David Mancuso, Principal
A graduate of Oberlin Conservatory and Temple University, David Mancuso has performed and recorded in a variety of diverse musical situations. He has appeared with symphony, opera, and ballet orchestras, and in contemporary chamber music situations worldwide as a classical percussionist and timpanist. Additionally, he has served as drummer, percussionist and Assistant Conductor for numerous Broadway shows, and had helped Disney (as a musical coordinator) with their productions of ‘The Lion King’ in Paris, Sydney, Hamburg, Scheveningen, two US national tours and presently in Las Vegas. Whenever possible, he also freelances in and around New York City, playing everything from pop/rock/world music to the classical orchestral and choral repertoire.
Originally from the San Francisco bay area, percussionist Chris Thompson has enjoyed collaborations with dozens of performing artists, bands, and ensembles spanning a wide range of musical genres and resulting in the world premieres of over 100 new works and the release of 20 studio albums.
In addition to being a founding member of the Chamber Orchestra of New York, Chris has been a member since 2008 of Alarm Will Sound, called “SEAL Team Six of new music” (New York Magazine), and “The Future of Classical Music” (New York Times) and known for its versatility in presenting music of a wide variety of styles, from arch-modernist to the pop-influenced. Since 2004 he has also been a member of NY-based ACME (American Contemporary Music Ensemble) and the Line C3 Percussion Group, of which he is a founding member.
As a guest, Chris has performed or recorded with an eclectic mix of ensembles and musicians including Antony and the Johnsons, Björk, Tyondai Braxton, The Brooklyn Philharmonic, Dirty Projectors, Doveman, Efterklang, GLANK, The Knights Chamber Orchestra, The Metropolitan Opera, Oklahoma and Vermont Mozart Festival Orchestras, Nico Muhly, The Stamford Symphony, They Might Be Giants, and Wordless Music Orchestra.
When at home in New York City, he is active in musical theater and has performed in the Broadway productions of Wicked, The Phantom of the Opera, Cinderella, On a Clear Day, Anything Goes, See What I Wanna See,and the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.
Chris is recorded on numerous solo and chamber music projects, including for Nonesuch, Sony Classical, Bedroom Community, Cantaloupe, Naxos, New Amsterdam, New Focus, and New World Records. His early musical training came from drum and bugle corps, which had a profound influence on his musical direction; at the age of 15 he became one of the youngest ever members of the Santa Clara Vanguard tenor line, where he marched for two seasons. He later went on to study classical and contemporary percussion at UCLA with Mitchell Peters, and then at Juilliard with Daniel Druckman.
Kristi Shade, Principal
Kristi Shade began playing the harp at the age of two, and has since become one of the preeminent emerging harpists in New York City, regularly performing with symphony orchestras both in New York and across the country. She is currently the principal harpist for the Chamber Orchestra of New York, the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas, the Astoria Symphony, One World Symphony and Ensemble 212.
In recent years, Kristi has played for several Broadway shows, including Wicked, Gypsy starring Patti Lupone and The Apple Tree starring Kristin Chenowith. She has performed multiple times with hit popular bands, including The Killers and The All AmericanRejects. Television appearances include The Today Show, Late Night with David Letterman, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and All My Children.
Kristi received her training at the University of Miami and the Manhattan School of Music, where she now teaches. Since graduating from these prestigious institutions, Kristi has played countless engagements both at home and abroad. She has toured the world with the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas, she is a mainstay at New York’s Ritz Carlton and Plaza Hotels, and she has played for innumerable weddings and private events in the tri-state area. In the past she has been a participant of the National Orchestra Institute and the Henri Mancini Institute.
Kristi has been the guest harpist for many orchestras, including the Florida Philharmonic, the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra, the Alhambra Orchestra of Florida, and the Brooklyn Repertory Opera. Her solo engagements have included performances of Ravel’s Introduction and Allegro and Mozart’s Concerto for Flute and Harp with Ensemble 212, Ravel’s Introduction and Allegro with the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas, as well as Mozart’s Concerto for Flute and Harp with the Astoria Symphony.
Kristi currently resides in Manhattan. She teaches privately and at the Manhattan School of Music, and maintains a vigorous performance schedule in the Manhattan area and elsewhere.
Aymeric Dupré la Tour, Principal
Aymeric Dupré la Tour is a well-rounded keyboardist with praiseworthy accomplishments in solo performance, ensemble work, and accompanying on harpsichord, organ, and piano. An award-winning musician, Dr. Dupré la Tour began his training at the Conservatoire National de Région of Lyon, France, his native town. He has performed throughout his country as well as in the United States, Canada, and South America. While at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, he earned an Artist Diploma in Organ Performance and a Master of Music in Historical Performance. He received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from The Juilliard School. His dissertation, “New Words for the Music of Louis Marchand,” highlights the diverse talents of this lesser-known Baroque organist, harpsichordist and vocal composer.
Currently, Dr. Dupré la Tour serves as Acting Director of Music and Organist at First Church Congregational of Fairfield, CT, and Assistant Artistic Director and Accompanist of the Mystic River Chorale in Mystic, CT. He is also the harpsichordist at Zuckermann Harpsichord International in Stonington, CT, where he regulates and voices both new and restored harpsichords. He is a faculty vocal coach for the Ensign-Darling Vocal Fellowship at the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford and accompanist for the Student Education Outreach Program of the Salt Marsh Opera. He performs organ and harpsichord recitals and lectures, collaborates with Jurate Svedaite of the Connecticut Lyric Opera, and has recently formed a French horn and organ duo with Elizabeth Fleming Martignetti.
Accolades have followed Dr. Dupré la Tour from the beginning of his performance career. The reviewer of an early concert in Lyon with his sister on recorder noted that they played “with extraordinary intensity and sensitive virtuosity.” These qualities have continued to characterize both his ensemble and solo performances. Known for his “spot on” precision and “prismatic detail” in accompanying, Dr. Dupré la Tour has played with the String Orchestra of New York on harpsichord, the Oberlin Symphony Orchestra on organ, and accompanied a critically-acclaimed recital at the Cleveland Museum of Art’s Musart Matinee series on harpsichord and piano. He also performed on the celesta in John Luther Adams’ In the White Silence, now a New World Records CD.
Dr. Dupré la Tour has recently been appointed Adjunct Professor of Music at the University of Bridgeport.