Last Thursday’s concert was a bittersweet one. Co-Principal Harp Margarita Csonka Montanaro’s retirement after the season was announced. On a more celebratory note, horn player Jeffry Kirschen and Principal Timpani Don Liuzzi were recognized for 25 years with the Orchestra, and bassist David Fay was the recipient of the C. Hartman Kuhn Award.
Montanaro joined the Orchestra in 1963 immediately upon graduating from the Curtis Institute of Music. She participated in the Marlboro Festival and the Philadelphia Orchestra Chamber Music Series, among others, and has been a member of the Orchestra’s Musicians Tour Committee for the past 25 years. She was a recipient of the C. Hartman Kuhn Award in 1994. Here she is being congratulated by the Orchestra’s chairman, Richard B. Worley.
A native of Philadelphia and graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and Temple University, Kirschen enjoys teaching and has taught at the university and high school level for many years. He has been a guest artist at numerous horn symposiums and recitals. Stephanie Brandow, president of the Volunteer Committees for The Philadelphia Orchestra, presented him with the traditional watch recognizing 25 years of service. The Volunteer Committees have funded the watch awards since 1928.
Don earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree from Temple University. His solo debut with The Philadelphia Orchestra was at the Mann Center in 1996 and his subscription solo debut in 1998. He is music director of the Philadelphia All City High School Ensemble Orchestra and founding conductor of the 20-21 new Music Ensemble at Curtis. Brandow presented him with the traditional watch recognizing 25 years of service.
The C. Hartman Kuhn Award was established in 1941 and named for a charter member of the Board of Directors who served from 1901 to 1933. It is given annually to “the member of the The Philadelphia Orchestra who has shown ability and enterprise of such character as to enhance the standards and the reputation of The Philadelphia Orchestra” The selection is made by the music director each year. Here, Fay is being given the award by Richard B. Worley, chairman of The Philadelphia Orchestra Association.
In addition to noting Fay’s caliber as a musician, Worley said he has “demonstrated leadership in numerous ways over many years, bringing a quiet dedication to his work with fellow musicians, Board members, volunteers, and staff. He steps up time and again to engage with our patrons and donors, at concerts, education activities, and development events at home in Philadelphia, in Vail and Saratoga during the summer, and in our China residency.”