Aliento Chamber Players - Artist Biographies
Aliento Chamber Players


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Mary Towse-Beck
Mary Towse-Beck Pianist Mary Towse-Beck has been a performing artist for the past twenty-five years. Equally at home as both soloist and collaborative artist, she has performed throughout Europe, Australia and the United States. She has been a featured artist on Australian National Radio and her 2013 release of The Impressionists not only received critical acclaim but also extensive airplay throughout North America. Recently, she gave a solo recital at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall and appeared as soloist with the Portsmouth Symphony.

Mary received her Masters and Bachelors of Music from Indiana University where she studied with James Tocco and Edward Auer, and also received coaching from many renowned teachers including Josef Gingold, Janos Starker and Gyorgy Sebok. She attended Eastman School of Music as an undergraduate studying with Rebecca Penneys, after having studied with Jerome Rose in her hometown of Toledo, Ohio. After completing her Masters, she continued her studies in London with Norma Fisher and Benjamin Kaplan.

After having lived in England for twenty years, Mary returned to the United States in 2007 and now resides in New Hampshire. She maintains a large teaching studio in her home in Kensington, NH, and also continues to perform chamber music and solo recitals.

Zoia Bologovsky
Zoia Bologovsky Zoia Bologovsky is an active musician in the New England area. A graduate of the Juilliard School, Zoia has had many adventures touring as first violinist with the Arden String Quartet around America and Europe. She has held positions with the Portland and Springfield Symphonies and Rhode Island Philharmonic as well as Symphony New Hampshire. Currently, Zoia is Concertmaster of North Shore Philharmonic and the Portsmouth Symphony. She is also Principal 2nd violin of PORTopera, and can be found teaching at St Paul's School in Concord, NH, and her studio in Stoneham, MA. Some of her favorite work involves Musical Theater. Zoia is a frequent performer at Providence Performing Arts Center, North Shore Music Theater, Hanover Theater in Worcester and the Boston Opera House playing touring and local Broadway shows.

Dorothy Braker
Dorothy Braker Dorothy Braker, cellist and founder of Aliento Chamber Players, graduated from the Juilliard School with Bachelor's and Master's degrees in music performance. Dorothy had her very first lesson in music at the age of 4 with Dr. Shinichi Suzuki, whose new idea about musical study through unlocking each child's innate potential was first being brought to the United States. Her studies in cello were with Lois Yopp, Phil Blum, Karl Fruh, culminating at Juilliard, earning master's and bachelor's degrees in music performance, studying with Harvey Shapiro.

Primarily a soloist and chamber musician, she has performed extensively across the United States, chiefly with educational performances associated with "Music History a bore? Not a chance!" that went across the Appalachian Valley in local schools, many schools in New York State, and to many fine museums and libraries, including the Newberry Library in Chicago and the Bennington Museum in Vermont. As principal cellist and Outreach Director with The Portsmouth Symphony, she helped to create the Concerto and Aria Competitions, created and directed the youth program MyPSO and the "Get Cozy" chamber series, and was instrumental in creating and maintaining a successful educational concert outreach program for area schools. As the founder and Artistic Director of Aliento Chamber Players, she has been performing with them since 2008. Dorothy is a gifted video editor and music arranger, performs regularly with many area orchestras, chorus groups and chamber groups, and maintains a rich and varied studio for online and in-person chamber music coaching and private cello students.

Jill Fratianne DiSaverio
Jill Fratianne DiSaverio Violist Jill Fratianne DiSaverio currently lives in Portsmouth, NH. At the age of 17, she became the youngest violist to receive a fellowship to the Aspen Music Festival. Miss Fratianne was awarded a fellowship to the Tanglewood Music Festival. Jill received her undergraduate and Master's degree from Northwestern University where she studied with Roland Vamos and was awarded the Civic Fellowship of Northwestern, a full tuition scholarship while performing as Principal Violisit of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the training orchestra for the Chicago Symphony. Currently she performs regularly with the Portland Symphony Orchestra. Her song, "For Hands, One Heart", written for violin and guitar was rated the "Most Requested Song At Guitar Center" and can be heard in Guitar Centers nation wide as well as downloaded on iTunes.

Oksana Gorokhovskiy
Oksana Gorokhovskiy Bulgarian born violinist Oksana Gorokhovskiy started her journey in the field of music at the age of six. She received a Bachelor Degree in Violin Performance at the State Academy of Music in Sofia, Bulgaria, and a Master Degree from Boston University, USA. Her private teachers and coaches were Professor Yuri Mazurkevich, members of the Shanghai String Quartet, Kronos String Quartet, and Muir String Quartet.

While living in Europe, she was a soloist of the State Academy Orchestra, and second violin in String Quartet "Slavyani", with which she performed actively and won the First Prize at the International Competition "Music and the Earth". Mrs. Gorokhovskiy has toured with several orchestras throughout Europe. Currently she lives in United States and actively performs as a chamber musician and orchestra player. She is assistant concertmaster at Cape Ann Symphony, co-principal second violinist at Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra, and performs with Symphony by the Sea, Symphony New Hampshire, and Plymouth Philharmonic Orchestra.

Nancy Hair
Nancy Hair Nancy Hair, cellist, lives in the Boston area where she keeps herself busy as a teacher, and a performer as well as having a family. Nancy is on the faculty of the New England Conservatory Preparatory Division, the Suzuki School of Newton, and has a home studio. In addition she can be heard frequently playing in many of Boston’s orchestras as well as solo and chamber music. Nancy has been a teacher trainer since 1988 and enjoys traveling and teaching at institutes, workshops, conferences, and festivals. She attended Indiana University, Hartt School of Music, and Ithaca Talent Education. Her teachers include Janos Starker, Raya Garbousova, George Neikrug, and Timothy Eddy.

Jan Heirtzler
Jan has performed with Keene State College orchestra, Apple Hill, and Night Shift (a chamber orchestra for community members who could no longer play in the UNHSO). In 2010, the siren song of the C string finally led to Jan's conversion to violist. She has played with the Portsmouth Symphony for 10 years and peformed with many area chamber groups, choirs and orchestras. When not digging into that sweet, sweet C, Jan is the doer of everything at Sleeping Baby Productions LLC (producing baby carriers) and tries to make sense of the arcane world of music publishing as the PSO's librarian.

Louise Kandle
Louise Kandle - A native of Sweden who got her musical training from Malmö conservatory, Sibelius Academy, and Hartt school of music. She has a thriving violin studio in NH since 1998. She has taught in the Oyster River School District since 2014 and at Phillips Exeter Academy as of fall 2019. She performs regularly with the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra, New Hampshire Philharmonic, many and varied chamber groups and New Hampshire seacoast choruses, and Dansk Amator Orkester Samvirke in Denmark. Her true passion is to play chamber music. She lives in Durham with her 3 beloved boys - husband Mike, guitarist son William and black cat Batman.

Karen Luttik
Clarinetist Karen Luttik has recently relocated to New Hampshire after performing and teaching in the Netherlands for 20 years among others with Trio Aleotti, the Kurios Klarinet Kwartet and Musicaleren.

Karen has served for years as Solo Clarinet for the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and currently performs regularly in New England with groups such as the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, Cape Cod Symphony, Symphony NH, Granite State Symphony, Aliento Chamber Players, the Longfellow Festival Orchestra and Sound Icon.

Karen teaches enthusiastic clarinetists of all ages at the Nashua Community Music School, Boston University (as teaching assistant) and at her private clarinet studio.

Karen's musical studies took her to Manhattan School of Music, New York, the Royal Conservatory of Music in the Hague, the Sweelink Conservatory of Music in Amsterdam, Longy School of Music of Bard College in Boston, and Boston University. She has worked with wonderful teachers such as George Pieterson (Concertgebouw Orchestra), Charles Russo (NY City Opera), Jonathan Cohler (soloist), Jorge Montilla (Simon Bolivar Orchestra), Michael Wayne (Boston Symphony Orchestra), Stephen Bates (Kennedy Center Opera and Ballet Orchestra), Ethan Sloane (Boston University) and David Martins (Boston University.)

Karen performs on Wurlitzer clarinets (Eb, Bb, A; Reform Boehm) using a Viotto N1+3 mouthpiece and Benno Kruger reeds. Her bass is a Schwenk & Seggelke Reform Boehm and goes to low C :-)

Karen McConomy
Karen McConomy (viola), presently enjoys being a freelance musician in Boston area. She regularly appears with The Orchestra of Indian Hill and Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Boston, and is principal violist with Symphony by the Sea and The Orchestra on the Hill. She is a founding member of the Fin de Siecle Quartet, a period instrument string quartet that performs works from the 18th and 19th centuries. Karen is the founder of the White Spire Concert Series, a concert series based in Hamilton, MA that brings local history to the concert stage.

Karen has previously held positions with the The Netherlands Philharmonic and Radio Chamber Orchestra in The Netherlands, Baltimore Opera Orchestra and National Opera Orchestra, and has appeared with The Concertgebouw Orkest, The Minnesota Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Baltimore Symphony. She performed, recorded, and toured through Europe with the Mirecourt string quartet and was principal and solo violist on the Grammy-award-winning CD of Samuel Barber’s opera “Anthony and Cleopatra”. Additionally, Karen spent a year of her life touring in the orchestra of “Phantom of the Opera.”

Karen studied at The Julliard School, The Eastman School of Music, and received her Master’s degree in viola performance from the Royal Conservatory in The Netherlands. She also holds a Master’s degree in Museum studies from Georgetown University and continues to be an insatiable learner and connector of music and history.

Amy Ripka
Amy started playing the violin at age 6, after her parents joined an itinerant bluegrass band. After playing with such banjo greats as Ben Eldridge from The Seldom Scene, she went on to study more classical pursuits. Her teachers have included Blair Milton, Margaret Pardee and Charlie Castleman from the Eastman School of Music. After attending Northwestern University for violin performance, she took a slight detour and received her Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Finally recovered from this indiscretion, she has once again returned to the violin, and has performed with a variety of groups in the area including the Nashua Symphony, New Bedford Symphony, Granite State Symphony, Portsmouth Symphony, Portland Ballet, PORTopera, North Shore Music Theatre and the Merrimack Repertory Theatre. In her spare time, she is also working on a lounge piano act.

Nicholas Roy
Nicholas Roy Nicholas Roy, pianist, holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Piano Interpretation from McGill University and l’universite de Montreal, and a bachelor of music education from the University of Ottawa. In Montreal, he received coaching from many internationally recognized pianists, including Marc Durand, Jean Saulnier, Louis-Phillippe Pelletier, Marina Mdivani, and Michael McMahon. He is a recipient of the William Chatfield Piano Senior Prize at Bay Chamber Music Festival in Rockport, Maine. In his early years, Nicholas began his musical studies in Edmundston, N.B. with Maureen Pelletier and later at the University of Moncton with Daniel Boulanger. During his formative years, he has won top honours in various music festivals in New Brunswick including the Restigouche Festival in Campbelton, N.B., and the CMC music competitions in St. John and Moncton. Currently, Nicholas organizes and executes a 4-concert chamber music series at the Musee Historique et Culturelle du Madawaska in Edmundston, New Brunswick. His primary aim is to feature local, talented, and seasoned artists. Nicholas is pleased to be in the Seacoast area and plans to be a vital and active member in the musical arts community.

Noralee Walker
Violist Noralee Walker is a versatile artist whose various collaborations have included touring North America with the multi-media show Star Wars in Concert, soloing with Paul Henry Smith's digital Fauxharmonic, and improvising with blues guitarist Chris McDermott. She has performed with many of New England's finest ensembles, such as the Boston Classical Orchestra, New England String Ensemble, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Vermont Symphony, and the Rhode Island Philharmonic. An ardent chamber musician, Noralee has performed as guest artist with the Kaleidoscope Chamber Players, South Coast Chamber Music Society, The Boston Viola Quartet, and the acclaimed Musicians of the Old Post Road. Noralee Walker is a graduate of Wellesley College, The HARID Conservatory of Music, and the Yale University School of Music.

She currently teaches at the Winchester (MA) Community Music School and the Tufts University Community Music Program, as well in her home studio. When not performing on her 1780 Cuypers viola, Noralee enjoys practicing yoga and Nia, cooking, gardening, and rooting for the Boston Red Sox.

"With the performance of pianist Mary Towse-Beck, the Aliento Chamber Players series at Christ Episcopal Church has become Exeter's answer to Carnegie Hall"

Lois Yopp
former faculty of music, Northwestern University

"Thanks so much for giving such an enjoyable performance. If Brahms had been in the audience, I’m sure he would have been pleased!"

Jackie Linder

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