Audrey J. Edelstein
Audrey J. Edelstein is an active conductor, bassoonist, and mezzo-soprano in the New York area. Ms. Edelstein is extremely excited to be joining the Oratorio Society of Queens team as Assistant Conductor. Ms. Edelstein also is Assistant Conductor of the Brooklyn Conservatory Community Orchestra and Queensboro Symphony Orchestra, where she plays bassoon in the orchestra. Recently, Ms. Edelstein led the Queensboro Symphony Orchestra in a program including Strauss and Schubert.
Ms. Edelstein is a Master's candidate in Orchestral Conducting at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College where she currently studies with Maestro Maurice Peress and Maestro Tong Chen. She received her Bachelor of Arts at Swarthmore College, studying conducting with Andrew Hauze. At Swarthmore, she conducted the world premiere of The Royal Singer, a children's opera by Thomas Whitman, and conducted and co-directed concert performances of Guys and Dolls and South Pacific, among other projects.
Ms. Edelstein is committed to artistically enriching Queens College to its highest level. She is a School of Music representative and consultant for the First Annual Queens College Arts Festival (October 2016) and serves as a member of the Aaron Copland School of Music Student-Faculty Committee as representative for the students pursuing the Master's of Music degree.
A native New Yorker, Ms. Edelstein was born in Flushing and raised in Manhasset, NY. Her musical training began at age four when she learned piano, and then in the Manhasset Public Schools system when she learned to play the clarinet and bassoon. She first became interested in conducting as a member of Children’s Orchestra Society and the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra, where she played orchestral masterpieces under conductors that especially inspired her artistic growth. Ms. Edelstein first pursued her interest in conducting at Manhasset High School, where she conducted choral ensembles and served as drum major of the Manhasset High School Marching Band.
Assistant to the Conductor
Dr. Barbara Podgurski
A native of New York, Barbara Podgurski holds a DMA in piano performance from The Graduate Center (CUNY) as well as a BM in piano performance and an MM in both piano performance and music theory from the Mannes College of Music.
Dr. Podgurski has performed as soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean and Europe and has performed at many of the world’s finest venues including a number of performances at Carnegie Hall. She has been featured in numerous television and radio broadcasts, including appearances on WQXR’s Young Artists Showcase, WNYC’s “Soundcheck”, NPR, WPLN Nashville’s “Live from Studio C,” WQED and numerous others. Dr. Podgurski was recently featured on a television documentary for NHK in Japan with her touring partner violinist Elizabeth Pitcairn and the famed “Red” Mendelssohn Stradivarius. She has worked with members of the Metropolitan Opera, San Fransisco Opera, New York Philharmonic and Philadelphia Orchestra. Past collaborations with renowned artists include violinists Philippe Graffin and the late Lorand Fenyves, flutist Harold Jones, clarinetist Charles Neidich, pianists Diane Walsh and Seymour Lipkin, and cellists Manfred Stilz, Marcy Rosen and the late Paul Tobias.
Dr. Podgurski has premiered numerous new works including a commission of a concerto by Pulitzer-Prize winning composer George Walker which she premiered with the Queens Symphony Orchestra in NY. Dr. Podgurski is currently the Executive and Artistic Director of Musica Reginae Productions in NYC. She is also the Artistic Director of NIAM (the Nantucket Island Arts and Music Summer Festival). She is a member of the Lexington Piano Trio (with violinist Cyrus Beroukhim and cellist Arash Amini) as well as the Barbad Chamber Orchestra and Ensemble based in Astoria, Queens, NY. A former faculty member at The Mannes College of Music and Hunter College, Barbara is currently on the faculty of Mercy College, the RiverArts Music Program in Hudson Valley, and is a consultant for the Board of Education for both New York City and State. Barbara’s 2012-15 touring schedule includes concerts throughout the continental US and Caribbean.