The Lyric Duo
Performing in January 2018 for the Sarasota Music Club, the Ohio University Lyric Duo is composed of two outstanding musicians - Gail Berenson, Piano, and Alison Sincoff, Flute/Piccolo. Both are extrememly talented and have awards and accolades too numerous to mention on the performance program. We hope you enjoy reading the following information from the musicians about their careers and accomplishments.
The Lyric Duo
Alison Brown Sincoff, flute/piccolo Gail Berenson, piano
The Lyric Duo features the collaborative talents of Alison Brown Sincoff, flute and piccolo, and Gail Berenson, piano. Although separated now by nearly 1,000 miles, Alison (current faculty) and Gail (faculty Emerita) are happy to partner together again to perform for you today. Both of these talented and extremely active musicians are highly recognized in their respective disciplines on both a national and international level. After numerous successful engagements, in 2004 Ms. Brown Sincoff and Ms. Berenson decided to officially form the Ohio University Lyric Duo, recognizing their mutual respect for each other's musical contributions and the positive energy achieved in their performances together. In addition to their recital performances, they are frequent master class and workshop presenters.
Alison Brown Sincoff, Professor of Flute, joined the Ohio University faculty in September 1997 and was named the Ohio University School of Music’s Outstanding Teacher of the Year in May of 2009. Professor Brown Sincoff frequently performs with colleague, Gail Berenson (piano), as founding members of the Ohio University Lyric Duo, and Athenia, a wind trio featuring the collaborations of additional faculty at Ohio University—Dr. Michele Fiala, oboe and Dr. Matthew Morris, bassoon. Professor Brown Sincoff is a featured soloist in a CD recording of Joel Puckett’s The Shadow of Sirius with the Ohio University Wind Symphony and Dr. Andrew Trachsel, director (2012). She has also recorded Henk Badings’ Concerto for Flute and Wind Ensemble under the direction of Dr. John Climer, a past director for the OU Wind Ensemble (2001). In 2009, a performance of Lukas Foss’ Renaissance Concerto for Flute and Orchestra with the Ohio University Symphony Orchestra, Steven Huang, director, was also a highlight of Professor Brown Sincoff’s campus performance engagements. She thoroughly enjoys working with the School of Music’s talented faculty.
On a national level, Professor Brown Sincoff collaborates with university flute studios throughout the United States. She has performed at the National Flute Association’s annual flute convention, and has served as a performer/presenter, competition adjudicator and member of the Board of Directors (2011-2013) for this organization. Additional music conference appearances include the Collegiate Band Directors National Association’s North Central Division Conference, the International Double Reed Society, Music Teachers National Association, the National Association of Teachers of Singing, and Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society. Select flute festival invitations include the Arizona Flute Festival, Central Ohio Flute Association’s Flute Festival, Flute Society of Kentucky Flute Festival, Northeast Ohio Flute Association’s Flute Festival, and the West Virginia University Flute Fling. In 2003, Professor Brown Sincoff performed George Crumb’s An Idyll for the Misbegotten for amplified flute and three percussion at the University of Dayton’s Contemporary Music Festival. George Crumb was the featured composer in attendance for this festival. In 2002, she collaborated with the Eastman Conservatory’s Ying Quartet as a part of a two-week summer chamber residency in the state of Montana.
In 2003, Professor Brown Sincoff traveled to Argentina to perform and present master classes as a part of a faculty exchange program with Ohio University and the Universidad Nacional de Cuyo in Mendoza and the Conservatorio Nacional de Música y Artes Escénicas of Buenos Aires. Professor Brown Sincoff returned to Mendoza in 2011, at the invitation of Pablo Salcedo, as a festival performer and clinician for World Flutes Festival III.
Laureate of several national and international competitions, including: first prize of the 1995 National Flute Association’s Orchestral Excerpts Competition (Orlando); first prize of the 1996 NFA’s Piccolo Artist Competition and third prize of the Young Artist Competition (New York); and semifinalist in the 1999 Myrna Brown Flute Competition (Dallas). In July of 1997, Professor Brown Sincoff was one of two Americans selected to perform at the 4th International Flute Competition in Kobe, Japan.
Professor Brown Sincoff completed doctoral studies in flute performance from the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music. She holds the Master of Music degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and the Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Illinois. Her principal teachers were Bradley A. Garner, Jack Wellbaum, John Bailey, Alexander Murray, and her father, Robert H. Brown.
Ms. Brown Sincoff performs on a 10k Brannen Brothers flute, Altus alto flute, and a Wm. S. Haynes piccolo.
Gail Berenson is Professor Emerita of Piano at Ohio University, Athens, where she was awarded the “Distinguished Teacher of the Year” Award in 2000 and the “Distinguished Service” Award in 2016. Prior to coming to Ohio, she was on the faculty of the University of Illinois, Urbana. An active performer and passionate chamber music collaborator, she performs with flutist, Alison Brown Sincoff, as a member of the Lyric Duo.
As a result of her distinguished work as a piano pedagogue, along with her reputation as an expert on musician wellness issues, she is much in demand as a performer, clinician, master class artist, adjudicator, author, reviewer and pedagogy consultant. She has performed and lectured in over thirty-one states and ten countries. She has been a presenter at the European Piano Teachers Conferences in Manchester, England; Funchal, Madeira; and Amsterdam, Netherlands, served as a guest clinician at the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers’ Association’s National Conferences in Halifax and in Vancouver, Canada, and presented sessions at four World Conferences of the International Society of Music Education in Beijing, China, Thessaloniki, Greece, Porto Alegre, Brazil and Glasgow, Scotland. She has also served as a piano instructor in Yamaha’s Passport to Music program, in cooperation with Crystal Cruise Lines.
Ms. Berenson began to build a reputation as a performing artist early when at age eleven she began accompanying the forty-member male chorus conducted by her piano teacher, appearing in concert throughout Wisconsin and Illinois. A native of Kenosha, Wisconsin, she continued her education at Northwestern University, completing degrees in piano performance, studying piano with Louis Crowder and Guy Duckworth. She also performed in master classes with world-renowned accompanist Gerald Moore, baritone Pierre Bernac, duo-pianists Vronsky and Babin and, at the Lucerne International Music Festival, with pianist and accomplished chamber musician, Mieczyslaw Horszowski.
Ms. Berenson is one of the co-authors of "A Symposium for Pianists and Teachers: Strategies to Develop Mind and Body for Optimal Performance" and, as a member of the Lorenz Advisory Board she contributed to the innovative piano method, Piano Discoveries, and is co-author of “Ask the Professor.“ She has also authored three chapters for the fourth edition of the Lyke, Haydon, Rollin book, "Creative Piano Teaching," published in Spring 2011. Ms. Berenson has also written articles for "Keyboard Companion" and the on-line journal Piano Pedagogy Forum, and she served as a contributing editor to "Piano & Keyboard."
She is a Past President of Music Teachers National Association, an association of over 23,000 members, and in 2015 was awarded MTNA’s prestigious “Distinguished Service Award”. She has also held the position of President-Elect, President, Vice President, Chair of the 2002 and 2003 MTNA National Conference Committees, has served on the 1996 and 1997 Conference Committees and was one of the founding members of the MTNA Pedagogy Committee.
A powerful advocate for musicians’ health, she has served as the founding chair of numerous wellness committees, helping associations begin their foray into this topic. She represents the United States and the piano area as a member of the International Society of Music Education’s Forum on Instrumental and Vocal Teaching and chairs the Musicians’ Health and Wellness Special Interest Group. She chairs College Music Society’s newly established Committee on Musicians’ Health. She has held several national posts with the National Conference on Piano Pedagogy and the World Piano Pedagogy Conference and has chaired the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy’s Committee for Pianists’ Wellness.
A Past President of the Ohio Music Teachers Association, she holds MTNA’s Master Certificate in piano and piano pedagogy and was the recipient of the 1999 OMTA “Certified Teacher of the Year” award and the 2004 OMTA “Collegiate Teacher of the Year” award. In recognition of her significant contributions to the music world and the music teaching profession, she was awarded an MTNA “Foundation Fellow Award” in 2007. Now a resident of Sarasota, Florida, she serves on the Sarasota Concert Association Board and the Sarasota Music Archive Board and is Co-Chair of the SCA’s Music Matinee Concert Series. Her students are performing and teaching in independent studios and on college faculties throughout the world.