By Sally Deering
One of the great things about living in Hudson besides its close proximity to Manhattan is the community of artists who reside here and share their talents. Dancers, actors, singers, musicians, visual artists – you name it! – lots of creative folks who perform professionally call Hudson home and some even find time in their busy schedules to share their talents with local audiences, like the musical artists who call themselves the Union City Chamber Players.
Union City Chamber Players (L-to-R) Pianist Marina Korsakova-Kreyn, Violinist Peter Borten and Vocalist Bernadette LaFond
Violinist Peter Borten; mezzo-soprano Bernadette LaFond; and pianist Marina Korsakova-Kreyn are Union City residents and professional musicians who banded together to share their love for classical musical and their talents as classical musicians. At St. John’s Episcopal Church in Union City, recently, the trio presented a classical program, a “Love Concert” that featured Gounod’s “Ave Maria”; Mozart’s violin sonata K.526; French love songs by Faure and Massenet; Strauss’s “Stiller Gang” and Rachmaninoff’s “In the Silence of the Secret Night”.
“Its music that we know and feel we do well,” Peter Borten says. “The fact that there’s an audience for it and we can grow an audience, that’s great. More and more people in the community are repeat customers. It’s not people who moved here the last few years. Its people who have been living here a couple of decades, you just didn’t know they were here. There’s a lady across the street, she loves classical music and comes to all our concerts.”
Through performance, Borten, LaFond and Korsakova-Kreyn are fulfilling the group’s mission to bring low-cost, high-quality performances of classical chamber music to the Union City community. At their Love Concert the Chamber Players charged $8 for the show with kids admitted free.
All three musicians have performed extensively before banding together as the Union City Chamber Players. LaFond, who is married to Borten, is a mezzo-soprano who recently returned to opera and classical music after taking a break to raise the family and work as a speech pathologist. She has appeared as Dorabella in “Cosí Fan Tutte” at the Indianapolis Opera and as Mercedes in “Carmen” with Opera Carolina. She performed various roles with the New York City Opera, Dallas Lyric Opera, Austin Lyric Opera, the San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival, and the Rome Festival. A professional pianist and scholar in music cognition, Korsakova-Kreyn was trained as a musician at the Nizhniy Novgorod State Conservatory in her native Russia and she completed doctoral studies in cognition and neuroscience at the University of Texas at Dallas. In addition to studying music and cognitive sciences, Korsakova-Kreyn studied mathematics and physics at Nizhniy Novgorod State University.
A Yale graduate, violinist Peter Borten performed extensively in Europe with the Orchestra del Teatro La Fenice and the orchestra of the Dutch National Ballet. He won the silver medal in the International Chamber Music Competition at Stresa, Italy with pianist Michela Casalini. He has performed with many New York metro area ensembles including the American Symphony, the New York City Opera National Company, and the New Jersey State Opera.
“I’ve been a musician since I graduated Yale in 1979,” Borten says. “I played violin when I was growing up and at Julliard and my first jobs were violin. Years ago I decided to take a plunge and learn to play the viola. Everybody liked how I sounded on the viola and I started to freelance on both instruments.”
The Union City Chamber Players seems to be inspired by positive audience response and its next concert is already in the planning stage.
“There are people that lived here for years and years who are consumers of high culture,” Borten says. “We figured there’s an audience here and we can do the music we love.”
For future concert info, go to: www.facebook.com/UnionCityChamberPlayers