Maciej Żółtowski, Music Director of Fenimore Chamber Orchestra and Catskill Symphony Orchestra

Fenimore Chamber
Orchestra Coming To Area

“I am a busy man!” said Maciej Żółtowski.

“I am still the Music Director at Catskill Symphony Orchestra and am now the Music Director at Fenimore Chamber Orchestra!”, he said. “It’s not unusual to be music director for two or three companies. I remember my first meeting with Thomas Wolf, Executive Director, and we developed a fruitful relationship. It just all grew from there.“

“In every organization, the music director is always the conductor of the orchestras that we are talking about. This works for me because my idea is to fill the seasons to compliment our concerts so we can provide the audiences in the area with a full season of symphonic concerts, chamber concerts, of different character that don’t conflict with each other. They are completely different types of music being presented,” Mr. Żółtowski said.

“The Fenimore Chamber Orchestra is a completely different type of music. It’s about a specific type of music that we call chamber music,” Mr. Żółtowski said. “It requires the musicians take a different approach. We selected our musicians by invitation, looking for those qualities.”

“Playing in a chamber ensemble is similar to playing in a string quartet. A chamber ensemble is a group of solists. Our musicians are capable of playing solo parts. It’s a very select group of musicians,” he said.

The difference between an orchestra and a chamber ensemble — there is a visible division between the principals of groups and others playing in the group. Not all musicians are willing to be a soloist. Not all want to be able to be heard as a separate member of the orchestra. It’s a different type of music making.

A chamber ensemble is usually composed of between 10 and 25 musicians. That’s the design of the Fenimore Chamber Orchestra. A symphony orchestra can be an ensemble beyond 50 members. That’s the first difference.

“The second is the qualities we look in for the musicians. The artistic path they choose is important, “ Mr. Żółtowski said.

“We like to share musicians between companies. It’s better for the musicians. We want to attract talent and it’s impossible to keep that local talent if the opportunity is limited to just a few concerts a year. If the musicians stay busy and get paid, they will stay in our region. Economically this is really a win-win situation.”

Many of these people are world class players. “We want to bring them here and keep them here.We want to to create a local experience then export it to the outside so it’s something the area can be proud of. We are already getting invitations from outside our area to bring the Fenimore Chamber Orchestra to Utica and other surrounding areas,” Mr. Żółtowski said.

“We are always looking for more funding and for more people to come on Board,” Thomas Wolf, Executive Director said.

“The more external collaborations we have the better. My idea is to be active in this community and be active in the area; it’s a really busy season. This is just the tip of the iceberg!” Mr. Żółtowski said.

According to Mr. Wolf, tickets are going quickly. Go to The first concert is at Christ Church in Cooperstown on August 27.

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