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A Place I Never Knew

June 22, 2023 | 6:00 PM EST

The stunning series of photographs by local Boston photographer, Tira Khan, which hang in a wing of the Boston Athenæum, is a vibrant, stoic, and heartfelt homage to her ancestral homeland in India. Grappling with themes of immigration, ancestry, colonialism, family, and belonging, this collection shines a light on the sometimes conflicting emotions that come with connecting to a cultural from which you have been separated. Khan, in describing her journey, depicts the root of this feeling perfectly: “For this project, I returned to India to discover a city, culture, and country that I never knew.”

Join BFO Artistic Director Alyssa Wang and BFO musicians in an intimate dialogue about what it means to experience art, and how it can help us to relate to the world around us. Enjoy a wine and cheese reception following the concert, including a chance to explore parts of the Athenæum. This concert is free, but registration is required!


Anish Raj Pandit, Three Nocturnes
Vanraj Bhatia, Sangeet Raat: Night Music

Britten, Night Piece

Reena Esmail, Jhula Jhule

Scott Wheeler, New Village Music

Reena Esmail, The Light is the Same

Allison Parramore, flute

Catherine Weinfield-Zell, oboe

Nicholas Brown, clarinet

Ruoting Li, piano

All Chamber Series concerts will take place at the

Boston Athenæum (Henry Long Room)

10 1/2 Beacon St. 

Boston, MA 02108

For Parking and Directions, click here

Musician Bios
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Described as an "arresting" (Boston Globe) and "strikingly beautiful" (Miami Herald) musician, Catherine Weinfield-Zell served as second Oboe and English Horn with the Florida Grand Opera in Miami, FL from 2012-2016. From 2009-2013, Ms. Weinfield-Zell held the position of both Assistant Principal Oboe and principal English Horn with the Honolulu (now Hawaii) Symphony and the Hawaii Opera Theater. Ms. Weinfield-Zell has also performed with the Cleveland Orchestra, the Metropolitan Opera, the San Diego and Charleston Symphonies, the Portland Symphony, the Naples Philharmonic, the new-music ensembles Alarm Will Sound and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, the Orchestra at Indian Hill, the Boston Philharmonic, the Boston Lyric and Odyssey Opera Companies, and Emmanuel Music. Additionally, she has also performed at the Strings, Lake George, Opera in the Ozarks, Breckenridge, Spoleto FestivalUSA, Aspen, Sitka, Alaska, Kent/Blossom, and Britten-Pears Aldeburgh World Orchestra Music Festivals. As a dedicated teacher, Ms. Weinfield-Zell is on faculty at both Phillips Exeter Academy and Williams College. She is the also the co-founder with her husband, percussionist Michael Weinfield-Zell, of Music at the Substation, a chamber music series at the Turtle Swamp Brewery in Boston.

Ms. Weinfield-Zell's principal teachers include Elaine Douvas at Mannes College of Music in New York City, John Mack and Frank Rosenwein at the Cleveland Institute of Music, and Ray Still at Northwestern University.


A native of Massachusetts, Allison Parramore is the Artist-Teacher of Flute at the University of Rhode Island, a Lecturer in Music at Ithaca College, Principal Flutist of the Boston Festival Orchestra and Boston's Phoenix Orchestra, Second Flutist of the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, and Second Flutist and Piccolo player of the Missouri Symphony Orchestra. She has performed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops and Esplanade Orchestras, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, New World Symphony, Boston Lyric Opera, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Boston Philharmonic, Odyssey Opera, Albany Symphony, New Haven Symphony, New Bedford Symphony, Cape Symphony, and the Midland-Odessa Symphony, among others.


Her awards include first prize in the 35th Annual James Pappoutsakis Flute Competition, which resulted in her solo debut in Boston’s Jordan Hall, first prize of the 2016 Boston Woodwind Society Doriot Dwyer Competition, and third prize in the 2021 Upper Midwest Flute Association Young Artist Competition. She is a founding member of Hathor Winds, a wind quintet who was quarter-finalists in the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, semi-finalists in the Astral Artists National Auditions, and won the Judges’ Special Recognition Award at the Plowman Chamber Music Competition.


Ms. Parramore has performed at the Festival of Contemporary Music at the Tanglewood Music Center, the Texas Music Festival, the Lake Tahoe Music Festival, and was the teaching assistant at the Brevard Music Center. In addition to her position on the flute faculty in the Natick Public Schools, Ms. Parramore is a frequent guest performer and educator. She has given several lectures and masterclasses at universities and conservatories throughout the United States, most recently presenting her talk, Freelancing and Entrepreneurship: navigating the field from student to full-time music professional. Additionally, she has been a guest educator for the  Boston University Tanglewood Institute, the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, and the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra Youth Orchestra. 


Ms. Parramore’s primary teachers include Linda Toote, Elizabeth Rowe, Susan Thomas, and Jacqueline Goudey. She holds degrees from The Boston Conservatory and the University of Rhode Island where she won the Kingston Chamber Music Award, the Presser Scholarship, and the 2010 Concerto Competition.

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Nicholas Brown is a Boston-based clarinetist, educator, and arts leader. He is a member of the Boston Lyric Opera Orchestra and New Bedford Symphony, and is Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Boston Festival Orchestra. Additionally, Nicholas is a substitute with such groups as the Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Philharmonic, and more.

As a soloist, Nicholas has appeared with the Boston Pops, Boston Festival Orchestra, and Symphony Nova, and will be featured with the Concord Orchestra in Fall 2022. He has performed on programs presented by the Library of Congress, Celebrity Series of Boston, Newport Music Festival, Morgan Library, Williams Center for the Arts, and beyond. He has won numerous awards from organizations such as St. Botolph Club Foundation, Boston Woodwind Society, Bay Chamber Concerts of Maine, Rossini Club of Portland, and Boston University.

Committed to accessibility and education, Nicholas focuses on removing traditional barriers surrounding the arts in Boston. Through a network of community partnerships, the Boston Festival Orchestra aligns with local charities to provide programming to communities who have been historically excluded from classical music. Further, he serves as a clarinet instructor at the North End Music & Performing Arts Center, a community music school oering “Music for All,” and is a Neighborhood Artist with the Celebrity Series of Boston.

Originally from Portland, Maine, Nicholas earned degrees with honors from New England Conservatory of Music and Boston University. His mentors include Thomas Martin, David Martins, John Bruce Yeh, and Ethan Sloane.

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Chinese pianist Ruoting Li is an eclectic artist who is eager to explore a wide range of musical styles and repertoire, both as a solo pianist and chamber musician. Currently based in New York City, Ruoting has been involved in numerous activities, such as outreach concerts, music producing, and new music recording. She made her Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall debut in November of 2019, and her Stern Auditorium debut in March of 2020. Both were well received, with special mention of her artistry. Most recently, Ms. Li was featured in a concert for the Library of Congress. Her passion for chamber music has also resulted in a fruitful and ongoing collaboration with the Boston Festival Orchestra.

Born in China, she began piano at the age of 6 and was admitted to the Central Conservatory of Music Middle School in Beijing when she was 11. In 2014, Ms. Li came to the U.S. and was awarded a full scholarship to attend the Manhattan School of Music, where she earned both Bachelor and Master of Music degree in Piano Performance under the tutelage of Dr. Solomon Mikowsky. Aside from live performance, Ruoting is currently involved as artistic advisor and producer for several ongoing recording projects.

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