Lisa Casal-Galietta

Violin


Violinist Lisa Casal-Galietta has made it her mission to spread the joys of music to everyone she meets. Lisa began her journey on the violin at the age of 8 and since that time, she has earned degrees in performance from both the University of Akron and Stony Brook University, where her principal teachers include Dr. Linda Sinanian and Alan Bodman.

As a recitalist, Lisa has been invited to perform in the WMP Strad for Lunch concert series, the Edith Brenner Memorial Concert Series, The Rising Stars Concert Series in Bellport, NY, Faust Harrison Pianos, and at the Custer Observatory Chamber Music Series, in Southold, NY to name a few. Respectively, she has also had the wonderful opportunity to perform with the late Marvin Hamlisch, Randy Newman, Julianne Moore, Johnathan Haas, Marvin Stamm, and Bill Mays.

Having a passion for chamber music, Lisa spent many of her summers on scholarship at the Stony Brook Summer Music Festival, which ignited the fire in her for the intimate style of performance and from that point, she was devoted to pursuing a career in chamber music. In 2015, Lisa founded the ensemble, The Red Door Chamber Players. She is the violinist, artistic director and the graphic designer for the group. She has created the ensembles logo, designs all of the posters, along with all of the marketing materials. The collective is a blend of strings, guitar, piano, organ and voice and are dedicated to bringing high quality performances throughout Long Island, Queens, Manhattan and most recently New Jersey. They have been recognized for their fun and approachable style of music making. “They’re a welcoming, friendly group of talented musicians dedicated not only to making wonderful music, but to making sure as many people as possible enjoy it,” Alan Missroon, A Red Door To Classical Music, from the podcast series, Fugue For Thought, which featured Lisa discussing The Red Door Chamber Players. The aesthetic of making “music of friends,” having integrity in the process, and lifting and supporting fellow artists, has been one Lisa has cultivated and continues to do with fellow band mates in the effort to make the world a happier place. You can also read an interview she gave to the lifestyle blog, Whatshamptoning?, titled, Long Island Ensemble Keeps Classical Music Alive, in the summer of 2018 that features the ensemble.

As a freelance violinist she enjoys collaborating with other ensembles performing such as Rhymes With Opera, Luminous Sounds, The Hampton Festival Orchestra, Vari Musicisti and Symphony Orchestra of The America’s. She has also played with the Mansfield Symphony, The New Jersey Philharmonic, One World Symphony and for The Akron Ballet.

In 2014, Mrs. Casal-Galietta was featured in a concert with Vari Musicisti playing Niccoló Paganini’s, Cantabile for violin and piano, with pianist Rob Keiser. The performance was broadcasted on a local television station in Somerville, New Jersey. Lisa has also performed on the 2018/19 productions of Fun Home and South Pacific at The Smithtown Performing Arts Center on Long Island.

Lisa believes in what a positive and encouraging musical education can do for a young mind. In July 2019, Mrs. Casal-Galietta was a featured artist on, The Music Educator Podcast, hosted by violist, Gregory Childress. The series brings light to some very important topics through the stories and experiences of professional musicians. You can listen to her episode titled, When Hard Work & Community Lead to a Thriving Career with Lisa Casal_Galietta, on iTunes. Lisa continues to balance her passion for performance with a love of teaching the next generation of young violinists. She has a private studio of wonderful young violinists, has served as adjunct violin faculty at Suffolk Community College in Selden, NY and has been a teacher at The East End Arts in Riverhead, NY for 8 years.

IMG_4218.JPGFang-Yi Chu
Piano

Originally from Taipei, Taiwan, pianist Fang-Yi Chu received her doctorate degree in 2018 at the University of North Texas, where she studied piano performance with Gustavo Romero and collaborative piano with Dr. Elvia Puccinelli. She earned her master’s degree at New England Conservatory in Boston, where she studied with Victor Rosenbaum. Fang-Yi was invited to attend the International Keyboard Institute Festival in New York in the summer of 2010 and 2011. As an experienced collaborative pianist, Fang-Yi was invited by American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz and Musiktheater Bavaria in summer 2015 and 2016 and performed with singers in Austria as well as Germany. In May 2017, Fang-Yi was invited as an intern opera coach by The Druid City Opera Workshop at the University of Alabama. She is currently the pianist of The Red Door Chamber Players based on Long Island. Fang-Yi is an accompanist at Mannes School of Music and Brooklyn Conservatory of Music.



Photo Credit: Jaka Vinsek
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Jennifer Girone-Virgilio
Cello

Jennifer Girone-Virgilio (cello) has performed in venues across the world, including the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. as the Principal Cellist with the Mid-Atlantic Foundation for Asian Artists Opera; in Italy, as a part of the Opera, Theater, and Music Festival of Lucca; and acting on stage at New York’s Metropolitan Opera as the role of “cellist” in Puccini’s Manon Lescaut.

Ms. Girone-Virgilio recorded the soundtrack to “The China Question”, a documentary directed by Brook Silva-Braga, which has been featured on CNBC. Additionally, she can be heard on Warner Brothers’ singer/songwriter Matt White’s album, “Shirley”.

Jennifer is a member of Rhymes with Opera, the String Orchestra of Brooklyn, and the Red Door Chamber Players. She studied at The Hartt School with Steven Thomas, and Mannes College of Music with Paul Tobias. Ms. Girone-Virgilio is on faculty at the School for Strings, Virtuoso Suzuki Academy, and Brooklyn Conservatory of Music.


Diana Golden
Cello


A passionate performer and avid chamber musician, cellist Diana Golden performs regularly with the Red Door Chamber Players and the Golden Williams Duo, as well as having performed on chamber music concert series of the Mandarax Music Ensemble, Bushwick Chamber Concerts, Music and More, Union City Chamber Players, and Standing Room Only. The founder and Artistic Director of the Firebrand Concerts Series, Diana has also participated in chamber music festivals including Killington Music Festival in Vermont, Musicorda, and Italian summer music festivals Zephyr and Musica Lozzo.

Performing in Carnegie Hall, David Geffen Hall of Lincoln Center, National Sawdust, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, NYU’s Skirball Center, Davies Symphony Hall, St. David’s Hall and other renowned venues, Diana has worked with ensembles such as the Albany Symphony, Richmond Symphony, Hudson Valley Philharmonic, New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players, Distinguished Concerts International New York, Symphony by the Sea, Utica Symphony, Catskill Symphony, Cape Symphony Orchestra, and Binghamton Philharmonic. Dr. Golden has performed throughout New England, the Mid-Atlantic, California, and the United Kingdom.

Dr. Golden has taught cello and coached chamber music at Rutgers University as a Graduate Instructor, and at Mountain Springs Music Festival, Riverdale Country School, WHIN Music Project, Music Conservatory of Westchester, Union City Music Project, Tufts University’s Applied Music Program, Open Access to Music Education for Children, Newcomer’s Academy, Belmont Saturday Morning Music Program, Lincoln & Lexington Public Schools, BASICS Music Is Instrumental, Four Strings Academy, Vibo Music Center, and privately. She has also given masterclasses at The College of New Jersey, South Texas College, and Saint Francis Preparatory School, and served as a Guest Teaching Artist for the École de Musique Dessaix-Baptiste in Jacmel, Haiti. She completed a Licentiate of Teaching at the Royal Academy of Music and has received Suzuki teacher training.

Diana holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Cello Performance from Rutgers University, where she completed her doctoral research on Haitian art music. She also holds a Master of Arts in Cello Performance with Distinction from the Royal Academy of Music in London, a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Cornell University, and a Bachelor of Music degree in Cello Performance from San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Dr. Golden’s primary teachers were Jean Michel Fonteneau, Mark Kosower. Felix Schmidt, and Jonathan Spitz. Diana has also received instruction from renowned artists including Bernard Greenhouse, Colin Carr, Fred Sherry, Steven Doane, Alan Harris, Matt Haimovitz, Philip Mueller, and Sadao Harada.

She was awarded a Hill and Hollow Artist Residency in 2013, John Baker Career Development Award, Sir Stapley Educational Trust Award, and a Bursary Award from the Royal Academy of Music.

Diana’s recent projects have included performances at the United Nations, the Colburn School of Music and Montreal’s Conservatoire de musique et d’art dramatique du Québec, followed by recording an album of Haitian cello music in June 2018. Her article “Staging the Nation Through Mizik Savant: Art Music of the Haitian Diaspora” was published in the Fall 2018 issue of The Journal of Haitian Studies, Vol. 24, No. 2. This April, she presented a lecture recital of Haitian music at the 5th Symposium of Caribbean Art Music held at the Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico.



Daniel 
Keene
Guitar & Lute


New York native Daniel Keene is a guitarist, lutenist, arranger, composer, chamber player, and educator.

A multi-instrumentalist, Daniel performs on an array of plucked string instruments, including the Renaissance lute, Renaissance bandora, Baroque guitar, nineteenth century guitar, modern guitar, mandolin, and electric bass. He has concertized extensively in New York and along the East Coast as a soloist and chamber musician, recently performing at The Tilles Center for the Performing Arts, Opera America, Shapeshifter Lab, Adelphi University Performing Arts Center, Christ Church of Oyster Bay, Spectrum NYC, The Custer Observatory, The Staller Center for the Arts, The Buttonwood Tree, and at a multitude of other venues. In addition to being a founding member of The Red Door Chamber Players, he is a member of The Samadi-Keene Piano & Guitar Duo and performs often in a duet setting with Soprano Erin Heisel. In addition, he has performed with Long Island Baroque Ensemble, The Golden Williams Duo, The Bacheler Consort, Impetus Dance Collaborative, and Musical Amoeba. An avid performer of new music, Daniel has collaborated with composers all over the globe, premiering many new works on guitar.

Daniel is on the faculty at SUNY Nassau Community College and Adelphi University, teaching courses pertaining to music theory and performance. He is the director of the NCC Guitar Ensemble and the Adelphi Guitar Ensemble.

Daniel began studying music at the age of nine. He studied lute and guitar with Jerry Willard and William Zito, guitar with Stephen Leonard, and worked with tenor Jonathan Goodman, pianist Dr. Susan Sobolewski, and violinist Dr. Linda Sinanian on musical interpretation.



Kristin Nikaj

Viola

Kristin Nikaj, Violist, is an active chamber musician, orchestral player, recitalist and teacher. She has performed throughout New York's premiere concert halls, including Carnegie Hall, Steinway Hall and Lincoln Center. Ms. Nikaj has also performed Internationally, touring throughout Italy and Switzerland in 2004. She has performed with numerous orchestras such as the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, Gateway Classical Society, New England Symphonic Ensemble and Charlottesville Virginia Consort.

In 2009, Ms. Nikaj graduated with a Master’s Degree in Performance from Mannes College where she served as principal violist of the Mannes Orchestra & the Mannes Opera Orchestra. Although she primarily performs classical, Ms. Nikaj occasionally collaborates with popular artists. Recent collaborations include Adele and Kid Cudi and television performances including: CBS's The Late Show with David Letterman, ABC's The View, and BET's Rising Icons and The Monique Show.

In addition to performing, she maintains a bustling private studio of talented young musicians. 


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Sokol Nikaj
Cello


Sokol Nikaj, cellist, was born in Tirana, Albania. A National Cello Competition first prize winner, Mr. Nikaj also participated at the Summer Festival in Athens, and studied under Gjovalin Lazri in Artistic Lyceum “Jordan Misja”. He received his bachelor’s degree from Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, and performed in the Eckelshausen Festival, Schott Verlag, Rathaus Mainz, and at the Brandenburg Gate under the direction of Mstislav Rostropovich. He also toured with the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie. Since arriving in New York, Mr. Nikaj has performed at venues including Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, Weill Recital Hall, Flushing Town Hall, Steinway Hall, and the Colden Center for the Performing Arts. He has performed as a guest cellist with the Corona Trio and was Goliard Concerts’ 2007 Herman De Jong Memorial Scholarship winner. Mr. Nikaj earned his master’s degree from Queens College in 2007. His principal teachers include Julius Berger and Marcy Rosen.


Photo Credit: Madison Fender
William Roslak
Organ & Voice

William Roslak is an organist, choral director, and music educator based in New York City. An honors graduate of Westminster Choir College in Princeton, William studied organ and sacred music with Dr. Matthew Lewis, Peter Richard Conte, and Bruce Neswick. He has held posts in various churches, most notably at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia, as organ scholar, and as director of music at Westhampton Presbyterian Church in the Hamptons (Long Island, NY). As an organ recitalist, he has performed in venues such as St. Paul's Episcopal Church (Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia), the Cathedral of the Incarnation (Garden City, NY), the Church of St. Mary the Virgin (Times Square, NYC), and St. Patrick's Cathedral (NYC). Will is currently the associate organist at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Darien, Connecticut, one of New England's largest churches, where he recently played for the U.S. visit of former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams. In addition to his work as an organist, Will has extensively conducted both professional and amateur choirs. He is on the choral faculty at Kaufman Music Center's Special Music School, New York City's only school with a core curriculum in classical music. His students have performed with singers from the Metropolitan Opera and with Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, Caroline Shaw. Will graduated summa cum laude from the Aaron Copland School of Music, CUNY Queens College, where he studied choral conducting with Dr. James John, and was the recipient of the David Stahl award for excellence in conducting. Will is a native of Long Island's North Fork, and is an active boater and fisherman.


Photo Credit: Jiyang Chen
Gregory K. Williams
Viola

Gregory K. Williams is the Principal Violist of the Berkshire Opera Festival, and Assistant Principal Violist of the Hudson Valley Philharmonic and the Washington Heights Chamber Orchestra. He is the founding violist with Rhymes With Opera, and a violist with the Red Door Chamber Players, and performs regularly with Luminous Sounds. He has also performed with the American Ballet Theater, Albany Symphony, New Haven Symphony, Vermont Symphony, Symphony in C, the Syracuse Symphony, and at the Aspen Music Festival. His performances include solo recitals in the Netherlands, Germany, the Czech Republic, and throughout the United States.

As a conductor and orchestral coach, Dr. Williams has worked with several student ensembles, including the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra (Long Island), and the Greater Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra. He has been a guest conductor for the Saratoga-Warren County Music Educators Association and the Schenectady Music Educators Association All County Orchestra festivals. He also conducted at the Southampton String Festival, the LIU-Post Summer Music Festival, and the Queens College String Ensemble.

Dr. Williams has been on the viola faculty of the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, CUNY since 2012, where he has taught upper string methods and coached chamber music. He serves on the faculty of the Mountain Springs Chamber Music Festival in Draper, Utah. He has taught on the string faculties of Saint Francis Preparatory School, P.S. 115 (Queens), Kellenberg Memorial High School, the Ross School, and at the NYSSSA School of Orchestral Studies in Saratoga Springs.

In May 2018, Greg Williams received his Doctorate in Viola Performance at the CUNY Graduate Center, where he studied with Karen Ritscher and Dr. Linda Sinanian. Previously, Dr. Williams studied with Michelle LaCourse at Boston University, where he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Viola Performance, and with George Taylor at the Eastman School of Music, receiving his Master’s Degree in Viola Performance and Literature.