Wonderful personal and musical warmth, humor, constant searching for uplifting musical understanding—these are some of the many traits of André’s that I have valued hugely and feel supremely fortunate to have interacted with, during his 35-year span as cellist with the Da Capo Chamber Players. He and I rehearsed Elliott Carter’s duo, Enchanted Preludes, so deeply that there were spots where I could play my best only in the context of hearing what his part was saying, either with or right before mine.
In group rehearsals he would often have insights that would cut through a web of obscure attempts to understand the musical intent of the composer. And his “no-fault” rehearsal approach was superb. An early memory: the group needed to tune a spot, and to my amazement he simply said “I can’t find the pitch”. It was such a low-keyed way to focus our attention, without asserting that any one person was either on or off—a small example of a really helpful rehearsal vibe!
André’s inner commitment to making music transcended the emphasis on precision and technical mastery—but he always respected their importance. Once, in a rehearsal years ago, a guest (a singer perhaps—can’t remember who) had made the rest of us quite uptight: some of the rhythms or articulations we wanted to improve were, according to the guest, “small potatoes” and he didn’t want to bother with them. But when André arrived a bit later, and the guest mentioned this to him, André fixed the whole thing by announcing in no uncertain terms and with complete good humor, “That’s me—I’m a ‘small potatoes’ man!”
Da Capo’s identity has of course always been tied to our work with today’s composers, and André’s input in that area was significant and seminal. Every composer who wrote for us (more than 100 during that time) knew that André’s exciting musical insight would be contributing to the premiere and subsequent performances of the piece. André also led the way to wonderful interactions with George Perle, Chinary Ung, Alla Borzova, and David Sanford (to mention just a few!) Most recently, Joan Tower’s Looking Back (2018), commissioned by
Da Capo for her 80th year (a major new work for a major occasion), was dedicated to André.
André Emelianoff’s extraordinary musical thinking and the love we feel for him will live on in Da Capo, in myself, and in the many students and colleagues he has touched.
— Patricia Spencer
1 – Da Capo in 2008: Patricia Spencer, flute; Meighan Stoops, clarinet; Blair McMillan, piano; Curtis Macomber, violin; André Emelianoff, cello. Photo © Peter Schaaf
2 – André Emelianoff and Joan Tower, accepting applause after performance at the Century Club.
3 – Da Capo Chamber Players performing at Gracie Mansion in the late 1970's. L to R: Joel Lester, Patricia Spencer, Joan Tower, Laura Flax, André Emelianoff.
4 – André Emelianoff, Patricia Spencer, Laura Flax (seated), Joel Lester, Joan Tower.
1942 – 2020
Lynda L. Ciolek
1952 – 2020
Da Capo treasures the memory of Lynda Ciolek—our wonderful publicist for the past 30 years. Imaginative, resourceful, careful and caring, Lynda was a collaborator to dream of. Her publicity work alone was more than excellent. I never heard her complain when the NY Times cut back on the number of reviews they printed for new music groups—she simply found new contacts for online postings, and our coverage continued. Beyond the publicity work she understood and shared the goals of the group, always giving us solid professional advice on marketing pieces and other issues. She attended every concert (even during recent years, when she has been ill). The success of the Da Capo Chamber Players (now entering our 50th anniversary year!) is certainly due in part to her superb professional and loving work for us.
Here is a copy of an obituary printed on the Facebook site of the Manhattan School Alumni Association on June 5, 2020:
We are saddened to learn from alumnus Michael Philip Davis of the passing of fellow alumna Lynda Ciolek (MM ’76, voice).
"Lynda L. Ciolek died of natural causes in her New York home on May 30, 2020, three weeks shy of her 68th birthday. She had been in declining health.
An only child, she was born and raised in Chicago. Lynda brought her ample mezzo-soprano to MSM in 1974 after getting her undergraduate degree at Indiana University. At MSM she studied voice with Ellen Faull and coached opera with then-MSM President George Schick. In 1976 she was memorable as the gossipy Mrs. Jones in the historic MSM production of Street Scene, conducted by Maestro Anton Coppola (MSM '63), who died in March.
Because of health considerations, Lynda curtailed her singing career in the 1970s and founded STEORRA Enterprises, the Public Relations/Advertising Consulting firm that she led for more than 40 years until her death. Her clients included the Cassatt Quartet and the late Jean Redpath.
Lynda was the most devoted and incisive friend, blessed with integrity and moral rectitude in her personal and professional life. She brought radiant light into the world."