Bridging the Generations

               Through Music

 

Intergenerational musicians

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Staff Bios

 

Conductors

WARREN COHEN, Artistic Director and Symphnoy Conductor

GAVIN DAVIES, Intermezzo Conductor

PEG ROBERTS , Nouveau Conductor


Coaches

KATHLEEN McCORMICK

VINCENT NOVELLINO

ELIZABETH NOWIK

MARTIN STEINBERG

MARILYN TEPPER


Administration

MARY BETH SWEET



Warren Cohen, Artistic Director and Symphony Conductor

Warren Cohen
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
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

Peg Roberts
Margaret 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

Kathleen McCormik

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

Vincent Novellino
Vincent 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

Elizabeth Nowik
Elizabeth Nowik 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

Marty Steinberg
Cellist Martin Steinberg has performed in such venues as Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Symphony Space and the New York Times publisher’s suite.

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 Hanani.

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.

Mr. Steinberg is also a journalist having interviewed musicians like Mstislav Rostropovich, Yo-Yo Ma, Joshua Bell, Hilary Hahn, Lorin Maazel and Kurt Masur.



Marilyn Tepper, Outreach Coach

Marilyn Tepper
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. face="Times New Roman">Ms. Sweet lives in Maplewood and has two children: Megan, a cellist and Roger, a violist.



 



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