The Chamber Orchestra of New York (CONY) will perform a program titled “Postcards from Italy” at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall on Saturday, October 28th at 7:30 pm, in celebration of its tenth anniversary. Led by music director and composer Salvatore di Vittorio, the Orchestra is the City’s premier ensemble for young professionals, and showcases a rigorously selected roster of blossoming virtuosos.
Mr. di Vittorio founded the sinfonietta in the mid-aughts, following a model that is well established in Europe, but almost unknown in America. His vision quickly began to attract young musicians from around the world, especially from prominent music conservatories in the Northeast, including the Juilliard School, the Manhattan School of Music, and the Mannes School of Music (part of the New School), as well as the Eastman School (in Rochester), the Yale School of Music, the Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins, and Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute of Music.
With relationships to all of these academies, CONY acts as a conduit, welcoming and further honing the artistry of new graduates, who then advance to philharmonic orchestras around the globe. Recent CONY alums are now seated with the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic, the Dallas Symphony, the San Diego Symphony, the Melbourne Symphony, and England’s Glyndebourne Opera Orchestra, among others.
A native of Italy, Mr. di Vittorio first came to international attention in 2009, with his completion of the unfinished First Violin Concerto by Ottorino Respighi’s (widely regarded as “Italy’s Beethoven”), as part of a commission from the Bolognese composer’s great-nieces, involving the restoration of multiple orchestral works. This led to Mr. di Vittorio being hailed, by leading Italian music publisher Casa Ricordi, as one of the modern inheritors of Italian lyricism.
“CONY plays music that is timeless,” reflects Battery Park City resident and Orchestra board member, Steve Avary. “The performances are crisp, and there is a purity to the music.” Mr. Avary notes that “while CONY is very professional, we also like to have fun, and I think that comes out in the body language of the young musicians. They enjoy being around each other, and it shows on stage.” Mr. Avary credits this energy and enthusiasm to Mr. di Vittorio, along with managers Santa Maria Pecoraro and Shanan Estreicher. “They are all very charming and you just like being around them,” he says.
CONY has undergone brisk growth in recent years, as it has become an established fixture on New York’s classical music landscape. This transformation has been abetted by the release on the Naxos Records label of four critically lauded albums, with two more upcoming. And CONY’s regular appearances at venues like Carnegie Hall, the Adelphi University Performing Arts Center, and the Morgan Library and Museum (where it will perform again on November 17), along with events like New York Fashion Week, have earned not only acclaim, but increased attention.
In addition to its regular schedule of performances, CONY also oversees unique programs, such as the Respighi Prize music competition for young composers and soloists, and the New York Conducting Workshop for young maestros. Journeymen who have come through The Respighi Prize and Conducting Workshop programs also have the opportunity to perform at one of the orchestra’s Carnegie Hall concerts.
With this higher profile, the Orchestra is beginning to attract more corporate and foundation sponsorships, as well as individual donations. To keep pace with this robust growth, CONY is gradually recruiting and adding new board members. When vetting candidates, Steve said, “Chemistry is key. From a big-picture perspective, what I look for is someone who can think analytically, and bring a lot of positive energy and passion for this young orchestra, someone who can and will move the needle.” For those whose schedule will not accommodate the time commitment expected of board members, Mr. Avary says, “patrons of CONY also receive tremendous value, with premier performances at a reasonable price.”
Tickets for the October 28th 10th Anniversary Concert can be purchased on Carnegie Hall’s website (www.carnegiehall.org) as well as Chamber Orchestra of New York’s website (www.chamberorchestraofnewyork.org) where you can purchase VIP tickets to attend a gala party afterwards.