Ann-Marie Barker Schwartz - Violin
Ann-Marie Barker Schwartz attended Boston University where she studied with Roger Shermont and received a Bachelor’s in Music Performance. From 1982-1997 a member of the first violin section of the Albany Symphony Orchestra, she currently performs with the Glimmerglass Opera Orchestra and is director and violinist of Musicians of Ma’alwyck. She received her Masters of Arts in American History from the University at Albany (New York), where she specialized in musical research of America during the 1700s and 1800s. A Cunningham Research Resident at the New York State Library, she worked on early 19th century musical activities in Albany, culminating in a production in 2009 of George Washington’s favorite opera The Poor Soldier of William Shield and John O’Keefe. Ms. Schwartz was a producer for Dorian Recordings, and continues in that capacity for the award winning Baroque ensemble REBEL. Schwartz has taught music history at the University at Albany and Siena College. She is the adjunct professor of violin and viola at Schenectady County Community College.
Sten Yngvar Isachsen - Guitar
Sten Yngvar Isachsen has appeared as concerto soloist with the University at Albany Orchestra and the Ithaca College String Quartet. Holding a Bachelor’s and Master’s of Music in Guitar Performance from Ithaca College, he has studied guitar with Frederick Hand, Ed Flower and Joel Brown, and has participated in master classes with Manuel Barrueco, Sergio and Odair Assad and Benjamin Verdery. Isachsen is a founding member of the Finger Lakes Guitar Quartet, a performing guitar ensemble that commissioned works from composer Anthony Holland. In addition to his work as a classical guitarist, Isachsen is endorsed by Martin Guitars and performs regularly on steel string and electric guitars, as well as mandolin, providing support for artists like living legend Charlie Louvin, Nashville recording artist Bob Bates, Country Music Hall of Fame inductees The Haggar Twins and many Upstate New York musicians like Mother Judge, Mark Jones, and Jim Gaudet. He is a frequently called-upon recording studio musician, composer and arranger. A dedicated teacher, Isachsen is member of the faculty at Schenectady County Community College, teaching both guitar and studio recording. Isachsen is owner, engineer and producer at Bender Studios, a recording facility in Delmar, NY.
Petia Kassarova - Cello
Cellist Petia Kassarova enjoys an active career as a chamber musician, orchestra player and a teacher. She began playing cello at the age of ten in her native Bulgaria. She is a prizewinner of many National Competitions in Bulgaria and a concerto competition winner at the University of Massachusetts. She was a member of the Vidin philharmonic and toured with the orchestra in Western Europe. Prior to her arrival to America, Ms. Kassarova was a principal cellist of the Orquestra Simfonica de Ribeirao Preto Brazil and appeared with Bulgarian Chamber ensemble on the Brazilian national television program “Primeiro Movimento” channel Globo. She was professor of cello at the Musical Academy of Ribeirao Preto, Brazil. Ms. Kassarova studied at Bulgarian National Music Academy and holds Artist Diploma from Duquesne University. She received her Master’s Degree in Music from University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA.
Ms. Kassarova is a member of the Albany Symphony Orchestra and as an active orchestra player she has performed with orchestras such as: Festival Orchestra of Brazil, Syracuse Symphony, Ohio Light Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Key West Symphony, Manchester Festival Orchestra, Berkshire Bach Society and all the regional orchestras. Ms. Kassarova is a founding member of Musicians of Ma’alwyck and is on the faculty of the Schenectady County Community College.
Norman Thibodeau - Flutist
Norman Thibodeau was trained at Peabody Conservatory and the University at Albany. Formerly assistant principal flutist of the Orquesta Sinfónica del Estado de México and member of the Albany-based St. Cecilia Orchestra (including performances broadcast on NPR), he has recorded solo flute music of Anthony Holland for Albany Records and participated in recent Albany Symphony recordings of works by Morton Gould and George Tsontakis. Live concert recordings have been issued from the two European European tours which the Orquesta Sinfónica made during his tenure. His playing is also heard on the New York State Theatre Institute's Audie-award-winning "King of Shadows." Mr. Thibodeau teaches flute at Schenectady County Community College.