Joseph Kalischstein , piano

June 19-20, 2010

Acclaimed for the heartfelt intensity and technical mastery of his playing, pianist Joseph Kalichstein enthralls audiences throughout the United States and Europe, winning equal praise as orchestral soloist, recitalist and chamber musician.

With his diverse repertoire of works ranging from Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms to 20th-century works by Bartok, Prokofiev and others, Mr. Kalichstein has collaborated with such celebrated conductors as Daniel Barenboim, Pierre Boulez, James Conlon, Christoph von Dohnányi, James DePreist, Charles Dutoit, Lawrence Foster, Zubin Mehta, Andre Previn, Kurt Sanderling, Leonard Slatkin, Edo de Waart, David Zinman and the late George Szell and Erich Leinsdorf. He has performed with the world's greatest orchestras: the Cleveland Orchestra; the Boston, Chicago, St. Louis, Detroit and London Symphony orchestras; Tokyo's NHK; and the Berlin, New York, Los Angeles and Israel Philharmonic Orchestras.

He has also appeared with the English, Scottish, Franz Liszt, Israel and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestras, some of which he has led in performances of Mozart Piano Concerti. He has been enthusiastically received at the Edinburgh, Aspen, Prague, Ravinia, Tanglewood, Salzburg, and Verbier festivals.

 A favorite of New York concertgoers, Mr. Kalichstein has appeared in several recitals on Carnegie Hall's "Keyboard Virtuosi" series. His recital programs currently offer special celebrations of the 200th birthdays of Mendelssohn, Schumann and Chopin. Indeed, his two latest CD releases include music of Schumann and Brahms (on Koch International) and of Brahms, Mendelssohn and Schubert ("The Romantic Piano", on Audiofon Records.)

In the summer of 2008, Kalichstein celebrated his 25th consecutive year at the Aspen Music Festival with a special 4-piano concert, playing 4- and 8-hand music with his friends and colleagues Emanuel Ax, Yefim Bronfman and Misha Dichter. Other recent re-engagements include appearances with the Chicago and the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestras.

 Joseph Kalichstein is a founding member of the famed Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson piano trio, having just celebrated its 30th anniversary. The Trio continues to play in major music capitals as well as on all the great university concert series. Its current recording project is a 4-CD Brahms Cycle. Mr. Kalichstein is also a frequent guest pianist with the world's most beloved string quartets, including the Guarneri and the Emerson, with whom he has participated in their London and Washington Shostakovich Cycles. He serves as the Chamber Music Advisor to the Kennedy Center and is the Artistic Director of the Center's Fortas Chamber Music Concerts. He continues to hold the inaugural Chamber Music Chair at the Juilliard School, where he also has a limited class for advanced piano students.

Born in Tel Aviv, Kalichstein came to the United States in 1962.  His principal teachers included Joshua Shor in Israel and Edward Steuermann and Ilona Kabos at The Juilliard School. Prior to winning the  1969 Leventritt Award , he had won the Young Concert Artists Auditions , and as a result he gave a heralded New York recital debut, followed by an invitation from Leonard Bernstein to perform Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4 with the New York Philharmonic in a nationally televised concert on CBS.

Seymour Lipkin , piano

November 14, 2009

A student of Rudolf Serkin and Mieczyslaw Horszowski at the Curtis Institute of Music, Mr. Lipkin won the prestigious Rachmaninoff competition at age 19. He went on to appear with all of America's "top five" orchestras: the New York Philharmonic (several times), the Boston Symphony (repeatedly), the Philadelphia and Cleveland orchestras, and the Chicago Symphony, as well as many other major American ensembles. Conductors with whom he has collaborated include Serge Koussevitzky, Fritz Reiner, Charles Munch, Leonard Bernstein, Eugene Ormandy, William Steinberg, George Szell, Kenneth Schermerhorn, and Christoph von Dohnanyi, and more recently with Gerard Schwarz and George Cleve.

Extremely active in chamber music, he has been artistic director of the Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival since 1988; he has performed with Jascha Heifetz (60 concert tour), Oscar Shumsky, Uto Ughi, Arnold Steinhardt, Aaron Rosand, William Primrose, David Soyer and Lawrence Lesser, and toured the U.S., Europe and South America with the Guarneri Quartet. He performed a ten city European tour with the Juilliard String Quartet in 1999 and appeared again with them at the Library of Congress in 2001. He has recorded sonatas with Shumsky, Rosand and Steinhardt (complete duos of Schubert).

For many years, Mr. Lipkin concentrated on conducting (he studied with Serge Koussevitzky and George Szell). After serving as the New York Philharmonic's assistant conductor, he was Music Director of the Long Island Symphony from 1963 to 1979, and of the Joffrey Ballet company from 1966 to 1979.

Returning to extensive concertizing as a pianist, he has earned particular acclaim for his Beethoven cycles, which have encompassed not only the 32 piano sonatas and the five concertos, but the ten violin sonatas and the five cello sonatas as well. He has recently performed cycles of all of the major works of Schubert, including the complete sonatas.

Lipkin's recording of the Stravinsky Piano Concerto with Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic may be heard on the SONY label. In the orchestra's Special Editions, he appears twice, once as soloist and once as conductor.

His recordings of the complete 32 sonatas of Beethoven are available on Newport Classic; all the sonatas may also be heard on a single MP3 disc, the first time this has been accomplished. This set has been chosen as one of the ten best of 2004 by the Boston Globe. Recordings of all the major works of Schubert, including the complete sonatas, have just been released by Newport Classic.

Mr. Lipkin is on the faculties of both the Curtis Institute of Music and the Juilliard School. He was formerly director of the University of Maryland's International Piano Festival and William Kapell Piano Competition.

Erica Kiesewetter , violin

March 27-28, 2010

Erica Kiesewetter was appointed concertmaster of the Long Island Philharmonic in 2002.  Since that time she has appeared with the orchestra in concerti of Vivaldi, Beethoven (“Triple”) and Sibelius, and has enjoyed bringing music to her native Long Island.  In addition to her position with the LI Philharmonic, Ms. Kiesewetter is the concertmaster of the American Symphony Orchestra, Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, Stamford Symphony, Opera Orchestra of N.Y., Amici New York, and the New York Pops, and appears frequently as soloist with these groups. She also recently appeared as soloist in the Berg Violin Concerto with the Jeruselem (Israel) Symphony, the performance of which was subsequently broadcast throughout the US on NPR..

An avid chamber musician, Ms. Kiesewetter is the former first violinist of the Colorado and Dakota Quartets , and a member of the Leonardo Trio for 14 years. She has performed concerts with these and other groups in 49 U.S. States, Canada and many European and South American countries, and can be heard on more than a dozen cd’s, the most recent of which, “Song of the Starts”, was nominated for a Grammy award. Established in the NY music scene in the late 1970’s Ms. Kiesewetter has appeared as guest artist with many of the chamber and new music groups in the area, including Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Bargemusic, Orpheus, and innumerable others. She also was a founding member of the Columbia Synfonietta, Perspectives Ensemble, Alexandria Quintet and Odysey Chamber Players.

Ms Kiesewetter teaches at the Bard Conservatory of Music, where she is the director of orchestral studies, and Bard College. She has also been on the faculty of Columbia University, and coached orchestra classes at Juilliard, Mannes, Manhattan School, Purchase SUNY, and the School for Strings. This past season she also gave violin masterclasses at Penn State and Appleton Conservatory, and gave a series of 5 recitals. This coming summer she will appear at the OK Mozart, Round Top, and Bard Music Festivals.

A native of Long Island, Ms. Kiesewetter first studies were with Ariana Chmelev and A. W. Liva, the latter of whom eventually took her to study with the great violin pedagogue Ivan Galamian at Juilliard. She has also studied with Charles Castleman, Earl Carlyss, Emanuel Vardi, Joyce Robbins, Gerry Beal, Joey Corpus and Lisa Kim.As a young quartet student she studied with many of the great quartets, including the Juilliard, Vermeer,  Janacek, Guarnerius, Cleveland, and members of the Lenar, Galimir, and Budapest Quartets.

Erica Kiesewetter is the proud mother of Gabriella,18, who plays cello and viol da gamba and is a biology major at Bard College, and Sebastian, 14, a tournament chess player.

David Creswell , viola
March 27-28, 2010

Violist David Creswell has been performing in the New York area for more than 10 years as an orchestral, chamber, and studio musician, while also keeping a busy schedule as a teacher and music coach.  Mr. Creswell is Principal Violist of the Long Island Philharmonic and Principal Violist of the Greenwich Symphony, and is a member of the Northeast Pennsylvania Philharmonic.  Mr. Creswell also frequently performs with the New York Philharmonic, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, and the American Ballet Theater Orchestra.  He is the former Principal Violist of the Sarasota Opera Orchestra in Florida.

As a chamber musician, Mr. Creswell has concertized with such renowned artists as Kathleen Battle, Sidney Harth, and Anthony Newman. His recordings include numerous film scores and popular releases as well as chamber music and projects with music icons David Byrne, Rufus Wainwright, Erasure, Linda Thompson, and Rod Stewart. He was the violist for the original Broadway productions of the Tony Award nominated Caroline, or Change, and The Color Purple, and currently plays in South Pacific at Lincoln Center.  He continues to collaborate on collegiate teaching projects for students of the Juilliard School with the renowned teacher Heidi Castleman.

Mr. Creswell studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music with Robert Vernon and Heidi Castleman.


Ji Eun Anna Lee ,violin
April 18, 2010

Born in July 1995 in Seoul, Korea, Ji Eun Anna Lee started playing violin at the age of 4 and rapidly emerged as a rising talent, performing in venues such as Avery Fisher Hall, Victoria Concert Hall, Peter Jay Sharp Theater, Paul Hall, and Morse Hall both as a soloist and as a chamber musician. Only after a year and a half of violin studies, she was invited by conductor Lan Shui to perform Paganini ‘s First Violin Concerto with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra. Since 2001, she has been a full scholarship student at the Aspen Music Festival and School (AMFS) in Colorado, and Ishikawa Academy in Japan. Anna was also awarded the “Horizon Fellowship” to attend the AMFS in 2007.

In Aspen, she came to the attention of Maestro David Zinman, who recommended and introduced Anna to his fellow musicians. There, Ms. Lee gave a live National Public Radio (NPR) performance, which was greeted with much enthusiasm and applause. In September 2003, she was invited to perform as a soloist at Riverside Church in New York City in memory of the families of the 9/11 attacks, as well as “100 Years of Korean Immigration”. In May of 2003, she was the youngest violinist of the New York Music Competition, winning the grand prize and giving a Winner’s Recital at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall.

This past year, Ms. Lee was awarded the Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award and appeared on the radio show “From the Top” with renowned concert pianist Christopher O’Riley. In September 2007, she received an early acceptance letter from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, naming her a Young Scholar. She has also appeared on Good Morning Singapore and Good Morning Japan, being awarded the title of “Young Artist”.

Ms. Lee is an honor student, and was recently inducted into her middle school’s National Junior Honor Society. She was accepted by the Juilliard School at the age of six, under the tutelage of Masao Kawasaki. She loves to demonstrate her love for music through playing recitals in senior centers and churches. She has participated in master classes with many of the most appreciated soloists and artists around the world. She performs on an exceptional violin made by Nicolo Amati, Cremona c. 1635-40 on extended loan through the efforts of The Stradivari Society and Mary Galvin, the patron.

Caroline Suh , violin
April 18, 2010

Violinist, Caroline Suh began her violin studies at the age of three. She made her orchestral debut as guest soloist of the North Shore Symphony Orchestra at the age of ten playing Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto.  Locally, she has appeared as guest soloist with the C.W. Post Chamber Music Festival orchestra, Ensemble 212 orchestra, and Island Senior Symphony orchestra.  She has participated in master classes with violinists Giora Schmidt and David Kim as part of the Long Island Philharmonic Master Class series. Her Prokofiev duo was one of the top high school chamber ensembles from the tri-state area chosen by The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center to perform at Merkin Concert Hall. 

In addition, Caroline has performed at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center, Tilles Center, and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. Recently, she was invited to play at the Manhattan School of Music's 2009 Gala Concert in a chamber quintet with cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

 Caroline currently attends the Manhattan School of Music Pre-college division where she has served as concertmistress in two of its four Pre-college division orchestras and has won two Pre-college Concerto Competitions. She has also served as concertmistress in two All-County Orchestras in Nassau County.

Currently, Caroline studies with Julie Artzt Becker at the Manhattan School of Music Pre-college division and for two summers has attended the Perlman Music Program in Shelter Island, New York.


Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg , violin
May 15-16, 2010

Electrifying performances, fearless interpretations and musical depth have established violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg as one of the leading violinists of our time. After a triumphant first season as Music Director of the NEW CENTURY Chamber Orchestra (NEW CENTURY), Nadja leads this 19-member string orchestra in four subscription series for the 2009-10 season, including the world premier commission of Bolcom’s Romanza violin concerto. On August 11, 2009, Nadja’s record label, NSS Music, releases “Together,” her first recording collaboration with NEW CENTURY.

Nadja appears during the 2009-10 season as soloist with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Madison Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Austin Symphony Orchestra, New World Symphony Orchestra, Chattanooga Symphony, Lexington Philharmonic, Long Island Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony Orchestra and San Antonio Symphony. She is joined once again by pianist and collaborator Anne-Marie McDermott for recitals throughout the season.

A powerful and innovative presence on the recording scene, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg started NSS Music in 2005. This record label continues to grow, with the most recent release being “Together,” Nadja’s first recording collaboration with NEW CENTURY. “Together” includes Impressions by Clarice Assad, which was given its world premiere by NEW CENTURY in 2008; Piazzolla’s Four Seasons of Buenos Aires, and Gershwin’s Bess You Is My Woman Now from Porgy and Bess arranged for string orchestra, both with Nadja as soloist; and Bartók’s Romanian Dances arranged for string orchestra. “Together” follows NSS Music’s previous recording, “Originis Live from Brasil,” released in April 2009, a recording which honors the Italian heritage of Ms. Salerno-Sonnenberg and the Brazilian heritage of her collaborators, guitarists Sérgio and Odair Assad. The NSS Music label also features Ms. Salerno-Sonnenberg’s “Merry” (a compilation of Christmas favorites, performed by Nadja and friends), “Nadja” (Tchaikovsky and Assad, violin concertos), “Live” (Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and Anne-Marie McDermott), as well as “Love, All That It Is” (NSS Music’s first jazz album featuring The Clarice Assad Trio), Anne-Marie McDermott’s “Bach” and John Cerminaro’s “John Cerminaro, A Life of Music.” Additionally, she has over twenty releases on the EMI and Nonesuch labels.

Ms. Salerno-Sonnenberg’s exceptional artistry is paired with great musical intelligence which, along with her unique personality, have served her well in numerous environments—on camera, in a commercial for Signet Bank, hosting a Backstage/Live from Lincoln Center program for PBS, appearing in the PBS/BBC series The Mind, even talking to Big Bird on Sesame Street. She was the subject of the 2000 Academy Award-nominated film, Speaking In Strings, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Released in theaters nationwide and subsequently premiered on HBO’s Signatures channel in 1999, this intensely personal documentary on her life is available on VHS and DVD through New Video. The CD of music from the film was released in 1999 by Angel/EMI. Ms. Salerno-Sonnenberg has appeared on ABC’s prime time comedy Dharma & Greg in 2001, and she has also been interviewed and profiled on CBS’ 60 Minutes, 60 Minutes II, and Sunday Morning; CNN’s Newsstand; NBC's National News and The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson; A & E's Artist of the Week with Elliot Forrest; Bravo's Arts & Minds and The Art of Influence; PBS' Live from Lincoln Center, The Charlie Rose Show, and City Arts. On the publishing front, Nadja: On My Way, her autobiography written for children discussing her experiences as a young musician building a career, was published by Crown Books in 1989.

Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg’s professional career began in 1981 when she won the Walter W. Naumburg International Violin Competition. In 1983 she was recognized with an Avery Fisher Career Grant, and in 1988 was Ovations Debut Recording Artist of the Year. In 1999 she was honored with the prestigious Avery Fisher Prize, awarded to instrumentalists who have demonstrated “outstanding achievement and excellence in music.” In May of that same year, Ms. Salerno-Sonnenberg was awarded an honorary Masters of Musical Arts from the New Mexico State University, the first honorary degree the University has ever awarded. An American citizen, Ms. Salerno-Sonnenberg was born in Rome and emigrated to the United States at the age of eight to study at The Curtis Institute of Music. She later studied with Dorothy DeLay at The Juilliard School.

Franc D'Ambrosio , vocalist
November 20, 2009

Franc D'Ambrosio is best known as the "Phantom" in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Tony Award-winning musical, The Phantom of the Opera.

Affectionately known as Phantom's "The Iron Man of The Mask," Franc D'Ambrosio was awarded the distinction as the "World’s Longest Running Phantom." This accomplishment was immortalized in a cemented hand imprint ceremony and Franc retained this title for over a decade.

D'Ambrosio's resume also includes an Academy Award nominated film, an Emmy Award nominated television show, a four-time Tony nominated Broadway show, two Grammy considerations, and a National Theatre Award nomination.

Early in D'Ambrosio's career, Paramount Pictures sent five talent scouts on an exhausting two year international search. That search ended when they discovered D'Ambrosio in the chorus of his first Broadway show. Francis Ford Coppola immediately cast D'Ambrosio as Anthony Corleone, the opera singing son of Al Pacino’s Michael Corleone in Coppola's seven-time Academy Award nominated film The Godfather III. Franc not only had the honor of being featured in the film, he also sang the Academy Award-winning theme song, "Speak Softly Love" (Brucia la Terra) - both in the film and on the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack.

His performance of the award-winning song so impressed the late Luciano Pavarotti that it led to an invitation - which was quickly accepted - for him to study with the legendary tenor for a summer at his home in Italy.

After his impressive run in The Phantom Of The Opera, D'Ambrosio caught the eye of Barry Manilow. Manilow personally selected him to create and star as the male lead, "Tony", in the pre-Broadway tour of Copacabana.

The show enjoyed a successful year-long tour. His performance earned D'Ambrosio his National Theatre Award nomination for Best Male Performer in a Musical.

Franc D'Ambrosio has toured extensively throughout the United States, Europe and South America with his critically acclaimed one man shows: Franc D'Ambrosio’s Broadway Songs of The Great White Way (debut 2004), and Franc D'Ambrosio’s Hollywood Songs of The Silver Screen (debut 2007).

Mr. D'Ambrosio is also a frequent guest artist with many major American orchestras and symphonies. With the success of his national and international tours, D'Ambrosio has joined the ranks of the famed Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman as only a handful of Phantom alumni crossing over to successful solo careers.

Recognized for his vibrant voice and legato singing, D'Ambrosio was invited by Olympic Champion Brian Boitano to perform as a Special Musical Guest in the skater's NBC special, Brian Boitano's Skating Spectacular. The TV special starred D'Ambrosio and American Idol runner-up Diana DeGarmo. D'Ambrosio also joined Boitano in his next TV special, The 2005 Tribute to Movies on Ice. He starred as Special Musical Guest with Michael Bolton and American Idol star Kimberly Locke. Franc's performance of "Music of the Night," skated to by Boitano, received the evening's only standing ovation. While continuously touring with his popular one man shows, D'Ambrosio found time in 2008 to co-star with Dorothy Hamill in the critically acclaimed Broadway On Ice, produced by Bietak Productions, Inc. D'Ambrosio rounded out the busy year (2008) starring with the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra in a spectacular New Year’s Eve performance.

In the midst of his full 2009 schedule, he is currently working on a new show: Franc D'Ambrosio - "I'll Be Seeing YOUZ..." A Bronx Boy’s Musical Perspective Of World War II.

The show will feature more stories from Franc's colorful family and popular war songs from 1939-1946. It is scheduled to debut in April 2010.

Chita Rivera , dancer/actress/singer
May 1, 2010

Universally regarded as an American national treasure, Chita Rivera is Broadway's most accomplished and versatile dancer/actress/singer. A recipient of the prestigious Kennedy Center honor, presented by the President of the United States, Chita has won two Tony Awards as Best Leading Actress in a Musical and has received six additional Tony Award nominations. In August 2009, she received from President Barak Obama, the highest honor bestowed on any American, the Medal of Freedom. 

She most recently appeared on Broadway in Chita Rivera: the Dancer's Life, the story of her own life in the theater, written by Terrence McNally and directed by Graciela Daniele. She received a Tony nomination for this performance. Her most recent Broadway appearance previous to this was in the Tony Award winning revival of Nine, starring Antonio Banderas.

Born Dolores Conchita Figueroa del Rivero in Washington, D.C., on January 23, 1933, Chita’s parents were from Puerto Rico. Her father, Pedro Julio Figueroa, played clarinet and saxophone for the Navy Band; after his death when Chita was 7, her mother, Katherine Anderson del Rivero, went to work at the Pentagon. (Chita's mother died in 1983).

Young Conchita was a tomboy. To tone down her rambunctiousness, when she was 11, her mother enrolled her in the Jones-Hayward School of Ballet, a school run by an impressive pair of black women, Doris Jones and Claire Haywood. When Conchita was 15, a teacher from George Balanchine's School of American Ballet visited their studio. She was one of two students picked to audition in New York.

At the audition, Doris Jones calmed her student with a piece of advice. "Conchita, stay in your lane." Meaning, “Don't worry about the long bodies and blond ponytails lining up next to you for the auditions; be who you are!” Chita Rivera never forgot it. Chita paid tribute to Miss Jones in her autobiographical show, Chita Rivera: the Dancer's Life.

Chita was admitted to the prestigious school on the basis of her audition and was given a scholarship. Her teachers included some of the top American dancers of the century: Edward Villella, Allegra Kent, and Maria Tallchief among them. Soon, however, the ballet world lost and Broadway gained a future star when the 17-year-old aspiring ballerina accompanied a friend to the auditions for the national tour of Call Me Madam starring Elaine Stritch. Conchita intended only to support her friend, but she ended up landing the part herself. Other roles quickly followed in such shows as Guys and Dolls, Can-Can, Seventh Heaven, and Mr. Wonderful with Sammy Davis Jr.

Then in 1957, Broadway history was made when Chita’s electric performance as Anita in the Broadway premiere of West Side Story brought her stardom. Chita's talent enabled genius, Jerome Robbins, to realize his groundbreaking choreographic vision for the production. She married Tony Mordente, a dancer from the West Side Story cast, on December 1 of that year. (The couple divorced in 1966).

Chita's performance as Anita was so central to the success of West Side Story that the London production was postoned until after she had given birth to her daughter, Lisa Mordente.

The starring role in Bye Bye Birdie followed West Side Story, and Chita returned to the West End in 1960 to reprise her performance in that role as well. Around the nation or on tour, Chita subsequently starred in Born Yesterday, The Rose Tattoo, Call Me Madam, Threepenny Opera, Sweet Charity, Kiss Me Kate, and Zorba. A national tour of Can-Can with the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes took her to Japan as well. Chita also played Nicky in the film version of Sweet Charity with Shirley MacLaine. In a wry tribute to Nicky, Chita's character for her most recent screen appearance, a cameo in the film version of Chicago, is also named "Nicky."

Chita is currently preparing for the Signature Theatre production of the Kander, Ebb, McNally musical, The Visit.

Despite the many highlights of her stellar and historic career, Chita always maintains that her most treasured production is her daughter, singer/dancer/choreographer Lisa Mordente.

Joseph Owens, Assistant Conductor
June 5, 2010

Joseph Owens received his B.M. in Music Education from the Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam, M.A. in Music Education from Teachers College Columbia University and a M.A. in Educational Administration and Technology from Adelphi University.  Mr. Owens has taught music in the Mineola School District for the past eight years holding positions in band, orchestra, and currently, as the Middle School choir director and High School musical theater director.  Recently, Mr. Owens served as an assistant conductor for the Long Island Masterworks Chorus  2009 season.  In addition to teaching and conducting, Mr. Owens performs as a singer in the choir at the Church of St. John's of Lattingtown, the Long Island Philharmonic Chorus and the Long Island Masterworks Chorus.

Stephanie D. Watt, piano
June 5, 2010

World-renowned pianist Jörg Demus often referred to her as “the silent giant” and “richly gifted.” Since her studies in his home, Stephanie D. Watt, pianist, has become one of the most sought-after performers and teachers in the Long Island and metropolitan New York areas.  She received degrees in performance, composition, and computer science from Long Island University and also studied extensively at the Vienna and Haydn conservatories with Hans Kann, Marialena Fernandez, and Paul Badura Skoda.

As a soloist, collaborative and chamber artist, she has performed with the Kennedy Center Chamber Players, Long Island Philharmonic, C.W. Post and West Islip Orchestras, Atlantic Wind Symphony, Camerata Pro Musica of Hungary, Musica Mundi, Leo Duo, Duo con Fuego, Long Island Philharmonic and Masterworks choruses, the Roberts & Watt Piano Duo, and with the highly acclaimed Musica Viva of New York.  Her performances have taken her though out the United States, Argentina, Europe, Korea, and North Africa.  Ms. Watt has toured Hungary and conducted master classes at the Sávár and Szombathely Music Conservatories, and she has been invited to perform in Argentina with the Communidad de Palermo Symphony Orchestra with renowned Argentinean conductor Jaime Braude.  

Her most recent CD of Allen Brings’s Duo for Cello & Piano, has been released on Capstone Records, and her biography has been published in the prestigious Marquis Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who  in American Women, and Who’s Who in the World. In addition, Ms. Watt is an award winning ballroom dancer and has performed numerous dance exhibitions in the tri-state area. She and her partner, Barry Masten  will be featured with the C.W. Post Jazz Ensemble on April 9th at the Tilles Center of Performing Arts.   Ms. Stephanie Watt is Professor of Music, Director of Piano and Theory Studies and has also served as Chairman of the Department of Music at the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University.



CRAIG LAURIE (Performer) has performed extensively with Forbidden appearing across the country as well as the Off-Broadway production in NY. Craig recently completed nearly 1000 performances in the mega smash hit musical Jersey Boys where he originated the role of Bob Crewe in the Chicago production. New York/National Tour: Forbidden Broadway, Miss Saigon, Chicago and The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber. Regional: Florida Studio Theatre, Barrington Stage, Stages St. Louis. Trained at NY’s High School for the Performing Arts and Wagner College.


(Performer) A native of Medford, MA and a graduate of the Boston Conservatory, Kevin is delighted to return to Forbidden. National Tours: Kiss Me Kate, All Shook Up, and Forbidden Broadway. Regional: Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar, Thomas Andrews in Titanic, Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast, Benny Southstreet in Guys & Dolls, Georges in La Cage aux Folles. Many thanks to family and friends for their CONSTANT love and support, especially Mom and Dad.



KRISTEN MENGELKOCH (Performer) resides in New York City & made her Off-Broadway debut in FB: Special Victims Unit, and has since worked on FB: The Roast of Utopia, FB: Rude Awakening, FB: Dances With The Stars and most recently FB: Goes to Rehab. San Diego credits include The Most Happy Fella, Pete 'n' Keely, The Nerd, Tomfoolery, Gypsy & Nunsense. As a founding core company member of Southern Colorado Repertory Theatre, she appeared in The Last Five Years, Sylvia, Chapter Two & A Flea in Her Ear. Television: Veronica Mars. Kristen is a graduate of San Diego State University’s Master of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre program. Following graduation, Kristen taught for two years as a part-time professor with the same university. A native of Wichita, KS, she holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre from Emporia State University. She is the enthusiastic co-founder of the Manhattan based non-profit Ampersand Theatre Company.


(Performer) Broadway/Off Broadway - Forbidden Broadway - (Tony Award for Excellence in the Theatre and Drama Desk Award) Forbidden Broadway: Rude Awakening - Recording Broadway and Tour: Cats (Jellylorum/Griddlebone) Broadway & National Tour, Regional - The Most Happy Fella (Cleo), Little Shop of Horrors (Audrey), Funny Girl (Fanny), Joseph…(Narrator), Falsettos (Cordelia) and Nunsense (Sister Mary Amnesia) with "Superior Mothers" Alice Ghostly, Pat Carroll and Lainie Kazan. She currently does background and lead vocals for the NYC Rock Band - CHUM. Jeanne is a happy newlywed - married to Robert Giannetta, NYPD.


CATHERINE STORNETTA (Musical Director) has performed Forbidden Broadway in many cities including Boston, New York, San Diego, in Japan and Singapore, and on cruise ships circumnavigating the globe. She has also orchestrated and conducted the orchestral version with the Hartford, Minnesota, Winnipeg, North Carolina, Rochester, Detroit, and Adelaide (Australia) Symphonies. She composed the score for the Cable ACE-award winning documentary Christa McAuliffe, Teacher in Space, produced for the Arts and Entertainment Network "Biography" series, and she has written and produced two cabarets: Intriguing People for People magazine and 12 Angry Reindeer, and one musical The All-of-a-Kind Family. Most recently she was the musical director for the Ogunquit Playhouse production of My Fair Lady for which she received an IRNE nomination for best musical director of 2008. She has worked extensively as a composer, musical director, arranger and teacher in Boston. In her salad days, she was an occasional piano soloist with the Boston Pops.


(Production Stage Manager) has been stage managing Forbidden Broadway in NYC since 1992 and is proud to be a part of this latest edition. Other NYC credits include Production Stage Manager for Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, Don't Touch That Dial and I Could Go on Lip Synching; Stage Manager for Forever Plaid; Resident Production Stage Manager for The AMAS Repertory Theatre. He has also worked on Pageant and Jelly Roll and was the House Cabaret Stage Manager at the Triad, Rose's Turn and Don't Tell Mama. He is a theatre graduate from Drew University. In loving memory of Jimmy Cawley. The world was his stage.


GERARD ALESSANDRINI (Creator/Writer/Original Director) is best known for writing and directing all editions of Forbidden Broadway and Forbidden Hollywood in New York, Boston, Los Angeles and around the world. Gerard was also a member of the original cast of Forbidden Broadway. Gerard is from Needham, Massachusetts and a graduate of the Boston Conservatory of Music. In 1982, he created and wrote Forbidden Broadway, which has spawned 12 editions and a 20-year-and-counting run in New York. In 1991, he co-wrote (with Peter Blue), directed and performed in Masterpiece Tonight, a satirical revue saluting Masterpiece Theatre’s 20th Anniversary telecast on PBS. Some of Gerard’s sketches were featured in Carol Burnett’s TV Special Men, Movies and Carol. As a performer, he can be heard on four of the five Forbidden Broadway cast albums, and on the soundtracks of the Disney’s animated classics Aladdin and Pocahontas. Directing credits include Equity Library Theatre’s revival of Lerner and Loewe’s Gigi, various industrials for Canada Dry, Mobil, and, on Broadway, the star-studded Circle in the Square Farewell Gala. In 1998, he directed Maury Yeston’s musical In the Beginning. Gerard is a recipient of an Obie Award, four Drama Desk Awards, an Outer Critics Circle Award, a Lucille Lortel Award for Forbidden Broadway, and the prestigious Drama League Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre. He won his fourth Drama Desk Award for Best Musical Revue for Forbidden Broadway Special Victims Unit.


PHILLIP GEORGE (Choreographer) is a director whose credits include 12 editions of the infamous Forbidden Broadway revue in New York, as well as Chicago, London, Los Angeles and the National Tour. The most recent edition, Forbidden Broadway Special Victims Unit won the 2005 Drama Desk Award and was recorded by DRG records. He directed Forbidden Hollywood both in New York and Los Angeles and continues to work on its various incarnations. In 1993 he collaborated with Howard Crabtree and others on Whoop-Dee-Doo! directing both the acclaimed New York and London productions. He also was the Associate Director to Mark Waldrop on When Pigs Fly at the Douglas Fairbanks Theatre. He has directed performers at La Mama, PS 122, Here & Nada. Other U.S. directing credits include Return to the Forbidden Planet, Philemon, The Roar of the Greasepaint and A Doctor in Spite of Himself. A resident director at the King’s Head Theatre in London, his work includes Kean, Much Revue About Nothing, The Famous Five, The Arcadians, and Frankly, Scarlett which he also co-authored with his long-time collaborator and best buddy Peter Morris. He is an actor and has appeared in many editions of Forbidden Broadway, The Remarkable Ruth Fields and regionally in The Importance of Being Earnest, As You Like It, Side By Side By Sondheim, Forum, and 1776 to name a few. He teaches at AMDA, directs the occasional club act and is the Artistic Director of The Wing & Drop Company which produces new musical comedies on a small scale. He recently directed Peter Morris’s new musical Escape from Pterodactyl Island at the Pleasance Theatre in London. He is currently working on a new musical revue about technology entitled Cyberleque! and an adaptation of The Red Badge Of Courage.

(Costume Designer) His costumes have been represented in 76 Broadway shows which include the original productions of On The Town and Guys and Dolls, plus Li’l Abner, Fanny, Destry Rides Again, Sugar, Pipe Dream, Wildcat, Lorelei, Greenwillow and numerous others. A Tony Award-winner, he has been nominated four times and is a four-time nominee for television’s Emmy Award, having designed costumes for over 90 productions on all major networks.


(Producer) has been associated with Forbidden Broadway for most of its 27-year history and has produced the Tony®-honored New York company since 1994. John is also producer of the current national tour of the Off-Broadway hit I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change. With his partner Harriet Yellin, he produced Forbidden Broadway at London’s Menier Chocolate Factory, in Los Angeles, San Diego, Detroit, Denver and on tour, as well as Forbidden Hollywood in Los Angeles, Japan and Off-Broadway. He has directed both shows to acclaim around the world, winning Jefferson Award for Best Direction for the Chicago production of FH. Mr. Freedson co-produced 8 Forbidden Broadway CD’s for DRG records and long-ago, appeared in the Off-Broadway and Boston productions. As a composer/lyricist, he wrote three hit children's musicals: A Swan is Born, Aesop's Follies and Country Mouse/City Mouse, which toured with the New England Theatre Guild. His voice can be heard on numerous radio and television spots and jingles, two Forbidden Broadway CD's and Disney's Aladdin. Originally from Reading PA, Mr. Freedson attended the Boston Conservatory and is a graduate of Brandeis University.


(Producer) produced and managed Forbidden Broadway in Boston, which ran for over six years, as well as the Los Angeles, San Diego, Washington, D.C., Detroit, and Denver productions of the show. With John Freedson, she co-produces Forbidden Broadway in New York and was a co-producer of Forbidden Hollywood in Los Angeles, Chicago, Japan and New York. She was co-producer and General Manager of Forever Plaid in Boston, as well as the CFO for Blue Man Group, with shows running in New York, Boston, Chicago, and Las Vegas, and London. In another life, she was a high-powered political consultant; clients included a variety of senatorial and gubernatorial candidates and she was National Media Director for the Dukakis and Tsongas Presidential campaigns.



January, 1982: Aspiring actor/full-time waiter Gerard Alessandrini assembles an evening of show parodies he has scribbled on the backs of paper placemats between delivering cappuccinos. The one-night-only performance is a sensation, and the engagement is extended.

October, 2006: Broadway legend Angela Lansbury presents Alessandrini and Forbidden Broadway with the Tony® Honor for Excellence in the Theatre for “25 years of insuring our sense of humor about the Broadway theatre world.”

What started as a small cabaret act at West 72nd Street’s Palsson’s Supper Club, became one of New York City’s best-loved and most highly-anticipated musicals. Celebrating its 28th year, Forbidden Broadway is a Broadway institution joining the ranks of A Chorus Line and Les Miserables as one of the longest-running shows in New York.

Forbidden Broadway was born in January 1982, when Alessandrini, a frustrated performer looking for a place to showcase himself and his friends, booked a weekend performance at Palsson’s. The cast of five, which included Nora Mae Lyng and Pete Blue, had no producer or backer, and used costumes from the cast’s own closets to spoof stars like Yul Brynner and Ethel Merman.

Hailed by critics and audiences alike, Forbidden Broadway became an overnight sensation, capturing the heart of the theatre industry itself, and running at Palsson’s for over six years. Needing a bigger venue, Forbidden Broadway moved to Theatre East, where it ran until 1994. Since then, Forbidden Broadway was presented at the Triad until 1997, the Stardust Theatre from 1997-2001, the Douglas Fairbanks Theatre from 2001- 2005. Most recently, the show played at the 47th Street Theatre, where it opened in 2005. Forbidden Broadway has also enjoyed both national and international success, performing over 10,000 shows on four continents with sit-down engagements in over 20 U.S. cities, as well as concerts with major symphony orchestras.
Over the last 28 years, the show, which changes as often as Broadway itself, has teased, mocked and prodded Broadway classics from My Fair Lady to Gypsy to The Lion King. Many of its legendary “victims” including Ethel Merman, Mary Martin, Whoopi Goldberg, Carol Channing, Kathleen Turner, and more recently Patti Lupone , Bernadette Peters, Stephen Sondheim, Donna Murphy, Hal Prince and Andrew Lloyd Webber, have joined the packed houses to laugh and applaud. The show has also launched several talented, but previously unknown actors’ careers, including Seinfeld star Jason Alexander, Mad Men’s Bryan Batt, Chloe Webb, Barbara Walsh, Dee Hoty and Daniel Reichard, while many Forbidden Broadwayalumni are currently appearing on Broadway.

Forbidden Broadway’s success was repeated in Boston, where it enjoyed a 6-1/2-year stay at the Terrace Room; Chicago and Boca Raton (over two years each), Toronto and Philadelphia (one year each), Kansas City (nine months and two return engagements), Denver, San Diego a record-breaking run in 1994 at the Tiffany Theatre in Los Angeles, Sydney, Tokyo, and Singapore among many others. In 1999, after a sell-out engagement at London’s Jermyn Street Theatre, it transferred for the summer to the famed Albery Theatre in the West End. Forbidden Broadway's return to the Tiffany Theatre in Los Angeles in 2000 garnered two more Ovation Awards. In the summer of 2009, Forbidden Broadwayreturned to London, with a triumphant sell-out engagement at the Menier Chocolate Factory.

Forbidden Broadway has received a Special Tony® Award as well as an Obie, 9 Drama Desk Awards and the Lucille Lortel Award. As long as there's a Broadway, Forbidden Broadway will be there, poking, prodding, teasing, pleasing, jeering and cheering, but always, with love.

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