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Musical Chairs Chamber Ensemble Presents All String Quartet Program, 2/11


Musical Chairs Chamber Ensemble, Inc. (MCCE) continues its 13th Season, Revolution #13, with an All String Quartet Program on Saturday, February 11th at 8pm at the Staten Island Museum. The concert features two world premieres by Andrew Rosciszewski and works by Shostakovich and Górecki performed by Izabella Liss Cohen, violin; Mikhail Kuchuk, violin; Lucy Corwin, viola; Timothy Leonard, cello.

Tickets to all concerts can be purchased at or at the door for $15, $12 for museum members or $5 for students with valid ID. All concerts will be livestreamed from our website.


Shostakovich String Quartet no. 8 in c minor, Op. 110
Rosciszewski String Quartet no. 1 World Premiere
Rosciszewski String Quartet no. 2 World Premiere
Górecki String Quartet no. 2 "Quasi una Fantasia," Op. 64

Saturday, February 11, 2017 at 8pm
Staten Island Museum
1000 Richmond Terrace, Building "A"

MCCE is currently the chamber ensemble-in-residence at the Staten Island Museum & has been since 2004.

MCCE is Staten Island's only performing ensemble to receive NEA awards.

Hailed by the Staten Island Advance as "concert bliss," "exhilaration," "sonic perfection" & "breaking the rules to bring the love of classical music to the next generation."

2017 Concerts:

Saturday, February 11, 2017 at 8pm
All String Quartet Program
Staten Island Museum

Shostakovich - String Quartet no. 8
Rosciszewski - String Quartets no. 1 & 2
Gorecki - String Quartet no. 2

Saturday, March 4, 2017 at 8pm
Vocal Concert
Staten Island Museum

Program: TBA

Saturday, April 8, 2017 at 8pm
Music for Three
Staten Island Museum

Program: TBA

Friday, June 9, 2017 at 7pm

Musical Chairs Chamber Ensemble
Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art
338 Lighthouse Avenue
Staten Island, New York

Featuring a commission by MCCE's Annual Composer Search Winner & a special arrangement by Andrew Rosciszewski.

Notes on the Program:

Dmitri Shostakovich's String Quartet no. 8 in C minor (Op. 110) was written in three days (12-14 July 1960). The piece was written shortly after two traumatic events in the life of the composer and according to the score, it is dedicated "to the victims of fascism and the war."

The first movement opens with the DSCH motif which was Shostakovich's musical signature. The motif is used in every movement of this quartet, and is the basis of the faster theme of the third movement.

The work is filled with quotations of other pieces by Shostakovich: the first movement quotes his Symphony no. 1 and Symphony no. 5; the second movement uses a Jewish theme first used by Shostakovich in his Piano Trio no. 2; the third movement quotes the Cello Concerto no. 1; and the fourth movement quotes the 19th century revolutionary song "Tormented by Grievous Bondage" and the aria Seryozha, my love from Shostakovich's opera, Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District. The fifth contains a play upon a motif also from Lady Macbeth.

Henryk Górecki began Quasi una fantasia (String Quartet no. 2) in his home city of Katowice on his 57th birthday, 6 December 1990 (St. Miko?aj's Day), and finished the score three months later on 19 March 1991. It was commissioned by the Beigler Trust and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York and is dedicated to the Kronos Quartet.

During the quartet, certain features become increasingly significant, even though their appearances may be spasmodic. A rocking motif lies behind many of the ideas: sometimes it is a whole tone, sometimes a minor third, sometimes a combination of the two. A tonal continuum of E natural is established in the first movement, of E and G in the second, and of E and C (alternating with F and C) in the third. And although the finale breaks with this fundamental scheme, Górecki does return to the quartet's starting point in the coda.

Andrew Rosciszewski's two String Quartets were written in 1999 & 2000, respectively. They were composed during a period of youthful excitement and the influence of Shostakovich, Górecki and Bartók is apparent.

Andrew Rosciszewski, Interim Executive Director, Composer & Bassist MCCE Interim Executive Director Andrew Rosciszewski, composer and bassist, is known for his genre-bending compositions that fuse art music with rock in a colorful, eclectic style that reflects his passion and diversity of a wide musical palette. Influenced by composers such as Shostakovich, Bartók and Górecki, Andrew is intrigued and inspired by the folk music of his Polish heritage.

Rosciszewski's music has been performed by the Vermont Philharmonic, under the baton of Music Director Lou Kosma (MET Opera Orchestra), Evening Rhapsody Wind Trio with the commission of "Fantastic Adventure" as well as Musical Chairs Chamber Ensemble, Inc. (MCCE) with whom he has built a long standing relationship. A recipient of the New Music USA Met Life Creative Connections grant as well as several ASCAPLus awards, his music has been performed at numerous venues including the Barre Opera House, New York University, Staten Island Museum, amongst others.

Past events include a residency for Musical Chairs Chamber Ensemble's 2011-2012 season. An EP of original rock tunes "Humble Genius - EP" joins his recording of original classical compositions "Fantasie for Rock Band & Orchestra" and the previously recorded release "frail'ty" by his progressive-metal band Eyes On Infinity.

Rosciszewski is an award winning member of ASCAP and holds a BA from New Jersey City University where he studied composition with Dr. Stelio Dubbiosi and double bass with Lou Kosma (MET Opera Orchestra).

Tamara Keshecki, MCCE Flutist, Founder & Artistic Director Emeritus

Tamara Keshecki, flutist, is the Director and Founder of Musical Chairs Chamber Ensemble, Inc., a non-profit arts organization in NYC. As Artistic Director of MCCE, Ms. Keshecki is the creative, producing force that drives all of MCCE's programming. She is responsible for the creation of numerous commissions and premieres including from composers Andrew Sterman (Philip Glass Ensemble), Sean Friar (Prix de Rome), Elizabeth Nonemaker, Laura Kaminsky and Mick Rossi (Paul Simon). Ms. Keshecki deeply believes in a community-based approach to the arts. It's this approach that has led MCCE to create The Roaring Chorus, a free choral program for seniors in partnership with the NYPL; provide afterschool music instruction for elementary and intermediate school students; perform a free, four-part concert series annually for developmentally disabled individuals; to support young and emerging composers via premieres and commission through MCCE's Annual Composer Search competition; and create MCCE's Annual Open Air Music Festival.

A previous Artist-in-Residence at Cobham International School in London, England, Ms. Keshecki has taught masterclasses at the International School of Monagas in Maturin, Venezuela and Saint Maur's International School in Yokohama, Japan. Keshecki was the principal flutist for the Austrian American Mozart Ensemble in Salzburg, Austria (2001). She is a member of Angelic Ensemble and has performed with the Ensemble at venues as diverse as St. Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, St. Joseph's Seminary and for Cardinal Timothy Dolan. As a freelance flutist, Ms. Keshecki has performed at venues as diverse as Symphony Space, Solar One Music Festival, Oheka Castle, Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, The New York Historical Society, and CultureFest in Bryant Park. Keshecki has been on the faculties of the Wagner College Academy of the Arts, SI Jewish Community Center, and was the Classical Music Artist-in-Residence for the National JCC Maccabi ArtsFest (2007). She is featured on the recent CD "Fantasie for Rock Band and Orchestra" by Andrew Rosciszewski. Ms. Keshecki has been a guest lecturer for many organizations including New York University, Arts & Business Council of NY, Wagner College, St. John's University, Bayonne Public Schools (staff development), and researched and presented the keynote speech at the 2010 Staten Island Legislative Breakfast for the Arts entitled "Arts Funding Trends on Staten Island and the Economic Impact Non-Profit Arts Have on Local Communities." Keshecki holds a Bachelor of Music from New York University and a Master of Music in flute performance from NJ City University.

Musical Chairs Chamber Ensemble Described as "sonic perfection" (AWE, 2007) and "breaking the rules to bring the love of classical music to the next generation" (Ben Johnson, SI Advance, 2007), Musical Chairs Chamber Ensemble (MCCE) is a professional classical chamber music ensemble that has been contributing to the classical music landscape with concerts that have brought audiences closer to the beauty of chamber music since 2004. With wide-ranging presentations of both classical and contemporary chamber music (including commissions and premieres), we aim to provide audiences of all ages with authentic, enjoyable, artistically excellent, and educational music experiences for low, subsidized ticket prices of $5 to $20.

MCCE has implemented the creation of multiple commissions and premieres including works by featured composers: Laura Kaminsky, Andrew Sterman, Dr. Mathew Fuerst, Mick Rossi, Octavio Vazquez, Sanchie Bobrow and Andrew Rosciszewski.

MCCE's 2016-17 Concert Season and related programs are made possible, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; additional support provided, in part, by NYC Councilmember Deborah Rose, Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art and the Staten Island Museum.

Izabella Liss Cohen, Violinist

An active recitalist, chamber and orchestral musician, violinist Izabella Liss Cohen, has concertized extensively throughout the northeastern United States, Latin America, Russia, and her native Georgia. She has performed with the Philharmonia Virtuosi, Westchester Chamber, Jupiter Symphony, Staten Island Symphony and Philharmonic, and Bar Harbor Festival orchestras as well as the Musical Chairs Chamber Ensemble.

A past recipient of the Performing Arts Grant sponsored by the Council on the Arts and Humanities for Staten Island, she made her New York recital debut in 2000 at Carnegie's Weill Recital Hall as the winner of Artists International Auditions. For the past decade, Izabella ran a strings program at Kent Place School in Summit, NJ and maintained her own private studio. Her achievements in string pedagogy have been recognized by New York's Concert Festival. Izabella is a graduate of Brooklyn College and Manhattan School of Music where she studied with Burton Kaplan, Masao Kawasaki and Itzhak Perlman.

Mikhail Kuchuk, Violinist

Violinist Mikhail Kuchuk graduated from the Academy of Music in Odessa, Ukraine and completed his Master of Music and Doctorate of Music Degrees in Freiburg, Germany. His teachers have included Alexander Stanko, Wolfgang Marschner, and Felix Gottlieb. Mr. Kuchuk was a winner of the Ukrainian National Violin Competition in 1990, Carl Flesch Violin Competition (Hungary) in 1993, and the Baden Wurtemberg Violin Competition (Germany) in 1996.

Other awards included receiving the David Oistrakh Scholarship in Odessa, Ukraine and the Rosenberg Foundation's Scholarship in Freiburg, Germany. Mr. Kuchuk was a concertmaster of Odessa Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra where he toured as a soloist in Germany, Italy, and France. He also held a full-time position at the Odessa Opera House. Since 1999, Mr. Kuchuk has been a member of the Forte String Quartet, quartet-in-residence at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music.

He performs regularly in the tri-state area and throughout the Unites States. Since 2004, Mr. Kuchuk has been a member of Tito Castro Tango Quartet and has participated in concerts with Anna Saeki in New York, Hawaii, Korea, and Japan. Mr. Kuchuk appeared as solo violinist on Broadway in the production of Forever Tango and has appeared as a soloist with the Manhattan Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, the Westchester Chamber Orchestra, St Peter's by the Sea Symphony Orchestra, and the Bachanalia Chamber Orchestra. Presently he is a concertmaster of the New Jersey Philharmonic Orchestra and St. Peters by the Sea Symphony Orchestra, as well as a member of Adelphi University Orchestra, Edison Symphony, Princeton Symphony and Garden State Philharmonic. As an educator, Mr. Kuchuk teaches violin at Wharton Music Center and maintains a large private studio.

Lucy Corwin, Violist

Lucy Corwin, violist, is currently a member of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. An active freelancer in the Greater New York Area, she has been principal violist and soloist with the New York Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, the Brooklyn Chamber Orchestra, and the Staten Island Philharmonic, and toured with the New York Philharmonic throughout Europe, Asia, and South America. When living in Italy, she was principal violist of the Orchestra dell'Accademia Santa Cecilia in Rome and participated in the Spoleto Festival.

As a chamber music performer and teacher, she is a member of the Musical Chairs Chamber Ensemble and the Viva Voce String Quartet, coaches violin and viola students of the Greater Newark Youth Orchestra and the MANY (Musical Advantage for Newark Area Youth), and has worked with members of the Interschool and Metropolitan Youth Orchestras. She has been a teacher of orchestral music at Tottenville High School, Staten Island, and Wagner College.

Dr. Corwin holds a Ph.D. in Musicology from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Barnard College and a Master's degree from Columbia University.

Timothy Leonard, Cellist

Timothy Leonard, cellist and educator, maintains a commitment to engaging audiences through emotionally and intellectually satisfying performances. His performance career has taken him to the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina, the cow pastures of Texas, and throughout China. In addition, he has shared the stage with musicians ranging from Peter Serkin to rapper Jay-Z. He plays regularly with Con Vivo Music, Musical Chairs Chamber Ensemble, and Artists by Any Other Name; recent performances include concerts at Barclays Center and NJPAC.

He completed his undergraduate training at Mason Gross School of the Arts in the studio of Jonathan Spitz and is now pursuing his master's degree at the Aaron Copland School of Music, studying with Marcy Rosen.

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