CHERWYN AMBUTER, pianist, accompanist, chamber music collaborator

AIM Vernon News recently reviewed Cherwyn’s solo performance of Debussy, Ravel, and Griffes as “an astonishing performance” (6/18/09 – see article, attached below in .pdf format). Cherwyn inspires and enthralls audiences and her fellow performers with her dynamic, energy-infused interpretive performances which grip the heart and capture listeners…Her ability to merge musically in sympathy with others and feel the music “as one” during collaboration has always been acknowledged as a special gift.


More than twenty years of professional pianist performance experience include:

* chamber music and recital collaboration with members of Cleveland Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra Chorus and Cleveland Opera Chorus; guest accompanist for the U.S. Coast Guard Academy Cadet Glee Club (Dec. 2009)

* collaboration with Cleveland Contemporary Youth Orchestra

* extensive service to choral organizations:


Current positions: accompanist for Manhattan Concert Productions’ Octavo Series. Choral accompanist for the Vernon Township High School choirs, involving three rehearsals per week and all concerts, pit orchestra for the musical theater production, etc.


Former regular positions with the New Jersey Conservatory Symphonic Chorus and Chamber Choir, the Great Miami Choral Society (Hamilton, OH) and Summit Choral Society (Akron, OH); substituting for many others including a successful last-minute “Messiah” concert collaboration at the organ after the regular organist sustained an injury (The Arcadian Chorale, Matawan, NJ).


* occasional work with the New Jersey State Opera under the direction of Dr. Jason Tramm.

* formerly staff acccompanist for voice departments and opera workshops at Northern Kentucky University and Tufts University.

* solo recitalist in “PianoTalk” concerts, including The Life and Music of Franz Liszt; recently engaged to present the world premiere of the newly-discovered piano solo and piano/violin duo music of Italian composer Alfred Morena at The Center for Italian-American Culture in Bloomfield, NJ.

* extensive experience accompanying high school and elem. school choirs; musical theatre; violin studio recitals; college recitals and college entrance auditions, church soloists and choirs; solo and chamber music performances in New Jersey, New York, Ohio,  Virginia, Vermont, and Massachusetts.

* Cherwyn’s fabulous sight-reading skills enable her to concentrate on bringing music alive, rather than finding notes, even on last-minute calls. Her studies in voice and foreign language render her particularly well-suited for working with singers, even in challenging recitative passages. Prior studies in oboe and clarinet have given her sympathies for working with instrumentalists who play on the breath, allowing her to internally “breathe with” the other performer. Collaborations are satisfying and rewarding!

Additional musical experience as church choir director and organist and community chorus director (including currently). Artistic Director for Zephyr Vocal Ensemble, a primarily a cappella, semi-professional mixed ensemble of 16 voices.



* 1st prize, Elizabeth Verveer Tischler Competition (generous cash prize – performed Liszt’s Transcendental Etude No. 9)

* 1st prize, Tufts University Concerto Competition (appearance with Tufts Symphony Orchestra – Schumann Piano Concerto in A minor)


Educational background:

* M.M. in Piano Performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music; B.A. in Music from Tufts University; further studies in voice, clarinet, and oboe, as well as choral conducting.

* Piano studies with Gail Niwa, Philip Thomson, Richard Morris, Eugene & Elizabeth Pridonoff, and Merilyn Neher.

* Chamber music coaching with The Tokyo String Quartet, The Raphael Trio, and Jack Kirstein.


I am so encouraged and felt very buoyant on my ride home.   I listened to the rehearsal recordings –  just yesterday’s – and was very pleased.  Your playing is so artistic and sensitive – you really get the affect and ‘story’ of all of these pieces.  I feel very fortunate to have found you! 

~ professional soprano Elizabeth Phillips of Rochester, NY, who had driven here to NJ to meet me for the first time and rehearse with me towards a collaborative recital in April, 2010 and emailed these comments to me following her return home (4/14/10). Elizabeth’s website here:


Dear Cherwyn,

Thank you for accompanying for the NJ-ACDA Music Immersion workshop last week.You approached the task with the utmost professionalism and enthusiasm! I appreciate your positive attitude and incredibly hard work! I hope you can accompany for ACDA in the future! Thanks again for being such a great part of our Immersion!”

              ~ Lauri Lausi, president of the NJ chapter of the American Choral Directors Association (6/18/10)


“Mrs. Ambuter’s instrumental technique is superb, she plays with enthusiasm, and she is responsible to the conductor’s gesture. Thanks for a job well done! Mrs. Ambuter is commended for the fine work she does in accompanying our choral groups. Her expertise is noted and appreciated. It is recommended that Ms. Ambuter continue as accompanist.”

         ~ Mr. Richard Zweier, Supervisor, Performing Arts Dept., Vernon Township High School, on his written report of a required observation of my work for the school (12/21/09)

Community Choral Society

Manhattan Concert Productions

The New Jersey Conservatory

The Vernon Township High School Choirs

Tufts University Dept. of Music

UC College-Conservatory of Music