ALL PERFORMERS FOLLOW CDC COVID-19 GUIDELINES.
ALL PERFORMERS FOLLOW CDC COVID-19 GUIDELINES.
Linda Bento-Rei has served as principal flutist with the Venice Symphony Orchestra and Venice Symphony Wind Quintet since 2014. Prior to that she held the position of principal flute with the Milford Symphony for ten years during which time she appeared as featured soloist on several occasions. Ms. Bento-Rei has frequently been heard throughout Florida, including guest artist performances with Artist Series of Sarasota and The Bach Ensemble, Naples and as section player with Fifth Ave. Chamber Orchestra, Naples and Gulf Shore Opera. A New England native, she frequently performed with the Lexington Symphony, the Worcester Symphony, the Portland Symphony (ME), the Rhode Island Philharmonic, the Festival Ballet Orchestra, the Vermont Symphony and the New Hampshire Symphony. Ms. Bento-Rei received her Bachelor of Music, cum laude from The Boston Conservatory of Music where she studied with William Grass and Randolph Bowman. She received her Master of Music from The New England Conservatory of Music as a merit scholar. There she studied with renowned Boston Symphony piccoloist, Lois Schaefer. She also studied contemporary music and chamber music with John Heiss.
As recording artist, Ms. Bento-Rei has released five CD projects under her own label, Little Engine Music, which include The Jongen Project, The music of Joseph Jongen; Invocation; Noel, Reinvented Holiday Classics; Un-Known, Duos For Flute And Piano; Taking Flight, Songs Of Inspiration And Hope. Her sixth project, Radically Traditional will be released in summer, 2021. Ms. Bento-Rei has a passion for recording rarely performed solo and chamber music. A European tour of CD release performances is rescheduled to 2022.
As an educator, Ms. Bento-Rei maintained an active teaching studio until 2014. She directed flute choirs and taught chamber music to her students who frequently performed at local venues. She gave master classes and hosted guest artist festivals for area students and educators. Ms. Bento-Rei served as president of the Greater Boston Flute Association and created a non- profit organization called The Flutist’s Guild which gave members access to events for free. Ms. Bento-Rei has served as adjudicator for The James Pappoutsakis Memorial Foundation Competition, The Deveau Scholarship and local secondary school competitions. She has served as member of the Board of Directors for the Worcester Symphony and the La Musica International Music Festival in Sarasota. She and her husband created the non-profit chamber music organization, Sarasota Musica Viva in which Ms. Bento-Rei serves as president, music director and performer. Since 2014, this organization has presented more than fifty diverse concerts throughout the west coast of Florida and in New England calling upon world renowned and local performers.
Sarasota Musica Viva presents performances of new and rarely performed musical masterpieces featuring music for cello, drums, flute, harp, piano, percussion, viola and violin.
Sarasota Musica Viva features nationally notable, local musicians presenting diverse programs of new and rarely performed musical masterpieces that expand, enrich and engage the community in Southwest Florida and beyond.
Sarasota Musica Viva is a 501(c)(3) non-profit IRS tax exempt entity and registered as a charitable organization with the state of Florida in 2015.
Imre Palló is a Hungarian-born conductor. As a guest conductor, he has worked with the Israel Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Dortmund Philharmonic, Budapest Philharmonic, Bavarian State Orchestra Munich, Budapest Symphony Orchestra of the Hungarian Radio and Television, Orchestre Philharmonique de Luxembourg, Staatskapelle Weimar, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Lisbon Radio Orchestra, Columbus Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, Edmonton Symphony and Orchestra Victoria in Melbourne Australia. He has also led opera productions with the Canadian Opera Company, Cincinnati Opera, Cleveland Opera, Connecticut Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Philadelphia Opera, Portland Opera, St. Louis Opera, San Francisco Opera, Washington Opera, Vancouver Opera, Manitoba Opera, New Israeli Opera, Den Norske Opera Oslo, De Vlaamse Opera Antwerp, Budapest State Opera, Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe, Berlin State Opera, Leipzig Opera, Deutsches Nationaltheater Weimar, West Australian Opera (Perth) and Opera Australia.
He made his American debut with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington D.C. in 1973. He was the Music Director of the Hudson Valley Philharmonic in New York State from 1976-1991. He also served as conductor at the Wuppertal Opera (1964-1968), Deutsche Opera am Rhein, Düsseldorf (1968-1972), and as the Principal Guest Conductor at the New York City Opera (1974-1989) and the Frankfurt Opera (1989-1992).
Betsy Hudson Traba has served as Principal Flutist of the Sarasota Orchestra and Sarasota Wind Quintet since 1993. She is the former Principal Flutist of the Hofer Symphoniker in Hof, Germany, where she performed as a featured soloist on nine concerts during a two-year period. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, she studied with William Hebert and Jeffrey Khaner while earning a Bachelor of Music degree from Baldwin-Wallace College, followed by a Master of Music degree earned at the Manhattan School of Music as a student of Julius Baker. Ms. Traba has been heard frequently as a soloist throughout Florida, including guest artist performances with the La Musica International Chamber Music Festival, Artist’s Series of Sarasota, Charlotte Symphony and in multiple performances with the Sarasota Orchestra. During the summer, she performs at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in Santa Cruz, CA.
Vytas J. Baksys received his DMA and MM degrees in performance at S.U.N.Y. @ Stony Brook. He earned his Bachelor’s degree with Distinction from the New England Conservatory of Music where he was also elected Phi Kappa Lambda. Other awards include Outstanding College Student of America, Extraordinary Performing Arts Student of America, and a nomination for inclusion in a recent edition of the International Who’s Who In Music. Vytas lists extensive performances of various styles and genres throughout North America, Europe and Asia, having worked with many well known artists, conductors and composers, among them: Arthur Fiedler, Seiji Ozawa, Bernard Haitink, Sir Roger Norrington, Leonard Bernstein, Sir Simon Rattle, Leonard Rose, Gary Karr, Yo-Yo Ma, Mstislav Rostropovich, Gil Shaham, Joseph Silverstein, Elliott Carter, Henri Dutilleux, Olivier Messiaen, film composer John Williams, Stanislaw Skrowicesky, Oliver Knussen, Rafael Frübeck de Burgos, Dawn Upshaw, Chris Brubeck, composer John Harbison, James Levine, and Peter Schickele. He has performed with various groups such as the Concord Chamber Music Society, Boston Artists Ensemble, South Coast Chamber Music Society, Pentamerus, and the Boston Symphony Chamber Players among others; and is a frequent keyboardist with the Boston Symphony and Boston Pops Orchestras. As a composer, Vytas’s works include several short piano pieces, a piano concerto, a piano quintet, two microtonal works, and several transcriptions of works by Beethoven, Braggiotti, Foote, Glinka, Pärt, Schönberg, Scheidt, Sibelius, and others, most recently Heitor Villa-Lobos and Stravinsky.
Mark Kroll’s distinguished career as a performer, scholar and educator spans a period of more than fifty years. He has appeared as a harpsichordist and fortepianist in North and South America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia, winning critical praise for his expressive playing and virtuosity; performed as concerto soloist with the world's major orchestras; and served as harpsichordist for the Boston Symphony since 1979. Kroll’s extensive list of recordings includes the music of Bach, Handel, Scarlatti, Couperin, Biber, Duphly, Balbastre, Royer, Schubert, and Hummel; three critically acclaimed CDs of contemporary American harpsichord music; and Dutilleux’s Les Citations with the Boston Symphony Chamber Players. He is currently recording for Centaur Records.
Kroll is equally active as a scholar. He has published four books—Ignaz Moscheles and the Changing World of Musical Europe; Playing the Harpsichord Expressively; The Beethoven Violin Sonatas; and Johann Nepomuk Hummel: A Musician and His World—and numerous chapters and articles on a variety of subjects. His recent scholarly editions include Hummel’s Sonata for Cello and Piano (Bärenreiter), and Geminiani’s Sonatas for Violin and Basso Continuo, opus 4 as part of the complete Geminiani edition (Ut Orpheus). Kroll is editor-in-chief of the forthcoming Cambridge Companion to the Harpsichord, and is preparing an edition of Carl Ludwig Junker’s piano concerto for A-R Editions. A dedicated educator, Mark Kroll has taught at universities and given master classes and lectures worldwide. He is Professor emeritus at Boston University, where he served twenty-five years as Professor of Harpsichord and Chair of the Department of Historical Performance at Boston University.
A well-known and widely respected harpist known for her attentive playing, quick adaptability and musicianship, Susan Knapp Thomas has enjoyed an active performance career with orchestras in both the north and the south. Susan has served as Acting Principal Harp for the Hartford Symphony and has a lengthy relationship with the symphony, performing as their featured concerto soloist alongside Principal Flutist Greig Shearer for Mozart’s Flute and Harp Concerto. She plays regularly for the Rhode Island Philharmonic, is Principal Harpist for the Waterbury Symphony, and performed as harpist for the U.S. Coast Guard Band from 1987-2002. In Florida, she has performed with the Southwest Florida and Palm Beach Symphonies and has served as Acting Principal Harp for Brevard Symphony Orchestra in Melbourne, Florida.
Ms. Thomas has done regular work for the Frank Sinatra Jr. show. Her backup work includes shows for such notables as Judy Collins, the group "Yes", the Beach Boys, Brian Wilson, Peter Cetera, Johnny Mathis and others. Her recently released CD, Everlasting Sunday, was a finalist considered by the Greater Hartford Arts Council for one of their donor level gifts. She is also recorded on the Opus label.
Ms. Thomas is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music, and a student of Eileen Malone, Phyllis Wright, Aristid von Wurtzler and Barbara Pniewska.
Since 2000, Mackenzie Melemed has performed over 600 concerts for audiences around the world. His first contact with the piano was at the age of four and he quickly developed a passion for music. He began performing local concerts for senior citizens, charitable organizations and at local schools, where he encouraged students to share their talents within their communities. In 2003 at the age of eight, he portrayed the young Mozart in the Discovery Channel series “Medical Mystery.” In 2004, Melemed performed for President George Bush at a fundraiser in Boston. Following that, Melemed performed at The White House during the holiday season for five consecutive years. In the summer of 2004, Melemed gave sixty appearances at the Tropicana Resort in Atlantic City in the show “Prodigy.”
Mr. Melemed began formal classical training in 2005. One year later, he won the grand prize at the Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition, resulting in a debut performance at Weill Recital Hall. Later that year, in recognition of his contributions to the community, Melemed was the only child to be named an “Everyday Hero” by Anna Maria College in Massachusetts. In 2007, Melemed won the ASCAP Irving Berlin Summer Camp Scholarship, and performed at the awards ceremony at Lincoln Center. In 2008, Melemed appeared on the PBS program “From the Top: Live at Carnegie Hall.” In 2009, Melemed gave his orchestral debut with The Boston Civic Symphony and Grieg's Piano Concerto. In 2010, Melemed won both the first prize and the Bach Prize at the A. Ramon Rivera Piano Competition. Later that year, Mr. Melemed was the youngest finalist in the YouTube Symphony Orchestra II online competition.
Based in south Florida, harpist Kristina Finch is a diverse performer of multi-faceted interests who is one of the preeminent emerging artists in her field. Kristina aims to create interesting and exciting programs that find connections to stimulate the imagination through musical storytelling of standard harp repertoire and expansive interpretations of new music. Kristina received her Bachelor of Music degree and Doctorate of Musical Arts in Harp Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY (2008, and 2015), and received her Master of Musical Arts degree from Florida State University in Tallahassee (2010).
As Principal guest harpist of the Miami Symphony Orchestra (MISO), Kristina had the opportunity to perform with Maestro Andrea Bocelli during the 2015 Miami Beach Centennial celebration in Miami Beach, FL. In addition to MISO, Kristina has performed with numerous other orchestras and choral ensembles throughout the East Coast, including the Florida Lakes Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes; the Virginia Symphony Orchestra; the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra; the Ocala Symphony Orchestra; the Festival Singers of Florida; the Virginia Choral; the Gay Mens Chorus of South Florida; Madrigalia Choral Ensemble; Concentus Women’s Choir; and served as the principal harpist for theOhio Light Opera Festival during the summer of 2011. In addition to extensive work with choral ensembles, Kristina has had the great honor of working with some of the worlds finest vocalists including Tony, Grammy, and Oscar winner Idina Menzel, Grammy winner Renée Fleming, and Grammy nominee and American Idol winner, Ruben Studdard.
Recognized as one of America’s leading exponents of Baroque violin performance for the past 40 years, Carol Lieberman is equally acclaimed for her command of the violin repertoire from the 19th to the 21st centuries. The scope of Ms Lieberman’s versatility can be seen by her performances of the complete Sonatas for Violin and Harpsichord of J.S. Bach in such cities as Lisbon, Madrid, Rome, Boston and San Francisco, and her numerous recordings of works by contemporary composers, including several world premieres. Ms. Lieberman has concertized throughout Europe, North and South America, and the Middle East, and frequently performs for radio and television in this country and abroad. She has performed the violin concertos of Sibelius, Brahms, Beethoven, Mozart, Haydn, Vivaldi and Bach with such orchestras as the Boston Pops Orchestra, the CBC Festival Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Associazione Musicale Romana, the Belgrade Chamber Orchestra, and the Handel & Haydn Society, and appeared as guest soloist with festivals such as Grand Teton, Bay Chamber, Mostly Mozart, Connecticut Early Music Festival, Radovljica Festival of Slovenija, and Dni Bachowski of Poland. Ms. Lieberman has also been a member of several orchestras, including the Israel Philharmonic (conducted by Zubin Mehta, with such guest conductors as James Levine, Leonard Bernstein and Claudio Abbado) and the Toronto Symphony conducted by Karel Ancerl. She has also served as concertmistress for the Handel and Haydn Society, Masterworks Chorale and the orchestra of the Associazione Musicale Romana. Carol Lieberman’s recordings have received the highest critical acclaim.Having been the first violinist to receive a DMA in violin from the Yale School of Music, she taught at Boston University School of Music for more than twenty years.
Scott Crowley began his cello studies at the age of six. He attended various summer festivals and music camps, such as the prestigious Young Artist Orchestra at Boston University’s Tanglewood institute. After completing his musical training at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Mr. Crowley moved to Florida to further his studies at the University of South Florida, under the direction of Scott Kluksdahl. He is a cellist of all styles, having played in various orchestras, operas, musicals, and even rock bands, throughout the country. Commercially, Mr. Crowley is very much in demand and has performed with numerous well-known groups and performers. Some of those artists include Kansas, Little River Band, Blood Sweat and Tears, The Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Mannheim Steamroller, Andrea Bocelli, Il Divo, Johnny Mathis, Mary Wilson (of the Supremes), Regis Philbin, Frank Sinatra Jr., Tito Puente Jr., John Secada and many others. He regularly writes blogs, regarding cello technique. His mission is to make Classical music more accessible for young people, and to eventually publish his own book on cello technique. He often composes his own arrangements for cello and is currently recording some of his favorite works for cello.
Shawn grew up in Bradenton, Florida where he was a student of Jim Fawcett (previous Associate Principal Violist of the Philadelphia Orchestra). Shawn earned his Bachelor’s degree in Viola performance from the Eastman School of Musc (Rochester, NY) in 2003 from the studio of George Taylor, and returned to Florida to further study with Pamela McConnell at the University of Miami. Shawn has received chamber music coaching from the Julliard Quartet, the Ying Quartet, the Tokyo Quartet, John Graham, Oleh Krysa, Michael Copelmann, Zvi Zeitlin, Charles Castleman, Alan Harris and Paul Wolfe.
Currently, aside from being the Principal Violist of the Venice Symphony, Shawn is a member of the Southwest Florida Orchestra, the Naples 5th Avenue Chamber Orchestra, and performs regularly with both the Sarasota Orchestra, and as Principal Violist for the 2014 Arts Naples World Festival. He has played throughout Southwest Florida in many concerts, including the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, back up musician for the Motown group “The Commodores” and on many occasions in orchestras under the baton of the late Eric Kunzel (from the Cincinnati Pops).
As a soloist, Shawn has traveled to Budapest, Bratislava and Prague performing Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante. Performance venues for this concert included The Liszt Hall (Budapest), The Slovak National Radio Hall (Bratislava) and the Dvorak Hall at the Rudolphinum (Prague). Shawn has also performed many concertos with orchestras throughout the southwest region, including the South Shore Symphony (World Premiere of the Grayson Viola Concerto), the Anna Maria Island Chamber Orchestra and the Venice Symphony Orchestra.
After decades of performing in many of New England’s most notable symphony orchestras as soloist and section member, performing in and directing various chamber music groups and concert series, serving as educator and mentor for many now accomplished flutists, conducting chamber music master classes and directing flute choirs, Linda Bento-Rei’s versatility and passion for fresh and diverse projects has lead her to record her first album entitled “The Jongen Project”, which was released in 2014 and contains the music of Belgian composer, organist and educator, Joseph Jongen (1873-1953). Following a series of acclaimed chamber music concerts which included Jongen’s, “Concert a Cinq” with the principal string players and retired principal harpist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Bento-Rei was inspired to record Jongen’s relatively unknown music. After researching the composer, a deep passion was born and a number of pieces which include flute in solo and chamber music settings were unearthed. Her second CD project entitled “Invocation” was released in September, 2015. This ambitious and virtuosic project includes works from a variety of musical genres and ensembles including a piece with Latin percussion in the Afro-Cuban style.
Bento-Rei also premiered a Flute Sonata written for her and Boston Symphony Orchestra pianist, Vytas Baksys in 2015.
Linda Bento-Rei received a bachelor of music from the Boston Conservatory of Music, cum laude and a master of music from the New England Conservatory of Music as a merit scholar.
Unique compositions combining flute with Latin percussion.
Songs of inspiration and hope featuring vocalist Johann Fincher, Linda Bento-Rei on flute and Peter Madpak on piano/organ.
Duos for flute and piano featuring Linda Bento-Rei and pianist Vytas J. Baksys.
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