Musical Chairs Chamber Ensemble Performs Works by De Falla, Debussy, More 3/31

Musical Chairs Chamber Ensemble Performs Works by De Falla, Debussy, More 3/31

Musical Chairs Chamber Ensemble, Inc. (MCCE) presents the third concert in its 2011-12 residency at The Staten Island Museum on Saturday, March 31, 2012 at 8pm.  The evening features works by MCCE's 2011-12 composer-in-residence Andrew Rosciszewski, MCCE's Composer Search Finalist 2012 Elizabeth Nonemaker, Claude Debussy, Manuel De Falla, Alan Hovhaness, Henryk Gorecki and Francis Poulenc performed in a cabaret-style setting by MCCE members Tamara Keshecki (flute), Amanda Romano (harp), Elizabeth McCullough (soprano) and Wen-Yi Lo (piano). The performance will be livestreamed from via Justin.TV and MCCE will field questions during via Twitter and Facebook.  

Wine, coffee and desserts will be available for purchase.   

The Staten Island Museum

75 Stuyvesant Place

Staten Island, New York


Tickets:  $15; $12 for Museum members; $5 for students (22 and under with ID)

For further information, call 718-907-3488, email or visit  

On the Program: 

Impromptu by Andrew Rosciszewski, MCCE Composer-in-Residence
Duet for Flute and Piano by Elizabeth Nonemaker, MCCE Composer Search Finalist 2012
Seven Spanish Folk Songs by Manuel De Falla 
Danses by Claude Debussy
The Garden of Adonis by Alan Hovhaness
Good Night by Henryk Gorecki
Chansons d'Orkenise & Voyage a Paris from Banalities; and A sa Guitare by Francis Poulenc

Notes on the Program

Impromptu by Andrew Rosciszewski 

"Impromptu – it's an older piece. One of my first pieces that I completed and it also very clearly demonstrates what I was listening to at the time.  It is very heavily influenced by Rachmaninoff, Chopin, Debussy and Liszt.

The big, heavy triplet-y section is my Rachmaninoff phase and the cadenzas are very Liszt.  Not that this piece is anywhere near as good as what they wrote.  The opening idea does return at the end to close the piece and it ends kind of on an unresolved note."  

Duet for Flute and Piano by Elizabeth Nonemaker  

"Duet for Flute and Piano was originally written in 2008 and revised in 2011.  It began as an experiment in pandiatonic harmony, the success of which may be debated – most of the time we seem to be noodling between the worlds of C minor, Db major, and F minor.  The flute writing was meant to highlight these harmonic shifts while still providing a memorable and lyrical line.  But it is never my intention that a piece remain solely in the theoretical realm; I wish also to create a convincing dramatic argument on top of any techniques I explore.  I hope that this dramatic aspect, too, is apparent in Duet, as it meanders from a calm, pensive mood in the beginning into an edgier and more outspoken personality by the end."

Seven Spanish Folk Songs by Manuel De Falla

Manuel De Falla assembled his set of Seven Spanish Folk Songs after returning to Spain after spending seven years in Paris in 1914.  Inspired by the French's fascination with authentic Spanish music, De Falla dedicated this piece to Ida Godebska, who hosted regular Sunday gatherings for Parisian musicians and artists.  De Falla originally arranged for the songs to be published in Paris and to include French translation. However since the songs represented De Falla's journey back to Spain, he chose to debut the piece in Madrid in 1915.  Turning established folk melodies into art music is a delicate task, requiring a balance of faithfulness to the source material and freedom to create something original; De Falla carries out this task with grace as the song has such wide appeal to this day.

The Garden of Adonis by Alan Hovhaness

Alan Hovhaness is an American of Scottish/Armenian descent. As a composer he is astonishingly prolific: for instance, he has written well over 50 symphonies, and The Garden of Adonis, which was written as long ago as 1971, is his Op. 245!  Much of his output is influenced by Indian and far Eastern music, and this is evident in parts of The Garden of Adonis. Western music of the renaissance is also a strong influence.  The title of the piece is taken from The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser; The Garden of Adonis is a garden of rebirth where souls appear as flowers.

Good Night by Henryk Gorecki

A Polish composer of contemporary classical music, Henryk Gorecki composed Good Night in 1990 making it one of his later works. Though his earlier work in the late 1950s and 1960s were characterised by a dissonant modernism influenced by Nono, Stockhausen and contemporaries Penderecki and Serocki, he moved in the mid 1970's towards a 'pure' sacred minimalist sound.  The spiritualism of Good Night is evident; the piece has often been used as a requiem, or as a composition for the dead.  

Chansons d'Orkenise & Voyage a Paris from Banalities; and A sa Guitare by Francis Poulenc

During one of the darkest periods of the Second World War, Francis Poulenc turned again to the verses of Guillaume Apollinaire. This poet numbered Picasso and Braque among his friends, and coined the word "cubism." One of the most important poets in France in the early twentieth century, he helped shape the new direction of French literature, moving it away from the preciousness and indirect glances of symbolism toward a more robust, urbanized exploration of life, especially the life of Poulenc's beloved birthplace, Paris. Voyage à Paris is an example of Poulenc at his most carnivalesque, with its bawdy, clownish introduction and its vocal line that can only be called a tune even though it is not without chromatic quirkiness. 

Tamara Keshecki, MCCE Founder and Flutist

Tamara Keshecki, flutist, founded the award-winning Musical Chairs Chamber Ensemble, Inc (MCCE) in 2004. As MCCE's Artistic Director she has led the ensemble to receive awards from the National Endowment for the Arts (2010); Chamber Music America (2009); and "Best Classical Music Act" (2007 AWE Reader's Poll.)  Ms. Keshecki has performed as a featured soloist for numerous series and festivals including Solar One Music Festival, New Jersey Pops, Messiah Festival of the Arts and the Holy Child Concert Series. She holds a Master of Music degree in flute performance from New jersey City University and a Bachelor of Music from New York University.

Amanda Romano, Harpist

A native New Yorker, harpist Amanda Romano has performed at Alice Tully Hall, Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, the Kauffman Center, Ground Zero, Gracie Mansion, the National Arts Club, and CAMI Hall. Ms. Romano debuted as a soloist at the age of 15 in Alice Tully Hall. As an ensemble performer, Ms. Romano plays with the Boston Philharmonic and Atlantic Symphony. She has also performed with other orchestras throughout New England including the Bangor Symphony, New England Philharmonic, Cape Ann Symphony and Symphony by the Sea. Ms. Romano has recently appeared as soloist with the Freisinger Chamber Orchestra, Northeastern Orchestra and the New England Conservatory Jordan Winds. She has also performed in Alice Tully Hall (Lincoln Center) and Gracie Mansion as a soloist. As a 2010 Harp Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center, Ms. Romano was privileged to work with John Williams, Michael Tilson Thomas, Raphael Fruhbeck de Burgos, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Robert Spano and Oliver Knussen among others. Ms. Romano has always had a passion for teaching. Graduating the New England Conservatory with a concentration in Music-in -Education, Ms. Romano keeps a busy teaching schedule. As well as keeping private students, Ms. Romano co-created with fellow harpist Kathryn Wigger a harp ensemble program in the Boston Public School system. This unique program acquainted high school students with the harp and introduced them to playing with each other in an ensemble setting. She is on faculty at the Four Strings Academy, Brookline Music School, Dana Hall School of Music and Phillips Exeter Academy (adjunct). Ms. Romano received her Masters degree at Boston University and Bachelors degree at the New England Conservatory of music studying with former Boston Symphony Orchestra harpist Ann Hobson Pilot. She has also studied with Franziska Huhn and Marian Shaffer.

Wen Yi-Lo, Pianist

A native of Taiwan, pianist Wen Yi-Lo, received the Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from The Juilliard School as a scholarship student of Oxana Yablonskaya. She began her musical training at the age of six and won numerous national competitions in her country. Selected by the Government of Taiwan to further her studies under the Child Prodigy Music Study Abroad Program, Ms. Lo came to the United States in 1981 to enter the Pre-College Division of Juilliard where she studied with Leonard Eisner. Subsequently Ms. Lo has been a top prize winner in various International competitions, including the William Kapell International Piano Competition, the Citta di Marsala International Piano Competition and the V. Bellini International Chamber Music Competition in Italy. In 1990 Ms. Lo was presented in her New York Debut at Carnegie's Weill Recital Hall as Winner of Artists International's Young Artist Debut Piano Award. Since then she has given an abundance of recitals in the United States, the Far East and Europe. Ms. Lo has also been featured on WQXR's Young Artists Showcase in New York. Recently Ms. Lo was awarded the Certificate of Excellence for her extraordinary dedication and achievement in the field of piano teaching by the International Concert Alliance. She was also awarded another Certificate of Excellence for presenting students to perform at Carnegie Hall in the American Protégé Music Festival and in the Crescendo International Music Competition. She has been a faculty member for the Academy of the Arts at CSI and at Wagner College since 1993.

Elizabeth McCullough, Soprano 

Elizabeth McCullough, soprano, has sung leading roles with the National Opera Company, Duke Opera Festival, American Chamber Opera Company and Liederkranz Opera. She was a finalist in the Bel Canto Foundation Awards and the American Music Recital Competitions and holds B.M. and M.M. degrees from the University of Texas. Ms. McCullough has performed many oratorio and solo recitals throughout the New York City area, premiering new works, songs by women composers and standard repertory. She has given concerts of opera and musical theater works for Sagafjord and Vistafjord cruises and was a guest artist in the New York Times sponsored Young Performers' Series in Bryant and Battery Parks. In addition to being featured in performances of Luce's Belle of Amherst singing Copland's Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson, she was a Guest Artist at the first U.S. Rachmaninoff Festival Retreat. Ms. McCullough has been on the faculties of Wagner College, Greenwich House Music School, Brooklyn Conservatory, and William Patterson College. Elizabeth is a member of the New York Singing Teachers Association and St. Cecilia of S.I.

Musical Chairs Chamber Ensemble Members: 

Tamara Keshecki – flute

Clarice Jensen – cello

Maria Antonia Garcia – piano

Joseph Kubera – piano

Wen-Yi Lo – piano

J. Brunka – bassist

Ann Cecil-Sterman – flute

Anthony Turner – baritone

Sandra Pace – organ

Elizabeth McCullough – soprano

Lucille Corwin – viola

Amanda Romano – harp