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Historical Piano Concerts Series
About the Musicians

Malcolm Halliday and Chester Brezniak

Malcolm Halliday has performed in the United States and Europe, both as a soloist and in collaboration with singers, instrumentalists, and orchestra. He has performed frequently with historical pianos from museum and private collections, using period instruments in concerts at Jordan Hall and Faneuil Hall in Boston, Mechanics Hall in Worcester, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and other locations throughout New England. A champion of more recent and contemporary music, Malcolm Halliday can also be heard on two recordings of the music of the American composer Leo Sowerby, released through Albany Records. Resident pianist for the American Schubert Institute in Boston, Malcolm Halliday is also pianist with mezzo-soprano D'Anna Fortunato and clarinetist Chester Brezniak in the Blackstone Trio. Halliday received degrees in piano performance from Oberlin Conservatory (B.A.) and Boston University (M.Mus). His principal piano teachers included Paul Badura-Skoda, Henrica Bordwin, Miles Mauney, and Bela Nagy. He studied vocal accompanying with Allen Rogers and won several Fellowships in Vocal Coaching to the Tanglewood and Blossom Music Festivals.

Malcolm Halliday is Minister of Music at the First Congregational Church in Shrewsbury, where he leads one of the largest mainline protestant church music ministries (around 170 participants) in New England.  He has been Artistic Director and Conductor of the Master Singers of Worcester (MSW) in Worcester, MA since the fall of 1998. Halliday also conducts the Master Singers Youth Chorus, a new chorus in central Massachusetts for youth and children. He resides in Worcester, MA and serves on the music faculty at Clark University. This past summer Halliday received certification as a Fellow (FAGO) of the American Guild of Organists.

He has performed more concerts with pianos from the Frederick Collection than any other pianist.

Chester Brezniak has been active as a professional clarinetist since 1971. A graduate of Bard College, he received his M.M. from New England Conservatory. He studied clarinet with Gino Cioffi, Attilio Poto, Charles Russo, and Harold Wright; and took master classes with Robert Marcellus and Stanley Drucker.  Mr. Brezniak has had extensive orchestral and chamber music experience; performing with the Atlanta Symphony; as a member of the Atlanta Ballet Orchestra (1983-1989); principal clarinet with Sao Paulo Symphony (1977-78); principal and utility player with the Harvard Chamber Orchestra under Leon Kirchner; utility with the Czech Radio Symphony (Symphony Hall, Boston, 1999); principal with the Bridgeport Symphony, CT (1978-1983); principal with the Hanover Chamber Orchestra, Dartmouth College (2000-2007); principal with the Massachusetts Symphony (1995-2007); utility with the Orchestra of Emmanuel Music, with the Spectrum Singers and Harvard University Chorus (2001-2006). He has been a guest soloist with Boston’s Zamir Chorale (2005-2007), and was a founding member of the critically acclaimed Cambridge Chamber Players (N.Y. Times, Boston Globe) (1978-1996); a member of the Blackstone Trio (mezzo-soprano, clarinet & pianoforte); First Night Boston performances at The First and Second Church; and Trio Capriccio (viola, clarinet, & pianoforte) (1989-2006). He has performed premieres of many new works for these groups and others, including the former Ariel Chamber Ensemble under late Harvard professor/composer Earl Kim and the  Atlanta Virtuosi; (1972-2007).  Mr. Brezniak has appeared in concert in Merkin Hall, NYC; Jordan Hall, New England Conservatory; Sanders Theatre, Harvard; Pickman Hall at Longy School of Music, Cambridge, MA; Sully Hall of Boston Conservatory; Paine Hall, Harvard University, and many others.

His recordings include the recent Centaur Records release of Clarinet Now, and Zemlinsky’s Trio in D Minor, Op.3 for clarinet, ’cello and pianoforte (Northeastern Records). He has served on the Faculty at UMass/Boston since 1996.

We welcome Chester Brezniak to his first performance in our Historical Piano Concerts series.