Geri Rizzo has had a successful and varied career which has taken her from orchestra pit to cool jazz to rock and roll.
A versatile freelance musician, Geri performs different genres and can easily play by ear and memorize in addition to her traditional conservatory education at the New England Conservatory of Music. It has afforded her the pleasure of meeting and playing with musicians from all walks of life verifying that music is indeed the "universal language".
Originally from the Hudson Valley, New York, Geri relocated to Margate, NJ in 2001 where she began performing in the Atlantic City casinos for special events in addition to performing in the Atlantic Pops Symphonic Band and the Stockton Oratorio Orchestra as well as subbing with the Ocean City Pops. In 2003, she started her own entertainment agency, Magic Flute Weddings, performing with South Jersey's finest classical musicians for weddings and special events. www.MagicFluteMusicians.com
In 2016 Geri founded the flute ensemble "Flutes for Peace". Geri has always dreamed of a world devoid of hate and war and the move toward forming an ensemble of the instrument world's most soothing instrument seemed a natural progression. This past year she was able to get Sir James Galway onboard to perform a Flutes for Peace Concert for Ukraine and hopes to continue to take forward as an international movement.
More information here: www.FlutesForPeace.org
She has performed in the Tri-State Symphony (NY) and Fine Arts Symphony (NY); the Hudson Valley Wind Ensemble (NY); the Ocean City Pops, NJ; the Stockton Chamber Orchestra, NJ; the Bay Atlantic Symphony, NJ and the Atlantic Pops, New Jersey. She has a special place in her heart for shutins and the elderly and has performed in nursing homes and extended care facilities most of her life.
In February 2018 she performed at Carnegie Hall with the Atlantic Pops. On the jazz front, she is active in the Jazz Vesper's Programs Atlantic City where she is a board member.
Also a trained singer, Geri has performed in church choirs since she was a child. She has performed in musical theater (Gilbert and Sullivan) as the lead in Iolanthe and in the Mikado at the Bardavon Theatre in Poughkeepsie, NY. In Southern New Jersey, she has performed with The Meistersingers, The Cape Shore Chorale, and various church choirs as well as performing with various jazz ensembles.
As a teacher, Geri's students have become successful teachers and performers.
She is a member of the Flute Society of Greater Philadelphia and the National Flute Association.
Geri Rizzo studied applied flute at the New England Conservatory of Music Boston Massachusetts on a full scholarship where she studied with James Pappoutsakis of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. She also studied with Francis Blaisdell, principal flutist with the New York Metropolitan Opera orchestra at the Manhattan School of Music in NY. She began her journey as a flutist at age ten and by fifteen was studying with world class flutist and conductor Claude Monteux. At 17 she toured with the NY State Symphony. Other fine flutists of the Golden Age with whom she studied include Jim Walker and Julius Baker. Gary Schocker was an amazing mentor when jumpstarting her playing after a ten year respite.
Having worked in the corporate while raising her two children, Geri put the flute aside for fifteen years and resumed playing once again at the young age of 40. Her article, "Starting Over" published in Flute Talk Magazine addressed the issues and frustrations of beginning anew and gives inspiration and hope to others experiencing the same path.
"It's never to late to start over -- Life is too short to have regrets!
See the article below!
Geri Rizzo is a professional flutist and singer based in New Jersey and Director and Founder of Flutes for Peace.
See pdf below
Claude Monteux was a renowned flutist and conductor and founder of the Hudson Valley Philharmonic, in Poughkeepsie NY. His legacy of accomplished and successful flutists give credence to his teachings. His mantra was "Play with Love!"... always in my heart.
The consummate gentleman, "Mr. P" was beloved by all his students at NEC of Music in Boston where he performed with the Boston Symphony and Boston Pops. A sensitive player and loving spirit, he was revered and respected by his many students!
World class concert flutist and composer of a prolific flute repertoire, Gary Schocker exists as an inspiration to the flute world today. As flute professor at NYU, Manhattan, he is also known for his online masterclasses and flute retreats in the Hudson Valley, NY and teaches in his NY and Pa studios. A veritable musical genius, he is
World class concert flutist and composer of a prolific flute repertoire, Gary Schocker exists as an inspiration to the flute world today. As flute professor at NYU, Manhattan, he is also known for his online masterclasses and flute retreats in the Hudson Valley, NY and teaches in his NY and Pa studios. A veritable musical genius, he is also an accomplished pianist and harpist... www.GarySchocker.com.