Press Releases

The Chappaqua Orchestra Announces Its 2015-2016 Season

Chappaqua, New York, August 31, 2015 – The Chappaqua Orchestra will celebrate its 56th Season with an international concerto competition, music of the sixties celebration, children’s story, holiday sing-a-long, and summer concerts, and a robust chamber music series.

About The Chappaqua Orchestra’s 2015/2016 Concert Season

The Orchestra’s Season:

Magical Musical Tour, Sunday, October 4, 2015 at 3 pm, Chappaqua Library, 195 South Greeley Avenue, Chappaqua, New York

Hosted by Music Director Michael Shapiro, come kick off the Chappaqua Library’s month long celebration of the 60’s with a guided tour through a magical decade. Peace out, love in, and rock on with members of The Chappaqua Orchestra and their musical guests as we remember Bob Dylan, the Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, Motown, Mary Poppins, the Sound of Music, Jefferson Airplane, and more of the music that defined an era.

With performers Frank Shiner, Kathryn Amyotte, Sharon Bryant, Peter and Sarah Walker, Chappaqua Orchestra players, and The Band featuring Robbie Kondor, Peter Calo, Scott Thornton, and Scott Halvorson.

Children’s Story Concert, Saturday, November 7, 2015 at 4 pm, Wallace Auditorium, Chappaqua Crossing, Chappaqua, New York

Children of all ages will enjoy Prokofiev’s timeless classic Peter and The Wolf and Roven’s The Runaway Bunny conducted by Michael Shapiro with Elliott Forrest (famed WQXR broadcaster), narrator, and Kinga Augustyn, violin soloist,  with video projections.

Holiday Sing-A-Long, Saturday, December 5, 2015 at 3:30 pm, Bell Middle School Auditorium, 50 Senter Street, Chappaqua, New York

Bring your voice and sing-a-long in your favorite holiday songs and carols led by Assistant Conductor Davis Knobloch.  Followed by a short walk to the Greeley House for the annual lighting of the Christmas tree and perhaps even a surprise visit from Santa Claus at the Community Center.  A holiday favorite!

Concerto Competition Winners Concert, Saturday, May 21, 2016, at 8 pm

Who will win the Chappaqua Orchestra’s first-ever International Concerto Competition?  Come hear the stars of tomorrow in their debuts with the orchestra as well as many of the competition participants in the concluding work on the program, Beethoven’s Fourth Symphony, conducted by Michael Shapiro.

The Chamber Series:

Delia Montenegro and FriendsSunday, September 20, 2015 at 3 pm, Chappaqua Library Auditorium, 195 South Greeley Avenue, Chappaqua, New York

Long-standing principal oboe of the Chappaqua Orchestra, Delia Montenegro, performs a chamber recital with winds, strings, and piano including works by Benjamin Britten, Madeleine Dring, and a piano quintet by Theodore Dubois.  Performers include violinist Chie Yoshinaka, violist Sayuri K. Lyons, cellist Paul Swensen, principal flutist Dianne Spitalney, and pianist Cynthia Peterson.

Soprano Nina Berman and Pianist Steven Beck, Sunday, November 22, 2015 at 3 pm, Chappaqua Library Auditorium, 195 South Greeley Avenue, Chappaqua, New York

Soprano Nina Berman and Avery Fisher award-winning pianist Steven Beck, vibrant performers in the contemporary concert arena, present a recital of Schubert and Richard Strauss songs, Wagner’s Wesendonck lieder, and Erotic Songs by Michael Shapiro.

Andy Stein and the Beethoven Octet, Sunday, February 7, 2016 at 3 pm, Chappaqua Library Auditorium, 195 South Greeley Avenue, Chappaqua, New York

Violinist/arranger Andy Stein, veteran of the “Prairie Home Companion” radio show, performs with members of the Chappaqua Orchestra in his arrangement of Beethoven Symphony #2 and more.   The TCO Chamber Series welcomes Andy back!

Alexander Sevastian, accordion, Sunday, April 3, 2016 at 3 pm, Chappaqua Library Auditorium, 195 South Greeley Avenue, Chappaqua, New York

Internationally renowned virtuoso, Russian accordionist Alexander Sevastian performs a dazzling program of classical, contemporary, and popular repertoire. An audience favorite for all ages and musical tastes.

About The Chappaqua Orchestra

Hailed as “The Jewel of New Castle,” The Chappaqua Orchestra has served Northern Westchester since 1958.  Under the baton of Michael Shapiro, the orchestra is a sophisticated ensemble of artists with a strong commitment to reaching the community in new and exciting ways.  Since its founding, inspired by its first chairman, Jacob A. Evans, and music director Boris Koutzen, The Chappaqua Orchestra has always emphasized high musical standards.  Notable artists who have appeared with the orchestra include Edward Arron, Timothy Fain, Joseph Fuchs, Kikuei Ikeda, Ruth Laredo, Andrew Litton, Vanessa Williams, and Eugenia Zuckerman.  Distinguished conductors of the orchestra have included Jesse Levine, Norman Leyden, Andrew Litton, James Sadewhite and Wolfgang Schanzer,

The orchestra includes both professional and professional-level volunteer musicians, most of who are Westchester residents. The orchestra has performed at venues such as the Jacob Burns Film Center, the Seven Bridges Middle School and Horace Greeley High School Auditoriums, the Chappaqua Library, the First Congregational Church of Chappaqua, Temple Beth El of Northern Westchester, The Presbyterian Church of Mt. Kisco, Reader’s Digest Auditorium, and the Paramount Center for the Arts.  The Chappaqua Orchestra enhances the arts education program in the Chappaqua Public Schools through small ensemble performances in the elementary schools, joint concerts with the Horace Greeley High School Orchestra and Chorus, a mentoring program for selected music students, and annual family concerts geared toward young audiences.  The orchestra also fosters the development of new artists and smaller chamber groups by showcasing their performances in smaller venues. To learn more about The Chappaqua Orchestra, visit .

About Music Director and Conductor Michael Shapiro

Michael Shapiro, Music Director and Conductor of The Chappaqua Orchestra since 2002, is dedicated to presenting challenging repertoire in the context of thematic programming, while building an ensemble of top musicians.  Under the baton of Maestro Shapiro, The Chappaqua Orchestra has reached new artistic heights.  In recent years, The Chappaqua Orchestra’s performances have been likened to those of major orchestras, and the  production of the Verdi Requiem, performed in collaboration with the Taconic Opera, was termed Westchester’s “musical event of the decade.”

Michael Shapiro’s works, which in the aggregate address nearly every medium, have been performed widely throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe—with broadcasts of premieres on National Public Radio, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the Israel Broadcasting Authority, Sender Freies Berlin, WQXR, and WCBS-TV. His music has been characterized in a New York Times review as “possessing a rare melodic gift.” His oeuvre includes more than one hundred works for solo voice, piano, chamber ensembles, chorus, orchestra, as well as for opera, film, and television, with recordings on Naxos and Paumanok Records.

Michael Shapiro has collaborated with such artists as Teresa Stratas, Jose Ferrer, Janos Starker, Sir Malcolm Arnold, Marin Alsop, Sergiu Comissiona, Eugene Drucker, Kim Cattrall, Tim Fain, Gottfried Wagner, Alexis Cole, Edward Arron, Jerome Rose, Mariko Anraku, John Fullam, Jose Ramos Santana, Clamma Dale, Anita Darian, Florence Levitt, Kikuei Ikeda, Ayako Yoshida, Harris Poor, John Edward Niles, David Leibowitz, Robert Tomaro, Kathryn Amyotte, James Allen Anderson, Glen Hemberger, Anthony LaGruth, and Emily Wong, and organizations such as the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in the UK, Houston Symphony Orchestra, Virginia Symphony Orchestra, West Point Band’s The Jazz Knights, Dallas Wind Symphony, Springfield Symphony Orchestra, Traverse Symphony Orchestra, New York Repertory Orchestra, Rock River Symphony, Garden State Philharmonic, Opera Theatre of Northern Virginia, Westchester Concert Singers, International Opera Center at the Zurich Opera, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, American Jewish Committee, Hawthorne String Quartet, Locrian Chamber Ensemble, Amernet String Quartet, Artemis, Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, and Dateline NBC, and universities in New York, Louisiana, Ohio, Delaware, Florida, and Tennessee.

The son of a Klezmer band clarinetist, Michael Shapiro was born in Brooklyn, New York, and spent most of his high school years in Baldwin, a Long Island suburb, where he was a music student of Consuelo Elsa Clark, William Zurcher, and Rudolph Bosakowski. The winner of several piano competitions during his youth, he earned his B.A. at Columbia College, Columbia University, where he majored in English literature and concentrated in music, benefiting most—according to his own assessment—from some of the department’s stellar musicology faculty, which, at that time, included such international luminaries as Paul Henry Lang, Denis Stevens, Joel Newman, and others. He studied conducting independently with Carl Bamberger at the Mannes College of Music in New York and later with Harold Farberman at Bard College. At The Juilliard School, where he earned his master’s degree, he studied solfège and score reading with the renowned Mme. Renée Longy—known to generations of Juilliard students as “the infamous madame of dictation” for her rigorous demands and classic pedagogic methods—and composition with Vincent Persichetti. His most influential composition teacher, however, was Elie Siegmeister, with whom Shapiro studied privately.

To learn more about Michael Shapiro, visit

About Elliott Forrest, narrator


He is the recipient of broadcasting’s highest honor, the George Foster Peabody Award and two New York State Broadcasting Awards.

He can now be heard on 105.9 FM WQXR and WNYC in New York. He is heard nationally as the radio host of the syndicated concerts from The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. For WQXR he produced and hosted, THE WQXR CLASSICAL COMEDY CONTEST at Carolines on Broadway, which was also shot for WNET Ch. 13 in NY. Hosts the national broadcasts of SPRING FOR MUSIC live from Carnegie Hall, where he has appeared more than 60 times.

Elliott has hosted many concerts of the New York Philharmonic, including the national radio broadcast BRING BACK THE MUSIC,a benefit concert for Katrina victims live from Lincoln Center. It featured The New York Philharmonic, Audra McDonald, Wynton Marsalis and Randy Newman.

During 1995 Elliott co-hosted the nationally syndicated talk show, The Late Late Radio Show with Tom Snyder and Elliott Forrest, for the CBS Network Radio (1995). The show featured one-on-one celebrity interviews and nightly conversations between Tom and Elliott. As for his part of the show, Elliott interviewed hundreds of people included Christopher Reeve, Richard Pryor, John Cleese, Shirley MacLaine, Peter Arnett, Bill Mahar, Larry King, Garrison Keillor, Garry Shandling, Elvis Costello, Peter Ustinov, members of the rock groups The Moody Blues, Chicago, Fleetwood Mac, among others. On working with Mr. Snyder, Elliott considers it a high point in his career “to have talked over the daily news events and the everyday events of life with one of this country’s legendary broadcasters.”

From 1986 to 1993, Elliott was morning drive-time host on WNCN-FM, a New York City station. He broadcast special events from The United Nations and Carnegie Hall (co-hosting with Peter Jennings).

His first radio job was in his hometown of Midland, Texas on KNFM. He went on to work at Kansas City’s KXTR-FM, (where he was also Program Director); WEVD, NY; and WKJY, Long Island.


He produces projections, lighting and theatrical elements for major orchestras around the country including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Atlanta Symphony, The Pasadena Pops and the Little Orchestra Society in NY.  You can some of the latest concerts at .

At Lincoln Center: Music Takes Flight with Sigourney Weaver, a 200th Birthday Celebration with James Earl Jones and at THE TOWN HALL in New York City’s Times Square for the 60th Anniversary Concert of The Little Orchestra Society.

He directed a concert version of Act III of Wagner’s Gotterdammerung at The Hollywood Bowl with John Mauceri conducting The Los Angeles Philharmonic on July 10th, 2005. Elliott has his own production company, Forrest Productions, LLC. In an exclusive licensing arrangement, he acquired the radio rights to A&E’s signature television series, Biography® and produced Biography® for Radio which was heard all across the US and Canada. Over 700 episodes were produced.

Elliott is the Artistic Director of the new ArtsRock in Rockland County, NY, producing and presenting concerts, events and series of programs.

For two years Elliott was the Musical Curator and host of the Resonating Light series of classical chamber concerts at The Rubin Museum.

Along with partner, Broadway Producer Don Frantz, Elliott is co-producing WALKIN’ BROADWAY™ the first audio-walking tour of Broadway and Times Square. Tourists and theater lovers stroll from theater to theater and hear stories from Broadway stars and artists and hear music from shows past and present.

He has Produced and Directed plays, musicals and events in Texas, Kansas City and New York.



In 2013 & 2007 he co-hosted the GREAT MOMENTS AT THE MET, a national television special and in 2008 “The Jewish Americans”.

For more than 12 years he was with the A&E Television Network as host of Breakfast with the Arts. He was nominated for an Emmy in 2002 and 2005. The show featured segments on movies, Broadway, rock, jazz, world and classical music, in studio performances and extensive interviews with guests.

Additional A&E hosting duties have included Biography® This Week, Richard Rodgers: Falling in Love, Holiday in New York, A&E In Concert, Pavarotti in Paris, BioArts and The Pablo Casals Festival from Puerto Rico.

In 2006 he co-hosted the Metropolitan Opera’s Gala for Joseph Volpe seen on PBS and heard on national radio. In March of 2005 he hosted for PBS “Your Money, Your Children, Your Life” on WNET, Thirteen in New York.

For more than five years Elliott was the “voice” of programs and specials on CNN. He voiced the opening segments on CNN for the 2000 Presidential debates, Vice Presidential debates, Election Night Coverage, the Bush Inauguration and The Attacks on America. He voiced the CNN series: CONNIE CHUNG TONIGHT, Live from…, The Point, Newsstand, and Impact.

A popular voice over artist, he has recorded national and regional commercials, documentaries, industrials and several onboard programs for airlines. Recent voice over work includes narrations for HBO’s G-String Divas and Heir to an Execution.

He reported entertainment news for Showtime, The Movie Channel and FLIX and has produced field pieces for E! Entertainment Television, interviewing Anthony Hopkins, Michael J. Fox, Kenny Rogers and Joan Rivers. He’s produced pieces for The E! True Hollywood Story and Celebrity Profile.

Elliott hosted the national telecast of The 3 Tenors Concert live from Giants Stadium on July 20, 1996, which was repeated on PBS.


Overlapping his broadcasting work he has been a media trainer, presentation coach and lecturer. Working first in New York with Carl Byoir and Associates, then Hill & Knowlton Public Relations he then went on to consult with Virgil Scudder and Associates, one of the top media training companies in the world. For the past 15 years he has prepared CEOs, managers, sports figures, doctors, authors, rock stars, celebrities and politicians on how to deal with the media, be on radio and television, handle crisis situations and give press conferences. Both individually and in large groups he has instructed people on how to enhance their presentation skills. From New York to Toronto to Marrakesh he has lectured or coached men and woman from such fields as entertainment, education, health, finance, technology and international trade.

Over the years, Elliott has been a host, moderator, guest speaker and lecturer for scores of events, shows and galas. He hosts the regular concerts on stage of the SPRING FOR MUSIC festival at Carnegie Hall. In December of 2005 he moderated a panel in Las Vegas in front of an audience of thousands on Deep Vain Thrombosis for a major pharmaceutical company. And in January of 2006 he hosted the opening concerts of the new Globe-News Center for the Performing Arts in Amarillo, TX.  Originally from Texas, Elliott received a Bachelor of Arts in Drama from the University of Texas in Austin. He is on the board of The New York Youth Symphony.