Musicians – Woodwinds

Chelsea Knox, Principal

Chelsea Knox has been hailed by the New York Times for her warmth, precision, and clarity, as well as the New York Classical Review for her “expressive life and full tone”. In addition to the Chamber Orchestra of New York, Ms. Knox is currently the principal flutist of the New Haven and Princeton Symphonies. She is also a member of the IRIS Orchestra in Germantown, TN and the ETA3 Trio managed by Manhattan Music Ensemble.

An active soloist, orchestral, and chamber musician, she has appeared with orchestras such as the Vancouver Symphony, the San Diego Symphony, the Juilliard Orchestra, and the New Jersey Philharmonic. Ms. Knox has been the winner of numerous competitions including the New York Flute Club Young Artists Competition and the Hartford Symphony Young Artists Competition. As a solosit, she has performed concertos with the Hartford Symphony, Manchester Symphony, Juilliard Lab Orchestra, and Connecticut Youth Symphony.

Ms. Knox earned both her Bachelors and Masters degrees from the Juilliard School in New York City as a student of Jeffrey Khaner. A native of Litchfield, CT she received her early training at the Hartt School of Music where she studied with Greig Shearer. She currently resides in Brooklyn, NY where she spends her free time painting, knitting, and baking.

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Mira Magrill (Piccolo)

Praised for her beautiful sound, natural stage presence, and energy, flutist Mira Magrill is an active musician, teacher, and soloist in the New York City area. Former teacher and Principal Flute of the New York Philharmonic Jeanne Baxtresser describes her as “a remarkable flutist in every area: talent, motivation, discipline, creativity, comfort in performance, and character.” Winner of the Music Teachers’ National Association Senior Woodwind Competition, she also received a Merit Award from the Arts Recognition and Talent Search, and was named Outstanding Soloist by the Oklahoma Flute Society. As Principal Flute in the Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra, Mira was the featured soloist in the premiere of John Williams’ “War Horse” orchestral suite, conducted by Mr. Williams. She has also been invited to perform with many summer festival ensembles, including the Brevard Festival Orchestra, Round Top Festival Orchestra, Thy Chamber Festival (Denmark), the Atlantic Music Festival, and the Missouri Symphony Orchestra.

Mira grew up in Edmond, OK and began her musical studies on the piano at age 5, switching to flute by age 10. With a great passion for chamber music and community outreach, she has performed with various small ensembles in numerous concerts throughout the U.S., Denmark, Chile, Costa Rica, Italy and China. Also an avid performer of new music, she loves collaborating with composers to perform their works. As principal flutist of the International Opera Theater Orchestra, she premiered the new opera Iago by Carlo Pedini in summer 2009 in Citta della Pieve, Italy. She has premiered many new works by her father Sam Magrill including Odyssey Etude, Bagatelle, and Tango Flauto. She also performs in a variety of new music ensembles, including the LA based wild Up, collaborations with The Industry, and the Morton Feldman Chamber Players.

Mira currently teaches undergraduate flute at Stony Brook University as the graduate TA while pursuing a Doctorate in Flute Performance (DMA) with Carol Wincenc. Previous studies include a graduate certificate at University of Southern California, a BFA in Flute Performance at Carnegie Mellon University and an MM in Flute Performance and Chamber Music at the University of Michigan. Previous teachers include Jim Walker, Jeanne Baxtresser, Alberto Almarza, Amy Porter, Amy Zuback and Christina Jennings.

Slava Znatchenii, Principal

Slava Znatchenii has been called “a beautifully crafted musician” by The Met Opera Guild and the New York Times has noted Mr. Znatchenii for his shapely sound and velocity. The Times Union has described his oboe solos in the Brahms Requiem as “exquisite” and praised his playing for being “notably strong and expressive”. He has appeared as guest Principal Oboist with such orchestras as the New England Symphonic Ensemble at Carnegie Hall, the American Ballet Orchestra and DiCapo Opera Orchestra. Slava Znatchenii has served as the Principal Oboe of Chamber Orchestra of New York since the fall of 2007.

Most recently, Mr. Znatchenii became the principal oboist with the Classical Concert Chamber orchestra and toured extensively throughout Spain, France and several other European countries. As a member of the Verbier Chamber Orchestra in 2007, Mr. Znatchenii has toured throughout North America and Europe under the direction of Maxim Vengerov as soloist and conductor. Slava has also performed with such conductors as Pierre Boulez, Kurt Mazur, Leonard Slatkin, David Robertson, Samuel Wang, John Mauceri and John Rutter.

A native of Moldova, Slava Znatchenii started his musical studies at the age of 10.He completed his Bachelor degree at the Mannes College of Music and holds a Masters and a Post Graduate Degree in Orchestral Performance from Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with Joseph Robinson, the principal oboist of the New York Philharmonic and Steven Taylor, the principal oboist of St.Lukes orchestra and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Slava also studied English Horn performance and chamber music with the renowned English Hornist Thomas Stacy, also of the New York Philharmonic. Currently, Slava Znatchenii resides in New York City where he also enjoys an active chamber music career and maintains a private teaching studio.

Merideth Hite (English Horn)

Named a 2006-07 Fulbright Scholar, Merideth Hite studied Baroque and Modern oboe in the Musikhochschule in Trossingen, Germany. Upon completion of her Fulbright Grant, Merideth received her the degree of Künstlerische Ausbildung (KA) under Martin Stadler and Nicholas Daniel.  Also a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Ms. Hite received her Bachelor of Music degree summa cum laude in 2006 and she currently studies at Yale School of Music under oboist Steven Taylor in pursuit of a Masters degree.
Bringing a wide array of musical experience to her playing, Ms. Hite has performed orchestrally, as a chamber musician, and soloist. She was awarded first prize at the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music Oboe Concerto Competition in March 2005, and appeared as a soloist with the CCM Wind Symphony that same year. She also participated in the Barbirolli International Oboe Festival and Competition in the Isle of Man, British Isles in August 2005.
Orchestral experience, both on oboe and English horn, includes the Chamber Orchestra of New York, Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, Norwalk (CT) Symphony, Brevard Music Center Festival Orchestra, Opera and Chamber Music Festival of Lucca Orchestra, Cincinnati Choral Society, Yale and CCM Philharmonias, Yale Collegium Players, Nutmeg Symphony (CT), Waterbury Symphony (CT), and New Britain Sympony Orchestra (CT).  Ms. Hite recently returned from an extensive tour of Asia with the Yale Philharmonia.
Notable chamber music performances include the Divisi Quintet of CCM and others at the Banff Arts Centre, South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, and Sewanee Summer Music Festival. Most recently, during the summer 2008 performed in chamber, orchestral, and opera performances in the Spoleto USA Festival in her home state of South Carolina.
Merideth has continued her work on baroque oboe since returning from Germany under the tutelage of Marc Schachman. She performs on historical instruments with numerous Baroque ensembles at Yale and the New Haven area, including Yale’s Institute of Sacred Music and the Amherst Early Music Festival Academy. Ms. Hite is a native of Abbeville, SC.

Ben Baron, Principal

Hailed as a player of great “emotion, skill, and intensity” (Sioux City Journal), who “played with reverence” (New York Sun) and demonstrated “clean, incisive clarinet playing” (American Record Guide), New York–based clarinetist Benjamin Baron enjoys a diverse career as a performer, educator, and clinician. He has performed with the New York Pops, American Ballet Theater Orchestra, American Composers Orchestra, West Point Band, Belgian Radio Orchestra, and the London Winds, and has toured across North America, Europe, and Asia.

Baron can be heard as principal clarinet and soloist on recordings with the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas, Chamber Orchestra of New York, and The Knights Chamber Orchestra, all currently available on the Sony, Naxos, and Orange Mountain Music labels. As principal clarinet with the New York Symphonic Ensemble, Benjamin performed the Mozart Clarinet Concerto on the orchestra’s thirty-fifth year of summer tours throughout Japan. Additional solo engagements have included the New Haven Symphony, Sioux City Symphony, Ensemble du Monde, One World Symphony, as well as university bands and orchestras in both the United States and Europe.

A versatile musician, Baron has performed with a varied set of chamber, new music, theater, and jazz ensembles—including the International Contemporary Ensemble, Ensemble ACJW, Argento Chamber Ensemble, Paragon Ragtime Orchestra, Sylvan Winds, Quintet of the Americas, Either/Or Ensemble, Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, and the Broadway productions of On the Town, Wicked, and Mary Poppins. Festival appearances include domestic and international engagements in Verbier, Graz, Delft, Williamstown, the Hamptons, Napa Valley, and with the Glimmerglass Opera Orchestra.

As an educator, Benjamin serves as the director of instrumental music at Manhattan’s Calhoun School, and is an adjunct associate professor of music at Lehman College, City University of New York. He regularly presents master classes and clinics at universities throughout the United States, and has also taught within the precollege departments of the Manhattan School of Music and Mannes College The New School for Music. Baron holds graduate degrees from Yale University (M.M.) and the Manhattan School of Music (D.M.A.), where he studied with David Shifrin, Mark Nuccio, and David Krakauer. Undergraduate studies were completed with Robert Spring at Arizona State University (B.M.), with additional degree work earned at the Royal Conservatory of Belgium with Eddy Vanoosthuyse, funded through a grant from the Belgian-American Educational Foundation.

Baron’s book, The Audition Method, written in collaboration with Mark Nuccio, is currently available through GIA Publications. He is a D’Addario Performing Artist and an Artist/Clinician for Buffet Music Group.

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Anton Rist

Clarinetist Anton Rist enjoys a varied musical career in and around New York City. He currently serves as the principal clarinetist of the Princeton Symphony Orchestra, and has performed with such ensembles as the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the American Ballet Theater, and the Louisiana Philharmonic. In addition, Mr. Rist is a member of Le Train Bleu ensemble, and served as the principal clarinetist of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra during the 2012-2013 season.

During the summer months, Mr. Rist has performed at the Bravo! Vail festival, the Colorado College Music Festival, the Pacific Music Festival, and the Aspen Music Festival.

A dedicated teacher, Mr. Rist is in his second year as a Teaching Fellow in both the Music Advancement and the Arts Enrichment programs at The Juilliard School, and is a substitute teacher for The Juilliard Precollege. In addition, he is a faculty member of Nesin Cultural Arts in Monticello, NY.

A student of Jon Manasse, Mr. Rist received his Bachelor’s degree from The Juilliard School, and will receive his Master’s degree in 2015.

Stephanie Corwin, Principal

Praised for her “warmth and composure” (Wichita Eagle), Stephanie Corwin has established herself at the forefront of up and coming bassoonists. She was named the inaugural winner of the Meg Quigley Vivaldi Bassoon Competition in June 2005 and was a semifinalist in the 2007 Ima Hogg Young Artists Competition. An avid performer of chamber music, she received prizes at the Fischoff, Coleman, Chesapeake and Yellow Springs national chamber music competitions.

Stephanie has participated in the Yellow Barn Music Festival, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, National Repertory Orchestra, and the Aspen Music Festival.

With interest in and passion for historical performance, Stephanie also performs extensively on baroque and classical bassoons. Studying with Frank Morelli, she received her Doctorate of Musical Arts degree from Stony Brook University and her Master of Music degree from Yale University. Stephanie also holds a Performer Diploma in historical bassoons from Indiana University’s Early Music Institute, where she studied with Michael McCraw.

Natalie Pilla

Natalie Pilla is quickly establishing herself as an active solo, chamber, and orchestral musician both in and around New York City. As a freelance bassoonist, Natalie has performed with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, American Symphony Orchestra, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Long Island Philharmonic, Albany Symphony, West Chester Philharmonic, and the Harrisburg Symphony.

In 2011, Ms. Pilla joined the Metropolitan Opera on tour in Japan performing La Boheme, Don Carlo and Lucia di Lammermoor. Under the direction of Fabio Luisi, she also performed with the Met Orchestra at Suntory Hall in Tokyo. While in NYC, Natalie performs regularly at Avery Fisher Hall, Alice Tully Hall and Carnegie Hall and has worked with such conductors as Gianandrea Noseda, Christoph Eschenbach and Alan Gilbert.

Natalie is co-founder of the Aeolian Collective, a chamber music ensemble that performs works written primarily for wind and brass instruments. She has performed chamber music throughout the country as well as in South America, Europe and Japan. Ms. Pilla collaborates with various emerging new music ensembles in New York City and was a featured soloist with The Chelsea Symphony performing the Mozart Bassoon Concerto.

As well as being a performer, Natalie is also an advocate for arts education. She is a teaching artist for the 92Y’s Musical Introduction Series where she brings music education to inner city schools in both the Bronx and Harlem. Ms. Pilla teaches bassoon at the Rudolf Steiner School and has taught at both Mannes and Juilliard precolleges.

Natalie received her Master of Music and Professional Studies Diploma from Mannes College of Music in NYC where she studied with Patricia Rogers. She received a Bachelor of Science in Music Therapy from Duquesne University Mary Pappert School of Music. Ms. Pilla’s principal teachers include Marc Goldberg, David Sogg and Shirley Curtiss.