Friends of Music has been fortunate through the years to have had an amazing array of individuals take part in its formation and its growth. We would like to acknowledge some of them here:

Lisa Kovalik and David Caddis
bask in the sun at the Silver
Jubilee Concert in June, 2011
Eva Lisa Kovalik is affectionately known as “Lisa” to Friends of Music. One of our founding members, she continues to play an important role in the group, though her current home necessitates long drives and much additional time for her attendance at our many meetings.

A native of Hungary, Lisa began her studies in Budapest at the Royal Academy of Music at the age of 6. Her musical education continued in Canada at McGill University, then on to post-graduate work in England and at Columbia University in New York City. A teaching fellowship at the Juilliard School led to a permanent faculty position which continues to this day.

Gracing Friends of Music audiences with her own gorgeous performances through these past 25 years, Lisa is also the source for many of the artists who perform for us. Her connections through her colleagues at Juilliard and her own students have brought great music to our hills that would simply not have been here without her influence and professional friendships. Thank you, Lisa, and we look forward to hearing you again in October!

David C. Caddis, retired professor of the German language and an excellent pianist as well, likewise has performed many times for Friends of Music. This tall, distinguished gentleman served multiple terms as the organization’s President, and he was instrumental in the Steinway’s initial rehabilitation and in the renovation of the Cyr Center’s ballroom, resulting in the superb acoustics we have enjoyed through the years. His vision and guidance saw Friends of Music through its early, formative years, and we thank him!

Dorothy Aldrich

Dorothy L. Aldrich, by all accounts, was Friends of Music for more than two decades. We would not be celebrating the occasion of our 25th Anniversary Season had it not been for her devotion to the group, for her attention to detail and for her meticulous handling of the myriad tasks required to successfully present the many concerts during her tenure.

During a recent board meeting Vice President Harvey Slatin quoted her as saying "It would take three people to replace me," and she was indeed right; three people now share the duties she once managed alone. Her untimely passing left a huge rift in the group's ability to function, which we are only beginning to truly recover from. She is greatly missed, and we thank her for her diligence and for her hard work.

Ilkka Kalliomaa served for many years as President for Friends of Music.  A native of Finland and a musician himself, Ilkka studied violin and voice at the Sibelius Academy. If you have participated in one of our Holiday Concert sing-alongs, you know what a marvelous baritone voice he has!

Mr. Kalliomaa first came to the US with the textile firm Marimekko, and just recently retired as the Cultural Attaché for the Finnish Consulate in New York City. He also served as Trade Commissioner in the Finnish Foreign Trade Association, and has been a board member and sometimes officer of various cross-cultural groups including the Finnish American Chamber of Commerce New York, the Sibelius Society and the American Scandinavian Society.

From 1996 to 2008, Ilkka Kalliomaa managed public relations for the Savonlinna Opera Festival, a month-long event held annually in the Finnish city of Savonlinna at the medieval St. Olaf's Castle. His connections to the music communities of both countries and to the opera world in particular continues to be a major source of talent for our concert series in Stamford, and we have him to thank for many incredible hours of music. During his busy years of "retirement" we look forward to hearing more of the benefits of his musical friendships, and to his invaluable presence on our board.

Jack Wadsworth
John Wadsworth led Friends of Music as President for too short a time, carrying the organization through a most difficult transition and a steep learning curve after the passing of Mrs. Aldrich. On the board of directors of many Delaware County not-for-profits, his business expertise and superb management skills were a valuable resource that he shared with all most generously. Those of us who worked with him and for him appreciated his intellect, humor and kindness as well. His vision of what the Friends of Music series could be moved us well forward before his own untimely death. We miss you deeply, Jack!

Dr. Harvey Slatin
Dr. Harvey Slatin Vice President of Friends of Music for many years, is the voice of practicality and the advocate of the big picture on the Board of Directors, a much-needed balance to the ethereal dreams of music we often entertain. A man of science, he is also the creator and the webmaster of the organization’s Web site,

Current Friends of Music President Miriam Sharick discusses Chopin with Rafal Lewandowski and Jerzy Wujtewicz after their performance in May, 2011. Photo by Kevin O. Wilson.

Miriam Sharick currently serves double-duty as both President and Recording Secretary for Friends of Music. Mrs. Sharick is a Professor of biology at the State University of New York College at Delhi, and sings with the Catskill Choral Society. A Board member for many years, she now leads us into the future.

A Big Ovation for…

A Taste of Europe Restaurant and proprietors Jeannette and Janis Balins, for their delicious food that has sustained us and delighted our taste buds through many years of concerts. Visit them in Cobleskill and at their Web site at for more information.

Elizabeth McPhail for both her time and her accounting expertise in helping us prepare our tax documents annually.

Steve Greenstein, Registered Piano Technician of Vintage Pianoworks and our Piano Superman, for saving our Steinway with his innovative repair strategy using ship-building techniques while saving us from a major deficit.

Aree Bray for the use of his public address equipment today and for his technical expertise. Visit Aree and Sally Bray at The Kaaterskill House , 18 River St., for great coffee, tea, sandwiches and treats. (607) 214-4100; open Mon. – Sat.

Our many individual Donors

The A. Lindsay and Olive B. O’Connor Foundation for their generous support for the Silver Jubilee Concert.

And most especially to

The Robinson-Broadhurst Foundation for their most generous support through the past 25 years, without which we would not be here today.