Bass-baritone Daniel Klein is an exemplar of versatility, singing such varied roles as Podesta in Bronx Opera’s La gazza ladra, Monterone in Annapolis Opera’s Rigoletto, Tonio in Opera Providence’s Pagliacci, and the Pirate King in the Pirates of Penzance (Fresno Grand Opera). Last summer he made his role debut as Emile de Becque in South Pacific with the New Canaan Summer Theater and in Fall 2013 performed the role of the recluse in Frank London’s Talmudic Klezmer Oratorio, “A Night in the Old Marketplace in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Among his other roles are the Count (Le nozze di Figaro) with St. Petersburg Opera; Rambaldo (La rondine) and Marcello (La bohemé) with Opera Company of Middlebury; the title roles of Don Giovanni and Nabucco, Enrico (Lucia di Lammermoor) with Dell’Arte Opera; Iago (Otello), Scarpia (Tosca), and Zurga (Les pecheurs de perles), at Taconic Opera.
This past April he appeared as soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Brooklyn Philharmonic and recently sang it with the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra. He has made several appearances with the Garden State Philharmonic and Chorus, including in Handel’s Messiah, Verdi’s Requiem, and opera pops concerts. He has appeared in opera in concert with the Bakersfield Symphony as Guglielmo (Cosi fan tutte) and as Michele (Il tabarro) with the Delaware County Symphony, PA; and in opera highlights with the Santa Cecilia Orchestra, Los Angeles and AIMS Orchestra Graz, Austria.
Daniel recently appeared with the Brooklyn Philharmonic in the world premiere of excerpts from Misha Dutka’s Holocaust opera, Liebovar. Previously he had been heard in excerpts from William Bolcom’s A View from the Bridge, with the Vertical Players Repertory; Shamrayeff in Pasatieri’sThe Seagull, with both the Dicapo Opera Theatre and the Armel Festival in Szeged, Hungary; and in IVAI Tel Aviv’s production of Robert Ward’s The Crucible.
In 2006, as part of Angels Vocal Arts Center, he worked intensely in televised master classes with legendary tenor Carlo Bergonzi. This culminated in a concert at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center, Los Angeles, which was broadcast throughout California on KSCI 18. Also in 2006 he attended the International Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv, working with Sherrill Milnes, Mignon Dunn and Joan Dornemann. Mr. Klein holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Vocal Performance from Carnegie Mellon University; in 2002, he graduated from the University of Southern California’s Flora L. Thornton School of Music with a Masters in Vocal Arts. In 2003 he attended La Universita per Stranieri di Perugia, Italy, and in 2004 attended Die Neue Schule, Berlin, Germany. Mr. Klein is one of the founders and currently serves as the executive director of the North Shore Music Festival.
American conductor Anthony LaGruth has delighted audiences and critics alike with many exciting performances recognized for their innovative presentation of orchestral music. Roxanne Orgill of the Bergen Record (NJ) observed that, “Mr. LaGruth conducts with subtlety and a refined sense of style that is refreshing.” The Ellsworth American (Maine) noted his “…control, musicianship, and involvement with the music.”, and Michael Greenberg of the San Antonio Express-News said, “Maestro LaGruth brought crisp definition, dramatic sensitivity, and stylishly flexible tempos to the score. In addition to serving as Music Director of North Shore Music Festival, he is the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Garden State Philharmonic (NJ) and the Shrewsbury Chorale (NJ). For six seasons he was Music Director of the Lyric Opera of San Antonio (TX). Mr. LaGruth has worked with some of the greatest composers of our age, including Hans Werner Henze, John Corigliano,Joan Tower, and Pulitzer Prize winner Karel Husa, and has collaborated with a wide range of soloists including Frederica von Stade, Judith Ingolfsson, Philip Smith, Christopher Collins Lee, and Neil Sedaka. A proponent of American music, Mr. LaGruth is one of the co-founders of the American Symphony Orchestra League’s commissioning project. This program offers regional orchestras throughout the country the opportunityto commission works by major American composers. This project made its debut in 2005 to national acclaim with a work by Joan Tower, with 65 orchestras representing all 50 states. Mr. LaGruth recently made his European debut in Romania leading concerts with several orchestras including the state philharmonics of Satu Mare, Botosani, and Raumnica Valcea. He also made his Lincoln Center debut leading a young artists concerto concert at Alice Tully Hall. Noted by his colleagues for his rapport with audiences, Mr. LaGruth builds relationships with his listeners through many outreach programs and his popular pre-concert discussions,Musically Speaking. Whether educating and entertaining students in a Music for Young People concert or chatting informally with audience members, Mr. LaGruth finds innovative ways to bridge the gap between new audiences and classical music. An honors graduate of Ithaca College, Mr. LaGruth earned a master’s degree in orchestral conducting and a bachelor degree in composition. He also attended the world-renowned Pierre Monteux School for Conductors, where he was a conducting fellow under the tutelage of Charles Bruck and Michael Jinbo. Mr. LaGruth has enjoyed a close association with the Pierre Monteux School and has served on the staff of that institution. He serves as an adjunct faculty member of both Georgian Court University and Ocean County College. Mr. LaGruth is a member of the Board of Directors of the Conductors Guild, a national service organization for conductors.
Benjamin Spierman, who has directed over 100 productions of over 60 different operas,has helmed NSMF’s productions ofPagliacci, Don Pasquale, The Barber of Seville and Il tabarro, the last of which was a co-production with the Bronx Opera Company (of which Mr. Spierman is also Resident Stage Director). With Bronx Opera, Mr. Spierman has directed 19 productions, including critically acclaimed productions of rarely-produced works including Suppe’s Boccaccio, Blitzstein’s Regina, Vaughan Williams’s The Poisoned Kiss and, most recently, a critically acclaimed production of Rossini’s La gazza ladra. Other recent work includes productions of Ariadne auf Naxos andRomeo et Juliette with Florida’s St. Petersburg Opera (productions termed “deft” and “spine tingling” respectively by the Tampa Bay Times); Rossini’s Il Signor Bruschino and Mozart’s Impresario (the latter in Mr. Spierman’s updated English version) for the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam, and three award-winning productions: Ariadne auf Naxos (winner of the American Prize for Opera, community division) with the dell’Arte Opera Ensemble in New York City andCendrillon and Falstaff at the Mason Gross School for the Arts at Rutgers University (both of which were winners of National Opera Association prizes). This spring and summer will see him make his debut at Great Neck South High School, directing The Magic Flute, and see his return to St. Petersburg for his first Norma. In addition, his translations and supertitles have been heard and seen in (or over) many productions he has directed, including productions of Carmen, Don Giovanni, Pagliacci, and the Weber/Mahler Die drei Pintos (translated) and Th Marriage of Figaro, La clemenza di Tito, Manon, La bohème, Lucia di Lammermoor and Il tabarro (titled). A native of The Bronx, he still resides there with his wife, soprano Hannah Spierman.
Elizabeth King is a global leader in test preparation, tutoring, and academic strategy based. She is the author of the industry-acclaimed book Outsmarting the SAT (Random House/Ten Speed, 2008) and is currently contracted for an ACT prep book that will premier in spring of 2015. Elizabeth has been coaching students around the world to maximize their SAT and ACT scores for over a decade, helping them achieve access to their dream colleges.
As a leader in tactical thinking and practical preparation for college entrance tests, Elizabeth creates content about mental toughness, study strategy, and concrete test preparation methods. She has prepared articles for Unigo/Wall Street Journal on Campus and the US Olympic team highlighted her interviews with Olympic gold medalist Barbara Ann Cochran about applying mental toughness to test taking. Her thoughts on testing and education have been referenced in the NY Times, Wall Street Journal on Campus, Oprah Sirius Radio’s Derrick Ashong Experience, and the Wired Marketing Hopkinson Report, and she is currently highlighted as a star of “Generation Flux” in Fast Company. Elizabeth is also the co-author of Lou Imbriano’s book Winning The Customer (McGraw-Hill, 2011). A graduate of Mount Holyoke College, Elizabeth holds an interdisciplinary major in Cultural Economics. Elizabeth was a proud recipient of a Mount Holyoke College Class of 1905 Alumnae Fellowship and a Mount Holyoke College Bardwell Fellowship.
Robert Klein has worked as an educator with the City of New York for over thirteen years at both thesecondary and intermediate levels. In addition, Robert Klein has served as secretary of the Board of Directors of Grace International Assembly of God, a public charity exempt from Federal income taxation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Code from 2004 to the present. Currently, Mr. Klein is enrolled in doctoral studies at Concordia University of Chicago.
Edward S. Sawchuk, Director, is an attorney and licensed professional engineer practicing in New York, and brings his diverse background to the North Shore Music Festival focusing on business development and governmental relations. He has served in various capacities, performing and in leadership positions, with a number of performing art and music groups — the common thread being simply his love of great music.
His performance and music activities have brought him to varied roles ranging from stage and set design and construction in a community theater production of Oklahoma, to choral performances, to founding director of a music arts ensemble production company, and to various officer positions. He sang for 14 years as a Bass I voice with the Oratorio Society of Queens — under the baton of artistic director and conductor David Close; he also served as President of the Oratorio Society of Queens. He has performed as a choral member with the Mount Saint Mary Academy in Watchung, New Jersey; the Berkshire Choral Festival in Sheffield, Massachusetts; and, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Port Washington, New York. He currently sings with the Broad Street Chorale in Kinderhook, New York, as part of the Concert in the Village series under the direction of David Smith. In 2000, Mr. Sawchuk, along with David Close and Donald Smith, former president of the Oratorio Society of Queens, formed Musica Reginae Productions Ltd. — a music production company designed to showcase formidable and brilliant young stars on the classical and contemporary music scene.
In his professional practice, Mr. Sawchuk combines the disciplines of engineering and law to provide specialized clientele with legal counsel tempered with his technical and engineering expertise. In this boutique practice he provides “turn-key” counsel and know-how to clients requiring assistance with institutional and governmental relations; political, legislative and administrative strategies; and, market entry matters.
He has engaged in a number of “grass-roots” advocacy campaigns including various energy, health, pharmaceutical, enterprise-zone/free-trade and trade association initiatives. In the field of regulatory compliance and resolution, he navigates clientele through state and municipal agencies such as the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and Public Service Commission, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection and Department of Buildings, and other agencies and authorities.
He has been employed by the Federal Corps of Engineers, and as an engineer with the Office of the New York State Attorney General and New York City Department of General Services where he supervised a design and architectural unit of the federally funded Community Development Program.
He currently serves as a member of the Planning Board, Town of Copake, New York, as a Director with the Polytechnic University Alumni Association; and, as a Director with the Bronx Chapter of the New York State Society of Professional Engineers. He formerly served as Chair of the Community Advisory Board to WNYC-AM/FM — New York’s premier public radio station.