Amy S. Antonelli, 72


On March 23, Amy S. Antonelli of Kensington. A pianist, accompanist, singer and educator, Antonelli studied music at New York University for three years and finished her bachelor’s degree in music at Mary Hardin-Baylor College in Belton, Texas. She received her master’s at the University of Texas at Austin in 1964 and a doctorate from Catholic University’s Benjamin T. Rome School of Music in 1985.

Antonelli taught music part time at Prince George’s County public schools and at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in the early 1960s. In 1971, she was named accompanist and board president of the Oratorio Society of Washington, which she had joined as an alto chorister in 1965. She was accompanist for the Oratorio Society and its successor organization, The Washington Chorus, until 2007, when she became accompanist for the new City Choir of Washington, founded by Robert Shafer. In the 1970s she taught music theory at Trinity College and the Catholic University of America where, after receiving her doctorate from the Rome School of Music, she taught theory, coordinated admissions, and was assistant dean for undergraduate studies. She also served two terms on the music panel of the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities.

As president of the Oratorio Society of Washington (today’s Washington Chorus) for 18 years, she was instrumental in building it into one of America’s most acclaimed symphonic choruses, producing its own concerts at the Kennedy Center, touring Europe, recording, and performing dozens of times with the National Symphony Orchestra. As rehearsal accompanist for more than 40 years with the Oratorio Society and Washington Chorus, she worked with such renowned conductors as Mstislav Rostropovich, Leonard Bernstein, Leonard Slatkin, Seiji Ozawa, Sarah Caldwell, and Sir Neville Marriner, among others. Dr. Antonelli was the pianist with a chamber ensemble that is part of the sound track for the acclaimed documentary film, entitled The Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezin, which has been shown at numerous film festivals and broadcast nationally by PBS and internationally by the BBC. Dr. Antonelli served as associate artistic director and board secretary of The Defiant Requiem Foundation.

She is survived by her husband, Dr. Morris Antonelli, of Kensington; her son, David, his wife, Ari, and their daughters Gabrielle and Margot, all of Chevy Chase; her daughter, Erica Antonelli, and her husband, John Charles, and their daughter Raemi and son Evan, all of Chevy Chase; and her brother, Jim Solit, and his wife, Karen, of Washington, D.C. Antonelli was a member of Temple Emanuel in Kensington.
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