Sylvan Winds group

Hailed by the New York Times for "...its venturesome programming and stylishness of performance," the Sylvan Winds has appeared under the auspices of Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival and the Caramoor International Music Festival.  Chosen to perform at the NY Governor's Arts Awards, the ensemble has presented imaginative and scintillating programs of chamber works for winds in such places as Town Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, the White Mountains, the Cape Cod and Skaneateles Festivals, Rutgers University's Summerfest, Amherst College, the Chicago Chamber Music Society and the Sejong Cultural Center in Seoul, Korea.  They have recorded for the Koch Classics, and CRI/New World, and North/South labels, and have enjoyed collaborations with such distinguished artists as Gerard Schwarz, Ransom Wilson, the Guarneri String Quartet, pianist Claude Frank, radio personality Robert Sherman, and actor Louis Zorich.


The SYLVAN WINDS, an integral part of New York City's cultural offerings, has earned both critical and audience acclaim for its spirited performances and innovative programming. Exploring the entire body of work of chamber music for wind instruments, it is the only group of its kind to present an annual concert series in New York City that was inaugurated at the historic Church of St. Luke in-the-Fields in Greenwich Village. The ensemble celebrated its 35th Anniversary during the 2012-13 season.

Following a concert sponsored by the Carnegie Hall Corporation in 1982, the Sylvan Winds performed regularly in Weill Recital Hall. That summer also marked the beginning of their affiliation with Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival, presenting outdoor pre-concert wind serenades, Avery Fisher Hall pre-concert programs, and participation with the Festival's winds in performances of the Mozart Gran Partita (K. 361/370a) and Handel's original orchestration of the Royal Fireworks music.

Established as one of New York's most versatile chamber music ensembles, the group has also appeared at Town Hall, Merkin Concert Hall and Symphony Space, and was chosen to perform at the Governor's Arts Awards. They have also performed at the White Mountains, Cape Cod and Caramoor International Music Festivals, have toured major university and chamber music series nationally including Amherst College, the Chicago Chamber Music Society, Rutgers University's Summerfest, and the University of the Pacific, as well as performing in Korea, including the Sejong Cultural Center. Featured as the chamber ensemble in-residence at the White Mountains Festival, they are now In residence at the Killington Music Festival in Vermont. The group has been heard on New York City radio stations WQXR and WNYC, WGBH in Boston, Minnesota Public Radio and on National Public Radio's Performance Today. Koch International Classics released the ensemble's debut recording of French chamber music for winds.  

Noted for a wide range and breadth of repertory in delightful and intriguing programs of standard and contemporary works, they have presented a number of New York, United States and world premières by Gustav Holst, Gunther Schuller, David Chaitkin, Max Lifchitz, Arthur Weisberg and Robert Dick. Invited to perform as part of the Cutting Edge concerts in New York City, their CD The Sylvan Winds Plays American Composers with works by Bruce Adolphe, George Tsontakis, and David Chaitkin, features Guarneri String Quartet founder Michael Tree in the solo part of Etler's Concerto for Violin and Wind Quintet, and was released on CRI (now New World). The most recent recording Startling Stories, features works by Max Lifchitz, Robert Dick, and Cynthia Folio and is on the North/South label.

The Sylvan Winds have garnered numerous commissioning, recording and general support grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, and Meet the Composer. Recent initiatives include exploring music from different cultures - notably "Sounds of the Americas," "Russian Nights," "Scandinavian Winds," and "Croatian Composers" – as well as a historical series of concerts "From the Library of Georges Barrère." Many of the works they perform are written for a variety of instrumental groupings and have included collaborations with such illustrious guest artists as conductors Gerard Schwarz and Ransom Wilson, the Guarneri String Quartet, pianist Claude Frank, harpsichordist Kenneth Cooper, harpist Kristi Shade, guitarists Oren Fader and Pedro Da Silva, mezzo-soprano Wendy White, narrator Robert Sherman, actor Louis Zorich, and the American Brass Quintet.

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Artist Biographies

Svjetlana Kabalin (flute)

Of Serbo-Croatian background, Ms. Kabalin is a founding member of the Sylvan Winds and serves as Artistic Director of the ensemble. She was presented in her New York recital debut at Weill Recital Hall as a winner of the Artists International Competition. One of five Americans invited to participate in the first International Flute Competition in Kobe, Japan, Ms. Kabalin also appeared as a soloist with the New York String Orchestra in Carnegie Hall and Washington’s Kennedy Center. Ms. Kabalin has served as principal flute with the New Philharmonic of New Jersey, the New Jersey Ballet and Paper Mill Playhouse Orchestras, the Stamford, Jupiter, and Queens Symphony Orchestras, and has played for the PBS-TV Great Performances production of Kern’s Show Boat. She has also performed with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, New York City Opera, the New Jersey Symphony and New Jersey Festival Orchestras, as well as the Westchester Philharmonic Orchestra. Ms. Kabalin is the flutist of the Paper Mill Playhouse Orchestra, has played numerous Broadway shows, as well as the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall. A former member of the Hofstra University faculty, Ms. Kabalin has also taught in the Juilliard Music Advancement Program, at the Simon’s Rock campus of Bard College and Rutgers University, and has coached chamber music at the Manhattan School of Music. She has recorded for the Desto, Vanguard, Koch, CRI/New World and North/South labels.

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Kathy Halvorson (oboe)

A Wisconsin native, Kathy is a sought-after oboist in New York City. She has been principal oboe of the Symphony Orchestra de Minería in Mexico City, and formerly played oboe and English horn in On The Town on Broadway. She has performed with the American and New Jersey Symphony Orchestras, the Argento Ensemble, Alarm Will Sound, the Jupiter Chamber Players and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, as well as principal oboe with the Berkshire Opera and the Northeast Pennsylvania Philharmonic, and is Principal Oboe with Opera2005 in Cork, Ireland. She has also recorded 12 CDs as Principal Oboe with the Toronto Chamber Orchestra under Kevin Mallon and Nicolas McGegan.  In 2012 Kathy founded the West Side Chamber Orchestra, dedicated to performance on modern instruments of music of the Enlightenment. They released a CD of Harpsichord Concertos with Christopher Lewis on the Naxos Label in 2013.  Kathy’s own arrangements and improvisations on pop, jazz, folk and world music can be heard on the CDs Unraveled and Palette with her oboe trio Threeds.  Kathy studied at the New England Conservatory of Music and at the Royal Conservatory in the Netherlands with Bart Schneemann where she performed for six years with the Netherlands Wind Ensemble, the Rotterdam Philharmonic, and the Calefax Reed Quintet.  Kathy has also worked with the Mingus Epitaph, jazz bassoonist Michael Rabinowitz, and Bjork.  “No praise is sufficient for the oboe playing of Kathy Halvorson” – Richard Dyer, The Boston Globe.

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Nuno Antunes (clarinet)

Born in Lisbon, Portugal, Nuno Antunes began his music studies at the C.N.R. of Leiria, at the age of 11, continued his education at ANSO (Lisbon), and earned a MM at the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with David Krakauer. Mr. Antunes’ appearance in competitions has resulted in several prizes, including the R.D.P. Young Musicians Prize and the Portuguese Young Clarinetist Competition. Recognized for versatility in different musical styles, Nuno Antunes has performed extensively as a recitalist, chamber musician and in various professional orchestras, in the U.S., Mexico and Europe. His love for chamber music led to the creation of The Gene Project, a unique combination of clarinet, bassoon and harp. He is also a founding member of the Ensemble 54 clarinet quartet, and collaborates regularly with several other chamber music groups. Mr. Antunes had his NYC debut as a soloist in 2007, performing Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto in the Musica Bella Concert Series. Invited to give a recital at the XX International Clarinet Conference (Lisbon, Portugal), he was also a soloist with the Orquestra Académica Metropolitana, and with the Miami Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Antunes is a member of the IRIS orchestra and the Sylvan Winds. He teaches clarinet at the Horace Mann School and is on the faculty for the Killington Summer Music Festival. Currently Mr. Antunes plays on the Broadway show Fiddler on the Roof.

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Gina Cuffari (bassoon)

Bassoonist Gina Cuffari is an active orchestral and chamber musician in the New York City area.  Praised for her “sound that is by turns sensuous, lyric, and fast moving” (Palm Beach Daily News), she is a member of the Riverside Symphony, and is a regular performer with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, American Composers Orchestra, Westchester Philharmonic, and the Iris Orchestra in Memphis, TN.  Gina is the bassoonist of the Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players, and is a founding member of the Scarborough Trio - a flute, bassoon, and piano ensemble - who has performed over 200 concerts throughout the US (including their professional debut at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall).  As the bassoonist of  Quintet of the Americas, she recently completed a residency in the Rockaways, as the recipient of the 2015-16 Chamber Music America Residency award. Gina is also a frequent performer with the contemporary groups Alarm Will Sound, Argento New Music Project, and ACME, and has recorded the Schoenberg Wind Quintet and Stockhausen Zeitmasse for Albany Records with the Phoenix Ensemble.  Gina is an Adjunct Professor of Bassoon at New York University and Western Connecticut State University, and is on faculty at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT as well as the Killington Music Festival in VT.  She recently completed her DMA from Stony Brook University.

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Zohar Schondorf  (horn)

Born in Haifa, Israel Mr. Schondorf served in the Israeli Army Band from 1989-92.  With an Israeli-American Cultural Foundation Scholarship from 1986-1992, Mr. Schondorf continued his studies in New York at the Juilliard School of Music. Graduating in 1995, he was appointed Associate Principal horn of the Haifa Symphony Orchestra, a position he held until 1997 when he was appointed Principal horn of the Israel Symphony Opera Orchestra. While in Israel, he won an Oreq Communication award for his performance as Principal Horn in the Classical Winter of the Jerusalem Music Festival in 1993 and also played with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under Zubin Mehta.  Mr. Schondorf relocated to New York in 2001 and is now Principal Horn of the American Symphony Orchestra, and also performs with the American Composers Orchestra, the Stamford Symphony, the Westchester Philharmonic, the American Ballet Theater Orchestra, the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic and the Bard Music Festival. In 2004, Mr. Schondorf was invited to perform with the Bavarian Radio Symphony under Loren Maazel on their highly acclaimed tour of the United States. Formerly a member of the La Boheme on Broadway and the 2005 Tony and Grammy award winning Spamalot orchestras, he also performed on Broadway in Disney’s The Little Mermaid, the Adams Family, Ghost and currently in Fiddler on the Roof. Mr. Schondorf also performs frequently with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, The Knights and the NK Orchestra in Israel.

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