Musical Saw Festival 2008

Musical Saw Convention 2007
When: Saturday, July 5th, 2008, 2pm
Where: Trinity Church, 31-18 37th Street (37th Street at 31st Avenue), Astoria, NY

How to get there:
* ‘R’ subway train to Queens: Get off at the Steinway St, Station. Exit near intersection of Broadway and Steinway Street. Walk (2 blocks) west on Broadway towards 38th street. Turn right onto 37th St. Church is at the end of the block.
* ‘N’ or ‘W’ subway train to Queens: Get off at the ‘Broadway’ stop. Walk on Broadway to 37th street (6 blocks). Turn left onto 37th street. Church is at the end of the block.

Admission: $10

What: This is the 6th year Paruz is organizing the Musical Saw Festival in Queens. The festival brings together musical saw players from all over NYC, the US and abroad. Astoria has become a pilgrimage place for saw players from such far away countries as China, Japan, India and Canada. The festival enables saw players to meet other saw players and hear them play, perform solos and jam with others, learn about different types of saws and discover different techniques of playing – all in a friendly, supportive atmosphere. The festival is open to the public at large who can learn about the musical saw and enjoy a unique concert featuring the angelic sounds of the musical saw. Another part of the festival is an art exhibit featuring the musical saw.

NATALIA ‘SAW LADY’ PARUZ, founder & organizer of the Musical Saw Festival, will present the musical saw as an ensemble instrument, with participation of 2 singers, a pianist, an organist and a handbell choir

* World premier of a new composition for the musical saw by composer Scott R. Munson, commissioned for the Musical Saw Festival

* A musical saw art exhibit including paintings and a video art installation

* Solos by saw players from around the world

* The ‘Chorus of the Saws’ (all participating musical saw players playing together, accompanied by church organ and piano);

* Guest of honor NICK BARDACH, a musical saw player from Germany, will give a presentation spoofing classical music with the saw:
NICHOLAS BARDACH studied timpani and percussion in Toronto/Canada, Brussels/Belgium and Cologne/Germany. Associate principal timpanist and percussionist of the Bochum Symphony Orchestra since 1978 and teacher of percussion at the State Music Academy in Aachen. (Almost) self-taught to play the musical saw (learning by doing) initially through contacts with contemporary music.
He is in high demand in symphonic orchestras as a specialist for musical saw. He has performed in such orchestras as NDR Radio Orchestra Hamburg, Philharmonisches Orchester Essen, Düsseldorfer Symphoniker, WDR-Radio-Symphony Orchestra Cologne, Musikfabrik-NRW, Duisburger Sinfoniker and under such conductors as Leonard Slatkin, Hans Zender, Leif Segerstam, Johannes Kalitzke, Steven Sloane, Roland Kluttig.
Meanwhile he has a complete show of comic arrangements which ridicule “classical music” and “classical musicians”. His repertoire also includes original works for musical saw of a more serious nature, not only contemporary music but original compositions from pre-war France. Composers have written specially for him and his instrument. He has performed extensively in western Germany and has appeared on Pro-7 German television.

Non musical saw musicians participating in the festival:

ILYA SPERANZA (soprano) is a graduate of The New England Conservatory and The Juilliard School. She recently appeared in the world premiere of Robert Kapilow’s New Moon with the New Jersey State Opera in which she sang the role of the “Royal Mathematician” and “Barbara de la Guerra” in Victor Herbert’s only opera, Natoma at the White Barn Theater in Westport, CT.
Ms. Speranza created the title role in Seymour Barab’s opera Ondine for The Center for Contemporary Opera in New York City and sang “Marenka” in Smetana’s Bartered Bride with The State Repertory Opera of New Jersey. She has also toured with the New York City Opera National Company singing “Frasquita” in Bizet’s Carmen.
Other regional appearances include “Liu” (Turandot) and “Frasquita”, both with the Cincinnati Opera, “Elisetta” (Il Matrimonio Segreto) with Berkshire Opera and “Naiade” (Ariadne auf Naxos) with Long Beach Opera.
She has appeared as a featured soloist with the Lake Charles and Alexandria Symphony Orchestras, the Summit Symphony, the Bronx Arts Ensemble, Bucks County Symphony and Brookhaven Choral Society.
Her most recent performances include a recital of American and German music at the Baroque Concert Hall in Vienna’s Altes Rauthaus and the world premiere of a new American Opera, “A.F.R.A.I.D.” at the New York Fringe Festival.

ARIELLE LEVIOFF (pianist) ia a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music, has appeared as a soloist at Bargemusic in Brooklyn, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, Merkin Hall, and Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center. She also has performed at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia and the French Embassy in Washington D.C. A past participant at the American Conservatory in Fontainebleau, France, Ms. Levioff is especially known for her creative programming and specialization in the French piano repertoire of the 19th and early 20th centuries. She is the artistic director of Goliard Concerts, an organization based in Astoria, Queens which includes a full concert series each season, an annual Southeastern tour, as well as numerous educational programs and community outreach concerts. Ms. Levioff is currently on the faculty of the 92nd Street Y. She is a Yamaha artist.

SETH GILMAN (baritone) is currently freelancing in New York City, and frequently performs within the new and early music communities there. A graduate of the University of Michigan and the Mannes College of Music, he lists among his teachers Stephen Lusmann, Susan Ormont, Arthur Levy, and Tom Goodheart.
Twice an alumnus of the Amherst Early Music Festival, in 2007 Mr. Gilman sang the role of Giove in Cavalli’s La Calisto and performed two roles in Campra’s L’Europe Galante in 2006. Other mainstage roles have included Chato in La Purpura de la Rosa, Liberto in the University of Michigan’s production of L’incoronazione di Poppea, and Starveling in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Past festivals at which Mr. Gilman has performed include The Aspen Music Festival, Opera Lirica di Orvieto, the Seagle Music Colony, and the Caramoor Festival Young Artists’ Program. Also experienced in operetta through engagements and recordings with the Comic Opera Guild of Ann Arbor, he can be heard in recordings supported by the Victor Herbert Society. In 2005, Seth sang the premiere of Osnat Netzer’s Three Animal Songs, and of Lin Mu-Xuan’s Swimming the Hellespont zhi San this April in Boston. He looks forward to debuting with his historical instrument and vocal ensemble, Ex Temporis, in the fall, a concert, which will include new works by Eric Shanfield, among others.

Christian Nagel (pianist) born in Kiel, Germany, started playing the piano at the age of five. At the renowned Folkwang Music College he studied piano with Catherine Vickers and music theory with Wolfgang Grandjean. Since his praised final exam in 1999, he has been working as a freelance pianist, accompanist, choir master, conductor, composer and improvisor in all kinds of musical genres ranging from the classical to contemporary, from jazz to Gospel music.
Christian Nagel has been performing in many countries including Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, the USA, Hawaii, England, France and Austria.

TRINITY HANDBELL CHOIR, directed by Richard Walker

JUDY DIMINO (organist) is a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, serving in the choir, the handbell choir, as an assisting minister, and as a substitute organist. Judy is a graduate of Queens College, now known as the Aaron Copland School of Music, with a B.A. in Music Education.
Judy was a pianist for the Committee Of Police Societies Chorus and Runner-Up in the International Piano Recording Competition 1982 She received the Presiding Bishop’s Certificate of Church Music from the Leadership Program for Musicians at The Mercer School of Theology in Garden City, Long Island in 2004. Judy has taught piano, guitar and accordion in various locations in the Queens area. Judy recently received a Certificate in Church Music from Westminster Conservatory, Princeton, New Jersey.

The art exhibition includes art work by:

Jamie Isenstein – video installation titled ‘Acéphal Magical’
Heidi Younger, Zina Saunders, Young Joo, Aaron Porter, Jamie Isenstein – paintings

video stills

Musical saw players wishing to participate:
If you would like to participate as a saw player or as a member of the audience, please send me your name, e-mail address and whether you are a saw player or not.

History of the NYC Musical Saw Festival:
Past guests of honor at the Musical Saw Festival:
A tradition which has evolved at the Musical Saw Festival over the years is that the sawist traveling the farthest in order to attend is considered the ‘guest of honor’.
2003 Musical Saw Festival – Mr. Weiss, musical saw player from California
2004 Musical Saw Festival – Mr. Kawagoochi, musical saw player from Japan
2005 Musical Saw Festival – Mr. Minden, musical saw player from Canada
2006 Musical Saw Festival – Mr. Gershom, musical saw player from India
2007 Musical Saw Festival – Mr. Chen, musical saw player from China

Video of part of the “Chorus of the Saws” – a jam-session like (non-rehearsed) performance where all the musical saw players participating in the Musical Saw Festival play together:

Contact the organizer of the Musical Saw Festival:

Please send an e-mail with the subject line of ‘Musical Saw Festival’ to: SawLady at SawLady dot com

The NYC Musical Saw Festival is made possible in part by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funding from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.