Zinkali Trio


We're off to Italy! July 23-30 we'll be in the beautiful and historic town of Lucca at the International Festival of Composers and Chamber Music. We'll be getting together with the composers, (one of our favorite things to do!) and performing their works as well as possibly those of our composer friends that have already written fantastic pieces for us. Thoughts of the beautiful Tuscan sun are keeping us warm right now in the winter!


L. Elise Carter, flute

Susan LaFever, horn

Laura Ravotti, piano

About Us

Praised for their "exciting, sumptuous sound", the Zinkali Trio (Elise Carter, flute; Susan LaFever, horn and Laura Ravotti, piano) promotes the works of living composers as well as enlivening the classical repertoire with their blend, lyricism and excitement. The Zinkali Trio has performed at the 2010 Northeast Horn Workshop in Newark, Delaware, the International Women’s Brass Conference in Toronto, and on recital series in Brooklyn, Northern New Jersey and Westchester County; all to positive reviews. The trio has just performed the world premiere of Lydia Busler-Blais’ Lanterns at the University of Vermont and played its West Coast Premiere at the Temecula (CA) Community Theatre this past season. Besides presenting three world premieres in its very first season, Zinkali is the recipient of a NY State Council on the Arts grant and obtained a Meir Rimon commissioning grant from the International Horn Society for their first commission. Their name comes from a Sanskrit word meaning gypsy.

L. Elise Carter, flute, performed her debut solo recital at Weill recital hall in Carnegie hall in 2005. She followed up this performance with another performance in 2007 at Weill recital hall as part of Artist International’s Alumni Series.  As well as her solo endeavors, Ms Carter is a member of the Uptown Flutes which debuted at Carnegie hall in 2002 and the Apollo Quintet which was a New York fixture for ten years. She performs regularly with the Garden State Philharmonic and Verismo Opera, the Blue Hill Troupe, the Ibex Chamber Orchestra and others. She has given concerts in New York City venues such as Central Park Summer Stage, Trinity Church Noonday Series on Wall Street and St John the Divine.

Soloing, Ms. Carter has performed the Mozart Flute Concerto in G, the Griffes Poem, and the Vivaldi piccolo concertos with the North Jersey Symphony and the Christ Church Orchestra.  She can be heard on CDs such as Into the Next Dimension with guitarist and composer Dave Calkins which was heard widely on National Public Radio; A Flute Renaissance, An Uptown Christmas and 21st Century Gems with the Uptown Flutes; and Waiting for Love, a children’s cantata by G. Chiusano and M. Hochman.  

As well as a performer, Ms Carter is an award-winning composer, and is published by Falls House Press. Her composition Gypsy Dance was chosen as the audition piece for the National High School Flute Choir Competition in 2007.  Her composition entitled Triptych for Flutes was premiered by the National High School Flute Choir at the 2009 National Flute Convention. She has studied with Katherine Hoover for composition and has studied flute with Stephanie Jutt, Linda Wetherill, Thomas Robertello, Julius Baker, Bart Feller and Diva Goodfriend-Koven.  Ms Carter received her bachelor of Music from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  She is music director at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Dumont, NJ, and was the subject of the documentary entitled: Debut: the Road to Carnegie which can be found at www.calkinsmedia.com.

Ms. Carter is Adjunct Professor at Drew University and President of the New Jersey Flute Society.

Susan LaFever, horn, has been a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician in concerts throughout the United States, Western Europe, Mexico and Japan. Reviewed by the New York Times, she was called “bold and striking” with “a confident lyric quality”.

As a recitalist, Ms. LaFever has appeared at the American Landmark Festivals at Federal Hall, St. Bartholomew’s Tuesday Chapel Concerts and the Noonday Concert Series at St. Paul’s Chapel, all in Manhattan. Outside of Manhattan, she has performed at the Brooklyn Museum Sunday Afternoon Concert Series, Queens College and Downtown Music at Grace, White Plains, NY, among others.

Soloing with orchestras, Ms. LaFever has been in front of such groups as the Doansburg Chamber Orchestra, Rutgers University Orchestra, South Orange Symphony Orchestra and Bergen Youth Orchestra who asked for a return engagement.

Ms. LaFever performs extensively as a chamber musician, and as a member of various groups, has played in major metropolitan concert halls and on TV and radio, including Weill (Carnegie) Recital Hall, Merkin Hall, Town Hall and Avery Fisher Hall in New York City, and Royal Albert Hall in London. She appeared live on CBS as part of the musical opening the 2005 Women’s Tennis Finals at center court, US Open with Idina Menzel, star of Broadway’s Wicked, and Il Divo, pop/classical male vocal group. She has also been heard live on WAMC’s “Performance Place” hosted by Paul Elisha in Albany, and on national TV in Mexico City.

A graduate of the University of Nebraska and Manhattan School of Music, Ms. LaFever is Principal Horn of the Doansburg Chamber Ensemble and Third Horn of the Greater Bridgeport Symphony Orchestra. She is a former co-principal of the Sarasota Opera, former fourth horn of the New Jersey Opera Festival and she has subbed on Broadway in The Lion King, The Sound of Music and Cats. Ms. LaFever maintains a private studio and has given master classes at the University of Iowa, Western Illinois University, and the University of California, Santa Barbara as well as performances at the Northeast Horn Workshops ’06, ’08, ’10 and Kean University.

Laura Ravotti, piano, began her professional career in 1986 in Nashville, TN as staff accompanist at Vanderbilt University, rehearsal accompanist for the Nashville Ballet and as a horn player with the Nashville Symphony. Ms. Ravotti then went on to perform in Branson, MO playing for entertainers Bob Hope, Wayne Newton, Andy Williams, Sherri Lewis & Lambchop, Lorrie Morgan and Brenda Lee.  In 2000, Laura moved to New York City where she played on Broadway in Cats, off-Broadway in Phantom of the Opera and Nunsense Amen, and toured with West Side Story in Taiwan. She has also performed at Town Hall and Carnegie Hall, Hunter College, Madison Square Garden, and with the NJ Pops and Greenwich Symphony.

Currently, Ms. Ravotti is the pianist and assistant conductor for the Taghkanic Chorale. She is also Director of Music at St. Augustine's Episcopal Church in Croton-on-Hudson, NY, coaches individuals and gives private instruction on piano, horn and voice.  For the past 10 years, Laura was Chairperson of the Music Department at the Academy of Mount St. Ursula in the Bronx.

Ms. Ravotti is a graduate of Carnegie-Mellon University, where she received her BFA in piano performance with a minor in horn. She also holds a Master’s degree in piano performance from Bowling Green State University.



Can you say "road trip"? We are starting to put together a tour for spring of 2018. Let us know if you'd like us to come play in your area! Right now, we're starting in the Midwest--see you soon?

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