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Brunilda Myftaraj, violin, concertmaster, Connecticut Virtuosi, conservatory of fine arts in Tirana, Albania, private studies Piero Farulli of the Quartetto Italiano, Alberto Lissy at the Yehudi Menuhin Academy, Phil Setzer, Eugene Drucker of the Emerson Quartet, Rafael Druian and Renato Bonacini. Soloist and recitalist in Europe, US, with Hartford Symphony and the Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, winner, Van Rooy competition and one of the winners of the Emerson string quartet competition.

(860) 944-0423


Adrian Sylveen Mackiewicz, violin, BM, “Paderewski” Music Academy in Poznan, Poland, MM & AD Yale School of Music, performing career both in the US and in Europe, Art. Director, Connecticut Virtuosi, Connecticut Lyric Opera, Classical Orchestra in Pila, Poland, concerts in Poland, Switzerland, Germany, former Soviet Union, and the United States.

(860) 305-6661



Aaron Packard, violin, has studied at Oberlin Conservatory and SUNY Stony Brook, where he received his Bachelors and Masters of Music degrees, respectively. His principal teachers have been Greg Fulkerson and Mitchell Stern. Other influences include Katie Lansdale, Atar Arad, Jorja Fleezanis, James Buswell, Gil Kalish, and the Turtle Island String Quartet. He is currently living in the beautiful Berkshire Mountains of western Massachusetts.

(860) 593-2501


Ali Svenson leads an active career, appearing with numerous orchestras and chamber groups throughout New England . She holds a Master’s degree in violin performance from Boise State University , where she was graduate assistant to Craig Purdy. Her most recent professional studies include postgraduate work with Anton Miller at the Hartt School of Music. Ali also studied with Georgios Demertzis, and Baroque specialist Allison Edburg during her undergraduate career at the Lawrence Conservatory of Music. While at Lawrence , she developed a love of Baroque music through numerous authentic performance opportunities with Collegium Musicum, and she became a member of the Boise Baroque Orchestra in 2003.

(860) 559-8114


Kathy Schiano, cello, principal cellist, Connecticut Virtuosi, BM in cello performance, University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas. MM SUNY at Stony Brook, As a freelance cellist, she performs chamber music and teaches cello privately in the Hartford area. She also is a member of the faculty at Trinity college where she teaches cello and coaches chamber music.

(860) 392-9188


Cellist, Melissa M Morgan’s playing has been hailed as “deeply resonant” and “vibrant” by the Hartford Courant. An avid chamber musician, she has performed extensively throughout the United States and Canada, as a member of the Bella Cosi String Quartet, the New World Trio and most recently in the Elektra Ensemble. Melissa has been heard on radio broadcasts in New Mexico, California and Connecticut. Dedicated to bringing new music to the concert stage, she has had the privilege of collaborating with Bright Sheng, Ken Steen, The Robb Foundation in New Mexico and many others. Melissa earned a Bachelor of Music from the Eastman School of Music and a Master of Music from the San Francisco Conservatory. Her studies have taken her to Heidelberg, Germany, Bowdoin, the Yellow Barn and Meadowmount. Melissa’s primary teachers have been Stephen Doane and Bonnie Hampton, and she has studied chamber music with Issac Stern, Isadore Cohen, Daniel Ashalomov, Paul Katz, the Juilliard String Quartet, the Guarneri String Quartet and the St. Lawrence String Quartet. Melissa taught cello at the University of New Mexico, was principal cellist of the Santa Fe Ballet, and was a member of the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra of Albuquerque. She has also been on the faculty of the San Francisco Community Music Center and the Green Street Center of Performing Arts in Middletown, CT.

(860) 301-6644


Travis Burns, double bass, Principle bassist of The Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra; MM Hartt School of music; as a soloist, played recitals across the mid-west, assistant-principal bassist of the Eastern CT Symphony,  performed with the Hartford Symphony, Rhode Island Philharmonic, New Hampshire Music Festival, Minneapolis Pops, and the South Dakota Symphony.

(860) 712-2834


Daniel Hartington, Traditional Guitar, Education: The Hartt School; M.M. in Guitar Performance, University of Rhode Island; B.M. in Guitar Performance, B.A. in Jazz Studies Guitar Studies with Richard Provost and Daniel Salazar Jr. Jazz Guitar/Studies with Eric Hofbauer, Dave Howard, and Joe Parillo. Master Classes with David Russell, David Leisner,William Kanengiser, and David Tannenbaum.
Performance Experience: Solo classical guitar recitals throughout Connecticut and Rhode Island. He shared the stage with popular music/jazz groups in Rhode Island and Southern Massachusetts. Teaching Experience: Guitar Instructor at Miss Porter's School in Farmington since 2005; Faculty at University of Rhode Island preparatory program. Awards & Memberships: Member of Connecticut Classical Guitar Society. Hartt Community Division faculty since 2005




Anastasia Seifetdinova: After Anastasia’s Carnegie Hall Debut in 2006, the New York Concert Review wrote: "For a critic, hearing a new pianist with a truly warm, luscious tone is like breathing in the scent of jasmine blooming - a pleasure to be recalled again and again - and so I'm happy to report that from the first note she touched at her Weill Hall recital, Anastasia Seifetdinova was a genuine pleasure to listen to. Every piece, every measure, every note - no matter how complex the texture, no matter how many strands of melody and accompaniment - was wrapped in a halo of golden tone... "Born in Kiev, Ukraine, Anastasia Seifetdinova gave her first solo recital at the age of eleven. Ms. Seifetdinova is a graduate of the Hochschule für Musik Würzburg, Germany, and holds a Master’s degree from The Hartt School at the University of Hartford. In 2003 Anastasia received First Prize in the 14th International Piano Competition for Young Pianists in Rome, Italy, and was awarded a Special Prize. In year 2006 Ms. Seifetdinova won the Puigcerda International Piano Competition in Spain. In the same year she recorded the complete works for piano and orchestra by Balakirev with the Russian Philharmonic Orchestra for NAXOS records. Her career continues with numerous appearances as a soloist both in concertos with orchestra, in solo recitals, and in chamber music concerts in Ukraine, Germany, Macedonia, Italy, Switzerland, France, Russia, USA, and Japan. Anastasia’s recent engagements included a performance at the Great Hall of Moscow Conservatory as well as solo appearances with orchestras in the United States and Germany featuring concerti by Prokofieff, Mozart, Grieg, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, and Stravinsky. In 2008 Ms. Seifetdinova received the “Outstanding Award”, which granted her a return engagement to Carnegie Hall on April 27, 2008. Anastasia serves as a Teaching Associate in Piano at the Hartt School, where she is currently pursuing a Doctoral degree through studies with Prof. Oxana Yablonskaya.

(860) 833-6946


Nathaniel Baker, piano, Performance
Degree - Hartt School of Music (2009), Windham Regional Arts Council Competition winner, ECSYO Concerto Competition, Music Director at First Congregational Church at Canterbury, private studio in Eastern Connecticut Region.

(860) 377-8856


Bill Hively


 •Theory / Liturgy

Ed Clark / Liturgy Education: BA - Tufts University; Master of Sacred Music - Union Theological Seminary's School of Sacred Music in NYC
How I came to First Church: Fresh out of graduate school, I joined the staff of First Church in 1965 and have been here ever since! The most important thing I do here is: As Minister of Music, I both plan and provide music for Sunday worship as well as for special services and events. I currently direct the Senior Choir, the Handbell Choir and the First Church Drum Circle. I also serve as organist and pianist and, on occasion, find myself playing other instruments such as the harpsichord, chamber organ, solo handbells, hammered dulcimer, recorder, percussion and even shofar (ram's horn)! I also oversee our wonderful volunteers who direct the Junior and Children's Choirs. Additional Pursuits: When I'm not working at First Church, I enjoy making more music in my role as freelance musician in the southern New England area. This includes playing the organ and harpsichord with various professional orchestras, as well as with professional and amateur ensembles and choral groups. In particular, I value many memorable moments as organist for the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. Vision for the Future of First Church: To have the entire congregation involved in making music, not just listening to it.

(860) 523-9230

Dr. Michael Schiano
Biography: Professor Schiano received his PhD in music theory from Brandeis University , where he studied with Allan Keiler and wrote his dissertation on Arnold Schoenberg's Grundgestalt. For this dissertation he was awarded the AMS-50 fellowship from the American Musicological Society. He received his M. M. in musical analysis from King's College, University of London , where he studied with Arnold Whittall and wrote a master's thesis on Webern's Das Augenlicht, using analytical computer software of his own design. After King's, he studied at The State University of New York at Stony Brook for a year before moving on to Brandeis. His A.B. degree is in music from Princeton University , where he wrote his bachelor's thesis entitled "Why I Like The Beatles," an unusual topic for an academic paper in 1978, resulting in considerable outside interest. He began his undergraduate career as a physics major, however, spending his freshman year at The Cooper Union. In addition to the teachers mentioned above, he studied music analysis with Jonathan Dunsby, J.K. Randall, and Harold Shapero. His graduate work in musicology was with Robert Marshall, Leo Treitler, Richard Kramer, Edward Nowacki, and Brian Trowell. He is a former lecturer in music at Brandeis University and at The College of the Holy-Cross. He has read papers to the AMS, the New England Conference of Music Theorists, and to various colleges on Mozart, Schoenberg, the Beatles, music analysis, American music, popular music and computer applications in music theory and analysis. His work appears in the New Grove and College Music Symposium. He is an accordionist and a pianist, and has performed with the Hartford Symphony (with Luciano Pavarotti, Andrea Bocelli, Ute Lemper, and Jonathan Bayless) and other orchestras in Connecticut . He was recently featured as soloist with the Connecticut Virtuosi, performing music by Astor Piazzolla and Handel. He is a member of the Long Island based Beatles Magical Orchestra.
At Hartt, he regularly teaches classes in theory, analysis, counterpoint, and music history. 


Conversation with Dr. Michael Schiano about Beethoven's "Eroica" Symphony (Feb. 2010)  >>>


"Virtuosi Music Cafe" conversation with Dr. Michael Schiano about the role of the classical music in the modern society>>>