The Rossini Club
The Rossini Club
a chamber music organization based in Nantucket, MA
 

About

The Rossini Club originally was conceived as an organization to fundraise for a one-time chamber music concert. The founding concert in 2012 was hosted at the home of co-director Nicholas Davies, where food was paired with music. Since then, the Club has expanded its scope to present a three-week concert season every summer in Nantucket, Massachusetts. We produce a wide range of multi-disciplinary collaborations featuring chamber music in tandem with the culinary, written, visual and theatrical arts. Through our collaborations with local Nantucket businesses such as the Nantucket Culinary Center, Ambrosia and Nantucket Native, in addition to collaborations with the Nantucket Music Center and the Theatre Workshop of Nantucket, The Rossini Club hopes to recreate and re-imagine concert experiences for our audience. 

Our concerts cater to tastes outside classical music and to the inexperienced concertgoer. We hold our concerts in intimate venues both traditional and non-traditional. Our concerts feature an equal blend of standard classical repertoire (music written before 1950) and contemporary classical music (music written post-1950), carefully curated to inform and complement one another in provocative and meaningful ways. Before and after each piece, discussion about the music is highly encouraged, with direct questions and conversations taking place during the performance. We find that typically this type of engagement helps audience members feel less isolated and more in touch with the music. It is our goal to break the myth of classical music elitism through an open dialogue with our audience.   

In addition to our regular concert season, about one third of our performances are educational outreach opportunities. We are proud to share our music with retirement homes throughout Nantucket. We additionally present programs for the Nantucket Boys and Girls Club where we educate children about classical music, orchestral instruments, and how to get involved in music themselves.  

ABOUT ROSSINI (THE COMPOSER, NOT US)

The composer for whom the Club is named, Giaochino Rossini, was famous in his day for retiring at the strikingly early age of thirty, and dedicating the rest of his life to perfecting his culinary techniques with friends, who would likely have played music as part of the evening's entertainment. With his spirit in mind, we hope you'll join us for a summer of music making and thoughtful experiences.

 

 

Rossini Club Staff

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Nicholas Davies, artistic director and musician

Clarinetist and composer Nicholas Davies currently attends the University of Southern California, simultaneously pursuing graduate degrees in clarinet performance and composition. Recently, Nicholas received First Prize at the 2017 Pasadena Showcase House Instrumental Competition, and performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Santa Barbara Symphony. He is an accomplished soloist, performing with orchestras such as the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra. Nicholas has additionally perfomed with the Aspen Music Festival and Spoleto Festival USA. Current commissions include those from the Houston Grand Opera, the Eureka Ensemble, the Webster Trio, and the Chicago Harp Quartet. Nicholas has been the director of the Rossini Club, a chamber music organization based in Nantucket, Massachusetts, for six seasons.

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Ivy Ringel, administrator and musician

Bassoonist Ivy Ringel was recently appointed the Principal Bassoon of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. During the summers, she performs as Principal Bassoon of the Des Moines Metro Opera. Prior to her time in Indianapolis, Ivy performed with the Atlanta Opera Orchestra. She performs regularly with orchestras such as the Houston Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Atlanta Ballet, Chattanooga Symphony, and Jacksonville Symphony. Ivy is a committed teacher, having taught classes at Morehouse College, and Columbus State University (GA). Ivy is from Hillsborough, North Carolina, where she began music studies at age 5 on the violin before switching to the bassoon in middle school. She attended Rice University (MM) and the Eastman School of Music (BM), where she studied with Benjamin Kamins and John Hunt. This will be Ivy’s third summer with the Rossini Club. For more about Ivy, check out her website.


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Nathan Watts, administrator

Originally from Oaklyn, New Jersey, cellist Nathan Watts recently moved to Frankfurt, Germany, where is performing with the Ensemble Modern Akademie. Nathan is an active freelancer, regularly performing with Kinetic the conductorless ensemble, the Da Camera Young Artists, and maintains a private studio. Mr. Watts has also performed with artists such as Jackie Parker, Joel Smirnoff, Robert Dick, Kathleen Winkler, James Dunham, Cleveland Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic, and Vienna Philharmonic members.  He has participated in festivals such as the Aspen Music Festival, the Tanglewood Music Center, Bowdoin International Music Festival, the North German Youth Orchestra, and the Pacific Music Festival. Mr. Watts holds a Bachelor of Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music studying with Stephen Geber and a Master of Music from Rice University with Desmond Hoebig.


 

Rossini Club Musicians

Jennifer Maxwell   American pianist Jennifer A. Maxwell has earned acclaim for her versatility as a performer, educator, and scholar. A 2016 and 2018 Grammy Award Nominee, she is an avid performer of solo and chamber repertoire as well as a faculty member at both Nantucket Music Center and Roger Williams University. Maxwell holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Boston University, where she was in the studio of the legendary Anthony di Bonaventura.

Jennifer Maxwell

American pianist Jennifer A. Maxwell has earned acclaim for her versatility as a performer, educator, and scholar. A 2016 and 2018 Grammy Award Nominee, she is an avid performer of solo and chamber repertoire as well as a faculty member at both Nantucket Music Center and Roger Williams University. Maxwell holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Boston University, where she was in the studio of the legendary Anthony di Bonaventura.

Wesley Ducote   A pianist of a wide-ranging repertoire, Wesley Ducote regularly performs works dating from the Renaissance to the last decade as well as the standards in between. Mr. Ducote is often in demand as a collaborator performing in vocal, instrumental, composition, and orchestral concerts. He is often seen collaborating with some of today’s brightest stars including composer/vocalist Kate Soper, Emmy winning composer and Vietnamese folk musician Van Anh Vo, flutists Leone Buyse and Carol Wincenc, soprano Ana Maria Martinez, and many others. Highlights of this season include a performance of the Ligeti piano concerto with the Hear and Now Ensemble, premieres by Anthony Brandt, Karim Al-Zand, and Theo Chandler, and a new piano concerto by Max Vinetz. An avid chamber musician, Mr. Ducote has played in various standard and modern chamber ensembles with coachings from Norman Fischer, Paul Kantor, Darrett Adkins, and Brian Connelly. Mr. Ducote can be found performing throughout the Greater Houston area in hospitals and museums as a Da Camera Young Artist, in concert halls with Musiqa, and even in bars and clubs with his jazz-fusion band Steve Cox’s Beard. His awards include, 1st place in the Torgrimson Swanzy Competition, 1st place in the Rapides Symphony Concerto Competition, Piano Division Winner of the Marjorie Stricklin Emerging Artist Competition, Red River Radio Competition Winner, and 1st place in the LMTA Yamaha Piano Competition. Mr. Ducote has attended both the Aspen and Round Top Music Festivals where he studied with Anton Nel and John Owings respectively. This summer he will be attending the Cortona New Music Sessions as the Resident Fellow in Piano. Wesley Ducote is a graduate of the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University where he studied with Brian Connelly attaining undergraduate degrees in piano and mathematics as well as a graduate degree in piano.

Wesley Ducote

A pianist of a wide-ranging repertoire, Wesley Ducote regularly performs works dating from the Renaissance to the last decade as well as the standards in between. Mr. Ducote is often in demand as a collaborator performing in vocal, instrumental, composition, and orchestral concerts. He is often seen collaborating with some of today’s brightest stars including composer/vocalist Kate Soper, Emmy winning composer and Vietnamese folk musician Van Anh Vo, flutists Leone Buyse and Carol Wincenc, soprano Ana Maria Martinez, and many others. Highlights of this season include a performance of the Ligeti piano concerto with the Hear and Now Ensemble, premieres by Anthony Brandt, Karim Al-Zand, and Theo Chandler, and a new piano concerto by Max Vinetz. An avid chamber musician, Mr. Ducote has played in various standard and modern chamber ensembles with coachings from Norman Fischer, Paul Kantor, Darrett Adkins, and Brian Connelly. Mr. Ducote can be found performing throughout the Greater Houston area in hospitals and museums as a Da Camera Young Artist, in concert halls with Musiqa, and even in bars and clubs with his jazz-fusion band Steve Cox’s Beard. His awards include, 1st place in the Torgrimson Swanzy Competition, 1st place in the Rapides Symphony Concerto Competition, Piano Division Winner of the Marjorie Stricklin Emerging Artist Competition, Red River Radio Competition Winner, and 1st place in the LMTA Yamaha Piano Competition. Mr. Ducote has attended both the Aspen and Round Top Music Festivals where he studied with Anton Nel and John Owings respectively. This summer he will be attending the Cortona New Music Sessions as the Resident Fellow in Piano. Wesley Ducote is a graduate of the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University where he studied with Brian Connelly attaining undergraduate degrees in piano and mathematics as well as a graduate degree in piano.

Joseph Gotoff   Boston-based cellist Joseph Gotoff appears frequently as a soloist and chamber musician in concert across Europe, Asia and the Americas. Dr. Gotoff received his doctorate in cello performance from New England Conservatory, under the tutelage of Yeesun Kim. Recent performance highlights include a 19-city concert tour of China with the award-winning Petrucci String Quartet, of which he is a founding member, and a performance of Elgar’s Cello Concerto with the Thames Valley Youth Orchestra. He currently serves as the principal cellist of the Unitas Ensemble, a Boston-based chamber orchestra dedicated to promoting music from South and Latin America, and as the assistant principal cellist of The Orchestra of Indian Hill, based in Littleton, MA. A passionate teacher, Dr. Gotoff serves on the faculty at the University of Massachusetts, Boston and Merrimack College, and teaches cello in Arlington public schools

Joseph Gotoff

Boston-based cellist Joseph Gotoff appears frequently as a soloist and chamber musician in concert across Europe, Asia and the Americas. Dr. Gotoff received his doctorate in cello performance from New England Conservatory, under the tutelage of Yeesun Kim. Recent performance highlights include a 19-city concert tour of China with the award-winning Petrucci String Quartet, of which he is a founding member, and a performance of Elgar’s Cello Concerto with the Thames Valley Youth Orchestra. He currently serves as the principal cellist of the Unitas Ensemble, a Boston-based chamber orchestra dedicated to promoting music from South and Latin America, and as the assistant principal cellist of The Orchestra of Indian Hill, based in Littleton, MA. A passionate teacher, Dr. Gotoff serves on the faculty at the University of Massachusetts, Boston and Merrimack College, and teaches cello in Arlington public schools

Francesca Ferrara   Flutist Francesca Ferrara has followed her music from Santa Monica, California, where she grew up, to New York City. With the goal of building community, she dedicates her life to performing and advocating for new music. She frequently collaborates with composers and is a member of the New York City based ensemble, Amalgama. She has performed at the Contemporary Performance Institute under the direction of Fred Sherry, the Montreal Contemporary Music Lab, Cortona Sessions for New Music in Italy, and Fresh Inc Festival. Francesca is also the creator and director of  Common Senses , a “concert” series that brings chefs and composers together to create multi-sensory experiences. She earned a Master of Music degree in Contemporary Performance from Manhattan School of Music where she was a student of Tara O’Connor, and a Bachelor of Music degree from The Boston Conservatory where she studied with Sarah Brady.

Francesca Ferrara

Flutist Francesca Ferrara has followed her music from Santa Monica, California, where she grew up, to New York City. With the goal of building community, she dedicates her life to performing and advocating for new music. She frequently collaborates with composers and is a member of the New York City based ensemble, Amalgama. She has performed at the Contemporary Performance Institute under the direction of Fred Sherry, the Montreal Contemporary Music Lab, Cortona Sessions for New Music in Italy, and Fresh Inc Festival. Francesca is also the creator and director of Common Senses, a “concert” series that brings chefs and composers together to create multi-sensory experiences. She earned a Master of Music degree in Contemporary Performance from Manhattan School of Music where she was a student of Tara O’Connor, and a Bachelor of Music degree from The Boston Conservatory where she studied with Sarah Brady.

Bree Ahern   A native of Oklahoma, cellist Bree Ahern has been a prizewinner in the Crescendo Music Awards, the Ad Astra String Competition, the Oklahoma Music Olympics Concerto Competition, and a national finalist in the Music Teacher’s National Association’s Young Artist Competition.  As a chamber musician, she has been featured on WQXR as one of Round Top Music Festival’s “Best of 2015 Chamber Music” prizewinners and studied with artists such as Norman Fischer, James Dunham, Desmond Hoebig, and Cho-Liang Lin, as well as the Takács, Cavani, American, and Artemis string quartets. During her time in Houston, she has performed with the Da Camera Music Society of Houston, Loop38, the Verreaux Collective, and the Hoppa Project. Additionally, she has been a featured performer with Brian Connelly in his Music in Context series at Rice University.  A fierce advocate for contemporary music, she has performed with Houston-based new music collective Loop38, Hear & Now at Rice University, and the Frontiers New Music Ensemble, bringing her into collaboration with members of the International Contemporary Ensemble and 5th House Ensemble.  She has performed with the Tulsa Symphony, the Tulsa Ballet, and the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas as an orchestral musician and pursued study at summer programs such as Round Top Music Festival, Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival, Brevard Music Festival, and Hot Springs Music Festival.  Ms. Ahern is a graduate of Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, where she studied under Norman Fischer on a full-tuition scholarship.

Bree Ahern

A native of Oklahoma, cellist Bree Ahern has been a prizewinner in the Crescendo Music Awards, the Ad Astra String Competition, the Oklahoma Music Olympics Concerto Competition, and a national finalist in the Music Teacher’s National Association’s Young Artist Competition.

As a chamber musician, she has been featured on WQXR as one of Round Top Music Festival’s “Best of 2015 Chamber Music” prizewinners and studied with artists such as Norman Fischer, James Dunham, Desmond Hoebig, and Cho-Liang Lin, as well as the Takács, Cavani, American, and Artemis string quartets. During her time in Houston, she has performed with the Da Camera Music Society of Houston, Loop38, the Verreaux Collective, and the Hoppa Project. Additionally, she has been a featured performer with Brian Connelly in his Music in Context series at Rice University.

A fierce advocate for contemporary music, she has performed with Houston-based new music collective Loop38, Hear & Now at Rice University, and the Frontiers New Music Ensemble, bringing her into collaboration with members of the International Contemporary Ensemble and 5th House Ensemble.

She has performed with the Tulsa Symphony, the Tulsa Ballet, and the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas as an orchestral musician and pursued study at summer programs such as Round Top Music Festival, Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival, Brevard Music Festival, and Hot Springs Music Festival.

Ms. Ahern is a graduate of Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, where she studied under Norman Fischer on a full-tuition scholarship.