12-6-14 6th Annual Holiday Gala

PV is excited to announce its 6th Annual Holiday Gala Concert on December 6 at 7:30pm!

Make Palisades Virtuosi a part of your Holiday tradition.  Join us for our 6th Annual Holiday Gala Concert at the beautifully decorated First Presbyterian Church of Englewood!  Enjoy festive fanfares, holiday favorites and music for all ages with a  delicious goodies at our reception following the concert.  

Special Guest artists this year will be violinist, XIAO WANG, YILAN XU, boy soprano and First Presbyterian's own wonderful organist and music director, DAVID MACFARLANE.  Festive Fanfares beginning at 7:15 will be performed by BRASS FORCE FIVE from Montclair State University.  PV will also announce its 2014 YOUNG ARTIST RECOGNITION AWARD given to a Bergen County High School Senior who exemplifies excellence in both music and leadership qualities. This year's award will be presented to a student from Paramus High School.  

We have held our ticket price to $25 per person which includes the post-concert reception AND a $5.00 tax-deductible contribution to PV's "Mission to Commission" responsible for over 70 new works of music for flute, clarinet & piano.  

SPECIAL GIFT FOR YOU:  If you purchase 4 or more tickets through our online ticketing site below you will receive a free CD from us with our thanks!  

Don't miss this event - order now!





See you on December 6th!

11-7-14 Bergen Community College Concert photos

We had such fun at our concert last Friday! Here are some photos ...  

Onstage during the premiere of Adrienne Albert's "Dog Tales" at Bergen Community College. 

PV with composer Adrienne Albert

PV's rendition of Marin Marais "L'Operation de la Taille" with guest narrator (& R.N.) Julie Schmidt - the story of one person's trepidation upon facing a bladder stone operation!

11-7-14 "Music Born of Adversity" program notes

Read about the music for the concert this Friday,

November 7th @  7:30pm

Anna Ciccone Theatre - Bergen Community College

Tickets      Directions

"Music Born of Adversity" 

--Program Notes--

Over the past twelve years Palisades Virtuosi has created many concerts that bring together pieces of music to illustrate a theme. "Music Born of Adversity" includes works that were inspired by a multitude of life's emotions and that run the gamut of life experience from illness and situational conflict to unrequited love and racial subjugation.  

Our first work,“L’Operation de Taille” by Marin Marais (1656-1728), tells the story of one person’s trepidation upon facing an 18th Century (YIKES!! - where’s the anesthesia??) bladder stone operation, complete with narrator to tell the tale and PV’s own interpretation of the existing continuo parts.  The operation is described throughout a  recitativo-like section and then once the patient has gone to rest, a joyous finale ensues.  

We are delighted to present selections from Michelle Ekizian’s (b. 1956) new opera, Gorky’s Dream Garden, on the life of Arshile Gorky, the Armenian-American painter (b. 1904, Van, Turkey, d. 1948, Sherman, Ct.)--a founding father of abstract-expressionism and child witness to.... continue reading ....


PV @ Trinity Arts - Sunday September 21 - 2:00pm

PV with Fr. Michael who did a marvelous job narrating Gwyneth Walker's "Full Circle" and the arts series impresario and church music director, David Messer.  Thank you David - we had a great time and enjoyed meeting your patrons and parishioners.  

Fun with Selfies!!  Don & Margaret with David Messer!

Trinity Arts Opens a New Season

Sunday, September 21, 2014 - 2:00pm

Palisades Virtuosi

Building upon its past, successful season’s mix of musical performances, delicious after-concert food, and superior art exhibition openings – all in one relaxing, entertaining Sunday afternoon package – The Trinity Arts Series announces its first music/food/art program of the 2014-15 season.

Scheduled for Sunday, September 21st at 2:00 p. m. the Palisades Virtuosi (Margaret Swinchoski, flute; Donald Mokrynski, clarinet; and Ron Levy, piano) open the afternoon with a concert of light, charming works. Several of these have been composed specifically for this well-known ensemble, including the world premiere of “Ron’s Waltz” by Trinity’s Minister of Music, David Messer. To date the ‘Virtuosi has recorded no less than five CDs in its New American Masters Series. Critics praise the ensemble’s playing as “Technically flawless and illuminating,” “staggering stylistic command,” and “a virtuosi tour de force.”

After the music, ticket holders will dine upon delicious French pastry from the mind of the world’s finest pastry chef, Gaston Lenotre. Almond/Pear TartConcorde Cake (a devilish mix of chocolate meringue and chocolate mousse), and Rosace à l’Orange (a beautiful confection of stewed oranges, yellow gateau, and French pastry cream) offer culinary delight rarely found in the region.

Completing the tri-part afternoon, the official opening exhibition of abstractly conceived nature photographs by Allendale’s Michael Tat, of Allendale, appears in the Trinity Gallery. Mr. Tat, a deeply devoted observer and lover of nature, uniquely combines color, natural forms, and photographic virtuosity with his own abstract sense of devotion and visual panache.

The few remaining tickets may be reserved by calling (201) 327-3012, the office of Trinity Episcopal Church (55 George Street in Allendale, NJ). Trinity’s parking lot provides ample free parking.

In Memoriam: Raymond Wojcik, PV commissioned composer

Dear Friends;

It is with great sadness that we inform you of the loss of one of our commissioned composers, Raymond Wojcik, who passed away early this morning. Some of you have met Raymond over the years as he attended many of our concerts and has been a great friend and champion of our trio.  His commissioned work, "Between Worlds",  was premiered on April 10, 2010 on our "Remembrance and Rebirth" program in Ridgewood. The work was written during a period of time when he was relatively healthy and was intended to describe the journey his emotions took when it was first revealed that he had been diagnosed with cancer. From mystery, anguish and sadness to a final transcendent state the piece mirrors the trajectory of his emotions throughout his illness and treatment.  Unfortunately the disease did return and has finally taken its toll.

We recorded "Between Worlds" just last summer and it has been released on our most recent CD, New American Masters, Volume 5.  We had already planned to include the work on our concert this fall, Friday November 7th at Bergen Community College as part of our program, "Music Born of Adversity", and had hoped he would still be with us at that time. You may read more about Raymond, his music, and hear an excerpt from the piece here

His long-time close friend and colleague, Paul M. Somers (also a PV commissioned composer and tremendous supporter of PV) will be co-hosting John Hammel's internet radio program on HomeGrownRadioNJ in his memory on Sunday evening from 9:00 to midnight.  We hope you will tune in and hear "Between Worlds" in honor of our friend.  

As our tribute today to Raymond we have provided you with an audio link of his "Love Song" (originally for flute, voice & piano) which is not available commercially. [We recorded this last summer also in hopes we would be able to fit it onto this most recent CD but there was not room for it unfortunately.]  He made a transcription of this piece just for Palisades Virtuosi in 2010 and we performed it for him at our NAM5 CD Release Party on April 1, 2014.  

Please enjoy this track and remember our friend with peace and joy. We will miss him so very much!  


Margaret, Don & Ron
Palisades Virtuosi

SPECIAL NOTE: the podcast of this tribute program is available to listen to at the following link:

Raymond Wojcik Tribute Program

Recorded August 2013 - Clubhouse Studios, Rhinebeck, NY
Producer: John Ostendorf, Engineer: Paul Antonell

PV @ Barron Arts Center - 6-27-14

PV was delighted to perform at the Barron Arts Center in Woodbridge on Friday night, June 27. It was our first time there and what a reception!  Our program included selections from Handel's Water Music and two of PV's commissioned works; David Sampson's Undercurrents Redux and 'Aina by Donald Reid Womack.  The audience enjoyed our "H2O" program and gave us a standing ovation!  The concert was taped by the local TV station and will be broadcast soon - we'l keep you posted!  Special thanks to Director Cynthia Knight and her assistant, Brandon Powell.   

 The marquee outside of Barron Arts Center!

The marquee outside of Barron Arts Center!

PV @ Cresskill Congregational Church, June 22, 2014

MUSIC AMICI presented PV on their Sunday concert series this past Sunday.  We thoroughly enjoyed their hospitality and loved playing for their audience!  Our H2O program was well-received. Composer and congregation member Julie Schmidt's "Sirens", written for her husband (PV clarinetist Don Mokrynski), received a particularly enthusiastic ovation!  A very special thank you to the ladies of Music Amici who put on a very nice reception following the concert!  

                                                     PV with the banner in front of the church.

                                           PV, composer Julie Schmidt and the ladies of Music Amici

PV @ West Side - May 4, 2014

PV was delighted to be invited to be a part of the celebrated West Side Concert Series (formerly known as the "Patron Series") at West Side Presbyterian Church in Ridgewood, NJ on May 4.  We thoroughly enjoyed performing our "H2O" program - all works inspired by various forms of water.  We were even more delighted with the standing ovation at the end of the concert!!

Here is a link to the video at the West Side Presbyterian website -   - (You'll need to scroll down to see thumbnails of each event until you reach our video from May 4, 2014)

                                                      PV @ West Side Presbyterian Church, Ridgewood, NJ