Musical Saw Festival 2009

When: Saturday, July 18th, 2009, 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.
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Admission: $10

NATALIA ‘SAW LADY’ PARUZ, founder & organizer of the Musical Saw Festival, will present the musical saw as an ensemble instrument in contemporary, jazz, pop, world-music/new-age music, with participation of a string quartet, soprano singer, percussion, bass and a handbell choir.

* World premier of 4 new compositions for the musical saw by composers Scott R. Munson and Eyal Bat, commissioned for the Musical Saw Festival.

* A musical saw art exhibit

* 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) – attempting to break the Guinness World Record for the ‘Largest Musical Saw Ensemble’. The current world record (set in Poland last year) is 27 musical saw players playing together.

* Musical saw workshop


The musical saw player who travels the farthest in order to attend the festival is considered the “guest of honor”. So far we have confirmation of participation from musical saw player Kazu from Japan. Unless a musical saw player who travels a larger amount of mileage to attend the festival appears – it seems Kazu will be the “guest of honor” this year.

Non musical saw musicians participating in the festival:

Trinity Handbell Choir at 2008 festival TRINITY HANDBELL CHOIR, directed by Richard Walker

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.

Lawrence ZoernigLAWRENCE ZOERNIG (cello), holds degrees from the Juilliard School and the Cleveland Institute of Music. Mr. Zoernig has appeared at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and the Kennedy Center, and in concerts in Hawaii, Brazil, and throughout Europe. He was a featured performer at the World’s Fair in Seville, Spain, and has performed with members of the Metropolitan Opera orchestra. Mr. Zoernig performed the New York premiere of the Concertino for Cello and Orchestra by Lars-Erik Larsson with the Scandia Symphony in 2004, and recently performed for former U.S. President Jimmy Carter at the Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia. He has performed with such artists and groups as the Paul Taylor Dance Company, the David Parsons Dance Company, clarinetist Charles Neidich, and violinists Nina Bellina, Sidney Harth, and Mark Peskanov. Mr. Zoernig is on the faculty of the Sylvan Academy of Music in New Jersey.

KAREN ROSTRON (violin), As concertmaster of the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra (MCO) and principal violinist of the Manhattan Chamber Players for 15 years, she has participated in over 100 premiere performances in New York City, and over 30 CD recordings. She also appears regularly in New York City as soloist and chamber musician, is a principal guest artist at the Finger Lakes Chamber Music Festival, and tours extensively throughout the United States and internationally.
Recent New York performances in Weill and Merkin Halls, Symphony Space, and Trinity Church. She is currently working on her Doctorate of Musical Arts at the Graduate Center – CUNY. Ms. Rostron is on the faculty of the Precollege Division of the Manhattan School of Music, where she received both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees.

Mune Takahashi (violin) MUNE TAKAHASHI (violin), Mune Takahashi received his Bachelor’s degree from Toho Gakuen School of Music in Tokyo with the top honors in Performance studying under Koichiro Harada, founder of the Tokyo String Quartet and received a Master’s degree at the Eastman School of Music.
As an active professional musician, he has participated in more than 250 soundtracks, albums, commercials, and TV shows. He recently was invited to the Asago Music Festival (Japan), where his chamber music concert was well received.
He has participated in festivals such as the Pacific Music Festival, Miyazaki International Music Festival, Kurashiki Music Festival, and the Takefu International Music Festival. He has worked with many conductors such as Kazuyoshi Akiyama, Myung-Whun Chung, Charles Dutoit, Valery Gergiev, Bernard Haitink, Fabio Luisi, Jun Mearkl, Christopher Seaman, Jerzy Semkov and Edo de Waart.
Mune Takahashi was concertmaster of the Toho Orchestra Academy, guest concertmaster of the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, and associate concertmaster of the Pacific Music Festival Academy Orchestra. He also played with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra as Orchestra Studies Diploma Fellow of the Eastman School of Music.

ZAKARIA ENIKEEV (viola) ZAKARIA ENIKEEV (viola), Zakaria Enikeev is the first-ever violist in South of Russia who won an International String Competition Award. In the age of sixteen he gave his first recital with the Rostov Symphony Orchestra conducted by A.S. Mileikovsky, the People’s Artist of Russia. Later on Zakaria often performed as the soloist with the orchestra, playing works of Hummel, Weber, and Bartok. Now Zakaria studies at the Juilliard School. As a soloist and as a chamber musician, Mr. Enikeev has been performing in the most prestigious concert halls of New York, including Alice Tully Hall, Paul Hall, Merkin Hall and Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall. Zakaria Enikeev has served as principal violist of the Juilliard Orchestra on many occasions. Nina Beilina, an eminent Russian violinist, once said about Zakaria Enikeev: “Not only has the young musician a great technique and a command of various styles, he is truly in love with his instrument. You can feel the charm of a refined artistic individuality in his manner.” Awards, honorary titles: Second Prize of the Togliatti International String Competition (Russia, 2002) and the Governor’s Prize For Great Success in Arts and Culture. Finalist of the Stulberg International String Competition (USA, 2003); awarded the Russian Federation Governmental scholarship program For Outstanding Creative Abilities.

JUDY DIMINO (organist/pianist) 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.
James Bassi - conductorJAMES BASSI (conductor) is a composer, pianist and music director. His music direction credits include James Lapine’s Twelve Dreams at Lincoln Center Theater, and Sondheim’s A Little Night Music at White Plains Performing Arts Center. In concerts he has played for Ute Lemper, Deborah Voigt, Judy Kaye, and Jessye Norman. A versatile composer, James’ works have been performed at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. His compositions have been commissioned and premiered by many esteemed ensembles, including Orchestra of St. Luke’s and Voices of Ascension. He has received composiiton grants from NEA, Meet The Composer and New York Foundation for the Arts. His music publisher is Oxford University Press.

Heawon Kim HEAWON KIM (pianist) began her auspicious studies in her native Korea and by the age of seven had already performed with the Korea Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra and the Seoul Philharmonic. She was renowned as the winner of many competitions in Korea and was frequently heard on the radio and seen on television. She appeared yearly with its major orchestras as soloist. She was a winner of the Vittorio Giannini Award and the Southeastern Music Teachers Competition. After her studies at the Mannes College of Music Ms. Kim went on to earn her Master of Music at the Manhattan School of Music.
Ms. Kim has performed as soloist with many regional orchestras and noted New York chamber groups such as Pierrot Consort, Colonial Symphony, Rosewood Chamber Ensemble, Bronx Arts Ensemble, New York Virtuosi, Garrett Lakes Festival Orchestra, and North Shore Symphony Orchestra. She is in demand as a major partner for such international artists as Erick Friedman, Sanford Allen, Dennis Brott, and Marion Davies, among others, appearing frequently in important New York venues. As the pianist of many master classes of Erick Friedman, Janos Starker, Josef Gingold, Franco Gulli, and Tibor Varga, she has command of an unusual amount of instrumental repertoire. Ms. Kim recently joined the faculty of the C.W.Post/Long Island University for an innovative program in instrumental coaching and has been on the faculty of the C. W. Post Summer Chamber Music Festival since 1990.

The art exhibition includes art work by:

Aaron Porter, Jamie Isenstein, Heidi Younger, Zina Saunders, Young Joo, Victor Kerlow, Max Butler, Barrett Cobb

Musical saw workshop:
Open to saw players only (not open to the public at large).
Adam WirtzfeldMusical saw player Adam Wirtzfeld of MN will teach the technique of Multiphonics – playing two notes at once on the saw, using overtones.
The workshop will take place after the concert.
NYC Musical Saw Festival souvenir T-shirts will be available for purchase – $20 each.

More details coming soon.

Video excerpts from the 2008 NYC Musical Saw Festival:

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.
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, the New York State Council on the Arts and Thrivent Financial.
Queens Council on the Arts
DCA NYSCA Thrivent


  1. Terry "Sawtrouble" Boling on January 7, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    Hey Natalia! and Happy New Year!

    I just noticed that last summer’s musical saw festival made a top 10 list. It’s number 2 on WFMU Radio DJ Brownwyn’s list of things from last year. Along with a plug for this year’s festival:

    2. The NYC Musical Saw Festival. I’ll say it again: Hearing Satie’s “Gymnopedie” played by a musical saw and a handbell choir was one of the highpoints of my life. Seriously. The piece for musical saw and Japanese music box by Scott R. Munson was outstanding, too. This year’s Saw Festival is scheduled for July 18.

    Oh yeah, you can find it here I think:
    Have a fine ’09,
    Terry “Sawtrouble” Boling

  2. Margaret on March 24, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    I loved the video of the 2008 saw festival. Although I am a novice at this, the music was the best I have heard from the musical saw.