A.W.Duo Introduction and Polonaise Brilliante Op. 3 - Chopin
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Alyona Aksyonova - piano / James Waldo - cello

Spring is here! We had a wonderful February tour of North and South Carolina with Soprano Ariadne Greif, and in April we were thrilled to return to the Downtown Music at Grace series in White Plains for our first concert performance of Chopin's beautiful sonata op. 65 for cello and piano. Coming up, we'll be presenting a recital on June 23rd in our own neighborhood as a part of the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance (NoMAA) Uptown Artstroll. In July, we'll be headed back to Highlands/Cashiers, NC for CelloMania II, presented by the Highlands/Cashiers Chamber Music Festival. Lots to be thankful for, and as ever we appreciate your interest and support of the A.W.Duo! “In all my years of association with Piccolo Spoleto I have never heard a more exciting chamber music concert at either Spoleto Festival USA or Piccolo Spoleto than the Music with Friends event which featured James Waldo, cello and Alyona Aksyonova, piano, performing the Rachmaninoff Sonata for Cello and Piano. Their interpretation was absolutely ravishing! They elevated the music to such heights of intensity and tenderness, evoking tears among many members of the audience… These gifted young players are true artists who can transport their listeners straight to heaven!”

--Ellen Dressler Moryl, Founder and Artistic Director Emeritus of Piccolo Spoleto Festival Charleston, South Carolina

Pianist Alyona Aksyonova and cellist James Waldo are the A.W.Duo. Concertizing around the U.S. with increasing frequency, the duo loves exploring the rich musical literature and sonic possibilities for cello and piano. Based in New York City, the duo enjoys a diverse schedule of touring and festival appearances, chamber music collaborations with friends, commissioning and performing new works, and performing with the Listen Closely Chamber Music Initiative in their home neighborhood of Inwood in northern Manhattan. Notable performances include the Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival, Alice Tully Hall and Merkin Hall at Lincoln Center, Piccolo Spoleto, Features on SCETV Public Radio South Carolina and All Classical Public Radio in Portland, OR; the Gamper Contemporary Festival in Brunswick, ME; the Community Concert Series in Bristol, RI; Music at St. Alban's and Center City Music at St Peter's in North Carolina, Performance and Lecture at Western Carolina University, the College of Charleston, and more.

In 2015, A.W.Duo gave performances of the complete cycle of works by Ludwig van Beethoven for cello and piano at the Baker and Baker series at Columbia Museum of Art in South Carolina, and the Nagle Avenue YM & YWHA in New York City, with the support of a grant from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. The duo also contributed its playing to several pieces in Japanese composer Ayumi Okada's premiere album release, "Where the Land ends and the Sea Begins", recently released by Abundant Silence Publishing.

The A.W.Duo advocates community involvement, regularly giving community performances around New York City at such venues as the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, the Kittay House retirement center, the Y on Nagle Avenue, and Holy Trinity Episcopal Church. While touring, the duo regularly works with towns, churches, universities, and other communities to organize benefit concerts for local causes. The duo has helped various communities raise over $10,000 for local causes since it began this community engagement model in 2013. Music really CAN make a difference!

Alyona and James began playing together in 2009, and were married in 2012, and joyfully welcomed their first child Sofia Aksyonova Waldo into the world on May 23, 2015. The family makes their home in the neighborhood of Inwood, Manhattan, along with dog Remy, and cat, Eddie.


A.W.Duo plays the Sonata for Cello and Piano in g minor, Op. 19 by Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943). Recorded Summer 2013.

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Next Performance:

  • March 11th 2017 Freeport, NY Freeport Community Concert Association A.W.Duo joins the musicians of Listen Closely for a concert of piano chamber music at the Freeport Community Concert Association. Details TBA!

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