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Double Entendre


Founded in 2005, NYC-based Double Entendre Music Ensemble is a collective of like-minded musicians devoted to adventurous exploration of the double reed repertoire. Noted for its first-rate musicianship and creativity, the Ensemble illuminates classics, revives neglected music, and commissions new works for these soulful instruments.

Double Entendre often collaborates with local organizations, including Inwood Art Works and ClassicalCafe. Most recently, the Ensemble opened for Movie Night (Best in Show) at The Hudson, and performed a classical chamber concert at The Church of the Good Shepherd in Inwood. Double Entendre's Bronx Library Center performance of their project Old and New appeared briefly in Ex Libris, Frederick Wiseman's 2017 film about the New York Public Library.

In 2015, Double Entendre was featured on WQXR's Classical Commute Series. Listen to Michael Shobe interview members of the Ensemble. Double Entendre has commissioned a number of works for the double reed repertoire, most recently from Caleb Burhans, Stephanie Berg, and Rich Shemaria. The Ensemble's American Music Project featured new commissions from Martin Bresnick and John Steinmetz, culminating with Double Take: American Reed, released by Albany Records in 2014. David Schwartz of the American Record Guide wrote, "If not for the variety, then for the music, but definitely for the sake of the artistry on this album, I recommend that all reed players add this to their collection." 

Going Home (Vysoke, My Jerusalem), commissioned by Double Entendre with support from Meet the Composer and composed by Martin Bresnick in 2010, appears on his CD Prayers Remain Forever. The quartet for oboe, violin, viola and cello appeared on the WQXR playlist in October, 2016.

Double Entendre Music Ensemble is funded by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. Our programs are also supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, by the Music Performance Trust Fund, and by private foundations.

Hsuan-Fong Chen, - English Horn

Oboist Hsuan-Fong Chen (pronounced “SHUan-fong”) has garnered a reputation as one of New York City’s most versatile musicians, with a career in orchestra, Broadway, new music, and occasional administrative roles. Having performed across the United States, Europe, and Asia, she is sought after for a wide range of performances, ranging from a guest principal appearance with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, sharing the stage with Rihanna at the 2015 Met Gala, and performing in the hit Broadway production of Rocktopia as its lead oboist, with an additional appearance in Phantom of the Opera and Wicked.

A seasoned orchestral player, Hsuan-Fong Chen regularly performs with Symphoria, the Talea Ensemble, the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra in Alabama, the Albany Symphony Orchestra, and the New York Philharmonic, with whom she accompanied in the orchestra’s West Coast tour. Other notable appearances include with the Metropolitan Opera, the Knights, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Princeton Symphony Orchestra, and New Haven Symphony Orchestra.


In new music, notable performances include the East Coast premiere of Nico Muhly’s The Faire Starre with Trinity Wall Street’s contemporary orchestra NOVUS NY, and several appearances with Talea Ensemble, Rocket City New Music. As a soloist, she has given recitals and performed concerti with orchestras in Taiwan, Germany, and across the United States. Her album debut came in October 2019 on the Naxos label, when she recorded Beethoven’s Serenade for Winds alongside faculty from the Yale School of Music.

A musician from age four, Ms. Chen is a proud alumni of the Walnut Hill School for the Arts and has honed her craft through invitations to music programs and festivals around the world. In the United States, she has performed with the Aspen Music Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, and the Phoenix Chamber Music Society, Kingston Music Festival, Artosphere Music Festival, among several others. Internationally, she has appeared in the Schloss Beuggen castle in Germany, as well as tours of Japan with both the Pacific Music Festival and the New York Symphonic Ensemble.

As an educator, Ms. Chen has held positions as private instructor and chamber music coach with Aaron Copland School of Music, Queens College, CUNY, the Juilliard School Pre-College, The Calhoun School, Greenwich Music School in NYC, in addition to her private oboe and piano studios. She is proud to have served multiple organizations of great renown as an administrator, including the National Youth Orchestra of China’s inaugural 2017 season as its Artistic Coordinator and Orchestra Manager. During her time with NYO China’s 105 students, she arranged performances with NPR’s “From the Top”, the WQXR artist-showcase, and their debut in Carnegie Hall that season, featuring pianist Yuja Wang as guest soloist. 

A native of Taiwan, Hsuan-Fong Chen holds education from The Juilliard School (B.M.), the Yale School of Music (M.M. & Artist Diploma), and the Manhattan School of Music (Orchestral Performance Diploma). She was a former competitive pianist,  with notable achievements including a solo performance in Carnegie Hall after receiving first prize at the American Fine Arts Festival, as well as a documentary feature in the National Palace Museum’s historical film "A Museum Without Walls" alongside her piano teacher Da-Ming Zu. She is grateful for her former teachers, including Nathan Hughes, Elaine Douvas, Pedro Diaz, Linda Strommen, Liang Wang, and Stephen Taylor. She is based in New York City, where she lives with her Cockapoo, Hiro.

Ellen Gruber - English Horn
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Kathy Halvorson, - Oboe

A Wisconsin native, Kathy is one of the most versatile oboists working today, as both an improviser and accomplished classical oboist. She was principal oboe with the Symphony Orchestra de Mineria in Mexico City, and formerly oboist for the Broadway Musical On the Town in New York City and the 2017 North American tour of Les Misérables. She has performed often with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the American Symphony and New Jersey Symphony Orchestras, Argento Ensemble, Alarm Will Sound, and Jupiter Chamber Players, as well as principal oboe with the Berkshire Opera and the Northeast Pennsylvania Philharmonic. She has been the oboist with Sylvan Winds since 2008, and recorded two CDs with the group. Kathy was also principal oboe with Opera2005 in Cork, Ireland. Kathy has also recorded 12 CDs as principal oboe with the Toronto Chamber Orchestra under Kevin Mallon and Nicolas McGegan.


In 2012 she founded the West Side Chamber Orchestra, dedicated to performance on modern instruments of music of the Enlightenment. They released a CD of Harpsichord Concertos with Christopher Lewis on the Naxos Label in 2013.  Her arrangements and improvisations on pop, jazz, folk and world music can be heard on the CDs Unraveled and Palette with her oboe trio Threeds.


Kathy studied at the New England Conservatory, at Rutgers University with Jonathan Blumenfeld and Matt Sullivan, at the Royal Conservatory in the Netherlands with Bart Schneemann. In Holland she performed regularly with the Rotterdam Philharmonic, the Netherlands Wind Ensemble, the the Calefax Reed Quintet, the Netherlands Balletorkest, and many others. She has also worked with the Mingus Epitaph, jazz bassoonist Michael Rabinowitz, and Bjork.  A lover of jazz, Kathy studied jazz improvisation with Tim Price during the pandemic of 2020. “No praise is sufficient for the oboe playing of Kathy Halvorson” – Richard Dyer, The Boston Globe.

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Setsuko Otake - Oboe

Oboist Setsuko Otake, a founding member of the Broadway Chamber Players, enjoys a diverse career as chamber musician, orchestral performer, and teacher. Throughout the U.S. and Japan, she has presented numerous chamber music recitals with various woodwind quintet and trio groups-including the 2002 recital debut at the Carnegie Weil Recital Hall. She currently holds the second oboe/ English Horn position with the Riverside Symphonia in Lambertville, New Jersey. And as a freelance oboist, regularly appeared with New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, New Jersey Festival Orchestra, and Queens Symphony.

On Broadway, frequently appeared as a substitute member including Miss Saigon, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, On the Town, Les Miserables, Porgy and Bess, and Mary Poppins to name few. Most recently she was the oboist for the Grammy nominated The Public Theater production of Soft Power.


She received her bachelor’s degree from the Toho Gakuen School of Music, and her master’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music, where she studied with former New York Philharmonic oboist Joseph Robinson. During the summer, she is an oboe and chamber music coach at the Summerkeys, adult music camp in Lubec, Maine. Ms. Otake is also the oboe teacher at the Packer Collegiate Institute in Brooklyn,Rodeph Sholom School, and from Fall 2021 at The Dalton School in Manhattan.

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Christa Robinson - Oboe

Oboist Christa Robinson is an active member of new music ensembles, Alarm Will Sound and Ensemble Signal, performing regularly at home and abroad. As a freelance artist in New York City, Christ a can be heard performing as a guest musician in orchestras and ensembles like the International Contemporary Ensemble, the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, the New Jersey Festival Orchestra, and the Experimental Orchestra. In addition to playing as a guest musician in numerous Broadway shows, Christa was the music director and singing oboist for Broadway's King Charles III. Her chamber music ensemble, The Phantasy Quartet, has commissioned and premiered works by Marin Bresnick, Anna Dagmar, Caleb Burhans, and Chad Smith. Before moving to New York, Christa was the principal oboist with the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra in Canada, her home country.

Christa is a dedicated teacher, and enjoys her role as an elementary music teacher in the NYC public schools, and has been on faculty at both Hunter and Queens College. When not on the stage on in the classroom (or making reeds!), Christa is a busy mom of two and enjoys early morning walks in Prospect Park.

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Gil Dejean - Bassoon & Arranger

Bassoonist Gilbert Dejean is a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with Leonard Hindell and Steve Maxym. He is a member of the American Symphony Orchestra, Chappaqua Orchestra, and the Saratoga Opera, and regularly performs with the Orchestra of St. Luke's, Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, Stamford Symphony, New York City Ballet, and New York Philharmonic. 


Dejean performed in the orchestra for the Broadway productions of The Scarlet Pimpernel and West Side Story. He has recorded for BIS, Telarc, and Albany Records, and is a member of the Moose Hall Chamber Ensemble, which performs annually at the Inwood Shakespeare Festival.

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Yuki Higashi - Bassoon 

A native of Japan, Yuki Higashi began studying bassoon at the age of sixteen. He received his B.M. and M.M from the Conservatory of Music at S.U.N.Y. Purchase and Professional Studies Diploma from the Mannes College of Music. Mr. Higashi has studied with Leonard Hindell, Matthew Ruggierro, and Donald MacCourt. He has performed Weber’s Bassoon Concerto with the Kawanabe Philharmonic Orchestra in Japan. Mr. Higashi is an active freelancer throughout the east coast as an orchestral and chamber musician. Mr. Higashi is currently serving as Principal Bassoonist with Pennsylvania Philharmonic and acting Principal with Bay Atlantic Symphony. Also he is a member of City Winds Trio.

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Melissa Kritzer - Bassoon 

Dr. Melissa Kritzer is an experienced orchestral and chamber musician. Within the New York City area, Melissa has performed with the New Jersey Symphony, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, the Albany Symphony Orchestra, the New Haven Symphony, the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, the United States Coast Guard Band, and the Reeds Amis trio. Melissa holds bassoon positions with the Mozart Orchestra of New York and the Binghamton Philharmonic.

In addition to her orchestral and solo playing, Melissa has collaborated with other musicians on a broad range of chamber music projects. Melissa also collaborated to bring the previously unpublished reed trios of composer Fernande Decruck to light, through transcribing manuscripts into notation and recording a CD of the works.

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Atsuko Sato - Bassoon 

ATSUKO SATO, bassoonist of the Tony winning musical PHANTOM of the OPERA, graduated from the Juilliard School where she was a student of Harold Goltzer. She was a member of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and since returning to New York, she freelances with many ensembles. She is a member of the Queens Symphony Orchestra and Englewinds.

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