Trillium, featuring flutist Rhonda Cassano, clarinetist Giovanni Bertoni, and pianist Rose Shlyam Grace, is a new chamber group promoting classical works spanning the oceans and the ages. Three of Florida’s finest chamber musicians explore the diverse genius of 19th, 20th and 21st century composers from Europe, North and South America. The program includes familiar names (Camille Saint-Saens, Claude Debussy, Astor Piazzolla), as well as widely commissioned, living American composers such as Amanda Harberg and Russell Peterson. Trillium’s mission is to introduce audiences to a unique combination of flute, clarinet, and piano literature, taking them on an intimate journey through Old World classics and New World discoveries.
While Trillium musicians have enjoyed prominent orchestral and solo careers, all three have performed with chamber music groups across the nation. Rhonda Cassano was the founding member of the Bel Suono flute and harp duo, the St. Mark’s Bach Ensemble, Synergy Chamber Ensemble, and the St. Johns Chamber Players. Giovanni Bertoni was a fellow at the celebrated Tanglewood Music Center and Yale School of Music’s Norfolk Contemporary Ensemble. He can be heard on the album Perpetual Motion, recorded on the Musica Solis Productions label. Rose Shlyam Grace has performed extensively with small and large ensembles, including the P4 Ensemble, Bold City Contemporary Ensemble, the Pacifica Quartet, and chamber works with prominent artists such as Phillip Ying, Paul Katz, Steven Doane, Charles Castleman, Kenneth Grant and Bonita Boyd. She can be heard on the recent Albany Records release Vibrations of Hope: Music of the New Millennium.
The trio’s individual virtuosity and passion for chamber music makes Trillium an exciting addition to Florida’s classical performance scene.
Rhonda Cassano has been a member of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra since 1979, and formerly the adjunct professor of flute at the University of North Florida. She is an active recitalist, chamber musician and as a soloist with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra on numerous occasions. Cassano holds a Master of Music degree from Florida State University, where she studied with Charlie DeLaney. She also studied with Geoffrey Gilbert, former principal flutist with the Royal Philharmonic, and William Bennett, the acclaimed British flutist and soloist with St. Martin in the Fields. She has appeared several times as soloist at the National Flute Association conventions. Cassano is a licensed teacher of Body Mapping, a system developed to help musicians perform with efficient, graceful, coordinated and effective movement.
Giovanni Bertoni is the principal clarinetist of the Jacksonville Symphony. Prior to his 2019 appointment in Jacksonville, he was a member of the New World Symphony, directed by Michael Tilson Thomas. He has performed in venues such as Weill Recital Hall, Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall, the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami, and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Bertoni was the winner of the 2017 Backun International Clarinet Competition in Nashville. Originally from Sassuolo, Italy, Bertoni holds degrees from the Yale
School of Music and Oberlin Conservatory. His teachers include David Shifrin, Richard Hawkins, Ricardo Morales, and Corrado Giuffredi. Bertoni is an F.A. Uebel artist and plays on a Zenit Grenadilla model.
Rose Shlyam Grace, a Russian-born pianist, has concertized throughout the United States as a soloist, chamber musician and collaborative artist. She has been a featured artist and conference presenter, including the National MTNA Conferences, the International PAMA Symposia, and Florida Flute Association conventions. Grace serves as an Associate Professor of Piano at Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach. During the summers, she has taught at the Interlochen Center for the Arts Music Festival and the Blue Lake Music Festival in Michigan. Most recently, she serves as a collaborative artist and coach at the Buffet-Crampon Clarinet Academy in Jacksonville. Grace holds a DMA from the Eastman School of Music, an MA in Musicology from the University of Chicago, and a BM from Oberlin Conservatory.