Aliento Chamber Players

2008/2009 Biographies
2009/2010 Biographies


Mary Towse-Beck
Mary Towse-Beck Pianist Mary Towse-Beck studied at the Eastman School of Music and at Indiana University where she obtained her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in piano performance. She studied under several renowned teachers in the United States, including Jerome Rose, Rebecca Penneys, Edward Auer and James Tocco, and Benjamin Kaplan and Norma Fisher in London. She has been a featured artist on NPR in the United States and on Australian national radio, and has performed extensively in the US, Europe and Australia as both soloist and collaborative artist. After spending nearly 20 years in England, she returned to the States in 2007 with her husband and three children. Now residing in New Hampshire, Mary continues to perform throughout the US, coaches chamber music and has a large teaching studio in her home.

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. Her studies were with Phil Blum, Karl Fruh, and Harvey Shapiro. Primarily a soloist and chamber musician, her numerous performances across the United States have included Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall and Paul Hall in New York City, The Bennington Museum in Vermont, and Orchestra Hall, Auditorium Theatre and the Newberry Library in Chicago. She has also performed extensive educational concerts across the United States, an activity she has continued here in New Hampshire.

Here in New Hampshire, in addition to chamber music and solo performances, including a solo performance of Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations with the Portsmouth Symphony in 2012, she is principal cellist with the Portsmouth Symphony and also coaches chamber music and has a private studio of students. She has played with many other local orchestras and for choral groups. She firmly believes in experiencing music as an integrative and joyful part of life, both in her East Kingston home with her family, and in performance.

Paul Dykstra
Paul Dykstra Paul Dykstra's versatile pianism and musicianship have interwoven with all of the major compositional and performance styles in the musical spectrum. Classically trained from a young age, and trained at the University of Alberta under Helmut Brauss (a protégé of Edwin Fischer and Elly Ney) he has performed the Bach D Minor and Beethoven G Major Concertos with Canadian orchestras. Paul has worked with major artists and pedagogues including Anton Kuerti, Gyorgy Sebok, and Zoltan Szekely at the Banff School and Shawnigan Lake Summer School of the Arts. His solo, chamber and two piano performances have taken him from Western Canada to the East Coast of the United States. A winner of many awards and scholarships in his native Canada, he has also been on the Board of Examiners for the Western Board of Music and Conservatory Canada. Since emigrating to the US in 1999, he has completed major projects including World Premiere recordings and performances of contemporary music with clarinetist Richard Stoltzman, a full length CD of Classical, Romantic, and Contemporary piano repertoire, and a recording with Stoltzman and the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra of NH composer Roger Rudenstein's "Blues for New Orleans". His recent CD, An Ivory Winter, featuring Great Classical Piano Music for your Inner Season, with masterpieces by Chopin, Beethoven, Bach, Mozart and NH composer Roger Rudenstein, can be purchased here. Paul is also on the Faculty of the Concord Community Music School and performs many solo and chamber concerts in addition to four-hand one and two piano concerts with colleague Gregg Pauley.

Jill Fratianne
Barbara Flocco Violist Jill Fratianne currently lives in Hampton, 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 and is the Principal of the Portsmouth 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.

Angelynne Hinson
Angelynne Hinson leads a very active life as a vocal artist, performing opera, choral and song recitals, church music, and cabaret and revues throughout New England. Now in her tenth season with Cantata Singers of Boston, she has served as a soloist as well as a member in its main stage and chamber series. She has toured the Boston schools with the Cantata Singers outreach program, I Never Saw Another Butterfly: Songs of Terezin Concentration Camp. As a member of the critically acclaimed vocal duo Sirens' Song, she has appeared in numerous regional concert series, as well as in a recent recital series in London. Ms. Hinson is an avid scholar of the history of the American musical theater, writing and performing in revues featuring the music of George Gershwin, Cole Porter, and Stephen Sondheim. Currently a host of classical music programs on WSCA, Angelynne also has an interest in contemporary American classical song. Ms. Hinson holds a law degree from the Franklin Pierce Law Center in Concord and a B.A. in English and American Literature from Harvard University.

Louise Kandle
Louise Kandle, violinist, had her formative experiences in Sweden. She has a Master's Degree from the Malmö Conservatory in Sweden and also studied at the Sibelius Academy in Finland, Western Illinois University, and Hartt School of Music in Connecticut. Currently, Kandle has a thriving violin studio in Durham where she develops young students using the principles of the Suzuki Method, and performs in the New Hampshire Philharmonic.

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 and Musicaleren. Her studies were in Manhattan School of Music with Charles Russo, the Royal Conservatory of Music in the Hague and the Sweelink Conservatory of Music in Amsterdam, where she worked with George Pieterson. She has served as principle clarinet for the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and has performed regularly in the New England area with the Boston Modern Orchestral Project, Musicaleren, Aliento Chamber Players and the Nashua Symphony Orchestra. Karen has a clarinet studio in Nashua and also teaches at the Nashua Community Music School, and at Nashua Christian Academy.

Melinda McMahon
Melinda McMahon, mezzo-soprano is an accomplished artist in opera, oratorio and operetta. She has a B.M.E. in choral studies with a minor in harp performance from the University of Kansas and a M.A. in music history with vocal performance emphasis from UNH. She has appeared as a soloist in Austria at the American Institute of Musical Studies (AIMS) and has performed throughout New England and the Midwest. She has appeared as a solo artist with a variety of groups here in New Hampshire.

A member of the critically-acclaimed Renaissance group, Capella Alamire, she has performed throughout the northeastern United States and Canada, including appearances at the Monadnock and Boston Early Music Festivals. She has recorded three CD�s on the Titanic and Dorian Discovery labels. In addition, Melinda is an accomplished harpist, appearing regularly with the New Hampshire Philharmonic Orchestra and other chamber groups in New England.

Melinda has been teaching voice and harp for more than 25 years. While on the faculty at Berwick Academy, she worked privately with young aspiring voices and directed the upper school chorus. She has been on the faculty at Summer Youth Music School at UNH, directing a Gilbert & Sullivan revue. Currently, she teaches for the Humanities Program at the University of New Hampshire.

With Sirens' Song, she has appeared on numerous regional concert series and festival programs including a full-length recital at The Music Hall, Portsmouth, Concerts on the Hill, Mill Pond Center for the Arts, and Ogunquit Chamber Festival. Sirens' Song is dedicated to performing duets from a wide range of vocal literature - classical and modern opera to oratorio, contemporary and Romantic art songs to operetta, musical theatre and folk song.

Beth Pearson
Beth Pearson, cellist, is a graduate of Oberlin Conservatory and a Tanglewood Fellow. Beth is a founding member of Apple Hill Chamber Players. She has been a soloist with the Brockton Symphony, New England String Ensemble, Nashua Chamber Orchestra, Brookline Symphony and Boston Lawyers Orchestra at the Esplanade. She has performed and recorded throughout the United States and has 40 years' experience teaching cello and coaching chamber music.

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.

Alexander Romanul
Violinist Alexander Romanul was born in Boston into a distinguished musical family of historic Romanian lineage. After making his debut at age 13 playing the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with the New England Conservatory Orchestra under the direction of Gunther Schuller, he was invited by Arthur Fiedler to play as a soloist with the Boston Pops, soloed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in Symphony Hall as winner of the Youth Concerts Concerto Competition, and performed as soloist with the National Symphony of Ecuador, where critics acclaimed him a poet of the violin. Subsequently Romanul was awarded fifth prize in the Wieniawski International Violin Competition in Poland and has performed widely as soloist and chamber musician in Europe and the Americas.

Romanul's honored professori include Ivan Galamian, Alfred Krips, Joseph Silverstein, and Josef Gingold. Philosophically inclined, autodidact and dedicated individualist, Romanul pursues a wide range of interests. He has a special affection and affinity for the mountains and small towns of rural Vermont.* Biography courtesy of Summer Music From Greensboro

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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