The American cellist and teacher, Mary Costanza, studied with Lynn Khale Richmond, a graduate of the Curtis Institute and the Assistant Principal Cellist of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. At age 17, Mary won the prestigious Albright Award sponsored by the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and the Eastman Theatre and as a result performed Lalo’s Cello Concerto in D minor as a soloist with the orchestra. During her high school years, she performed as Principal Cellist for the New York State Summer School of the Arts in Saratoga, New York. She attended the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she received a BM degree under the tutelage of Stephen Geber, Principal Cellist of The Cleveland Orchestra. During that time, she regularly performed as a member of the Canton Symphony under the direction of Gerhardt Zimmerman and received fellowships to attend the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California and the Blossom Music Festival.
After receiving her undergraduate degree, Mary Costanza earned a fellowship to perform with the National Orchestral Association under the direction of Alvaro Cassuto. The NOA performed in Carnegie Hall for a full season of concerts sponsored by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and Columbia University in New York City. She also served as a member of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra during their summer season at the Canandaigua Performing Arts Center. She was accepted to The Juilliard School where she studied with Zara Nelsova. Costanza was also awarded annual fellowships to the Aspen Music Festival to continue her studies with Nelsova. Mary holds a MM degree from Juilliard.
Mary Costanza maintains a thriving private cello studio in Connecticut that serves students of all ages (8 to 88). She regularly presents solo recitals and performs with numerous ensembles in the Tri-State region. She is currently Assistant Principal Cellist of the Greenwich Symphony under the direction of David Gilbert, and served for many years in the Hudson Valley Philharmonic. Mary is on the music faculty at The Hotchkiss School, where she has been an instructor in cello since 2002. She enjoys performing in the summer at the Windham Chamber Music Festival under the direction of Robert Manno, and often collaborates with composer Sharon Ruchman, premiering and recording her chamber music.
Mary Costanza has recently released her 2-CD set of the Complete Unaccompanied Cello Suites of J.S. Bach (BWV 1007-1012) on the MSR Classics label. She is presently recording her 6th CD with composer Sharon Ruchman. She has had numerous live radio broadcasts and television interviews. She lives in Washington Depot, Connecticut with her husband Wayne Hileman and their 14-year old daughter Katie. She plays a cello made in 1832 by Giovanni Dollenz of Trieste.