The North/South Chamber Orchestra presents Midwinter Fest

The North/South Chamber Orchestra presents Midwinter Fest

The North/South Chamber Orchestra celebrates winter on Sunday afternoon February 19 performing a free-admission concert featuring four listener-friendly works by American composers.

Soprano Elizabeth Farnum and violinist Claudia Schaer will appear as soloists while the ensemble's founder Max Lifchitz the ensemble's founder, will bew on the podium.

The program will introduce New York City audiences to recent compositions by Arthur Gottschalk, David Maves, Lan-In Winnie Yang and Margarita Zelenaia.
The event is part of the Composers Now Festival. It will take place at the intimate and acoustically superior auditorium of Christ & St Stephen's Church (120 West 69th Street) on Manhattan's Upper West Side. The free-admission event will start at 3 PM and end around 4:30 PM. The auditorium is ADA accessible. No tickets or reservations needed.

The composers will be in attendance and will introduce their works to the audience. Composers and soloists are available for interviews and media events. They may be contacted through our office.

Since its inception in 1980, the North/South Consonance, Inc. has brought to the attention of the New York City public over 1,000 works by composers hailing from the Americas and elsewhere representing a wide spectrum of aesthetic views. Its activities are made possible in part, with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; Women's Philharmonic Advocacy; the Music Performance Trust Fund; and the generosity of numerous individual donors.


Arthur Gottschalk is active as composer and arranger for feature films, television and commercials in the Houston area. A long-time Rice University faculty member, his musical style has been described by the international press as "rapturous, argumentative, prickly and fascinatingly strange." A winner of the Charles Ives Prize of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Gottschalk's works have received multiple performances in Europe and the US.

His Imagenes de Cuba (Cuban Images) was inspired by frequent visits to the Caribbean island as well as by memories of his time as a trombonist in salsa bands. The work is in three movements: Manisero, a playful examination of an ancient peanut vendor's cry heard to this day in the plazas of old Havana; Guajira, a typically slow movement which deconstructs the unofficial national anthem of Cuba and Timba, a boisterous colloquy between the members of the ensemble displaying a panoply of salsa and pachanga rhythms.

David Maves served as Composer-in-Residence for the College of Charleston in South Carolina, for over 30 years. His catalogue includes symphonies, concertos and an opera based on Federico García Lorca's Bodas de Sangre (Blood Weddings).

His song cycle The Captive was inspired by John Donne's poem Lovers' Infinitennes. Maves states that the work is envisioned as "....the poet's lover reading the poem aloud with wonder; in awe, deeply moved, and yet perhaps a bit frustrated as conditions pile up as the poet attempts to construct an imaginary but air-tight intellectual edifice within which the lovers are inextricably bound to each other - forever." Soprano Elizabeth Farnum will appear as soloist for this work.<

Active as composer and pianist, Lan-In Winnie Yang has appeared on concert stages throughout Asia, Europe, and the United States. Trained at Oberlin, the Manhattan School and Stony Brook University, Yang serves as Music Director for the Taiwan-NY Music Guild. Her works have been performed by distinguished soloists and ensembles including pianist Gilbert Kalish and violinist Philip Setzer. Her many awards include first prizes from the Taiwan National Composition and Piano Competitions. Yang's Transfiguration is a single movement composition for solo violin and string orchestra written especially for violinist Claudia Schaer. Dramatic and powerful, the music is built around mutations of the four-note gesture heard at the outset. The demanding writing provides the soloist and ensemble with ample opportunity for technical display.

Margarita Zelenaia has received grants from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council; the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance; and the American Composers Forum. In her native Russia, her compositions have been heard as part of the Moscow Autumn Festival; the Young Peoples' Arts Festival; and the Moscow Spring Festival. Musical commentators have observed that "without prejudices and stereotypes in her writing, Zelenaia possesses a rare ability to infuse her music with humor and lyrical tenderness, while also producing works of tremendous depth and seriousness."

Her work I Believe "aims to convey my hope for world harmony and peace. It is based on three prayers each representing a different faith: Jewish, Russian and American gospel. Prayers have that natural course of movement, where both the music and the text are joined at a certain level of vibration."

Elizabeth Farnum has been praised for her "lovely soaring soprano, great agility and beautiful tone." She has appeared at Lincoln Center, the Library of Congress, London's Institute for Contemporary Art, the American Academy at Rome and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Her various interests have led her to performances on Broadway, at the Metropolitan Opera, and to five continents on tour with diverse ensembles, including early music groups Pomerium and the Waverly Consort.

Canadian violinist Claudia Schaer trained at The Juilliard School before earning a doctorate from Stony Brook University. Described by the press as a "rock-solid performer" and praised for her "outstanding musicianship," Schaer has appeared as soloist at the Thy Chamber Festival in Denmark; the Berlin Philharmonic's Opera Barga Festival in Italy; the Luzerne Festival in Switzerland; and China's Nanning Festival.

Conductor Max Lifchitz was awarded first prize in the 1976 International Gaudeamus Competition for Performers of Twentieth Century Music held in Holland. The San Francisco Chronicle described him as "a composer of brilliant imagination and a stunning, ultra-sensitive pianist." The New York Times praised him for "clean, measured and sensitive performances."

Now on its 37th consecutive season, the North/South Chamber Orchestra presents a yearly concert series in New York City while maintaining an active recording schedule.

For the complete Winter/Spring concert series schedule please visit