Warren Cohen, Artistic Director and Symphony Conductor
Warren Cohen was born in Montreal to a family of professional musicians. He studied piano with his father, Philip Cohen, and composition privately. Mr. Cohen performed frequently as a solo pianist in the years from 1980–1990, performing over 200 works including 20 world premiere performances. At this time he was living in Hawaii, (he holds a Master's Degree from the University of Hawaii) and he held the position of Music Director of the Kumu Kahua Theatre Group, which specialized in locally themed productions. He composed music for numerous theatre productions, including ones based on the life of Princess Ka'iulani and the Aristophanes farce Ecclesiazusae (translated as either "Women In Parliament" or "The Congresswomen").
During this period, Mr. Cohen also worked as a ballet accompanist and as an accompanist to singers. This last skill led to him being asked to conduct the orchestra for a production of the (appropriately) obscure musical "Here's Love" by Meredith Wilson in 1990. After that, he was in great demand to conduct many other productions and concert works. Mr. Cohen spent the 1991-1992 season in England, creating a self-study program for himself by attending rehearsals of all kinds at English National Opera and asking a lot of questions of Mark Elder, who was Music Director at the time. He returned to Hawaii in 1992, and worked more in Symphonic and Concert repertoire in addition to continuing to work in theatre productions. He was conductor of the revamped Hawaii Chamber Orchestra in the 1994-1995 season before leaving for further study in England in 1995. During this period he studied conducting in workshops with Gustav Meier, Paul Vermel and Dennis Keane. He was appointed Music Director of the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra in Tucson in 1996, and became Music Director Laureate upon leaving the position in 2005. Mr. Cohen was appointed Music Director of the Fine Arts String Orchestra in Phoenix in 2001; in 2003 he was asked to become the founding Music Director of the MusicaNova Orchestra (a position he still holds) and in 2004 was appointed Music Director of the Scottsdale Baroque Orchestra.
During the late nineteen-nineties and early years of the twenty-first century, Mr. Cohen has played a significant role in the resurgence of interest in the British composer, Richard Arnell, conducting many of his works in concert, (including his 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 6th Symphonies, and World, American and European premieres of a number of his works) as well as recording them for commercial release. The first coupling, of Symphonies 4 and 5, was made available on the Con Brio Label in March 2008.
Mr. Cohen's talent and inventiveness as both a composer and conductor has been recognized through many performances of his compositions, and a 1999 ASCAP/American Symphony Orchestra League's Award for Adventurous Programming. He has conducted nearly 1000 works over the past ten seasons, with scores of regional and world premieres. Mr. Cohen continues to compose, mostly for orchestra in recent years. His compositions include three Concerto Grossi, the most recent featuring a battalion of flute soloists, which was featured in the 2010 American Flute Society Convention. His Sonata for Flute, Bassoon and String Quartet was premiered by Arpeggio in Scottsdale, Arizona in January 2008, and his arrangement of the Rachmaninoff Cello Sonata as a "Symphony-Concerto" for Cello and Orchestra was premiered by Peter Eom and the MusicaNova Orchestra in October 2011. He now lives in New Jersey, as his thirteen year old son Graham is a composition and viola student in the Juilliard Pre-College Division. He was recently appointed the first Concert Artist in Conducting in the Concert Artist Program at Kean University in Union New Jersey, and is looking to develop a String Orchestra for the School.
Gavin Davies, Intermezzo Conductor
Gavin Davies has been associated with the NJIO since 2005, serving as a violinist, violist and conductor. He has also led the NJIO’s Outreach Ensemble for numerous performances and was a member of the NJIO board of trustees from 2008-2010.
Mr. Davies has had an eclectic career in music having performed in many different genres of music both as a percussionist and a violinist.
He holds a degree in Jazz Studies from the University of Miami in percussion and earned his public school teaching certificate from New Jersey City University. He currently teaches instrumental music at Woodrow Wilson Elementary School in Bayonne NJ, and is the conductor of the Bayonne High School String Orchestra. Mr. Davies has also served as an audition judge for the NJ regional and all-state orchestras.
Although trained primarily as a percussionist, Mr. Davies has, in more recent years, concentrated his musical efforts, as a teacher, student and player, on the instruments of the violin family.
Peg Roberts, Prelude Conductor
Zufall Roberts is the founder and Artistic Director of the Chamber
Music Institute of ASTA/NJ, which began in 2005 at Kean
University. An active board member and past president of the NJ
Chapter of the American String Teachers Association, Ms. Roberts is
frequently seen on the site of one of ASTA/NJ’s many projects.
As a Viola Performance Major, Ms. Roberts was the principal violist in
the Ohio University Orchestra. After receiving her Bachelor of
Music Degree from Ohio University, she completed a degree in Music
Education at Fairleigh Dickinson University, and later did graduate
work at California Institute of the Arts, where she was awarded a full
scholarship to be in a graduate string quartet. Her teachers
include Charles Ponall, Eugenie Dengel, Howard Beebe, Paul Doktor, Alan
DeVeritch, and Jesse Levine. She was the principal violist of the
Duluth Symphony Orchestra, and has performed at the Mozarteum in
Salzberg, Austria, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and with the New
Jersey Symphony Orchestra. Morris County residents will remember the
Zufall String Quartet from many years ago. The four sisters
performed widely in the area, and were featured on the Sonny Fox Show
on NBC. The Zufalls are known most recently in connection with
the Zufall Health Center in Dover, which they started.
Currently the principal violist in the Montclair Chamber Orchestra, Ms.
Roberts (Peg) is a frequently heard performer of chamber music in the
New York/New Jersey area. She has been featured during Music Week
at the historic Mohonk Mountain House with members of the New York
Philharmonic, and has performed with members of the Orpheus Chamber
Orchestra at Weill Recital Hall, and as a guest performer on faculty
recitals at the Lebanon Valley College.
Ms. Roberts teaches viola and violin in her home studio. She also
coaches chamber music and sectional rehearsals for the New Jersey Youth
Symphony, and the Youth Orchestras of Essex County. An adjunct
faculty member at Montclair State University John J. Cali School of
Music, Ms. Roberts also teaches string classes and private lessons at
the Wharton Music Center in New Providence.
Currently, Ms. Roberts is serving on the Orchestra Procedures Committee
for the NJ All State Orchestra. Professional memberships include
ASTA, MENC, and AFM Local 248.
Kathleen McCormick, Concertmaster, Symphony
Violinist, Kathleen McCormick holds degrees from the New England Conservatory of Music, Tufts University and Columbia University. She has studied under BSO member, Valeria Vilker-Kuchment and performed at Boston's Symphony Hall under Keith Lockhart. Locally, she plays with the Morris Chamber Ensemble and has toured with many musical theater groups. She freelances often and has been regularly selected to participate in the Symposium on Violin Studies at the Juilliard School. Mrs. McCormick currently teaches in the Madison Public Schools where she is the director of the Madison Junior School Orchestra and the All-City Orchestra. She is proud to have been named Teacher of the Year for 2012. She maintains a private studio at her home in Mendham, NJ.
Vincent Novellino, Violin Coach, Symphony
Novellino is a freelance violinist who performs with orchestras,
musical theater companies, and at private engagements throughout the
tri-state area. Mr. Novellino is proud of his efforts to promote
music education and appreciation to the next generation of
musicians. A member of the New Jersey Intergenerational Orchestra
since 1997, Mr. Novellino joined the staff in 2005 as a mentor and
principle 2nd violinist. In 2004, Mr. Novellino joined the New Jersey
Youth Theatre (formerly WYACT) as string coordinator and concert master
for the summer productions staged at the New Jersey Performing Arts
Center (NJPAC) and the Algonquin Theater in Manasquan.
NJYT’s 2009 production of “Sweeney Todd” received a
rave review by Star-Ledger theater critic, Peter Filichia, “Right
from the start, this production surpasses the last two Broadway
revivals in offering more musicians; there are 27 on hand to play
Sondheim's fascinating music. And they do so
impressively.” Mr. Novellino maintains a private teaching
studio in his Springfield home as well at Newark Academy in Livingston,
where he also serves as string coach.
Mr. Novellino has an active
performance schedule having performed in the pit orchestras of over 85
musical theater productions throughout the years. Mr. Novellino
frequently performs with Romanza Music, also featuring fellow NJIO
member Martin Steinberg, at chamber music functions and private
events. A graduate of Cook College, Rutgers University, Mr. Novellino
was a member of the Rutgers University Orchestra at Mason Gross.
He has also performed with the Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey, Garden
State Ballet Company, the Livingston Symphony, Plainfield Symphony,
Bloomfield Symphony, and most recently with the Astoria Symphony in
Queens, NY. In 2006, Mr. Novellino toured with the Clay Aiken
Christmas Concert Orchestra.
Mr. Novellino’s talent and
artistic ability is not limited to the violin. He is also a
partner/landscape architect with the award-winning Birch Hill
Landscaping of Millburn, NJ.
Elizabeth Nowik, Viola Coach, Symphony
is the viola coach for NJIO. She has been professionally active as a violist
in the tri-state area since the age of 17 and is a founding member of
the Edison Symphony. Ms. Nowik has worked in arts management as a volunteer
since childhood and professionally since college. In addition to her
work with NJIO, she is the Handbell Choir Director and Children's Choir
Director at Corpus Christi Church in Chatham, and is the founder and
current director of the Little Way Ringers. She has a degree in
Classical Studies from Seton Hall University.
Marty Steinberg, Cello Coach Symphony
Steinberg has performed in such venues as Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher
Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Symphony Space and the New York Times
He has been NJIO’s principal cellist and chamber music coach since 2005
and is the former principal cellist of the Baroque Orchestra of
New Jersey and the Metropolitan Orchestra of West Orange, NJ.
He has participated in chamber music workshops in France,
California, Vermont, Lincoln Center and New Jersey and has been coached
by Ida Kavafian, Daniel Phillips, Robert Dodson, Joel Berman and Yehuda
Mr. Steinberg studied with David Guggenheim of Philadelphia
and has been a student of the pedagogue Irene Sharp since 2000. He also
teaches in his studio in South Orange, NJ.
He is founder of Romanza Music,
which performs chamber music at private parties in the New York, New
Jersey and Pennsylvania areas. His cello, La Sophia, made in 2003 by
Andrew Carruthers of Santa Rosa, Calif., was modeled after a 17th
century design by the Ruggieri family of Cremona.
is also a journalist having interviewed musicians like Mstislav
Rostropovich, Yo-Yo Ma, Joshua Bell, Hilary Hahn, Lorin Maazel and Kurt
Marilyn Tepper, Outreach Coach
Ms. Tepper lives in Florham Park, where she teaches violin from her home studio. Her involvement with the NJIO goes back to its origins, and she has led the NJIO Outreach Ensemble numerous times in the past several years. She is also associate concertmaster of the Livingston Symphony Orchestra, and is an active member of their board, having successfully brought the orchestra and Choir of the Pope's Diocese from Rome together for their first U.S. tour in June 2011. She plays with the Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey, and is the founder and first violinist of Adagio String Ensemble, which performs at weddings, dinner parties and corporate functions. When not playing music, Ms. Tepper is a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker of Madison and a social worker with New Jersey Sharing Network.
|Mary Beth Sweet, Administrator
Mary Beth Sweet has been the Administrator for NJIO since January, 2012. She had been a volunteer with the New Jersey Youth Symphony for over eight years, managing five ensembles, summer camp and the recent Youth Symphony trip to Austria. She also served for many years as the parent volunteer manager of the Saint Cecilia Singers at Our Lady of Sorrows Church in South Orange. She began her involvement as a volunteer in arts management while in college, serving as Publicity Director, Director of Fund-Raising and Tour Manager for various choral organizations. She has a degree in Victorian Studies from Smith College. Ms. Sweet lives in Maplewood and has two children: Megan, a cellist and Roger, a violist.