Roman Mekinulov, (cello) is a native of Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg), Russia, and is the principal cellist of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. After emigrating to the United States in 1989, Mr. Mekinulov studied at the Juilliard School of Music in New York, where he completed his bachelor and master degrees. While at Juilliard, he performed as a principal cellist with the Juilliard Symphony and Orchestra under the direction of Kurt Masur, Hugh Wolf, and Leonard Slatkin. Since 1995 Mr. Mekinulov has been repeatedly invited to substitute in the New York Philharmonic in concert, as well as in recordings for Teldec. He has been principal cellist of the North Carolina University Orchestra on their European tour, with the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra in Germany, and with Orquestra Sinfonica do Estado de São Paulo. As an active recitalist, chamber musician and concerto soloist, Roman Mekinulov has performed extensively throughout the United States, Italy, Austria, Hungary, Germany, France, Greece, Denmark, and Switzerland, as well as his native Russia. He lives in Buffalo with his wife, Sebnem, a lyric soprano, and their two children, Talia and Benjamin.

Mary Handley, (piano) is a respected pedagogue and pianist, and has appeared as soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington DC, Buffalo Philharmonic, Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, St. Catharines Symphony, Long Beach Symphony, Sacramento Symphony, Vallejo Symphony Orchestra, and San Francisco State Orchestra, and in numerous solo and chamber music recitals in United States and Canada.  Ms. Handley holds the ARCT degree from the Royal Conservatory of Music of Toronto, and a BM and MA in piano performance.  She was on the Piano Faculty of San Francisco State University for 20 years and while there developed a Graduate Piano Pedagogy Training Program and Piano Preparatory Department.  She also was producer of many concerts and music workshops in California. Ms. Handley is Executive Director of BRAVO WORKSHOP, an Examiner for the Royal Conservatory of Music of Toronto, and produces several annual figure skating events for Chautauqua Ice of Jamestown, and U.S. Figure Skating. 

Ansgarius Aylward, (violin) is Assistant Concertmaster of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. With the BPO he is frequently called upon to be a soloist, performing repertoire from the standard to the twentieth century. He has been concertmaster and soloist with the Ars Nova Musicians’ Chamber Orchestra and now appears annually as soloist at their popular “Viva Vivaldi” Festival. In 2001 Mr. Aylward founded the critically acclaimed “Chamber Music on Elmwood” Festival, which he serves as Director and as principal violinist. Prior to this he was first violinist of the Nichols Quartet. Mr. Aylward has been the Conductor of the Greater Buffalo Youth Orchestra and is currently Conductor of the Canisius College Chamber Orchestra. He travels regularly to Germany, where he is guest soloist and recording artist with the Stuttgart Musik-Forum. Mr. Aylward holds degrees from the New England Conservatory of Music and from Yale University School of Music.

Jacqueline Galluzzo, (violin)  is on leave

Andrea Cone(violin) A member of the violin section of the Buffalo Philharmonic,  Andrea Blanchard Cone  frequently performs  chamber music with her friends and colleagues from the BPO in series including Roycroft Festival, Buffalo Chamber Players and at Canisius College in their Informally Formal Chamber Music series.  Andrea was an adjunct faculty member at University of Buffalo for many years where she was the second violinist with the Westwood String Quartet.  She has been a soloist with the BPO, performing works of Sarasate, Mozart, Svendson and Saint-Saens.  A member and frequent soloist with Ars Nova, Andrea had many opportunities to to perform with the group in their well known Viva Vivaldi Festival.  Andrea is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music where she studied with Sylvia Rosenberg.  While she was still a student there, she was offered a part-time contract with the Rochester Philharmonic, then under the direction of David Zinman.  Shortly after graduating,  Andrea joined the BPO,  where she met her husband, Doug Cone, also a violinist in the BPO.  They live in Williamsville with their two children, Drew and Matt.

Valerie Heywood, (viola) is Principal Violist of the  Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. She is a founding member of the Chamber Music on Elmwood Festival in Buffalo. She has been violist with the Westwood String Quartet, Con Brio Ensemble, Barge Music, the Westchester String Quartet, the Virtuosi Ensemble and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. During the summer Valerie performs at the Grand Teton Music Festival. She has been Professor of Viola and Chamber Music at the University of Toledo, Ohio. Ms. Heywood performed with the Santa Fe Opera, New Mexico for sixteen years. She has degrees from the University of Michigan and the Juilliard School. She can be heard on recordings for Atlantic, Musical Heritage Society, RCA and Deutsche Gramophone.

Lynne Ruda (cello, adjunct faculty)

Charlie Bennet (cello, adjunct faculty)

Derek Chazen (viola, adjunct faculty)

Sandy Paddock (violin, adjunct faculty)

Visiting Faculty

Jolyon Pegis (cello, Dallas Symphony)

Christopher Fischer (viola, North Carolina Symphony)

Steven Thomas (violin, Houghton College)

Jacqueline Galluzzo (violin, Buffalo Philharmonic)

Callisto String Quartet

* faculty is subject to change