Backstage

Biographies

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ZAFFIRO TRIO joins together superb artistry of musicians Tina Faigen (piano), Mary Beth Malek (clarinet) and Paula Tuttle (cello). All three have extensive backgrounds in performance, recording and teaching. Tina, in addition to her active solo career, has a library of published music editions, Mary Beth and Paula are both long time members of the Pittsburgh Opera and Ballet Orchestras, and all three are faculty members at University of Pittsburgh. The Zaffiro combination of instruments provides the audience the opportunity to hear beloved works of the great masters, such as Brahms and Beethoven that are rarely heard in concert. Together these three founding members of Zaffiro Trio bring a unique quality of sound, expertise and sensitivity to their ensemble that audiences adore.



DIAMANTE TRIO comprised of musicians Mary Beth Malek (clarinet), Paula Tuttle (cello), and Devin Arrington (violin) is joined by soprano Lilly Abreu for select performances. The trio and Lilly together form a nimble ensemble that can play in any venue as they can play acoustically or amplified. In 2018 the ensemble was featured at the Fridays at the Frick for a free lawn concert in tandem with the art and movie presentations showcasing the great masters of France. Their repertoire showcases the music of Latin America and other ethic and world styles. A recipient of a grant from University of Pittsburgh Year of Diversity, Diamante has performed for audiences in Pittsburgh and Westmoreland counties, bringing classical, pop and jazz music to schools, stages and venues throughout the community.



TINA FAIGEN, pianist, holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Oberlin College, and Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from University of Miami where she studied under renowned pianist Ivan Davis. A recipient of many prizes and awards, she has performed on the distinguished Pittsburgh "Y" Recital Series, is a 1989 winner of the Pittsburgh Concert Society Majors, and has been engaged as guest pianist with numerous orchestras including the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra at the age of 13, and having been awarded a debut tour, with Orchestra Sinfonica Abruzzeze in Italy.

Appearing in over 30 performances of Tchaikovsky's 3rd Piano Concerto with Edward Villella's Miami City Ballet, the Miami Herald writes, "Tina Faigen played so brilliantly that it was difficult at times to concentrate on the dancing. Music critics have described her as "commanding a rich palette of pianistic colors and fingers of awesome dexterity," and as having "a compelling combination of solid technique and distinctive interpretation, full of color and nuance, with her virtuosity the servant of the music. A stunning performer who plays with assurance, fluidity and power."

Faigen's recordings of Robert Schultz's works Visions of Dunbar and Tina Faigen Plays Piano Transcriptions have received rave reviews. "Faigen plays Schultz' s works superlatively, effortlessly clarifying their rippling complexities and performing with supple dexterity, a clear, resonant tone and sensitive touch." Faigen is co-author of the acclaimed Accelerando Piano Technique Series, along with numerous other editions of educational piano music. Since 1992 she has served as the principal editor for The Robert Schultz Piano Library.

Since her recent relocation to Pittsburgh, Faigen has performed on the Steinway Recital Series, the Chatham Guest Artist Series, the Pittsburgh Concert Society 70th Anniversary Gala, was featured artist on the Carnegie Mellon University special event concert, "Schultz, Faigen and Friends," and has performed live on WQED-FM. Faigen has maintained an active teaching studio since the age of 14, is on the piano faculty at University of Pittsburgh, and is a faculty member of the Music Preparatory School at Carnegie Mellon University. Also a violinist, Faigen serves as Principal 2nd in the Edgewood Symphony Orchestra.


MARY BETH MALEK, principal clarinetist for the Pittsburgh Opera and Ballet Orchestra, former principal clarinet for Wheeling Symphony and Westmoreland Symphony, performs with Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera and Opera Theater of Pittsburgh's Summerfest. As a member of Renaissance City Winds, she performed extensively in the region and in Carnegie Hall in New York. In her role as principal clarinetist with Pittsburgh Opera since, she received special recognition from Luciano Pavarotti during his curtain calls of Tosca, and again from Lorin Maazel during his curtain calls of La Traviata. Mary Beth enjoys collaborating with local musicians and performing a wide range of musical styles from Classical to Jazz, Broadway and Klezmer. With Tom Roberts, (piano) they accompany the silent films of Charlie Chaplin with original music, performing in movie theaters and concert venues in the Pittsburgh area. A recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship, Mary Beth studied in Vienna, Austria after receiving her Masters Degree from the Eastman School of Music where she graduated with the Performer's Certificate Award. Mary Beth performed in Austria at the Graz Festival, toured Austria with a youth orchestra and presented solo recitals during her Fulbright residency. She joined the Heidelberg Festival in Germany for two summers. She previously earned her Bachelor's degree at Northwestern University. Mary Beth teaches clarinet at the University of Pittsburgh as well as Chatham University, and works with high school students in her home and during summer festivals. Each year PMEA State band selects several students from her home studio, as in 2016 five of her students were awarded the special honor of attending the PMEA State Band Festival.


Cellist PAULA TUTTLE, has traveled and performed throughout the United States, Europe and Asia as orchestral musician, soloist and chamber music artist. She performed as principal cello for the internationally renowned Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina, and the Festival of the Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy. During three summers at the Acadamie Franco Americain in Vaison-la-Romaine, France, she presented numerous solo recitals and chamber music performances. An active soloist and recitalist in the Western Pennsylvania region, she performed as concerto soloist with University of Pittsburgh Orchestra, Pittsburgh Festival Orchestra, Slippery Rock Symphony, I Solisti di Oakland, Butler Symphon yand Edgewood Symphony. A member of the Pittsburgh Opera and Ballet Orchestras, performing as assistant principal cello as well as principal cello, she also is the solo cellist for PBS's My Music Orchestra, has been part of the creation of many PBS specials and recorded with over 100 Rock, Pop, Soul and Disco stars. She teaches a large cello studio as she is on the faculty of University of Pittsburgh, Chatham University and Carnegie Mellon University. Ms. Tuttle studied at Eastman School of Music, Carnegie Mellon University and New England Conservatory. She and Mary Beth are also founding members of another chamber group called the Diamante Trio which performs an extensive repertoire of Latin American music. Both the Diamante and Zaffiro Trios have received support from the University of Pittsburgh for their projects bringing music to schools and community organizations.


LILLY ABREU is one of Brazil's greatest cultural assets, a versatile artist with numerous appearances as a recitalist and soloist with orchestras and chamber ensembles in France, Spain, Portugal, Argentina, United States and Brazil. Lilly Abreu performed for Brazil's First Lady, Ruth Cardoso in Pittsburgh. A winner of the Pittsburgh Concert Society and a guest on the Chamber Music Concert Series, she sang the Bachianas Brasileiras no.5 with cellists of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Abreu sang Bach's Wedding Cantata with the Culver City Chamber Orchestra in Hollywood and Culver City, California and appeared as a guest soloist in the "Strings in the Mountains" Festival in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Ms. Abreu has been on the roster of the Pittsburgh Opera for many years, singing in operas such as Carmen and Turandot. In addition to her classical engagements, Ms. Abreu is also an accomplished popular music artist, performing regularly some of the greatest tunes of the Brazilian repertoire, as well as Broadway and Jazz standards. She has released a CD entitled BRASILEIRA where she performs Brazilian Jazz, and has recently released BOSSA, a CD of Brazilian popular songs with the Grammy winner string quartet Cuarteto Latinoamericano. Ms. Lilly Abreu teaches Voice at Carnegie Mellon University.


DEVIN ARRINGTON has been performing with the Westmoreland Symphony and freelancing in the Pittsburgh region since 2004 when he graduated with a Master of Music from Carnegie Mellon University. Having started violin lessons himself at the age of two, Mr. Arrington now enjoys an active studio of 30 private students, including a teaching position at Duquesne University's City Music Center. Mr. Arrington found his calling while attending the Woodstock International School in India, where he taught violin and conducted the youth orchestra. During that time, he also acted as assistant concertmaster with the Delhi Symphony. Some of his violin mentors have included Masao Kawasaki, Yehonatan Berick, and Huei-Sheng Kao. He has participated in the Aspen, Bowdoin, and Masterworks music festivals and taught at several prominent Suzuki summer music festivals. Mr. Arrington founded the nonprofit Musicians With A Mission (www.musicianswithamission.org) in 2010 whereby he coordinates over a dozen musical performances each month at local nursing and personal care homes in the Pittsburgh region. Also an accomplished composer, Mr. Arrington's music has been premiered at Carnegie Hall in New York City and as far away as the Great Hall of the Composer's in St. Petersburg, Russia. Following its Carnegie Hall premiere in 2005, Jerusalem was chosen for broadcast on WQXR 96.3 as part of the McGraw-Hill Company's Young Artist Showcase, hosted by Robert Sherman. Other recognitions include a 2006 fellowship in Music - Classical Composition from the Pennsylvania Council for the Arts, a special distinction in ASCAP's 2005 Rudolf Nissim competition for his large orchestral work La Via Dolorosa, a 2005 Westport Horizon Award, a 2004 First Music Prize form the New York Youth Symphony for his String Quartet #2, first place in the 2003 Harry Archer String Quartet Competition, and a scholarship from the Christian Fellowship of Art Music Composers for his Three Proverbs for Trombone Quintet. Some of the outstanding performers of his music have included the Takacs Quartet, the Cuarteto Latinoamericano, and the Pittsburgh School for the Choral Arts.

Meet our arranger, Ralph Guzzi

Diamante Trio


In the recording Studio with Diamante as Lilly sings the music of Jobim

Diamante Trio



Composer Robert Schultz talks about Fantasia and a new work for Zaffiro

Zaffiro Trio



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