1335 South Michigan Ave
I. Pezzo elegiaco
Pianist Keiko Alexander is a graduate of the Aichi University of Fine Arts in Nagoya, Japan, and the Juilliard School in New York, where she studied with Sascha Gorodnitzki and Janina Fialkowska. Her other teachers have included Bela Siki in Cincinnati and Vlado Perlemuter in Paris.
Ms. Alexander lived in Cincinnati, Ohio for sixteen years, where she performed extensively as a member of Alexis Piano Trio which consisted of members of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. She also taught at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music Preparatory Department and served as a
head of the piano department. In 2000, Ms. Alexander moved to Vancouver, Canada, where she taught at the VSO School of Music, performed throughout the region as a chamber musician, held master classes, judging domestic and international competitions, and performed 8 piano ensemble concerts in Vancouver and Germany.
In spring, 2015, Ms. Alexander moved to Chicago, and now she teaches at the Music Institute of Chicago in Evanston and Winnetka.
Michelle Szamazewska Wynton began her violin studies at age 5 with Idel Low in Los Angeles, California. As a child, Michelle and her sister were featured on several television programs such as Real People, Hour Magazine and Omnibus, hosted by Princess Grace of Monoco. As a teenager, Michelle studied with Robert Lipsett through the USC School of Performing Arts, where she won a half scholarship. She also studied with Michelle Bovyer, a first violinist in the Los Angeles Philharmonic. During this time, she won several competitions and performed concerti with Pasadena Community Orchestra and Pasadena Young Musician’s Orchestra. After graduating from high school and before entering studies at the University of California at Berkeley, Michelle studied with Tadeus Kochanski at the Gdansk Conservatory of Music, Poland. Michelle earned a Bacherlor of Arts degree in Psychology at UC Berkeley while continuing her musical studies with Serban Rusu. At this time she also studied with William Barbini (New York Philharmonic and Concertmaster of Sacramento Symphony), Yukiko Kamei (San Francisco Symphony), Philip Levy (Stanford University), Barbara Riccardi (SF Opera) and Mariko Smiley (SF Symphony). In July 1995, Michelle received a full tuition scholarship to study with Glen Dicterow at Manhattan School of Music. She continued these studies in Chicago with Emira Darvarova (Assistant Concertmaster, Metropolitan Opera and Concertmaster Emeritus, Grant Park Symphony), and David Taylor (Assistant Concertmaster, Chicago Symphony before being again awarded with a full tuition scholarship, this time to attend Roosevelt University, where she studied with Joe Golan (Principal Second Violin Emeritus, Chicago Symphony) and Robert Chen, (Concertmaster, Chicago Symphony) In 2017 Michelle earned a Master’s Degree with Distinction from DePaul University, studying with Ilya Kaler. Michelle was a faculty member at the the Music Institute of Chicago from 1996-2006 and has performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Ravinia Festival Orchestra, Chicago Civic Orchestra, Chicago Philharmonic, Ars Viva Master Singers, Lake Forest Symphony, Northwest Indiana Symphony, Elgin Symphony, Chicago Sinfonietta, Rockford Symphony, Southbend Symphony, New York City Opera, Westchester Symphony, West Palm Beach Opera Company, Binghamton Symphony, Staten Island Philharmonic, Binghamton Symphony, Sacramento Symphony, Fresno Symphony, Monterey County Symphony, Santa Rosa Symphony, Santa Cruz Symphony, Vallejo Symphony, Napa Valley Symphony and Berkeley Symphony. Her prizes include XII Concorso Nationale “Riviera della Versilia”2003, PremioSpeciale“GiovanniCiuffreda”1ConcorsoInternazionale Di Esecuzione Musicale “Citta Di Padova” 2nd Prize (2003). Pasadena Young Musicians Orch.-Grand Prize&soloist, Pasadena Comm. Orch.
William Cernota, violoncello, has been a member of the Chicago Lyric Opera Orchestra since 1982. Since 1997 he has been Chairman of the Lyric Opera Orchestra Members Committee. From 1982 to 1996 he was a substitute cellist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. While a student of Chicago Symphony Principal Cellist Frank Miller, he was Principal Cellist of the Chicago Civic Orchestra. During this period William performed as soloist in Don Quixote and Schelomo with the Chicago Civic Orchestra. His other teachers include Alois Trnka, Raya Garbousova, Karl Fruh, and Daniel Morganstern. He has also held principal cello positions with the Chicago Chamber Orchestra, Concertante di Chicago, Chicago Opera Theater, and Peninsula Music Festival. In 2012 he was appointed Principal Cellist in the Southern Illinois Music Festival. He performed the Schubert Arpeggione Sonata on a national broadcast from WFMT as part of its “Schubert Live” Series and was a soloist on two European tours of the Chicago Chamber Orchestra. Since 2011 he has annually performed live global recital broadcasts on WFMT with pianist Eric Weimer. William is currently on the adjunct music faculties of both Northwestern and Loyola Universities. Following graduation in Ideas & Methods and Biology from the University of Chicago he served for three years in the Peace Corps, Sierra Leone as a biology teacher and band director. With special interests in new as well as old music, William appears regularly in contemporary music concerts and has also performed on baroque cello with several period instrument groups. He performed Lutosławski’s works for solo cello at Orchestra Hall, Symphony Center in Chicago with the composer in attendance. With pianist Joy Doran, he recently issued a CD: On or About December, 1910. He is a founding member and General Director of Chicago Camerata and the Overtones Ensemble in Residence at Loyola University Museum of Art. William resides with his wife, Maria, and daughter, Naomi, in Chicago where he also works as a Research Scientist at Fermalogic, Incorporated and recently completed the Masters in Engineering Degree from the University of Illinois, Chicago.