Maxim Pakhomov (piano), originally from the Far East region of Russia, completed his studies at the Moscow State Conservatory.  He has appeared throughout Russia with various orchestras and has toured England, Scotland, Austria and Estonia in both solo and chamber music concerts.  His American credits include performances in Merkin Hall and Zankel Hall where he premiered his own arrangement of Stravinsky’s Petrushka for piano duo.  Currently, he maintains an active schedule as a chamber musician and is a founding member of The Bronx Chamber Players.  Mr. Pakhomov has performed with The Westchester Chorale and is the principal pianist of the Bronx Opera Company.  His solo performances include piano concertos by Tchaikovsky, Saint-Saëns, Brahms and Beethoven with the Orchestra of The Bronx, Beethoven’s Concerto No.4 with the Orchestra of the Barge Music Festival, Bach’s D Minor Concerto with The Lautreamont Chamber Orchestra, and the Beethoven Choral Fantasy with One World Symphony. Mr. Pakhomov is a recent winner of the Bronx Council on The Arts’ BRIO (Bronx Recognizes Its Own) Award.

Ray Guier (horn), attended the Juilliard School and the University of North Texas and holds a Music degree in Composition and Theory. While at Juilliard he studied piano with Oxana Yablonskaya. His principal horn teachers include Erik Ralske, Peter Reit, and Clyde Miller. He is an award-winning freelance hornist in the NYC metropolitan area, having performed with the Chappaqua Orchestra, Riverside Symphony, Norwalk Symphony, Gateway Classical Music Society, Ensemble Balthazar, various chamber music groups, and several recording artists. He is also a member of "Connecticut Composers." As a soloist he performed Mozart's 3rd Horn Concerto and Sinfonia Concertante with the Fairfield County Symphony. He received numerous music commissions from dance groups in New York, and was also active as a producer and director, creating Off-Off Broadway showcases for dance and music at the Merce Cunningham Studio where he produced the works of more than sixty choreographers. Heavily involved in the dance world in his younger years, he studied at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance, The Joffrey Ballet, and the David Howard School of Ballet. In addition, he has worked in non-performing capacities for the New York Philharmonic, the New York City Ballet, and in administrative roles for Twyla Tharp Dance, Conde Nast Publications, and Smithsonian Magazine. Awards in composition include "Best use of Finale Music Software," and "Friends and Enemies of New Music."  Most recently he can bee seen as the horn player in the Broadway pit scenes of the sitcom "Mozart in the Jungle," which was released in 2014.

John Convertino (Contrabass), began playing professionally at the age of fifteen with the Utica Symphony. He is a freelance musician in the New York and Connecticut area, and has performed in Carnegie Hall with Nina Bellina, and Avery Fisher Hall with The Young Peoples Orchestra. He performs with the Henry Street Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestra of Our Time, the Norwalk Symphony, and the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas, and is also a member of the New York Metamorphosis Orchestra. John has worked with conductors Anton Coppola, Christopher Hogwood, Joel Thome, and Marion Alsop, and has performed at the Weston Playhouse Theatre Company, Yorktown Stages, with Lonn Entertainment, and with St. Peter’s Orchestra by the Sea. He is a graduate of the Juilliard School.

Dorothy Darlington (oboe) started the oboe in fifth grade.  She studied for several summers with Robert Sprenkle from Eastman School of Music, where she eventually earned a Bachelor of Music degree.  Her first professional job was teaching and playing with the Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional in Costa Rica with the Peace Corps—one of the Corps’ few music jobs.  After two seasons in Costa Rica she earned a scholarship to Michigan State University for her Masters.  Later she was a member of the Savannah and Jacksonville Symphonies. She worked at the White House with the US Marine Band "The President's Own" from 1981 until 1987.  In 1989 she finished a DMA at the Catholic University in Washington. After that, she free-lanced, working Broadway and subbing with the New York Philharmonic for ten years. Dorothy continues to be an active performer and has been Principal Oboe in the Ridgefield Symphony for sixteen years. She also teaches and plays chamber music.  She has one son in college at Northeastern University and another son who is a sophomore.   In addition Dorothy has been a top producer with William Raveis Real Estate for many years. 

Roemary Dellinger (Bassoon) studied at S.U.N.Y Purchase and Yale School of Music under Joyce Kelley and Arthur Weisberg.  After music school she took a job as co-principal bassoonist with La Orquesta Sinfonica de Maracaibo, Venezuela where she played for four years. Upon returning to the states, she pursued a Master’s degree in multi-cultural education from Fairfield University.  Currently she teaches Spanish to children in the Wilton school system while playing in various orchestras and chamber groups in the area.

J. Bruce Kimball (clarinet), is an active performer and teacher in the New York and Connecticut area. He is principal clarinetist of the Hudson Valley Symphonic Wind Ensemble and an active member of the First United Methodist Church Annual Chamber Music Concerts in Greenwich. He has also played with Bach on Broadway, the N.T.S.U Symphony Orchestra and the Pasadena Chamber Orchestra. In addition to solo and chamber recitals, he is organist and choir director of the First Methodist Church in Greenwich, CT. Mr. Kimball has studied with Robert Marcellus, Larry Combs, Ted Johnson and Clark Brody  (of the Cleveland Orchestra), as well as Lee Gibson and Lee Kantor.  His extensive musical experience includes Director of the Greenwich Country Day School, Chairman and Upper School instrumental music teacher of Brunswick School in Greenwich, as well as teaching piano, Sax, clarinet, flute, and guitar privately. He is founder and director of “Journey into Jazz”—a summer music camp. Mr. Kimball holds degrees from the University of North Texas and Northwestern University, and has also studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music.

Kerry Walker (flute), is a full professor at WestConn where she teaches flute performance and music history, and directs Juilus Baker Master Classes. She received her PhD from Texas Tech University and also studied at the University of Michigan. In New York she studied with Juilus Baker and performed dual recitals with the master flutist.  She is currently Principal Flute of the Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra and the Ives Festival Orchestra. In addition, she performs with the Manhattan String Quartet, Ridgewinds, Prometheus, and Dual Excursions, with whom she recently produced a CD.

Amy Selig is a passionate violist, as well as an active and versatile chamber, orchestral, and solo musician, appearing as violist, violinist, and cellist. She received her B.A. in Music from SUNY Stony Brook and studied viola with John Dexter. Ms. Selig performs with the Ridgefield and Bridgeport Symphonies, and has also appeared as Principal Violist with the South Shore Symphony, Assistant Principal with the Norwalk Symphony, and Assistant Principal Violinist with the Caspian Chamber Players. She also performs with the lves Festival, the Cambridge Musical Society, and the Longfellow Chorus, appearing in Charles Kaufmann's film on Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and his Music in America. She maintains an active home studio, coaches chamber ensembles, and teaches for KEYS which brings private lessons into underserved areas.

Nicholas Szucs is a nationally renowned violinist, having recently been acclaimed as "elegant and sharp, technically and personally expressed with flowing bowing and playful pizzicato." Having received his B.A. from Montclair and attended the Manhattan School of Music, his principal teachers were Oscar Ravina, Betty Jean Hagen, and Burton Kaplan. Mr. Szucs has performed as concert soloist with the Newburgh Symphony, the Cortlandt Chamber Orchestra, Northern Westchester Symphony and Northern Dutchess Symphony rchestras. He is Assistant Concertmaster of the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra and Assistant Principal of the Second Violin section of the Norwalk Symphony, and has performed regularly with the Hudson Valley Philharmonic, Allentown Symphony, and many other symphonies. In addition to performing as an orchestral, chamber and solo musician, Mr.Szucs maintains an active private studio and is music director of the Rippowam Cisqua and Harvey Schools.

Who we are . . .

The players:

Connecticut Little Symphony is a group of professional musicians from Connecticut and New York, who have formed a small chamber music ensemble; truly a "Little Symphony."  These highly-trained artists have studied at Juilliard, Eastman, Manhattan School of Music, Mannes, New York University, Moscow Conservatory, USC, and other fine schools. Many have performed with the New York Philharmonic, Dallas Symphony, Orchestra of St. Lukes, Boston Pops, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, SNL, The Tonight Show, Tina Turner, Marvin Hamlish, Tony Bennett, Steve Martin, Mel Torme, Erich Leinsdorf, William Boughton, David Gilbert and with over 60 Broadway shows, including Chicago, Into the Woods, Gypsy, Company, Miss Saigon, Les Miserables, The Producers, Annie, The Most Happy Fella, The 1940's Radio Hour, Ragtime, Wicked, The King and I, Grease, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Kiss of the Spiderwoman, and many more. Their group expertise shines through in each concert as they strive to bring you the best of small-sized classical music, whether that comes in the form of a brass quintet, woodwind quintet, string quartet, sextet, octet, nonet, or any other "tet." 

The group performs an impressive roster of composers, from Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, Dvorak, Rachmaninoff, Debussy, Auric, Dahl, Thuille, Spohr, Prokoffiev, Rimsky-Korsakov, Reinecke, Liszt, Liadov, Chopin, Mussorgsky, and Brahms, to Aaron Copland, Eric Ewazen, John Williams, George Gershwin, Elmer Bernstein, John Cheetham, Michael Kamen, Cole Porter, David Raksin, Dutilleux, Milhaud, Nielsen, Onslow, Eugene Bozza, Persichetti, Hindemith, and Nino Rota.

The Connecticut Little Symphony came about as a result of many factors, not the least of which was how to address the eight-hundred-pound symphonic gorilla in the room; that is to say, the unwieldy nature of a symphony orchestra with its seventy-plus players, and the limitations placed on such an organization that requires not only enormous funds to operate, but large concert halls and a dedicated list of subscribers and donors. 

Enter the Connecticut Little Symphony.

The thought was this: form a core group of musicians for the purpose of performing classical chamber works, while keeping the ensemble portable enough to enable it to play in venues such as churches and libraries. But dedicating oneself to chamber music didn’t seem enough. There had to be something more, and the thought of finding large chamber works—which often produce a richness of sound comparable to a small symphony orchestra—came to the fore. It was then that an extensive search was started for repertoire which, when played in an acoustically enhanced space, gave the impression of a small orchestra when in actuality only five-to-ten players were present. The end result was a surprising number of nonets, octets, sextets, and quintets that filled the bill. The search also led to such forgotten jewels as the Schoenberg transcription of Debussy’s Afternoon of a Faun for chamber ensemble, as well as virtually unknown works such as Wallingford Riegger’s Piano Concerto for piano and wind quintet. 

Of course the more traditional chamber music fare will be presented alongside these larger works, with programs featuring solos, duets, and trios. The goal is to provide a wide range of textures and moods at an affordable price, in an intimate setting. For instance, at one of our concerts, the listener may marvel at the intricacies of a Beethoven string trio, but listening to this grouping for over an hour may tire the ear, even when performed by great players. Likewise, a concert featuring strictly winds may be pleasant enough, but there is only so much that can be done by these instruments, and, as is the case with most concerts in this vein, the stylistic and technical aspects are exhausted quite easily in the span of one hour.

The alternative seemed to be to vary the ensembles presented so that the ear doesn’t tire of one composer or style, or become accustomed solely to one medium. By alternating a piece for stings with one featuring piano and winds, the ear remains fresh. By juxtaposing the sparseness of a solo next to a string quartet, the mind is able to compare the two experiences in a way not normally heard in most chamber music concerts.

We hope you will find this type of programming agreeable and worthy of your attention, and that you’ll join us for our next concert where we seek to entertain and enlighten, to amuse and inspire. After all, that is what a pleasurable and invigorating musical experience is all about.

More of our musicians . . . 

The Connecticut Little Symphony--CT and NYC
Joe Petrizzo, trombone, is a graduate of New York University and a freelance musician in the NYC area. He has a Masters in Music Performance from Queens College and a Masters in Educational Administration and Supervision from the College of New Rochelle.  Joe has performed with such notable musicians as Paul Anka, Bette Midler Barry Manilow, Frank Sinatra, Bernadette Peters, Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, Sarah Vaughn, Lena Horne, Rosemary Clooney, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, Michel Legrand, Mel Torme, Perry Como, Johnny Mathis, Doc Severinsen, Aretha Franklin, Henry Mancini, Barry White and the Love Unlimited Orchestra, The Four Tops, The Temptations, Frankie Vali and the Four Seasons, Kenny Rogers, Tom jones,  Englebert Humperdink, Natalie Cole, Peggy Lee, The Fifth Dimension, The Captain and Tenille, Steve Martin, Buddy Hacket, Johnny Carson, and Manhattan Transfer. In addition, Joe has also performed with over 40 Broadway shows, including Annie, Chicago, Company, Annie Get Your Gun, Dreamgirls, Evita, Grease, Gypsy, Guys and Dolls, Jesus Christ Superstar, The King and I, Kiss of the Spiderwoman, Man of La Mancha, Ragtime, and the 1940s Radio Hour. 

​Enid Blount Press
 (clarinet), has a diverse musical career in the New York area, ranging from solo work and new music ensembles to orchestral and popular music.  She has performed at many of the major performance venues in New York, including both Stern Auditorium and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, Merkin Recital Hall, and the Knitting Factory, as well as at numerous other national venues.   Ms. Press has been a concerto soloist, performing Copland, Mozart and Weber Concertos.  She has played a wide variety of new music concerts with groups such as Forecast Music, Vox Novus, and extensively as a new music soloist.  She performed a solo clarinet recital in London in 2009, in an international women composers’ festival.  As a chamber musician, Ms. Press has performed extensively, touring Germany and Italy as well as the U.S.  Enid is currently part of a jazz clarinet/piano duo and is also the bass clarinetist of a new indie-rock group called Angels in the Chamber. Ms. Press holds the M.M. degree in Clarinet Performance from the University of Southern California,  B.M. from Oberlin Conservatory, and she also studied at the NC School of the Arts and the University of Arizona.  Her principal teachers were: Mitchell Lurie, Robert Listokin, Larry McDonald, and Jerry Kirkbride.  She enjoys teaching clarinet and saxophone and has students of all ages and levels.

Dr. Marjorie Seymour Callaghan (horn), teaches music history, music theory and sight singing/ear training and is a member of the faculty brass quintet and faculty woodwind quintet at Western Connecticut State University.  Dr. Callaghan performs regularly with the Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra, the Fair Winds Brass Ensemble and the Nutmeg Brass Quintet and freelances in the Connecticut & New York area.  She has also performed with the New World Symphony Orchestra in Miami and the Bermuda Philharmonic as well as played in the orchestra for the Irish Tenors, Peter Cetera and the rock group “Yes.” Dr. Callaghan earned a D.M.A. from Manhattan School of Music, a M.M. from Hartt School of Music and a B.A. in music and Spanish from Gettysburg College. Dr. Callaghan has maintained a private studio since 1984.  She has written a book, The Horn Guide:  A Reference for Solving Technical Problems, and has presented clinics on teaching beginning horn students and solving technical problems on the horn at the CMEA conferences in Danbury, Stamford and Hartford.

Cheryl Labrecque (cello), performs regularly with the Bridgeport and Greenwich Symphony Orchestras. She also performs frequently with the Waterbury, Wallingford, Ridgefield, and the Norwalk Symphony Orchestras. Cheryl is a member of the Fairfield String Quartet and performs with various chamber ensembles in the Fairfield County area. She has performed the Tanglewood Institute, the Pierre Monteux School, the Congress of Strings, and Summer Trios. Cheryl attended Boston University and the University of Connecticut, receiving degrees in both Performance and Music Education. She completed graduate courses at the Hartt School, Central Connecticut State University, and the Graduate Institute receiving both MS and MA degrees. Cheryl began her studies in New Haven with Andrew Salvo and continued her later studies with Mischa Nieland, Alexander Wilson, Mary Lou Rylands, Warren Lash, and Hans Jorgen Jensen. She is presently teaching orchestra at Fairfield Woods Middle School.

Rich Zurkowski is a freelance bass player in the Connecticut/New York area, where he performs music of all genres. He teaches strings in Fairfield County and is the author of the books Black Sabbath—Riff by Riff Bass, and Steely Dan—Just the Riffs. ​

Janet Atherton (clarinet), received her Master’s Degree from Manhattan School of Music, where she was a student of Leon Russianoff.  She is a member of The Norwalk Symphony Orchestra, the Prevailing Winds woodwind Quintet and the Cumulus Ensemble.  She was a member of the National Orchestral Association of New York City;  and also performed at The Congregation of the Arts Festival at Dartmouth College, and at The Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy.  Janet teaches instrumental music for the public school systems in Greenwich, CT.