Now in its 9th year, the innovative classical concert series PREFORMANCES WITH ALLISON CHARNEY invites audiences to experience celebrated classical musicians in “PREformances” anticipating their upcoming engagements on the world’s most prestigious stages. Acclaimed opera singer Allison Charney hosts a behind-the-scenes glimpse into top-level artists’ practices and performance, deliberately blurring the traditional barriers which exist between classical musicians and the audience in concerts. Ms. Charney promises a complete concert experience that provides entertainment and insight providing audiences with classical music knowledge that she promises “is simply not Googleable.”

Throughout its previous eight seasons, PREFORMANCES WITH ALLISON CHARNEY has presented over 95 of the preeminent musicians of our time. Notable appearances include those by New York Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert, Metropolitan Opera stars William Burden and Maria Zifchak, flutist Carol Wincenc, violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins, pianists Joel Fan and Navah Perlman, just to name a few. In addition, the series has presented new classical works by composers Michael Ching, Moshe Knoll, Kim D. Sherman and Dina Pruzhansky. Together with Craig Ketter, PREFORMANCES’ noted collaborative pianist, soprano Allison Charney, performs on every concert. Concerts typically run an hour and a half, with no intermission.

To commemorate PREFORMANCES’ move to Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Music Center renown visual artist, designer and director Doug Fitch has created original artwork for Season Nine.  Mr. Fitch’s recent work include several projects conducted by Alan Gilbert for the New York Philharmonic, including Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre (cited as the top opera of 2010 by The New York Times, New York Magazine, and Time Out New York), Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen (2011, New York Magazine’s “Best Classical Event of the Year”), A Dancer’s Dream: Two Works by Stravinsky (2013, later screened in movie theaters worldwide); and HK Gruber’s Gloria – A Pig Tale (2014, with forces from The Juilliard School as part of the New York Philharmonic’s Biennial).  Mr. Fitch was the inaugural WBFO visiting artist at SUNY, where he created an opera of images, How Did We…?  Most recently Mr. Fitch provided the art direction and edible design for “The Opera Party”- a new WQXR series in The Greene Space.

PREFORMANCES WITH ALLISON CHARNEY owes a debt of gratitude to Rabbi Joy Levitt, Executive Director of the JCC Manhattan and Megan Whitman, Director of The Lambert Center for Arts + Ideas where the series was originally incubated and evolved from proof of concept into a featured programming component of the JCC Manhattan’s cultural offerings on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

PREFORMANCES WITH ALLISON CHARNEY looks forward to welcoming both audiences and featured guest artists to its new concert space and home at Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Music Center on October 16 at 1PM.  Widely regarded as having near-perfect acoustics, the 450-seat Merkin Concert Hall is both intimate and stately, with its 2007 renovation designed by noted American architect and native New Yorker, Robert A. M. Stern.  The state of the art facilities fully anticipate the ease of audience utilizing wheel chairs or who have hearing impairments. The Kaufman Music Center’s location at Lincoln Square is easily accessible by public transportation and positions PREFORMANCES WITH ALLISON CHARNEY within the world-renowned epicenter of classical music –  the concert halls and academic centers that are home to of many of PREFORMANCES’ featured guests.

PREFORMANCES WITH ALLISON CHARNEY maintains a charitable relationship with the Basser Center for BRCA at the University of Pennsylvania – contributing to its research efforts and by promoting awareness of the Basser Center’s mission of advancing the care of individuals living with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations. PREFORMANCES WITH ALLISON CHARNEY is supported in part through the generosity of its patron group – Friends of  PREFORMANCES –  donors who believe in the series mission and vision and whose partnership enables the development of new works in addition to educational community outreach efforts, offering free tickets to aspiring young professional musicians as well as students without regular access to high quality classical music programming.

 Allison Charney

Soprano Allison Charney’s operatic career began in earnest following the national finals of the Metropolitan Opera Competition with her debut at the New York City Opera as Musetta in La Bohme. She went on to sing most of Puccini’s leading soprano roles in opera companies throughout the country, including the title roles in Madama Butterfly, Tosca and Suor Angelica, Mimi in La Bohème and Liù in Turandot, earning a reputation for her “vocal agility, lush sound and dramatic portrayals” of the lirico-spinto roles in her wide-ranging repertoire. Ms. Charney has experienced enormous success with her Mozart interpretations as well, including both Susanna and the Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro, both Donna Anna and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte and Sandrina in the rarely heard La Finta Giardiniera. She wowed both audience and critics all over the United States with her tour-de-force portrayals of all three heroines in Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffmann. Her versatility has also led her to sing roles as varied as Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus, Micaëla in Carmen, Nedda in Pagliacci, Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana and the title roles in Martha, La Traviata, Jenufa and The Merry Widow.

Ms. Charney’s career has brought her to opera companies across the United States, including the New York City Opera, Atlanta Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Utah Opera, Nashville Opera, Opera Memphis, Annapolis Opera, Opera Theater of Connecticut, New Rochelle Opera, Opera Illinois, OperaDelaware, Utah Festival Opera, DiCapo OperaTheater, Tampa Opera, Opera Idaho, Syracuse Opera, Washington Summer Opera Festival, Colorado Opera Festival and Mississippi Opera. Concert highlights have included performances at Alice Tully Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, as a featured soloist with the esteemed Philadelphia Orchestra and with the Boston Pops under the baton of Alan Gilbert. Continuing her commitment to performing music of our times, Ms. Charney recently premiered Moshe Knoll’s Psalm 133 with the San Jose Chamber Orchestra, in a concert that also featured Kim D. Sherman’s oratorio (composed for Ms. Charney) Songbird and the Eagle. Upcoming performances will include further premieres of pieces by Michael Ching, Ms. Sherman and Mr. Knoll, whose Psalm 133 she sang in concert at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center this past fall where she was also be the soprano soloist in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.

Ms. Charney is featured in the recently-released, first recording of the Pulitzer Prize nominated oratorio Choose Life, by composer Mona Lyn Reese and can be heard in a CD of American songs with pianist, Benjamin Loeb, on the DSC Label. Ms. Charney is a founding member of the ARK trio, who is scheduled to release their first recording in 2019, following their residency at Macalester College, and is also co-creator of the new series, Her/Music; Her/Story.  Ms. Charney is an active recitalist and master teacher and is the founder and curator of the concert series, PREFORMANCES WITH ALLISON CHARNEY. After receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude with highest honors, in Special Concentrations from Harvard University, she went on to earn two graduate degrees in music from the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University. Ms. Charney now lives in New York City with her husband and their two sons.

Our Team

Artistic Director, Curator, Founder – Allison Charney
Communications Director – Esther Kashkin
Collaborative Pianist – Craig Ketter
Visual Artist – Doug Fitch
Web Designer – Mike Hartley
Graphic Designer – Courtney Jimerson
Video Editor – Evan Epstein
Social Media Consultant – Linda Leseman
Accountant – Jeffrey Blum
Legal Representation – Dechert, LLP

Board of Directors:

Allison Charney
Lisa Charney
Nancy Friedman
Benjamin Loeb
Jillian Neubauer




The Gray Foundation – a sponsor of the appearances of Allison Charney


Sally-Ann and Ervin Epstein – sponsors of the Season Opening Gala
Maria and Jerome Markowitz – a sponsor of the appearances of Craig Ketter


Lisa and Jeff Blau – sponsors of the winter Private Patrons’ PREFORMANCES
Lisa and Daniel Charney – sponsors of the appearance of Kelly Hall-Tompkins
Ching-Lynn Chen and Richard Blewitt – sponsors of the appearance of Elizabeth Mann
Michael Ellis – sponsor of the appearance of Blair McMillen
Judith and Anthony Evnin – sponsors of the appearance of Navah Perlman
Kimberly and Andrew Moses – sponsors of the appearance of Rupei Yeh

Premier Patron

The Beau Bogan Foundation
Allison and Adam Epstein
Colleen and Richard Fain


Nancy and Jordan Charney
Gouri and Alexander Edlich
Lesley and Lawrence Fain
Nancy Goldberg
Jennifer Hogan and Scott Murphy
JoAnn and Bernard Kruger
Lori Lesser and Daniel Shuchman
Jillian and Lawrence Neubauer
Lisa Pete and Elliot Fain
Laura Warner
Mina and Gregg Wattenberg
June Wise


Nancy Friedman and Michael Zinn
Steven Fuchs and Brian Lancaster
Libby and Dan Goldring
Luna Kaufman
Rose Klein and Scott Young
Diane and Michael Marcus
Dana Orange and Matthew Tierney
Emily and Gregory Pressman
Paige Price and Nevin Steinberg
Katherine and Dhiren Shah


Oscar Bleetstein
Gwendolyn Foster
Elaine and Gregory Herzog
Janet Korins and Joseph Kaufman
Renee and Abraham Krieger
Anna and Marcel Pintea
Christina von Riesenfelder and Kevin Roe
Kyu Scott and Heinz Mausli
Jason Tramm


Meredith Berkman and Daniel Mintz
Tania and Eugene Chen
Audrey and Greg David
Roberta Gratz
Brooke Johnson and Marianna Rosett
Donna Friedman Meir and Gadi Meir
Ann and Johnny Parham, Jr.
Jessica Rothstein and Kurt Lageschulte
Katherine and Paul Solomon
Natasha and Daniel Tauber
Jennifer and David Yum


Marilyn Brenner
Ellen Jovin and Brandt Johnson
Gloria and Richard Marchick
Lynne and Barry Marcus
Anne and Martin Smit