Department of History
University at Albany
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History Graduate
Student Organization
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The New York State Archives &
The Archives Partnership Trust


The Office of the Provost
for the Albany Heritage Program
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The Office of the Vice President for Research
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Friends of the Library

(518) 442-4488

Conference Highlights

The Rockefeller Years: Transforming Albany
Joseph E. Persico

Thursday, November 21st. 7:00 PM
University at Albany Recital Hall

Nelson Rockefeller had a significant and lasting impact on New York State, and especially, on the city of Albany. Joseph E. Persico, noted author and former speechwriter for Nelson A. Rockefeller, will discuss Rockefeller's influence on the cultural and political landscape of Albany, New York. Persico, began his political writing career with New York Governor Averill Harriman. In 1966 he became the chief speechwriter for Governor Nelson Rockefeller, continuing as Rockefeller's primary speechwriter when Rockefeller served as Vice-President of the United States. He is the author of the Rockefeller biography "The Imperial Rockefeller." Persico was the collaborator on General Colin Powell's autobiography, "My American Journey," which was on the New York Times bestseller list for 20 weeks. "Roosevelt's Secret War: FDR and World War II Espionage", published by Random House, also reached the New York Times bestseller list and has been chosen as one of the notable books for the year.

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The Bleecker Musical Binders: Music in the
New York State Library Special Collections
Ann-Marie Barker Schwartz
& The Musicians of Ma'alwyck

Friday, November 22nd ~ 10:45 AM
The Standish Room, New Science Library

In the New York State Library Special Collections are housed 360 boxes of papers and ephemera of the Dudley-Tibbitts families. The Dudley name, an important Albany family of the Nineteenth-century, is recognizable today because of the Charles E. Dudley Observatory in Troy. Dudley, a mayor of Albany during the 1820s, married Blandina Bleecker, a member of the Albany Dutch elite. An accomplished pianist, Blandina collected hundreds of pieces of music for her own musical library. These musical binders along with others in the family's papers document musical life in early New York State intimately.

Ms. Barker Schwartz will present her research that describes the significance of the music found in the binders and correlates individual pieces to actual concert programs listed in period newspapers. She will also discusses musical practices in America in the late 1700s including music publication and distribution, performance practice, and description of repertory, concert experience, and performing venues. Mention is made of actual musical events, which occurred in Albany, including performances of opera in the 1770s and 80s, and orchestral and solo concerts in the 1790s. Her talk will will be accomanied by a live performance that illustrates some of the musical programs played in the late 1700s.

Musicians of Ma'alwyck is a flexible-size chamber music ensemble formed in 1999 by Ann-Marie Barker Schwartz. In residence at the Schuyler Mansion, a New York State Historic Site, and at the University at Albany, the group performs regularly in concert series in Upstate New York presenting programs specializing in the music of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries. The core instrumentation consists of violin, 'cello, guitar, vocalist, and flute; with a second violin, viola, oboe bassoon, harpsichord or piano added as demanded by the repertory. Musicians of Ma'alwyck has performed on National Public Radio and recently returned from performing in Atlanta for producer Norman Lear, celebrating his purchase of the last private copy of the Declaration of Independence.


Ignaz Pleyel (1757-1831): Trio, Op. 44/1

George F.Handel (1685-1759): "Let the Bright Seraphim" from Samson

Johann Fischer: Minuet

James Hook (1746-1827): The Hours of Love: Morning, Noon, Evening, and Night

Niccolo Jomelli (1714-1774): Chaconne

Thomas Arne (1710-1778): "The Soldier Tired" from Artaxerxes


Ann-Marie Barker Schwartz, director and violinist
Sten Isachsen, guitarist
Petia Kassarova, cellist
Beverly O'Regan Thiele, guest artist, soprano

Biographies of Artists:

Ann-Marie Barker-Schwartz
Ann-Marie Barker Schwartz attended Boston University where she studied with Roger Shermont. From 1982-1997, a member of the first violin section of the Albany Symphony Orchestra, she currently performs with the Glimmerglass Opera Orchestra and the Little Delaware Chamber Players. Co-founder and director of the St. Cecilia Chamber Orchestra from 1987-1998, Schwartz now runs the Siena College Music Series, where she founded the Franciscan Chamber Orchestra. She teaches violin and viola at the University at Albany and Schenectady County Community College and is a former instructor at the Emma Willard School in Troy. Currently attending graduate school at the University at Albany, she studies music in America during the 1700s.

Petia Kassarova
Born in Bourgas, Bulgaria, Petia Kassarova began studying 'cello at age ten. She studied at the Bulgarina Conservatory with Zdravko Jordanov, a student of Mstislav Rostropovich. During that time she worked in the Vidin Philharmonia and toured with the orchestra in Western Europe. In 1992 Mrs. Kassarova became principal 'cellist of Orquesta Sinfonica de Ribeirao Preto, Brazil and was also professor of 'cello at the Music Academy of Ribeirao Preto. In 1993 she attended the Duquesne University School of Music pursuing an Artist Diploma with Jennifer Langham. In 1998 she won a position with the Albany Symphony Orchestra of which she is currently a member. She also performs with the Syracuse Symphony. In addition to being a member of the Musicians of Ma'alwyck she is the 'cellist of Capitol Chamber Artists.

Sten Yngvar Isachsen
Sten yngvar Isachsen performs extensively as a solo artist, giving concerts in such venues as the Adirondack Center for the Arts at Blue Mountain Lake, Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Ithaca College, Eastman School of Music, Hyde Museum, College of St. Rose and the University at Albany. Isachsen holds a Bachelor and Master of Music degree in Guitar Performance from Ithaca College and has studied guitar with Frederick Hand, Ed Flower and Joel Brown. He has participated in master classes with Manuel Barrueco, Sergio and Odair Assad, and Benjamin Verdery. Isachsen is a founding member of the Finger Lakes Guitar Quartet, which has commissioned works from Anthony Holland. Isachsen teaches at Schenectady County Communtiy College, St. Rose College and the University at Albany.

Beverly O'Regan Thiele
Iowa native Beverly O'Regan Thiele made her professional operatic debut at age 23 as "Abigail" in The Crucible with Des Moines Metro Opera. She is an alumna of the Lyric Opera Center of American Artists where she performed numerous roles including "Musetts" in La Boheme, a role she has also sung with New York City Opera and Orlando Opera. Other roles include "Magda" in Menotti's Consul with Washington Opera and Berkshire Opera, where she recorded the role on Newport Classics. She has sung "Donna Elvira" in Don Giovanni with Glimmerglass Opera and Mississippi Opera, Cosi fan tutte's "Fiordiligi with the Lyric Opera Center, Fort Worth Opera, Orlando Opera and Lake George Opera, "First Lady" in Magic Flute with New York City Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and "Miss Jessel" in and "Miss Jessel" in Turn of the Screw with England's Broomhill Festival. Ms. Thiele made her Metropolitan Opera debut in as "Sylviane" in The Merry Widow and has appeared in War and Peace, Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Die Frau Ohne Schatten, and Sly. She recently was signed by the Washington National Opera Director Placido Domingo to play Blanche in their production of A Streetcar Named Desire.

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This page last updated November 20, 2002