AMY ANTONELLI

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ANTONELLI AMY S. ANTONELLI (1941 - 2014) Amy Solit Antonelli lived a rich life centered on family and music. She was an accompanist, teacher, college professor and assistant dean, and a leader in Washington choral music. She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and beloved friend of everyone who knew her. Dr. Antonelli died peacefully on Sunday, March 23, 2014 at her home in Kensington, Md., where she was cared for by her loving family. She was 72. As president of the Oratorio Society of Washington (today's Washington Chorus) for 18 years, she was instrumental in building it into one of America's most acclaimed symphonic choruses. She was a professor of music and assistant dean of the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music at Catholic University. As rehearsal accompanist for more than 40 years with the Oratorio Society and Washington Chorus, she worked with such renowned conductors as Mstislav Rostropovich, Leonard Bernstein, Leonard Slatkin, Seiji Ozawa, Sarah Caldwell, and Sir Neville Marriner, among others. Dr. Antonelli served as rehearsal accompanist for The Washington Chorus' 1995 Kennedy Center production of the Benjamin Britten War Requiem, for which the chorus and its conductor, Robert Shafer, won a Grammy in 2000. She finished her accompanist career with Shafer's City Choir of Washington, founded in 2007. Amy Rachel Solit Antonelli was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. on April 23, 1941 and was raised in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn. She studied piano with Rose Cion and, after graduation from Midwood High School in 1958, she studied music at New York University for three years. In 1961 she married Dr. Morris Antonelli of Washington, D.C., and she finished her bachelor's degree in music at Mary Hardin-Baylor College in Belton, Tex., the following year, while her husband served in the Army Dental Corps at Ft. Hood. She received her master of music degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 1964, and, after moving to suburban Maryland with her husband, taught music part-time in Prince George's County public schools and at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School of Montgomery County. Dr. Antonelli joined the Oratorio Society as an alto chorister in 1965, and became a member of its board of trustees the following year. In 1971 she was named its accompanist and board president. Over the next two decades she and the society's music director, Maestro Shafer, were instrumental in building the organization into one of America's eminent symphonic choruses, producing its own productions at the Kennedy Center, touring Europe, recording, and performing dozens of times with the National Symphony Orchestra. She taught music theory at Trinity College and the Catholic University of America in the 1970s and in 1985 received a doctorate in music from Catholic's Benjamin T. Rome School of Music, where she taught theory, coordinated admissions, and was assistant dean for undergraduate studies. She also served two terms on the music panel of the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities. Dr. Antonelli assisted conductor Murry Sidlin-then dean of the music school at Catholic-in the production of The Defiant Requiem, Verdi at Terezin, a concert-drama that memorializes an unusual event in Holocaust history-performances of the Verdi Requiem by Jewish prisoners at the Terezin concentration camp in Czechoslovakia. The Defiant Requiem has been performed throughout Europe, the United States and in Jerusalem, since 2004. Dr. Antonelli was the pianist with a chamber ensemble that is part of the soundtrack for the acclaimed documentary film, also entitled The Defiant Requiem, Verdi at Terezin, which has been shown at numerous film festivals and broadcast nationally by PBS and internationally by the BBC. Dr. Antonelli served as associate artistic director and board secretary of The Defiant Requiem Foundation. Dr. Antonelli is survived by her husband, Morris, of Kensington; her son, David, his wife, Ari, and their daughters Gabrielle and Margot, all of Chevy Chase; her daughter, Erica Antonelli, and her husband, John Charles, and their daughter Raemi and son Evan, all of Chevy Chase; and her brother, Jim Solit, and his wife, Karen, of Washington, D.C. A funeral service will be held at Temple Emanuel, 10101 Connecticut Avenue, Kensington, Md., on Tuesday, March 25, at 11:30 a.m. Interment will be at Judean Memorial Gardens, and friends are invited to a reception afterwards at the family's home at 9612 Hawick Lane, Kensington. Shiva will be held at the Antonelli home Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 7 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to The City Choir of Washington and The Defiant Requiem Foundation. A funeral service will be held at Temple Emanuel, 10101 Connecticut Avenue, Kensington, Md., on Tuesday, March 25, at 11:30 a.m. Interment will be at Judean Memorial Gardens, and friends are invited to a reception afterwards at the family's home at 9612 Hawick Lane, Kensington. Shiva will be held at the Antonelli home Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 7 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to The City Choir of Washington and The Defiant Requiem Foundation.


Published in The Washington Post from Mar. 24 to Mar. 25, 2014
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