Wayne Shorter Grammy winners: “Allegria” and “Emanon.” A prolific chamber musician, he has appeared at the most prestigious festivals worldwide and is a member of Windscape, quintet in residence at MSM. He compiled the landmark excerpt book, Stravinsky: Difficult Passages for Bassoon (Boosey & Hawkes) and has published numerous transcriptions (TrevCo). His landmark edition of the First Complete Weissenborn Method and Studies Op. 8, vols. 1 & 2, (Carl Fischer), is now in print. Frank Morelli plays a Leitzinger bassoon exclusively.


Ani Kavafian, violin

Violinist Ani Kavafian enjoys a prolific career as a soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. She has performed with virtually all of America’s leading orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, and many others. She is a renowned chamber musician, and has performed with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center since 1979. Her numerous solo recital engagements include performances at New York’s Carnegie and Alice Tully halls, as well as in major venues across the country.

Ani Kavafian continues her association as an artist member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center with a number of appearances in NYC and around the United States. She also serves as concertmistress of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, with whom she has recorded the Mozart Violin Concertos. She has participated in the Heifetz International Music Institute, Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, Norfok Chamber Music Festival, Great Lakes Festival, the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, and Music
from Angel Fire Festival.

Kavafian appears frequently with her sister, violinist and violist Ida Kavafian. Together they have performed with the symphonies of Detroit, Colorado, Tucson, San Antonio, and Cincinnati, and have recorded the music of Mozart and Sarasate on the Nonesuch label. They celebrated the 25th anniversary of their first performance together at Carnegie Hall in the fall of 2008 with a concert at Lincoln Center, which featured their students and colleagues. With violist Barbara Westphal and cellist Gustav Rivinius, she is a member of the Trio da Salo, and has teamed with clarinetist David Shifrin and pianist Andre-Michel Schub to form the Kavafian-Schub-Shifrin Trio, with whom she tours frequently as violinist and violist. Along with cellist, Carter Brey, she is co-artistic director of the New Jersey 5 concert chamber music series “Mostly Music.”

Kavafian has premiered and recorded a number of works written for her, including Henri Lazarof ’s Divertimento for Violin and String Orchestra with the Seattle Symphony; Tod Machover’s concerto, Forever and Ever, for computerized violin and orchestra, with the Boston Modern; and Michelle Ekizian’s Red Harvest with the Brooklyn Philharmonic. In addition, Kavafian gave the west coast premiere of Aaron Kernis’ Double Concerto for Violin and Guitar, with Sharon Isbin and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. Ani Kavafian has received the Avery Fisher Career Grant and the Young Concert Artists International Auditions award, has appeared at the White House on three separate occasions, and has been featured on many network and PBS television music specials. Her recordings can be heard on the Nonesuch, RCA, Columbia, Arabesque, and Delos labels. Kavafian and Kenneth Cooper have recorded Bach’s Six Sonatas for Violin and Fortepiano on Kleos Classics of Helicon Records. A recording of string trios by Mozart and Beethoven by the Trio da Salo has been released, also on Kleos. Mozart Piano and Violin Sonatas with pianist Jorge Federico Osario was recently released by Artek.

Born in Istanbul, Turkey of Armenian heritage, Kavafian began piano lessons at the age of three. At age nine, in the United States, she began the study of the violin with Ara Zerounian and eventually with Mischa Mischakoff. She went on to study violin at The Juilliard School with Ivan Galamian, eventually receiving a master’s degree with highest honors. Ms. Kavafian is Professor of Violin at Yale University. She plays the 1736 Muir McKenzie Stradivarius violin.


Ida Kavafian, violin

2019 marked the versatile Ida Kavafian’s 35th year and final year as Artistic Director of the acclaimed festival, Music from Angel Fire in New Mexico. Frequent artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center for over forty years and former Violinist of the renowned Beaux Arts Trio, she presently performs as a soloist, in recital, with her sister Ani, as guest with distinguished ensembles and as a faculty member at The Curtis Institute. She has premiered many new works, has toured and recorded with jazz greats Chick Corea and Wynton Marsalis as well as Fiddler/Composer Mark O’Connor, and has had a solo feature on “CBS Sunday Morning.” She premiered and recorded the concerto “Fire and Blood” by Michael Daugherty with the Detroit Symphony. She has toured and recorded with the Guarneri Quartet and performed with the Orion, Shanghai and American Quartets, all as a violist. Founder of the Bravo! Colorado festival in Vail, which she ran for ten years, co-founder of the ground breaking group TASHI more than forty years ago, Ms. Kavafian also co-founded the groups OPUS ONE and Trio Valtorna. She holds the Nina von Maltzahn Chair in Violin Studies at the Curtis Institute, where she was awarded the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching. Born in Istanbul, Turkey of Armenian parentage, she began her studies with Ara Zerounian, continued with Mischa Mischakoff, then graduated from the Juilliard School as a student of Oscar Shumsky. She was presented in her debut by Young Concert Artists with pianist Peter Serkin. Married to violist Steven Tenenbom, Ms. Kavafian has found great success in another field, the breeding, training and show­ing of prize-winning Hungarian Vizsla dogs, including the #1 Vizsla in the US in 2003 and the National Champion of 2007. More recently, she had a top ten Gold Grand Champion Vizsla for the year 2018.


Steven Tenenbom, viola

Steven Tenenbom’s impeccable style and sumptuous tone have combined to make him one of the most respected violists performing today. He has appeared as guest artist with the Guarneri and Emerson String Quartets, the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson and Beaux Arts Trios. As soloist, he has appeared with the Utah Symphony, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and the Brandenburg Ensemble. Mr. Tenenbom is the violist of the Orion String Quartet, the Quartet-in-Residence of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Mannes College of Music and the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. He is also a co-founder of the exciting piano quartet, OPUS ONE. Mr. Tenenbom is a member of the viola faculty of the Juilliard School and The Bard College Conservatory of Music. He is also is the Coordinator of String Chamber Music of the Curtis Institute of Music and was a visiting professor at the Yale School of Music. His recent recordings of the complete Beethoven quartets with the Orion Quartet are available on Koch International. Born in Phoenix, Arizona, Mr. Tenenbom’s teachers have included Max Mandel, Heidi Castleman, Milton Thomas at USC, and Michael Tree and Karen Tuttle at The Curtis Institute of Music. Married to violinist Ida Kavafian, the Tenenboms live in Connecticut where they breed, raise and show champion Vizsla purebred dogs.


Peter Wiley, cello

Cellist Peter Wiley enjoys a prolific career as a performer and teacher. He is a member of the piano quartet, Opus One, a group he co-founded in 1998 with pianist Anne-Marie McDermott, violinist Ida Kavafian and violist Steven Tenenbom. Mr. Wiley attended the Curtis Insti­tute of Music as a student of David Soyer. He joined the Pittsburgh Symphony in 1974. The following year he was appointed Principal cellist of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, a position he held for eight years. From 1987 through 1998, Mr. Wiley was cellist of the Beaux Arts Trio. In 2001 he succeeded his mentor, David Soyer, as cellist of the Guarneri Quartet. The quartet retired from the concert stage in 2009. He has been awarded an Avery Fischer Career Grant, nominated for a Grammy Award in 1998 with the Beaux Arts Trio and in 2009 with the Guarneri Quartet. Mr. Wiley participates at leading festivals including Music from Angel Fire, Chamber Music Nothwest, OK Mozart, Santa Fe, Bravo! and Bidgehampton. He continues his long association with the Marlboro Music Festival, dating back to 1971. Mr. Wiley teaches at the Curtis Institute of Music and Bard College Conservatory of Music.


Timothy Cobb, double bass

Timothy Cobb is the principal bass of the New York Philharmonic, prior to which he served as principal bass for the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. He has appeared at numerous chamber music festivals worldwide, and as a former participant in the Marlboro Music festival, has toured with the Musicians from Marlboro series. He is a faculty member of the Sarasota Music Festival, and serves as principal bass for Valery Gergiev’s World Orchestra for Peace, an invited group of musicians from around the world, from which he has earned the title UNESCO Artist for Peace. Mr.Cobb also served as principal bass for the Mostly Mozart festival orchestra and can be heard on all Met recordings after 1986, as well as on the Naxos label, in a recording of Giovanni Bottesini’s duo bass compositions with fellow bassist Thomas Martin, of London. Mr. Cobb graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music where he studied with Roger Scott. In his senior year he became a member of the Chicago Sym­phony under Sir Georg Solti. He serves as bass department chair for The Juilliard School, as well as serving on the faculties of the Manhattan School of Music, Purchase College, and Rutgers University. He also holds the title ‘Distinguished Artist in Residence’ at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida.


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Essex Winter Series
PO Box 383
Essex, CT 06426


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Our Venues:

Valley Regional High School
256 Kelsey Hill Road
Deep River, CT 06417

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Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek
55 E Kings Highway
Chester, CT 06412
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