2017 Orchestra Musicians
Jeremy Constant, Concertmaster
Assistant Concertmaster, San Francisco Symphony
Concertmaster of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony since 2000, Jeremy also holds the positions of Concertmaster of the Marin Symphony and Assistant Concertmaster of the San Francisco Symphony. He can be heard on the San Francisco Symphony’s Grammy-winning Mahler cycle recordings as well as on their much-acclaimed Keeping Score educational series. He is an active soloist and chamber musician and a founding member of the Navarro Trio and the Navarro Quartet. After winning the Grand Prize in the 1979 Du Maurier competition in Canada, Jeremy studied in New York with Ivan Galamian and then with the great violinist Itzhak Perlman before making the San Francisco Bay Area his home.
He became a member of the San Francisco Symphony in 1984, with whom he continues to perform as Assistant Concertmaster. He has been Concertmaster of the Marin Symphony since 1994 and in 2000 became Concertmaster of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony. He is a frequent soloist with the orchestra and participant in the Edgar M. Bronfman String Quartet.
As an active soloist and chamber musician both here and abroad, Jeremy has performed on radio and television around the world. He was violinist in the San Francisco Piano Trio, and a founding member of the Navarro Trio and Navarro Quartet. He can be heard as Assistant Concertmaster on Grammy Award winning releases such as the continuing Mahler cycle by the San Francisco Symphony and can been seen on their ongoing television project Keeping Score.
Jeremy plays the ex-Heberlein Stradivarius, from the year 1700. This Stradivarius was donated to the San Francisco Symphony for his exclusive use. Residing in Oakland with his wife Sharon, Jeremy is a pilot who took over 7 years to build a plane, which he currently enjoys flying.
Concertmaster, Rochester Philharmonic OrchestraAppointed concertmaster of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra 2005 at age twenty-four, Juliana Athayde became the youngest person to hold the position since the orchestra’s inception in 1922. She has appeared as guest concertmaster for the Houston, San Diego, Kansas City, Santa Barbara Symphonies as well as the National Arts Center Orchestra in Ottawa, Ontario. Prior to joining the RPO, Ms. Athayde was concertmaster of the Canton (OH) and Plymouth (MI) Symphonies. In 2002, she served as concertmaster of the New York String Seminar under the direction of Jaime Laredo for concerts at Carnegie Hall. For five years, she was a member of the Iris Chamber Orchestra in Memphis and she has performed with The Cleveland Orchestra in the United States and Europe. A fellow at the Aspen Music Festival and School for six years, Ms. Athayde was awarded the prestigious Dorothy DeLay fellowship in 2005 and was subsequently invited to return in 2010 to deliver the festival’s convocation speech.
Ms. Athayde’s numerous solo appearances with the RPO have covered a wide range of composers from Mozart and Brahms to Barber and Prokofiev as well as two world premieres, Allen Shawn’s violin concerto in 2010 and Jeff Tyzik’s Jazz Concerto for Violin in 2016, both commissioned by the RPO and specifically written for Ms. Athayde. She has also performed as a soloist with the Asheville, Canton, Diablo, Fayetteville, Flint, Mid-Texas, New Bedford, Palo Alto, Plymouth and Wyoming Symphony Orchestras. A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Ms. Athayde made her solo debut at the age of 16 performing with the San Francisco Symphony under the baton of SVSS Music Director Alasdair Neale. She has been praised by critics for her “power and precision”, “melting lyricism”, and “larger than life” performances. In demand as a chamber musician, she has collaborated with artists including Michael Tilson Thomas, Joseph Silverstein, Jon Nakamatsu, William Preucil, Jon Kimura Parker, Anton Nel, Orion Weiss and Jean-Yves Thibaudet. Together with her husband, RPO principal oboist Erik Behr, Ms. Athayde is Artistic Director of the Society for Chamber Music in Rochester.
A passionate educator, Ms. Athayde is an Associate Professor of Violin at the Eastman School of Music, and previously served as Visiting Teacher at the Cleveland Institute of Music and Visiting Professor at Cornell University. Recently named a Distinguished Member of Sigma Alpha Iota and presented with the 2012 University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance Emerging Artist Alumni Award, Ms. Athayde also received the Albert A. Stanley Award, the school’s highest undergraduate honor, upon graduating from the University of Michigan where she studied with Paul Kantor. Completing her graduate work at the Cleveland Institute of Music with Cleveland Orchestra Concertmaster William Preucil, she is the first graduate of CIM’s Concertmaster Academy. She spends her summers teaching at the National Orchestral Institute in Maryland and performing alongside her husband, RPO principal oboist Erik Behr, at San Diego’s Mainly Mozart Festival and with the Sun Valley Summer Symphony in Idaho. Ms. Athayde performs on a 1948 Celeste Farotte violin and a Hill and Sons bow.
Principal Second, St. Louis Symphony OrchestraKristin Ahlstrom joined the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra (SLSO) in 1996 and was appointed Associate Principal Second Violin in 2001. She was previously with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra for one year, after completing her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees at Indiana University-Bloomington. As a member of the Kono Quartet, she was a finalist in the Osaka International Music Competition. An avid chamber musician, Ms. Ahlstrom has appeared many times as a guest artist at the Garth Newel Music Center in Hot Springs, Virginia, and has performed as a soloist with the SLSO many times. She performs regularly in the SLSO community outreach program and is a member of the ILEX Trio, along with her husband, pianist Peter Henderson, and SLSO cellist Anne Fagerburg. Her first season with the Sun Valley Summer Symphony was in 2001.
Substitute Musician, San Francisco SymphonyDaniel Banner has been a regular substitute with the San Francisco Symphony since 1997. Before moving to San Francisco he was an acting member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and assistant concertmaster of the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, as well as concertmaster of many Boston area groups. He studied at Harvard University and MIT. Dan and his wife, flutist Cathy Payne, have been members of the SVSS since 1997, and return for the second season with their 18-month-old son Sam.
Concertmaster, Royal Philharmonic of Galicia, SpainJames Dahlgren, Concertmaster of the Royal Philharmonic of Galicia and Honorary Concertmaster of the National Orchestra of Porto, studied with Zaven Melikian at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. After five years as a member of the San Francisco Opera, James accepted the Concertmaster position of the Lisbon Metropolitan Orchestra and later the position of Associate Concertmaster of the Granada City Orchestra. After arriving in Europe, James has also worked as guest leader with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra among others. Professor of Violin and professor of the Orchestra Audition Preparation class at the School of Superior Musical Studies in Santiago de Compostela, James maintains an active schedule as soloist and chamber musician.
Dallas Symphony Orchestra
Born in Poland, violinist Filip Fenrych joined the Dallas Symphony in 2008. Prior to joining DSO he served as an Assistant Concertmaster in the San Antonio Symphony. His concerto debut at age 14 took place in Germany and since then he has performed all around the world. Mr. Fenrych received his degrees at the Oberlin Conservatory, University of North Texas and Cleveland Institute of Music. His principal teachers were Julia Bushkova, Almita and Roland Vamos, and William Preucil.
Houston Symphony OrchestraFerenc Illényi has performed as first violinist with the Houston Symphony since 1991. A native of Hungary, Mr. Illényi made his debut in Budapest performing the Beethoven and Tchaikovsky concerti, and was a finalist in the Gyor-Carl Flesch Competition and the Tibor Varga Competition. He has performed many recitals in Hungary, Germany, Switzerland, Canada and the United States, and has recorded works by Paganini, Saint-Saëns, and Schubert for the Hungarian radio and television. His first teacher was his father, a violinist with the Hungarian State Opera. He attended Bartok High School of Music in Budapest, studied with Tibor Varga at Hochschulein Detmold, Germany, completed a summer master class in Lenk, Switzerland and earned a master’s degree in music from Liszt Music Academy in Budapest, where he studied with Dénes Kovacs. Mr. Illényi has studied additionally at the Banff Center in Alberta, Canada with Zoltan Székely, the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana with Carolyn Plummer, Rice University with Camilla Wicks, and the University of Houston with Fredell Lack.
Concertmaster, Canton SymphonyViolinist Vivek Jayaraman was recently appointed concertmaster of the Canton Symphony in northeast Ohio after completing a four-year fellowship with the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, FL. His international performing experience includes several festival appearances with Spoleto Festival USA (Charleston, SC), Artosphere Festival Orchestra (Fayetteville, AR), Sun Valley Summer Symphony (Ketchum, ID), the Verbier Festival (Switzerland), Britten-Pears (UK) and Schleswig-Holstein (Germany). As a concertmaster, he has worked closely with several prominent conductors including Michael Tilson Thomas, Manfred Honeck, Gabor Takács and Valery Gergiev. Vivek has performed as a substitute with The Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic and Detroit Symphony Orchestra and is a regular member of the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra in Switzerland.
Vivek received a Master’s degree in Orchestral Performance from Manhattan School of Music where he studied with Glenn Dicterow, former concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic and a Bachelor’s degree from the Eastman School of Music studying with Charles Castleman. He recently earned an Artist Diploma in Concertmaster Studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music with Cleveland Orchestra Concertmaster, William Preucil. Vivek is thrilled to be back for a second season with the Sun Valley Summer Symphony.
Freelance Musician, ChicagoRudolph Kremer began playing with the San Francisco Symphony in 1995 and frequently plays with the Chicago Symphony and the Minnesota Orchestra. His wide and international professional experience includes work with the San Francisco Opera, Florida orchestra, International Orchestra of Italy, and the Malaysian Philharmonic. He holds a Master’s Degree from Western Illinois University, where he studied with Almita and Roland Vamos. He was the first violinist of the Fidelio String Quartet in Lisbon, Portugal while teaching at that city’s National Superior Academy of Music. Mr. Kremer often performs with his brother and sister-in-law in Tokyo, Japan as a guest in their duo.
In addition to all his classical music experience, Kremer has worked with many popular music artists. In 1999, Rudy was part of the collaboration between the heavy metal band Metallica and the San Francisco Symphony. The result was a multi-platinum selling and Grammy Award winning album, S&M: Symphony and Metallica.
In the summer of 2016, Rudy is looking forward to his 18th season as a member of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony. An avid downhill skier, Rudy has visited Sun Valley many times in the winter time to ski Bald Mountain.
He is also an aspiring chef. Ttry his spicy chicken wings, they will leave a lasting impression!
Des Moines SymphonyMisha Rosenker enjoys a diverse career as a solo performer, chamber musician, orchestral player, and teacher. He has appeared as soloist with the Des Moines Symphony, Spokane Symphony, Mankato Symphony, and the Chicago Chamber Orchestra, among others. An enthusiastic chamber musician, he has collaborated in performance with members of the Baltimore, Minnesota, St. Louis, Philadelphia, and Cleveland Orchestras, as well as the, Borodin, Brentano, Manhattan, and Mendelssohn Quartets. He is violinist of the Mozaiques Chamber Ensemble, ensemble-in-residence of the Des Moines Art Center.
As an orchestral player, Mr. Rosenker has held principal positions and served as associate concertmaster of the Des Moines Metro Opera Orchestra, concertmaster of the Southern Illinois Music Festival, and principal second violin at the Brevard Music Festival in North Carolina. He is currently principal second violin of the Des Moines Symphony and a member of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony.
Mr. Rosenker was born and raised in California into a distinguished musical family. After early studies with his father, Michael Rosenker, former associate concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic, Mr. Rosenker continued his studies with Josef Gingold and Sidney Harth. Equally important were the mentoring and extensive coaching received from Ruggiero Ricci, Franco Gulli, Paul Biss, and Glenn Dicterow. He earned degrees at Yale and Indiana University, where he was awarded a Performer’s Certificate – the school’s highest honor for performance.
Mr. Rosenker plays a violin made by Gioffredo Cappa in 1688.
Associate Concertmaster, St. Louis Symphony
Erin Schreiber has studied the violin since age four. She has appeared in recitals throughout the U.S., as well as in London, Sweden, and most recently Neuenkirchen, Germany. She has also appeared as soloist with the Richardson, Gateway, and Alton Symphony orchestras, and has performed for such dignitaries as Colin Powell and former President Jimmy Carter. Schreiber has won the Lennox Young Artist’s Competition, the St. Louis Italian American Federation Young Artists Competition, the pre-college strings division of the Corpus Christi International Young Artists Competition, and the Junior division of the Kingsville International Competition. She has twice been the recipient of the prestigious Buder Foundation Music Grant, as well as three-time recipient of the Anita Crane Music Scholarship. Past teachers have included Roland and Almita Vamos, Elisa Barston, and Robert Lipsett. Erin Schreiber studied with Joseph Silverstein and Pamela Frank at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. She assumed the duties of St. Louis Symphony Assistant Concertmaster in September 2008.
Toronto Symphony OrchestraA native of Toronto, Peter Seminovs is currently in his sixth year as violinist with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Prior to joining the TSO, Peter performed with the Utah Symphony, where he had the opportunity to travel on a month-long tour throughout Germany, Austria, and Slovenia in 2005.
Peter began playing the violin at the age of five. His studies led him to a Violin Performance Degree at the University of Toronto (where he also minored in Fine Art History) and from there to a Master’s diploma at the Mannes College of Music in New York City. His principal teachers include Yaakov Geringas, Atis Bankas and Sally Thomas. From an early age, Peter won competitions and scholarships throughout North America including prizes at the Kiwanis International Music Festival, The Royal Conservatory of Music, the University of Toronto, the Mannes College of Music, and First Prize at the National Canadian Music Competition.
Assistant Concertmaster, Washington National Opera OrchestraViolinist Ko Sugiyama is Assistant Concertmaster of the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra/Washington National Opera Orchestra, appointed by music director Philippe Auguin.
In addition, he is a member of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony, a violinist for the King St. Quartet (an NSO Education Department In-School-Ensemble), and is on faculty at the Washington Conservatory of Music. As soloist or chamber musician, Ko has performed in North America, Europe, Asia and has performed at major US venues such as Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, the 92nd St. Y’s Kauffman Concert Hall, the Kennedy Center, Severance Hall, Phillips Collection, Smithsonian American Art Museum’s McEvoy Theater, and the National Gallery of Art. He has collaborated with members of the Tokyo String Quartet, the Keller String Quartet, the 21st Century Consort, Phillips Camerata, Paul Katz, Nicholas McGegan, Jeremy Denk, Daniel Blumenthal, Ole Akahoshi, and his fellow members of the KCOHO/WNOO.
Ko received his Bachelors degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music while studying under Paul Kantor. During his time in Cleveland he was also a member of the CIM Intensive Quartet Seminar where he received coachings from Peter Salaff and the Cavani String Quartet. He continued on with his studies at the Juilliard School as a recipient of the Irene Diamond Graduate Fellowship and subsequently received his Master of Music degree studying under Masao Kawasaki. At Juilliard, his chamber music coaches included Fred Sherry, Sylvia Rosenberg, and Darrett Adkins. Previous to his appointment as Assistant Concertmaster of KCOHO/WNOO, Ko spent four years as a fellow with the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, FL. As a fellow, he gave multiple subscription concerts as soloist with NWS, chamber music performances, world premiere performances, recital performances, and lecture/educational recitals.
Houston Grand Opera Orchestra/Ballet OrchestraSylvia VerMeulen has been a member of the first violin sections of the Houston Grand Opera and Houston Ballet orchestras for more than 20 years. She is a leading freelance player in Houston and has and recorded with the Houston and Columbus symphonies. As a chamber musician she has collaborated in many prestigious chamber music festivals such as Strings in the Mountains in Steamboat Springs, CO. and Orcas island Chamber music festival in beautiful Washington State to name a few. She has also been a first violinist with the Sun Valley Summer Symphony for the past 22 years.
Sylvia made her concerto debut at the age of seventeen with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra after winning First Prize in the Dallas Symphony Young Artist Competition, and received her advanced training at Indiana University with Paul Biss, Joseph Gingold and Henryk Kowalski.
She is married to William VerMeulen, principal hornist of the Houston Symphony, and Professor of Horn at the Shepherd School of music at Rice University, with whom she also frequently performs chamber music. They have two lovely children, Michael 14, and Nicole 12.
Polina Sedukh, Principal
San Francisco SymphonyBorn to a family of musicians in St. Petersburg, Russia, Ms. Sedukh began studying violin at the age of four, her first teachers being her father Grigory Sedukh and Savely Shalman.
She is a graduate of Special Music School of the St. Petersburg Conservatory, and the Rimsky-Korsakov State Conservatory, where she studied under the guidance of Lev Ivaschenko and Vladimir Ovtcharek. She also holds Artist Diploma from Longy School of Music in Cambridge, MA, where she studied with Laura Bossert and Malcolm Lowe.
Prizewinner of the International Spohr Competition in Weimar, Germany, Ms. Sedukh made her solo orchestral debut at the age of seven with the Chamber Orchestra of Liepaya, Latvia and has since appeared as soloist with St. Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra, Boston Virtuosi Orchestra, St.Petersburg Capella Symphony Orchestra, Newton Symphony Orchestra and Weimer State Capella Orchestra.
Ms. Sedukh with cellist, Terry King, presented the world premiere of Vladimir Uspensky’s Double Concerto at the International St. Petersburg Spring Music Festival in 2001.
In 2014 her engagements included collaboration with pianist Kirill Gerstein and members of San Francisco Symphony in a performance of Shostakovich Piano Quintet in Davies Symphony Hall. In 2015 Ms. Sedukh was featured in San Francisco Symphony subscription series concert as the second violin in Beethoven Quartet op. 74. She has also appeared as a soloist with Russian Chamber Orchestra and San Francisco Academy Orchestra.
Following her passion for symphonic music, Ms. Sedukh pursued career in major American
orchestras, presently being a member of 2nd violin section of San Francisco Symphony since 2009, and having previously served as a member of Boston Symphony Orchestra from 2004 to 2007. Ms. Sedukh has served as a Guest Principal Second violinist at the Sun Valley Summer Symphony throughout 2015 season. Ms. Sedukh resides with her family in San Francisco Bay Area since 2007.
Shawn Weil, Assistant Principal
St. Louis SymphonyA native of Chicago, Shawn Weil was appointed to the St. Louis Symphony in April 2005. Prior to his appointment, he played as a contracted member of the orchestra for two seasons. For four seasons, Mr. Weil was co-concertmaster of the New World Symphony. During his tenure at the New World Symphony, he was invited to represent the institution in chamber music performances domestically in Manhattan and the Hamptons, and internationally in Prague, Rome, and Monte Carlo. He has collaborated with Michael Tilson Thomas, David Robertson, Alasdair Neale, and the Miami String Quartet. An active educator and mentor, Mr. Weil is on the violin faculty of Eastern Music Festival in North Carolina. He is frequently involved with the Education and Community Partnership Program of the SLSO. From 2002-03, he served on the faculty of the acclaimed Opus 118: Harlem Center for Strings in Manhattan. Shawn Weil received his Bachelor of Music degree and the Performance Diploma from Indiana University.
Freelance Musician, St. LouisA versatile violinist, Cynthia Bowermaster, is active as both a performer and a teacher. She was a member of the Honolulu Symphony first violin section for 12 years and a member of the Galliard String Quartet before moving to St. Louis. She currently performs with the Illinois Symphony, the Bach Society of St. Louis and on the American Kantorei “Bach at the Sem” series.
She earned her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the University of Southern California in Violin Performance studying with Eudice Shapiro, Alice Schoenfeld and Glenn Dicterow. She has been on the faculty at Iolani School, Honolulu, Hawaii, the DePaul University Suzuki program and the Suzuki-Orff School, Chicago, Illinois, and the Webster University Community Music School Suzuki program here in St. Louis. In addition, she maintains a private violin studio at home.
Concertmaster, The Bach Choir of BethlehemElizabeth Field is concertmaster of The Bach Choir of Bethlehem, and the Founder and Director of The Vivaldi Project and the Institute for Early Music on Modern Instruments (EMMI). She has served as concertmaster for leading period instrument ensembles such as the Washington Bach Consort, Opera Lafayette and The Spire Chamber Ensemble. Prior to her work with period instruments, Ms Field performed and recorded extensively for Deutsche Grammophon with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. She is currently a member of the ArcoVoce Chamber Ensemble which performs on both modern and period instruments and is a frequent guest artist and soloist with the Mallarme Chamber Ensemble.
Ms Field serves as a performance-practice coach for orchestras, conservatories and universities including, The National Philharmonic and The Curtis Institute of Music. The Vivaldi Project’s current recording of seven unknown18th-century string trios titled: Discovering the Classical String Trio is currently available on MSR Classics records. Ms Field has also recorded for Analekta, Centaur, Naxos, Hungaraton, and Plectra Records. Her collaborative DVD with fortepianist Malcolm Bilson titled: Performing the Score, was lauded by Emanuel Ax as “truly inspiring”. For more information about Elizabeth, please visit www.thevivaldiproject.org
Principal Second, Utah SymphonyOriginally from Paris, France, violinist Claude Halter moved to the United States in 2001 and has since been heard nationwide as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral leader. Claude completed his Bachelor and Masters of music from Lawrence University and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music respectively.
As an avid chamber musician, Claude has performed alongside artists such as Menahem Pressler (Beaux-Arts Trio), Robert Mann (Juilliard String Quartet), faculty members of the San Francisco Conservatory and members of the San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Vancouver, and Utah symphonies. Claude is equally passionate about orchestral repertoire and has led many performances as concertmaster under great conductors such as Michael Tilson Thomas, Osmo Vaanska, Stephane Deneve and many others.
Assistant Concertmaster, Alabama Symphony OrchestraMayumi Masri is currently the Assistant Concertmaster of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra. Mayumi, who was born and raised in Connecticut, started playing the violin at the age of four. She studied the violin with Syoki Aki, Professor of Violin at the Yale School of Music, Sharon Yamada, member of the New York Philharmonic, and Albert Markov. Mayumi received her Bachelors of Music at the Peabody Conservatory of Music at Johns Hopkins University where she studied under the tutelage of Viktor Danchenko. After Peabody, Mayumi attended the New World Symphony under the musical direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. Mayumi also plays in the Festival Mozaic in San Luis Obispo, CA.
Richmond SymphonyViolinist Stacy Matthews has been a member of the Richmond Symphony since 2002. She attended the Eastman School of Music and the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she received both her Bachelor and Master of Music Degrees with teacher William Preucil, concertmaster of The Cleveland Orchestra. In 2000, she began a fellowship with the New World Symphony in Miami Beach. During her time there she served as concertmaster under conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, and soloist in Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. She has also performed in the Colorado Music Festival, the Mainly Mozart Festival, Tanglewood Music Center, Santo Domingo Music Festival, and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. This year marks her 15th magnificent summer in the mountains of Idaho. Stacy grew up in Ithaca, NY, where she developed a great affinity for waterfalls, farmers markets, coffee, and schnauzers.
Assistant Concertmaster, Louisville OrchestraA native of Worcester, MA, violinist Julia Noone is the Assistant Concertmaster of the Louisville Orchestra and has recently performed with the Boston Symphony and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Before moving to Louisville, Julia was a fellow at the New World Symphony, where she was regularly Concertmaster and performed as soloist in Syzmanowski’s Second Concerto after winning the 2014/15 season concerto competition. Other recent solo engagements include a performance of the Tchaikovsky Concerto with La Academia Filarmonica de Medellín, Colombia.
Julia spent multiple summers performing with the Moritzburg Academy, the Schleswig-
Holstein Musik Festival, and the Tanglewood Music Center, where she was awarded
the Jules C. Reiner violin prize and spent three summers performing as Concertmaster
under such conductors as Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos and Andris Nelsons. Other
summer festival engagements have included a performance as Concertmaster for the
St. Matthew Passion with the Spoleto Festival, USA and a season as Assistant
Concertmaster of Ash Lawn Opera in Charlottesville, VA.
An avid chamber musician, Julia’s recent engagements have included collaborations
with the Palladium Chamber Players in St. Petersburg, FL and a performance of the
Korngold Suite with pianist Orion Weiss. While at Tanglewood, Julia studied chamber
music with Emanuel Ax, John Harbison, and Yo-Yo Ma. Julia attended the New England Conservatory, where she studied violin with Masuko Ushioda and chamber music with the Weilerstein Trio and Lucy Chapman.
Portland Symphony OrchestraViolinist Mark Paxson enjoys a varied career as an orchestral and chamber musician, concertmaster and teacher. A longtime member of the Portland (ME) Symphony Orchestra, he has also performed with the Boston Symphony, Pops, Ballet, Lyric Opera and Philharmonic orchestras, Opera Boston, Emmanuel Music and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. Highlights have also included a month long tour of Japan with the American Symphony, performances with the Malaysia Philharmonic and period instrument concerts with the Handel & Haydn Society and Boston Baroque. Mr. Paxson was guest first violinist of the Ives String Quartet in 2003 and has also performed chamber music at the Woodstock Mozart, Warebrook Contemporary and White Mountain festivals, at the Taos School of Music and at Ernen Musikdorf. He has been concertmaster of the Monadnock Music Festival Orchestra, New Hampshire Symphony, Maine Oratorio Orchestra, Boston Academy of Music and the New England Philharmonic. A highly respected teacher, Mr. Paxson’s students have won positions in the MA All-State orchestra and also in regional and state competitions. He has taught at the New England Conservatory’s Extension Division, Northeastern University, Longy School of Music, Sun Valley Music Conservatory and the Rocky Ridge (CO) Music Center.
Mr. Paxson holds degrees with honors from both the New England Conservatory of Music and Indiana University. He also studied with Joyce Robbins in New York City.
Principal Second, Midsummer Mozart, San FranciscoAdrienne Sengpiehl has been the principal second violinist of Midsummer Mozart since 1996. Since playing with the New World Symphony under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas, she continues her career actively freelancing with Bay Area orchestras : The San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Opera, Santa Rosa Symphony, Berkeley Symphony and Marin Symphony . As a chamber musician, Adrienne has been heard throughout the bay area from Noontime Concerts and Old First Church in SF to the Napa Valley Opera House. An avid music educator, Adrienne is both former faculty and affiliate teacher for the Virtuoso Program at the San Domenico School, and performer for the San Francisco Symphony’s Adventures in Music Program.
Professor, DePauw University School of MusicViolinist Tarn Travers has performed throughout the Unites States, Europe, and Japan both as a soloist and as a chamber musician. In 2001, he was a prizewinner at the Heifetz Guarneri auditions, which led to a performance on the historic “ex-David” Guarneri, the favored violin of Jascha Heifetz. Mr. Travers has made solo appearances with the New World Symphony, the Malibu Coast Chamber Orchestra, and the Icicle Creek Chamber Orchestra, among others. He gave the world premier of Maria Newman’s Triple Concerto in 2003, and has subsequently collaborated with the composer numerous times. Mr. Travers spent three years as a violinist in the New World Symphony, where he often led the orchestra as concertmaster under a numerous conductors, including Michael Tilson Thomas, baroque expert Ton Koopman, and new music specialist Susanna Mälkki.
Freelance Musician, San FranciscoA former member of the Oregon Symphony, concert violinist Alicia Yang regularly performs with such renowned ensembles as the San Francisco Symphony, Philharmonia Baroque, and the Sun Valley Summer Symphony. Her training from the Oberlin and New England Conservatories spans genres from Renaissance to contemporary-minimalist, and she has recorded an album of contemporary compositions on the Opus One label. Ms. Yang also specializes in historically-informed performance, and has appeared with period instrument ensembles across the US including the Smithsonian Chamber Players, Carmel Bach Festival, and American Bach Soloists. Her performances have taken her through Europe and the US, including such lauded orchestras as the Kennedy Center Opera, the Seattle Symphony, and the Orquesta Sinfonica de Castilla y Leon (Spain). Ms. Yang enjoys performing with the baroque string band Archetti, playing chamber music with her husband Amos Yang, Assistant Principal Cellist of the San Francisco Symphony, and spending time with their children, Isabel and Noah.
Adam Smyla, Principal
San Francisco SymphonyAdam Smyla first received recognition when, at the age of seventeen, he won the first prize at the National Viola Competition, in his native Poland. Within six months, he became the youngest member of the Polish National Radio and Television Orchestra and was invited to join the Penderecki String Quartet. As a member of the Penderecki Quartet, Adam toured throughout the world for nearly a decade, averaging from fifty to eighty concerts a year, with major performances in London, Paris, Berlin, Rome and New York, among other cities.
Participation in the Oregon Bach Festival, the San Antonio Festival in Texas, the Peninsula Music Festival in Wisconsin, the Rome Festival in Italy and the Midem-Classique Festival in France gained him international recognition. He has also made numerous recordings for radio and television broadcasts throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and South America.
In the spring of 1997, Adam toured throughout China with performances in Beijing and Shanghai. Two years later, he completed a tour in Portugal as a soloist with the Orchestra Metropolitana de Lisboa. From 1995 to 2000, Adam resided in Chicago, where he held the position of Assistant Principal Violist of the Lyric Opera of Chicago. He was also the Principal Violist of the Concertanti di Chicago and the Peninsula Music Festival in Wisconsin.
Since 2000, Adam Smyla has been a member of the San Francisco Symphony and held the position of Associate Principal Violist from 2006-2009. He is the viola coach of the San Francisco Youth Symphony Orchestra as well as a faculty member at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Adam appears frequently in chamber music concerts throughout the Bay Area, often in collaboration with his wife, pianist Edna Koren.
Joen Vasquez, Assistant Principal
Assistant Principal, Pittsburgh Symphony OrchestraJoen Vasquez, the only violist ever to win the “Artists International” competition in New York, recently became the only musician to twice win Pittsburgh’s coveted Passamaneck Award. He has performed in recital on the Y series at Carnegie Music Hall in Pittsburgh.
Mr. Vasquez comes from a family of six sibling musicians and holds an Master of Arts degree from The Juilliard School where he studied with Margaret Pardee. He has received Diplomas Di Merito and D’Honore from Academia Chigianna where he studied with Bruno Giuranna.
Mr. Vasquez has performed as soloist with many orchestras in the Americas, including the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Windsor, Ontario Orchestra, the Venezuela Symphony, the Bogota Philharmonic in Colombia, the Sodre Orchestra in Uruguay, the Carcas Filarmonica in Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic, Solistas De Venezuela in the 1985 Casals Festival in Prades, France, and the Maracaibo Symphony in the Kennedy Center and Victoria, Canada. Additionally, he has premiered many Concertos written for him including the Penderecki Viola Concerto in 1983.
Freelance Musician, ClevelandLaurel Borden recently re-located to Cleveland, OH from South Florida where she was a member of the viola section in both the Florida Grand Opera and the Palm Beach Symphony for the past 5 years. Since her move to Northeast Ohio, Laurel has quickly found herself to be an in-demand musician in the area and enjoys playing in a variety of ensembles from small chamber groups to large symphony orchestras. She was recently appointed as Assistant Principal Viola of the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra and has performed with several orchestras in the area including the Pittsburgh Symphony, Erie Philharmonic, and Canton Symphony. Additionally, she is the new Principal Violist of the Ash Lawn Opera Orchestra in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Laurel has performed throughout the United States, Canada, the Dominican Republic, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Spain and Turkey. She has performed with the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra, the Sun Valley Summer Symphony, the Artosphere Festival Orchestra and the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra. Originally hailing from a family of orchestral musicians in Nashville, TN, Laurel went on to study at the University of Michigan and Manhattan School of Music. Her most influential teachers include Yizhak Schotten, Karen Dreyfus, Caroline Coade, Dan Reinker, and Kathryn Plummer.
Principal, San Antonio SymphonyAllyson Dawkins, Principal Violist of the San Antonio Symphony, has won consistent admiration for her playing as both orchestral soloist and recitalist. Critics have praised the “great sensitivity and intelligence” of
her playing, as well as her “full-bodied, velvety tone.”
Ms. Dawkins is on the faculty of the University of Texas at San Antonio,
and is highly sought after and widely respected as a private teacher. During the summer she serves as Dean of Students, teaches viola and coaches string quartets at the Quartet Program at State University of New York in Fredonia.
A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Ms. Dawkins received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the
State University of New York at Purchase, and a Master of Music degree and the prestigious
Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music.
San Francisco Symphony
Pittsburgh Symphony OrchestraA native of Québec City, Marylène Gingras-Roy has been a member of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra since 1997. She is an avid chamber music performer and maintains a full teaching schedule as Adjunct Professor of viola at Duquesne University, her private home studio and as a viola coach for the Three River Young Peoples Orchestra.
Marylène was featured as a soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony in 2012 and 2013 and with the Duquesne University Orchestra in 2015. She has taught at summer music festivals including Domaine Forget in Québec, Interharmony Festival in Germany and Italy, Advance Chamber Music Seminar in Pittsburgh and Zodiac Music Festival in France.
She studied at Conservatorie de Musique de Québec with Douglas McNabney and François Paradis and grauated in 1993 with unanimous Firt Prizes in both viola and chamber music. As a recipient of Canada and Québec Arts Councils’ Scholarship Grants, she was able to attend the Harid Conservatory with Victoria Chiang and the renowned Curtis Institute of Music with Karen Tuttle and Joseph DePasquale, where she earned an Aritist Dipolma in 1997.
Marylène has participated in many festivals, including the Festival Dei Due Mondi in Spoleto, Italy, the Solti Project at Carnegie Hall, the Jerusalem Music Festival, the Jeunesses Musicales World Orchestra, Steamboat Springs and Buzzards Bay Musicfest, the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble and, since 2000, at the Sun Valley Summer Symphony in Idaho.
New Century Chamber Orchestra
A noted violist, Elizabeth Prior is a season substitute with the San Francisco Ballet. She performs regularly with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra (where she has served as Associate Principal) as well as the San Francisco Symphony, and is Associate Principal Violist with the Marin Symphony. Other orchestral credits include the Baden Baden Radio, Stuttgart Radio, Basel Symphony and Mannheim Opera Orchestras, as well as the Freiburg Philharmonic and Cape Town Symphony.
Cassandra Lynne Richburg
New Century Chamber OrchestraCassandra Lynne Richburg is a member of the New Century Chamber Orchestra based in San Francisco and an active studio musician in Los Angeles.
Lynne has performed on more than 300 motion picture sound tracks, and has been a member of the Academy Awards Orchestra, the Emmy Awards Orchestra and the Grammy Strings, on many occasions.
Ms. Richburg started playing the viola at the age of 10, and was chosen a Presidential Scholar in the Arts. She has won many competitions across the nation including 1st prize in the William Primrose National Viola Competition, and awarded a special prize in the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition.
Lynne was featured in the video-taped “Master Viola Series” by Donald McInnes while a student at the University of Michigan, and she received Bachelor and Master’s Degrees from the University of Southern California under the guidance of Donald McInnes and Alan DeVeritch.
She has been a featured soloist with several orchestras including the Lansing Symphony Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic, Savannah Symphony, Sacramento Symphony and the New Century Chamber Orchestra.
Lynne has also held positions of Assistant Principal and Principal Violist with the Sacramento Symphony, Principal Violist with the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, was a member of the Lansing Symphony Orchestra, and has performed and toured with the New York Philharmonic and San Francisco Symphonies. This is Lynne’s 18th summer with the Sun Valley Summer Symphony Festival.
Orchestra of St. Luke’s, New York City
Violist Ann Roggen has been awarded grants from Chamber Music
America and the National Endowment for the Arts. She maintains an active studio at William Paterson University where she is Professor of Viola, Chamber Music and Orchestral Studies, as well as in New York City where she teaches viola and chamber music.
As a member of the Bennington College faculty, she has had great success in developing interdisciplinary cultural events designed to combine music with literature, history, dance and language in performance.
Ann is a tireless advocate for unique and unusual repertoire for the viola in combination with other instruments and voice. In her role as Vice President of the New York Viola Society, she has been successful in creating numerous performance opportunities in New York City for dedicated violists to explore this repertoire, both old and new. In the fall of 2008, she was elected
to the national board of the American Viola Society.
Ann received her musical training at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University, and the Juilliard School. Her principal teachers and mentors have included Karen Tuttle, Lillian Fuchs, Joseph Fuchs and the Juilliard String Quartet.
Minnesota OrchestraViolist Gareth Zehngut has been a member of the Minnesota Orchestra since 2014. A former member of the San Diego Symphony, Zehngut holds Bachelor and Master degrees from The Juilliard School.
As well as with the Sun Valley Summer Symphony, Zehngut has performed at the Oregon Bach Festival, Mainly Mozart, Festival Mozacic and Campanile Music Festival. As a chamber musician he has performed at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Hall, Alice Tully Hall, the Kennedy Center, Hearst Castle and has appeared on the Minnesota Orchestra and the San Diego Symphony’s chamber music series. An active teacher, Mr. Zehngut has served on the faculty of the Luzerne Music Center.
Amos Yang, Principal
Assistant Principal, San Francisco SymphonyAmos Yang joined the San Francisco Symphony in 2007 as Assistant Principal Cello. He was previously a member of the Seattle Symphony. Born and raised in San Francisco, he was a member of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra and San Francisco Boys Choir and holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Juilliard School. He has performed as soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States, including regular appearances with the Seattle Chamber Music Society and at the Olympic Music Festival, and from 1996 to 2002 he was the cellist in the Maia String Quartet. He has served on the faculties of the Peabody Conservatory, the University of Iowa, Grinnell College and the Interlochen Advanced String Quartet Institute. He has also served as a mentor for the San Francisco Symphony Community of Music Makers program.
David Premo, Assistant Principal
Associate Principal Cello, Pittsburgh SymphonyCellist David Premo joined the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in 1992, was promoted to Fourth Chair, a non-rotating position in 1994, and subsequent to a national audition in 1999, was offered the position of Assistant Principal. Following another round of national auditions, Mr. Premo was awarded the position of Associate Principal in 2001. Additionally, Mr. Premo has been Artist-Lecturer at Carnegie Mellon University since 1994, providing private cello instruction, coaching chamber music groups and teaching an orchestra repertoire class.
Mr. Premo came to Pittsburgh from Washington D.C., where he served as Associate Principal of the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra from 1980 until 1991. During his tenure in Washington, Mr. Premo performed chamber music at the Phillips Collection, the Corcorcan Gallery and the Library of Congress, and served on numerous occasions as principal cellist with the American Chamber Orchestra, the National Gallery Orchestra and the Wolf Trap Festival Orchestra, among others. Mr. Premo performed as a member of the National Symphony Orchestra, both at the Kennedy Center and on several United States and European tours.
Since coming to Pittsburgh, Mr. Premo has become a frequently requested chamber musician and soloist, appearing on Shadyside and Rodef Shalom chamber music series and, in 1993, performing the Elgar Cello Concerto with the Edgewood Symphony. In 1995 Mr. Premo and Christopher Wu (violinist with the PSO and winner of the 1994 Passamaneck Award) won the Pittsburgh Concert Society Competition. In 1996 Mr. Premo won the prestigious Passamaneck Award entitling him to a solo recital which he gave in Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Hall in April 1997.
David Premo studied ‘cello in his native Chicago with Margaret Evans of the Chicago Symphony, later with Robert Newkirk at Catholic University, and most recently with Janos Starker at Indiana University. His ‘cello was made in approximately 1860 by Jean Baptiste Vuillaume.
Lena Bonhorst Andaya
Principal, Sacramento Opera OrchestraLena Bonhorst Andaya is a native of Portland. After undergraduate studies at Portland State University with Hamilton Cheifetz, she received degrees from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in cello performance, studying with Irene Sharp. She has attended many music festivals, including Aspen, Colorado Music Festival, Banff, L.A. Institute, and Bowdoin. She was a member of the Sacramento Symphony for many years and has played with Honolulu, Modest, and Vallejo (as principal), and has soloed with Sacramento, Vallejo, and Camellia Symphonies. An active chamber music performer, she has participated in Chamber Music Northwest, Old First Church Concerts (SF), Chamber Music West, and the Sun Valley chamber music series. Currently Ms. Andaya is principal cellist of the Sacramento Opera and Choral Society as well as the Napa Valley Symphony and plays in the Sacramento Philharmonic. She has a studio of forty students, cello and piano.
Substitute, San Francisco SymphonyRichard Andaya, is a graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory and Yale University. He has served as Principal cello with the Sacramento Symphony, the Colorado Philharmonic, California Symphony, the National Repertory Orchestra, the Honolulu Symphony and has held positions with the Oakland, San Jose and New Haven Symphonies. Richard performs regularly with the San Francisco Symphony and has appeared as soloist with the San Francisco Conservatory Orchestra, the Colorado Philharmonic, the Camellia Symphony, the National Repertory Orchestra, the California Youth Symphony, the Vallejo Symphony and several times with the Sacramento Symphony. He is a huge fan of the three-time World Champion San Francisco Giants.
Assistant Principal, Kansas City SymphonyAlexander East serves as the Assistant Principal Cello of the Kansas City Symphony. In addition to duties with the Symphony, which often include leading the section as principal for opera, ballet and chamber orchestra performances, East is also heard frequently in recitals and chamber music concerts throughout the Kansas City region and beyond. He has also performed with the Sun Valley (Idaho) Summer Symphony every summer since 1992.
In the Kansas City area, he has performed regularly in groups including Summerfest Chamber Music Concerts (also serving as an Artistic Advisor), the Boulevard String Quartet and newEar Contemporary Chamber Ensemble. Before settling in Kansas City, East spent two seasons as a member of the New World Symphony under the direction of conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, and he was also re-invited to coach the NWS cello section as a guest alumnus.
East has been featured as soloist with the Kansas City Symphony, the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra, the Sedalia Symphony, the Erie (PA) Chamber Orchestra and the Fredonia Chamber Players.
East received his training at Indiana University where he received a bachelor’s degree and performer diploma, and he earned his master’s degree at the New England Conservatory of Music. His teachers have included Tsuyushi Tsutsumi, Janos Starker, Laurence Lesser and Colin Carr. He performs on an English cello made ca.1800-10 by John Betts of London.
Freelance Musician, San Francisco
Cellist Eric Gaenslen is a part-time artist-in-residence at the School of Music. He has been a member of the Rossetti Quartet since 1999. Also a recitalist, he has performed worldwide at such venues as the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Lincoln Center, and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. As orchestral soloist he has performed Bloch’s Schelomo at New York’s Avery Fisher Hall, the Beethoven Triple Concerto in Mexico and given the premiere performance of Laura Carnibucci’s ‘Siddartha’ for cello and string orchestra. Chamber music performances at major music festivals include the Olympic, Aspen, Evian, Tanglewood, Bowdoin, Banff and Vermont Mozart Festival. Among the artists with whom Mr. Gaenslen has collaborated are Eugene Istomin, Anton Kuerti and Gautier Capucon. He has been a guest artist with the Ying Quartet.
Born in San Francisco, Mr. Gaenslen began his musical studies at the age of seven with master pedagogue Irene Sharp. He went on to receive his Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale University while studying with Aldo Parisot, and his Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School with Joel Krosnick, cellist of the Juilliard Quartet. Other major influences on Mr. Gaenslen include Robert Mann, William Pleeth and Gyorgy Kurtag.
Gaenslen is a committed teacher himself and has taught at the Mannes College pre- college in New York and at the University of California at Santa Cruz.
Utah SymphonyCellist Anne Lee started music lessons at the age of 5 growing up in Calgary, Alberta. She has since enjoyed appearances in several music festivals, including Casalmaggiore in Italy, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival in Germany, the Banff Arts Festival, and the Sun Valley Summer Symphony.
Anne completed her Bachelor’s degree at McGill University with professors Antonio Lysy and Elizabeth Dolin. She then received her Master’s degree at the New England Conservatory of Music with Natasha Brofsky. In 2007, she was the recipient of the Alberta Foundation of the Arts grant and spent a year in Barcelona, Spain studying with Lluis Claret. Prior to joining the Utah Symphony | Utah Opera in 2011, Anne was a member of the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Florida.
Aside from her love of performing the orchestral repertoire, Anne enjoys playing chamber music, teaching, and exploring the great outdoors with her husband, violinist Claude Halter.
St. Louis SymphonyCellist Bjorn Ranheim was appointed to the St. Louis Symphony in 2005, holds the principal chair of the Colorado Music Festival in Boulder, CO and is a member of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony in Idaho. He has performed and toured with the orchestras of Atlanta, Baltimore, Cleveland and Detroit and has held principal and assistant principal cello positions with the New World Symphony, National Repertory Orchestra and Aspen Festival Orchestra.
Bjorn Ranheim has appeared as soloist on multiple occasions with the St. Louis Symphony, Colorado Music Festival, New World Symphony, Columbia Civic Orchestra, National Repertory Orchestra and the Washington University Symphony Orchestra.
Actively performing in chamber music, Bjorn Ranheim has toured extensively in the United States, Europe and Central America, with performances at Carnegie Hall, Boston’s Gardner Museum, Teatro Nacional de Costa Rica, and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain. He has participated in the Isaac Stern Chamber Music Seminar, Costa Rica International Chamber Music Festival, and Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival.
Mr. Ranheim is highly visible throughout the St. Louis region, presenting recitals, educational programs and chamber music performances. He is a member of the Chamber Music Society of St. Louis and Washington University’s Eliot Piano Trio with St. Louis Symphony concertmaster, David Halen, and pianist, Seth Carlin. Mr. Ranheim’s recording of J.S. Bach Suite No. 3 for Unaccompanied Cello was recently released on AAM Recordings.
Seeking out new directions and partners in music making, Bjorn Ranheim has collaborated with internationally known jazz musicians, sharing the stage and recording studio with Branford Marsalis, Christian McBride, Peter Martin and Brian Owens. In the spring of 2011, Mr. Ranheim appeared on the nationally renowned radio program, A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor, performing alongside jazz vocalist, Erin Bode, and her trio. Mr. Ranheim is a founding member of The 442s, an acoustic string ensemble that pursues innovative, genre-defying music making and which released its debut album in May 2014.
A committed advocate of contemporary solo and chamber music, Bjorn Ranheim has given world-premier performances of works by the late Stephen Paulus, Paul Schoenfield, Steven Heitzig, Peter Martin, Stefan Freund and William Beckstrand.
As a mentor and coach, Bjorn Ranheim has been invited to work with the New World Symphony, Indiana University Summer Music Festival and the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra.
Bjorn Ranheim studied at The Cleveland Institute of Music under the tutelage of Stephen Geber, retired principal cellist of the Cleveland Orchestra.
Utah SymphonyBorn in Montreal, Canada, cellist Louis-Philippe Robillard first came to the United States in 2003 with a performance scholarship to study with Timothy Eddy at the Mannes College of Music in New York City . Graduated with the highest honors and awarded the Prix de conservatoire from Montreal Conservatory, Mr. Robillard has previously studied with Carole Sirois and Dorothy Bégin, and has worked with Mstislav Rostropovich, Lynn Harrell, David Soyer, Desmond Hoebig, Hans Jorgen Jensen, and Philippe Muller in masterclasses and private lessons.
Mr. Robillard has won competitions such as the Canadian Music Competition, the Montreal Conservatory Concerto Competition, and the New World Symphony Concerto Competition. He has been performing as a solo, chamber, and orchestral musician, giving recitals in New York and Montreal, and participating in international festivals such as the Domaine Forget International Music Festival, Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival, Verbier Festival (Switzerland), Pacific Music Festival (Japan), Sun Valley Summer Symphony and the Canadian National Art Center’s Young Artists Programme.
Louis-Philippe Robillard has been a member of the New World Symphony and the Fort Worth Symphony and will be joining the Utah Symphony in September 2016. More commonly known as Louis in the United States, Louis-Philippe enjoys spending his spare time hiking, swimming, cooking and drinking too much coffee.
Principal, Santa Cruz SymphonyEllen Sanders is a cellist, teacher and conductor who lives and plays in Oakland, CA and the Bay Area. She is Principal Cello of Santa Cruz Symphony, Assistant Principal Cello of Opera San Jose and a regular member of the San Jose Chamber Orchestra and an extra musician for the San Francisco Opera. Ms. Sanders is a teaching artist for the San Francisco Symphony’s Education Department where she weekly visits middle and high school music classes to coach cello sections and chamber music groups. In 2015/2016 she joined H.O.U.S.E. (Home of United String Ensembles) – a program that brings professional musicians to public schools to coach string music students in Oakland. For 2014/15 she was Assistant Conductor of The Community Women’s Orchestra (Oakland, CA) where she premiered the first movement of the “Concerto for 4 Bassoons” by June Bonacich. Ms. Sanders has been a member of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony cello section since 1992. Ellen has coached for the Sun Valley Summer Symphony’s Summer Music Workshops from the start and will conduct its Philharmonia Orchestra for an 11th summer in 2016. Ms. Sanders is a graduate of Oberlin College and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She has been seen hiking her doggie girl, Toni, in the regional parks of Oakland and surfing the waters of Santa Cruz.
San Francisco SymphonyBorn in Virginia and raised in South Carolina, cellist Margaret Tait joined the San Francisco Symphony in 1974. Her studies were at the North Carolina School of the Arts, the University of Southern California, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and she holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Music. Although she has been engaged throughout her career as an orchestral musician, she has a deep lovefor chamber music. In 1979 she helped to found the Aurora String Quartet which was a vital force on the chamber music scene for 22 years. With the Quartet, she performed in London, New York, Tokyo, and maintained a series of compelling concerts in the Bay Area. The Aurora Quartet received two commissioning grants from Chamber Music America, and did West Coast premieres of works by George Tsontakis, George Perle, Benjamin Lees, David MacBride and others. They also performed as concerto soloists with the San Francisco Symphony. On the Naxos label, the Quartet recorded the completeQuartets by Mendelssohn and the two Quartets by Prokofieff.
As a recitalist, she has performed Beethoven’s complete works for cello and piano with William Corbett Jones. They have also presented programs containing a wide range of repertoire. Margaret is a frequent performer on the Davies Hall Chamber series sponsored by the San Francisco Symphony.
Stephen Tramontozzi, Principal
Assistant Principal, San Francisco SymphonyStephen Tramontozzi studied with Robert Olson of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Oscar Zimmerman at the Eastman School of Music. He was Principal Bass of the Symphony Orchestra of Sao Paolo, Brazil and has also performed with the Chamber Music West Festival,San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival, Grand Teton Music Festival and the Cabrillo Music Festival. Formerly on the faculties of Stanford University and the Universities of California, Berkeley and Santa Cruz, Stephen currently serves on the faculties of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Mills College. He is in high demand as clinician for universities and youth orchestras, both in the U.S. and abroad. Engagements as a recitalist have taken him to Japan, Washington State and throughout California. Stephen received a B.M. from the New England Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Lawrence Wolfe, and a M.M. from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Jeremy Kurtz-Harris, Assistant Principal
Principal Bass, San Diego Symphony
Principal, Opera San JoseAndy Butler received his Bachelor’s Double Degree in Performance and Education from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and his Master’s Degree in Performance from the San Francisco Conservatory. He is the Principal Bass of Opera San Jose, the Fresno Philharmonic and the California Symphony. Andy also holds the titled chair of Assistant Principal Bass with the Santa Rosa Symphony and the Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra. He is a regular member of both the Marin Symphony and Oakland East Bay Symphony. Andy also substitutes for many orchestras in and around the Bay Area, including the San Francisco Symphony. During the summer, Mr. Butler is a participant in the Music in the Mountains Festival and the Sun Valley Summer Symphony. He is actively involved in teaching as well as performing. In addition to being on the faculty of the Sun Valley Summer Music Workshops, Andy works with the Home Of United String Ensembles (H.O.U.S.E) program and Oakland Symphony’s M.U.S.E program, both of which serve students in the Oakland Public School System.
Principal, Symphony Silicon Valley
William Everett serves as principal bass of Symphony Silicon Valley, after holding the same position for San Jose Symphony since 1998. He also spent three years as an acting member of the San Francisco Symphony, performing on numerous recordings and in halls throughout the United States and Europe. He has appeared as a free-lance musician with ensembles throughout the Bay Area, including the San Francisco Opera and the New Century Chamber Orchestra.
As a soloist, Everett has been featured at the Music in the Mountains Festival in Nevada City and Desert MusicFest in Carefree, Arizona, as well as appearing in recital in the Bay Area with his wife, pianist Aileen Chanco. He has specialized in the music of Giovanni Bottesini, as well a pursuing a deep interest in 20th century music. He has also transcribed numerous pieces from the Romantic cello repertoire for the double bass. As a composer, he has had his music peformed by the Worn Chamber in San Francisco.
Everett received his BM degree under Homer Mensch at the Juilliard School, and also studied with Edwin Barker at Boston University. As a student, he performed as principal bass with the New York String Orchestra and the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, as well as at festivals in Canada, Germany, Japan and Israel. He appeared as a concerto soloist as a teenager with the Mannes Precollege Orchestra in New York. A resident of Castro Valley, Everett is an avid traveler, a fine chef, and a skilled photographer, specializing in black and white landscapes.
Jon Keigwin is a native Bay Area bass player, singer, songwriter, and guitarist. Jon studied bass with Charles Chandler of The San Francisco Symphony and continued his studies at The Curtis Institute of Music Philadelphia with Harold Robinson, principal bass of The Philadelphia Orchestra. Jon is a former prize winner of the Irvin Klein String Competition 1999. He currently performs with many Bay Area orchestras as well as performing in numerous groups as a singer and song writer, notably the Jonny Keigwin Band as well as Mary Jones’ Lights. Jon and his wife Lexie reside in San Rafael.
Marin SymphonyA highly skilled bassist in the classical and jazz fields, Pat is in demand as a performer, producer, clinician and teacher. He received his Bachelor of Music degree in Performance at San Francisco State University, his Masters of Music degree in Performance at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and currently holds the post of Lecturer of Classical and Jazz Double Bass at California State University East Bay.
Mr. Klobas performs with the Marin Symphony, and as section bassist in the Sun Valley Summer Symphony. He is a substitute for the San Francisco Opera, San Francisco Ballet, California Symphony, Oakland East Bay Symphony, Symphony Silicon Valley, The Skywalker Symphony, the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, Merola Opera, the Turtle Island String Quartet and Quartet San Francisco. Pat was principal bass with San Francisco Opera’s touring company Western Opera Theater for 14 years, performing in over 40 states before its final curtain.
In the field of jazz and popular music Mr. Klobas is known in the San Francisco Bay Area as a first call session man. Pat has shared the stage with jazz artists Rosemary Clooney, Michael Feinstein, Warren Vashe, Quartet San Francisco, San Francisco Chamber Jazz Quartet, American Jazz Philharmonic and Indian Master Tabla percussionist Zakir Hussain. Mr. Klobas can often be found performing in the San Francisco Symphony Pops Orchestra rhythm section as well as the California Symphony Pops.
Performing with Broadway stars and musical theater productions are part of Pat’s numerous musical experiences. Some of Pat’s favorites shows were with Brian Stokes Mitchell, Michael Feinstein, Tony Danza, Elaine Stritch, Kristin Chenoweth, Bob Hope, the Shorenstein Nederlander world premiere productions of White Christmas, The Producers with Martin Short and Jason Alexander, Les Misérables, 42nd Street, West Side Story, Ragtime, and many others.
As a recording artist Pat Klobas’ recent list of credits include Star Wars Trilogy with John Williams conducting (Grammy® nominated), Linda Ronstadt Winter Light, No Gravity Klobas/Kesecker Ensemble, recordings for Turtle Island String Quartet, Randy Newman, Kitaro, and the San Francisco Chamber Jazz Quartet. Skywalker Symphony movie soundtracks include Spy Kids, Predator ll, Ricochet, Soap Dish, Why Charlie Brown, Why?, and many others.
Mr. Klobas has studied with Stephen Tramontozzi, Charles Siani, Shinji Eshima, Joe Lescher, Herman Jobelman and Charles Chandler. Pat’s jazz teachers/influences include Rufus Reid, Richard Davis, John Clayton, John Patitucci and Ray Brown.
Freelance Musician, San Francisco
Associate Principal, San Diego SymphonySince 2004, Susan Wulff has been the Associate Principal Bassist with the San Diego Symphony Orchestra. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a double Bachelor of Music degree in bass and vocal performance at CSU, Sacramento with Thomas Derthick, completing her Master of Music and Advanced Studies degrees at the University of Southern California under the tutelage of Dennis Trembly, followed by private studies with David Moore.
In addition to the San Diego Symphony and the San Diego Opera Orchestra, Susan has been a member of the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra and New West Symphony, and has worked extensively with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and the Los Angeles Mozart Orchestra. Susan’s musicianship and versatility have garnered her work in diverse genres: from San Diego’s chamber ensembles Art of Elan and Luscious Noise to recording onmany Hollywood soundtracks and playing on The Tonight Show with various artists as well as recording with Grammy-winning jazz vocalist Dianne Reeves.
Susan’s “jazzy” side can also be heard on several of Hallmark’s loveable “Hoops
& Yoyo” e-cards.
Linda Lukas, Principal
San Francisco SymphonyLinda Lukas joined the San Francisco Symphony as Second Flutist in 1990 and was Acting Associate Principal Flute for the 2004 and 2005 seasons. This will be her 20th season as Principal Flute of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony where she has also been a frequent soloist and performer of chamber music. Previously, she was a member of the San Diego Symphony and has appeared as a chamber musician at the San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival and the La Jolla Summerfest, and as a soloist at National Flute Conventions in San Diego, Los Angeles and St. Louis. A native of Delaware, Ohio, Linda studied at Ohio University and received her master’s degree from the University of Iowa. In 1980, she was awarded a United States Foundation Grant and spent a two-year residency studying and performing in Paris, France. She has been Instructor of Flute at San Francisco State University since 1991 and for 10 years was a member of the Arioso Wind Quintet, which has recorded two CDs on the Koch International label.
San Francisco Symphony
Catherine Payne, who joined the San Francisco Symphony in 1996, performed and recorded with the Boston Symphony Orchestra as acting second flutist for two seasons, including the 1994-95 Tanglewood seasons. As a member of the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, she appeared on many Evening at Pops telecasts, including the annual live July 4th broadcasts. Ms. Payne was formerly principal flutist of the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Boston, and associate principal flute and piccolo player with the Portland Symphony Orchestra. She has appeared as soloist with the San Francisco Symphony, the Portland Symphony, and the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, where she was a featured soloist in concertos of Mozart and J.S. Bach. Ms. Payne was also invited to perform for several weeks with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Daniel Barenboim, playing concerts in Chicago and Europe.
A native of Hartford, Connecticut, Ms. Payne studied with Thomas Nyfenger of the Yale School of Music while she was in high school. She continued her studies in Boston at the New England Conservatory, where she studied with Lois Schaefer and Leone Buyse of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. While pursuing her music education, Ms. Payne attended Tufts University, where she majored in English, graduating magna cum laude.
Catherine Payne has served as a Symphony mentor in the SF Symphony Community of Music Makers program.
St. Louis Symphony
Principal, Rochester Philharmonic OrchestraErik Behr was appointed Principal Oboe of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra in May 2007. Prior to joining the RPO, he was Principal Oboe of the Houston Grand Opera and Houston Ballet. Mr. Behr has performed as guest principal with the San Francisco Symphony, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Atlanta Symphony, and as a guest with the Seattle and Houston symphonies. During the summer, he performs alongside his wife, RPO Concertmaster Juliana Athayde, at the Sun Valley Summer Symphony and the Mainly Mozart Festival. Other festivals appearances include the Casals and Spoleto festivals.
In addition to numerous concerto appearances with the RPO and Houston Ballet, Behr has recorded Honegger’s Concerto da Camera with the RTV Slovenia Orchestra. Along with his wife, he was appointed Artistic Director of the Society for Chamber Music in Rochester in 2013. He has given chamber recitals nationally and internationally at the Edinburgh International Festival, Kilkenny Festival, and Maribor Festival. His playing has been praised by critics as “bold and graceful” (Washington Post), “immaculate” (Sunday Tribune), for its “tremendous musicianship and sense of style” (Irish Examiner) and “ease and eloquence” (Rochester Democrat and Chronicle).
Mr. Behr has served on the oboe faculty at the University of Houston and was a visiting lecturer at Cornell University. He is presently Adjunct Professor at Roberts Wesleyan College. He received his bachelor’s degree (cum laude) at Arizona State University, his master’s from Temple University, and doctorate from Rice University. His principal teachers have been Robert Atherholt, Richard Woodhams, and Martin Schuring.
Substitute, Pittsburgh Symphony OrchestraJames Gorton retired as Co-Principal Oboist of the Pittsburgh Symphony in 2012 after playing in the orchestra for 41 years. He was formerly a member of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and Eastman-Rochester Orchestra, Principal Oboe of the Rochester Chamber Orchestra, Pittsburgh Opera and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Colorado Philharmonic, New Hampshire Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, and Strings Music Festival (Steamboat Springs, CO). He is a faculty member of Duquesne University.
Freelance Musician, San Francisco Bay AreaOboist and English hornist Jessica Boelter is a freelance performer and instructor in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is the English hornist with the Vallejo Symphony and enjoys performing with many other local orchestras. Originally from the Midwest, she has performed on oboe and English horn with the Seattle Symphony, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and Festival de Musique de Saint Berthelemy. She has worked with conductors such as Daniel Barenboim, Pierre Boulez, Kenneth Kiesler and Victor Yampolsky.
Jessica received her Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and her Master of Music degree from Northwestern University. Her principal teachers have included Alex Klein, Harry Sargous, Grover Schiltz and John de Lancie.
San Francisco SymphonyDavid Neuman, who has been a clarinetist with the San Francisco Symphony since 1986 and currently serves as second clarinet. He received a bachelor’s degree from Temple University and an artist diploma from the Curtis Institute. He has served as principal clarinet of the Korean Broadcast Symphony and as assistant principal and E-flat clarinet with the Cincinnati Symphony. He has served for 14 consecutive seasons as principal clarinet of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony. David has appeared in many San Francisco Symphony Chamber Music Series concerts, most recently performing in Bruce Broughton’s Hudson River Valley in 2005. David has for six years been owner of VuPorts, a buyer and seller of video communications equipment.
San Francisco SymphonyJerome Simas holds the positions of bass clarinet/utility clarinet with the San Francisco Symphony and principal clarinet with the California Symphony. He has performed with other orchestras including the Cleveland Orchestra, San Francisco Opera (as acting principal), Sun Valley Summer Symphony, Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, and Naples Philharmonic. He was a fellow at the New World Symphony – with which he recorded Gershwin’s Rhapsody In Blue and Stravinsky’s Ebony Concerto for BMG Classics– and has held principal positions with orchestras such as the Oakland Symphony, IRIS Orchestra, Modesto Symphony, and Akron Symphony. As a chamber musician, he studied and performed at Marlboro Music and is currently solo clarinetist with the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, a San Francisco-based group that presents newly commissioned works alongside traditional masterworks. He won Grand Prize at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and First Prize at the International Clarinet Association’s Young Artist Competition. He has appeared as soloist with many orchestras including the California Symphony, Monterey Symphony, Green Bay Symphony, and IRIS Orchestra.
As a music educator, he has taught master classes in the US, Canada, and China. He is currently a coach with the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra and a mentor with the San Francisco Symphony Community of Music Makers adult music education program. He previously taught clarinet at the University of Oregon School of Music and Dance, Stanford University, University of California at Davis, and the University of Akron. He received his BM and MM degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music as a student of Franklin Cohen.
Assistant Principal, Lyric Opera of ChicagoDescribed as “star quality” by the Boston Globe, clarinetist Susan Warner is a member of the Chicago Lyric Opera Orchestra. She has also performed with other world-class ensembles, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, and the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra. In addition to her position at the operahouse, Susan is a member of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony and the Prairie Winds, a nationally touring wind quintet.
Susan has performed at the acclaimed music festivals of Schleswig-Holstein, Heidelberg Castle, Grand Teton, and Aspen. Invited to participate in the Tanglewood Music Center for two years, Susan was twice awarded with special honors–the Gino B. Cioffi prize, given to the outstanding clarinetist, and the C.D. Jackson Award for outstanding performance.
Susan lives in Oak Park with her husband Chicago Symphony hornist David Griffin and their children Henry and Pearl. Together Susan and David homeschool their children, allowing the family to extensively travel the world. Recent voyages have been to New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, Panama, Turkey, and Europe.
Acting Associate Principal Clarinet, Cincinnati SymphonyBen has been a member of the San Francisco Symphony, the Utah Symphony and the Kansas City Symphony. He is an Adjunct Instructor of Clarinets at the University of Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. In his free time, Ben loves to fly fish, golf and spend time with his wife Elizabeth and daughters, Stella and Lily.
Principal, St. Louis SymphonyAndrew Cuneo is the Principal Bassoon with the St. Louis Symphony. Prior to his appointment in St. Louis, he was Principal Bassoon of the Louisville Orchestra and the Sarasota Opera. He has performed as guest principal bassoon with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. In addition, he has performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Milwaukee and Houston symphonies, as well as the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Houston Grand Opera. He has played with the Sun Valley Summer Symphony since 2011. Andrew is a former student of Bernard Garfield and Daniel Matsukawa at the Curtis Institute of Music and Benjamin Kamins at Rice University.
Principal, Alabama Symphony Orchestra
Tariq Masri is currently principal bassoonist of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra. He has also served as principal bassoonist of the Hofer Symphoniker in Germany. Tariq has a bachelor of music from the Cleveland Institute of Music where he studied with David McGill for five years.
He also completed one year of graduate work at the University of Southern California, studying with Stephen Maxym before leaving to take the position in Germany. Tariq has attended numerous summer festivals including two years at the Spoleto Festival.
As an orchestral musician, Tariq has performed with the San Francisco Symphony as well as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under various conductors including Pierre Boulez, Christoph Eschenbach, Daniel Barenboim, and Jeffrey Kahane.
Principal, ProMusica Chamber OrchestaEllen Connors enjoys a varied career as orchestral player, chamber musician and teacher. She has been principal bassoonist with the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra since 2011. Connors spent the 2012-13 season playing 2nd bassoon with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, making several appearances as guest principal. Previously, she served as principal bassoon of the Knoxville Symphony. Connors has appeared with both ProMusica and the Knoxville Symphony as soloist, performing Vivaldi, Mozart and Schickele. She has been a member of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony since 2011, and is a former member of the Artosphere Festival Orchestra in Fayetteville, Arkansas. She has also performed with the St. Louis Symphony, Oregon Symphony, Grand Rapids Symphony, Alabama Symphony, Charleston Symphony and Chattanooga Symphony.
Connors completed her undergraduate studies at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, studying with Benjamin Kamins. While at Rice she won a prestigious Watson Fellowship and spent the following year studying folk music in China, Mongolia, Laos, Bulgaria and Norway. Connors received her Master of Music degree from the Yale School of Music where she was a student of Frank Morelli. She has concertized in Italy, Switzerland, China, South Korea, the Dominican Republic and throughout the U.S. A Michigan native, Connors resides in St. Louis.
Principal, Baltimore Symphony OrchestraFei Xie is principal bassoon with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, a position he won in 2012 after having joined the orchestra as second bassoon in 2008. Previously he was a member of the Houston Grand Opera Orchestra, and was principal bassoon with the Mansfield Symphony in Ohio. Mr. Xie has performed as guest principal bassoonist with the Houston Symphony and the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, among others. Mr. Xie has performed as soloist with Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and has performed at various summer festivals, including Sun Valley, Tanglewood, National Repertory Orchestra, Music Academy of the West, and Compos do Jordäo in Brazil, where he was a member of the faculty. He has given master classes throughout the U.S., as well as in China and Brazil. A native of China, Mr. Xie is the son of renowned Peking Opera musicians. He has studied with George Sakakeeny and Benjamin Kamins, and holds a Bachelor of Music from Oberlin Conservatory and a Master of Music from Rice University.
William VerMeulen, Principal
Principal, Houston SymphonyHailed as “one of today’s superstars of the international brass scene,” Sun Valley Summer Symphony Principal Horn William VerMeulen has risen to become America’s leading horn soloist and preeminent teacher. He has been Principal Horn of the Houston Symphony since 1990 and has performed as a guest Principal Horn of the Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cincinnati Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. Prior to Houston he was employed with the orchestras of Columbus, Honolulu, and Kansas City.
Mr. VerMeulen has been an Artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and participates as a performer and on faculty with the finest music festivals and chamber music presenters among which include: Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Aspen, Music@Menlo, Banff, DaCamera, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Joshua Bell and Friends, Tanglewood, Sarasota, Steamboat Springs, Santa Fe, Orcas Island, New World Symphony, Domaine Forget, Chamber Music Northwest and the Sun Valley Summer Symphony.
He has performed to critical acclaim on four continents as a soloist and chamber musician and is a popular artist at International Horn Society Symposiums where he was a member of the Advisory Council. He serves as a board member of the International Horn Competition of America. Along with the dozens of orchestral recordings in his discography are numerous solo and chamber recordings, including the complete Mozart Horn Concerti with Christoph Eschenbach and the Houston Symphony, Texas Horns featuring the Dallas and Houston horn sections and a new CD entitled The Christmas Horn which features Mr. VerMeulen combined with his students from Rice University and conducted by Dale Clevenger. He has recorded live the Brahms Trio op. 40, Mozart Quintet K. 407, Beethoven Septet, Ravel Tombeau de Couperin for wind quintet, Schubert Octet, Spohr Nonet, Ligeti Bagatelles and the Bach Brandenburg Concerto No. 1. A champion of new music, Mr. VerMeulen has had numerous pieces written for him including concerti by esteemed American composers Samuel Adler, Pierre Jalbert and Tony DiLorenzo and the horn cantata “Canticum Sacrum” by Robert Bradshaw. He recorded the Canto XI by Samuel Adler for a CD called First Chairs. Among his awards and honors, Mr. VerMeulen received first prize at the 1980 International Horn Society Soloist Competition and the Shapiro Award for Most Outstanding Brass Player at the Tanglewood Festival.
Regarded as one of the most influential horn teachers of all time, Mr. VerMeulen is Professor of Horn at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, Brass Artist-in-Residence at the Royal Conservatory of Music’s Glenn Gould School and Visiting Professor of Horn at the Eastman School of Music with students performing in numerous major orchestras throughout the world including the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Israel Philharmonic, Canadian Brass, Cleveland Orchestra, Seattle, San Francisco, Cincinnati, Montreal, St. Louis, Toronto, Detroit, Dallas and Houston Symphonies. Over 260 positions and offers of employment have been awarded to his students. In 1985 he was invited to the White House to receive a “Distinguished Teacher of America Certificate of Excellence” from President Reagan and the White House commission on Presidential Scholars.
He received his training from Dale Clevenger at Northwestern University and at the Interlochen Arts Academy and is Founder and President of VerMeulen Music, L.L.C., which offers music and products for horn players worldwide at http://www.vermeulenmusic.com
Mr. VerMeulen is married to Houston Opera and Ballet violinist Sylvia VerMeulen and they have two lovely children named Michael and Nicole. In his rare free time he enjoys having good friends over to share in his passion for fine cooking and wine.
W. Peter Kurau
Principal, Rochester Philharmonic OrchestraW. Peter Kurau, Professor of Horn, Director of the Eastman Horn Choir, and hornist with Eastman Brass, was appointed in 1995 to the full-time faculty at the Eastman School of Music, succeeding Verne Reynolds. He previously served on the faculties of the University of Missouri-Columbia, SUNY-Geneseo, Roberts Wesleyan College, Houghton College, and Nazareth College.
In September 2004, he was appointed Principal Horn of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, having previously served as Assistant Principal/Acting Principal Horn (1983-95) and as Acting Assistant Principal Horn (2002-2004).
A prizewinner in the Heldenleben International Horn Competition and a recipient of an I.T.T. International Fellowship and numerous faculty merit and development awards, he served as an Artistic Ambassador for the United States Information Agency, presenting recitals and master classes in Serbia-Montenegro, Kazakstan, Macedonia, and Syria during September 1997. Active as a soloist, chamber musician, and clinician (the latter for Conn/Selmer), he has appeared in these
capacities at conventions of the International Horn Society, International Trumpet Guild, College Music Society, Music Educator’s National Conference, New York State School Music Association, Music Teacher’s National Association, National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors, Southeast Horn Workshop, Mid-South Horn Workshop, Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, Eastman/Hamamatsu Seminar, Matsumoto Horn Seminar, South Korean Horn Workshop, the 2002 German Brass Academy and Sauerland Festival, Lieksa (Finland) Brass Festival, and leading universities throughout the United States and Europe (including the Hochschule für Musik/Detmold, the Sibelius Academy, the Helsinki Scandia, and the Lahti Conservatory), as well as at the Bravo! Colorado Festival, Grand Teton Music Festival, Chautauqua Festival, Orford Festival, Skaneateles Festival, Fortissimo!, Bowdoin Summer Music Festival, Monteux School, Eastern Music Festival, Kendall Betts Horn Camp, Texas Music Festival, and the International Festival Institute at Round Top (TX).
Active within the International Horn Society, having served on its Advisory Council for eight years and as Vice-President, Secretary-Treasurer, Pedagogy Editor and member of the Editorial Board for the Horn Call, he hosted the 29th Annual International Horn Workshop, held in 1997 at theEastman School. He has been active in commissioning and premiering new works for horn, including compositions by noted American composers Verne Reynolds, John Cheetham, Mark Shultz, Yehudi Wyner, Sydney Hodkinson, and James Willey, and in 1991 appeared as soloist in the first modern performance of the then recently discovered and reconstructed version of the Mozart Rondo, K.371 for horn and orchestra.
St. Louis Symphony
Tod Bowermaster, a native of Ottawa, Illinois, has been Third Horn of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra since 1995. He served as Acting Principal Horn for the 2002-2003 season, and has appeared as a soloist with the orchestra on numerous occasions. He has also performed as a soloist with the Honolulu Symphony, the Sun Valley Summer Symphony, and numerous orchestras throughout the Midwest. Prior to joining the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, he was a member of the Honolulu Symphony and the Lyric Opera of Chicago Orchestra, and has also performed with the orchestras of Chicago, Houston, and San Francisco. Winner of the 1999 American Horn Competition and the 1982 Coleman Chamber Ensemble Competition, he continues to enjoy performing in both solo and chamber music settings.
Tod has been a regular participant in numerous chamber music festivals nationwide, including the Kapalua Music Festival on Maui, the Bay Chamber Concerts in Rockport, Maine, Summerfest in Kansas City, the Innsbruck Festival outside of St. Louis, and Strings in the Mountains in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. He is also very active as a teacher, and has given recitals and masterclasses at Rice University, Illinois State University, Northern Illinois University, the Manhattan School of Music and the University of Missouri. When not playing the horn, he enjoys playing tennis, singing, and, most of all, family time. He resides in Kirkwood, Missouri with his wife, Cynthia, a violinist, and their children Kathryn and Ryan.
Houston Symphony OrchestraSecond Horn of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony since 1999, Brian Thomas is a native of Minneapolis and was influenced by his musical family and the rich artistic environment of his hometown. Both parents were cellists and his father played with the Minnesota Orchestra for 50 seasons before his recent retirement.
Brian took up the horn at an early age and was guided by mentor and teacher Dave Kamminga to Northwestern University, where he studied with Chicago Symphony hornists Norman Schweikert and Dale Clevenger. He proceeded on to positions in the orchestras of Louisville, Columbus, and Syracuse before assuming his current post as the Second Horn of the Houston Symphony in 1995.
Brian has performed with the orchestras of Minnesota, Cincinnati and San Diego and played for many years in both the Colorado Music Festival in Boulder and the Skaneateles Festival in upstate New York. He is a frequent guest artist at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music and most recently was an Artist-in-Residence at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. Brian has performed frequently with the Scottish band The Rogues, and has recorded 2 CDs and a live concert DVD with the group.
He is an avid road cyclist, enjoys the artistic and technical aspects of high-end audiophile equipment, nourishes his soul with Celtic music and appreciates fine meals with good friends. Brian shares his house in the suburbs of Houston with his lovely wife, Victoria, and five grateful rescue cats.
Ottawa Symphony OrchestraNicholas Hartman was hired as fourth horn of the National Arts Centre Orchestra in 2012 by music director Pinchas Zuckerman. He has performed throughout United States and Canada, and is a frequent guest player with groups including the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Houston Symphony, the San Antonio Symphony, the Richmond Symphony, and the Houston Symphony Woodwind Quintet. He has also performed with the Houston Grand Opera, the North Carolina Symphony, the New World Symphony, and the Louisiana Philharmonic.
In the spring of 2012, Nicholas was invited to perform at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC as part of their ongoing Conservatory Project. He was a 2011 and 2012 Tanglewood Music Center fellow, a 2010 National Repertory Orchestra fellow, and in 2009 was invited to Quebec to record the complete Beethoven symphonies with l’Orchestra de la Francophonie Canadienne, which is available on the Analekta label. He is a graduate of Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music in Houston, where he studied with Houston Symphony principal horn William VerMeulen.
Atlanta Symphony OrchestraMichael Tiscione, originally of Monroe, NY, joined the trumpet section of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra during the 2002-2003 season. He left the ASO to join the San Francisco Symphony as second trumpet for the 2010-2011 season and has since returned to the ASO, where he is currently Second and Acting Associate Principal Trumpet.
Mr. Tiscione has traveled across the US to perform with many notable ensembles, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Toronto Symphony, Utah Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, and IRIS Chamber Orchestra. During the summer months he serves as second trumpet with both the Sun Valley Summer Symphony and the Bellingham Music Festival Orchestra. In 2015, he began performing as principal trumpet with Festival Mozaic in San Luis Obispo, CA and in the section at the Strings Festival in Steamboat Springs, CO.
Recent solo engagements have included appearances with the United States Military Academy at West Point, the Georgia Philharmonic, and with the Georgia Brass Band at the 2012 International Trumpet Guild Conference. An avid chamber musician, Mr. Tiscione has been a member of the Atlanta Symphony Brass Quintet since 2005. He performs and records with the Burning River Brass, has recently toured China with the Chicago Symphony Brass Quintet, and performs regularly with the Atlanta Chamber Players as well as at the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival. He is currently an adjunct faculty member at Kennesaw State University following temporary appointments at the University of Georgia and Georgia State University. Mr. Tiscione is married to the principal oboe of the ASO, Elizabeth Koch Tiscione.
Mr. Tiscione holds degrees from Indiana University (BM) and Northwestern University (MM). His teachers have included John Rommel, Charles Geyer, Barbara Butler, and John Charles Thomas.
Acting Principal, New York PhilharmonicMatthew Muckey joined the New York Philharmonic in June 2006. He graduated from Northwestern University with a bachelor’s degree in music, studying with Charles Geyer and Barbara Butler. A native of Sacramento, California, he has appeared as soloist with the Omaha Symphony, Sacramento Philharmonic, California Wind Orchestra, Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra, and on NPR’s program, From the Top. He has also played with the Boston Pops Orchestra, New World Symphony, and Chicago Civic Orchestra. Mr. Muckey was a Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center during the summers of 2003 to 2005, and was the recipient of the Roger Voisin Award in 2004 and 2005.
San Francisco SymphonyTrumpeter Jeff Biancalana grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and studied with members of the Chicago Symphony. A graduate of the Eastman School of Music, Jeff is currently a member of the San Francisco Symphony.
Freelance Musician, Seattle
Charlie E. Geyer
Principal, Toronto Symphony OrchestraGordon Wolfe has been a member of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra since 2001, taking over the role of Principal Trombone in 2006. He was previously a member of the Winnipeg and Victoria Symphony Orchestras, and has also had the privilege of performing recently with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Atlanta Symphony, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and the National Arts Centre Orchestra. Gordon studied with Canadian trombone icons Ian McDougall, Thomas Eadie, and Peter Sullivan at the University of Victoria and McGill University while working through his Bachelor and Master’s degrees in music.
An accomplished chamber musician, Gordon was a founding member of the Central Park Brass, a privately funded brass quintet that is dedicated to performing free concerts for young people in the playgrounds of Central Park, and working regularly with under privileged children in the Union Settlements of the Bronx. In Toronto, he performs frequent recitals with BATSO (Brass Artists of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra) as part of the Royal Conservatory of Music’s Great Artist Series, and has performed for thousands of young students across Ontario as an ambassador of the Toronto Symphony’s Preludes programme.
In demand as a soloist, Gordon has recently been featured with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Toronto, the Hannaford Street Silver Band and the Idaho State Wind Ensemble. As a highly respected educator, Gordon draws top students from across Canada to his trombone studio at the Royal Conservatory of Music’s Glenn Gould School.
Principal, San Francisco SymphonyTimothy Higgins was appointed to the position of Principal Trombone of the San Francisco Symphony by Michael Tilson Thomas in 2008. He was previously the acting Second Trombonist with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, DC. Mr. Higgins, a Houston native, has a Bachelor’s degree in Music Performance from Northwestern University and has performed with the Milwaukee Symphony, Virginia Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Music of the Baroque, Grand Teton Music Festival, Sun Valley Summer Symphony, Washington National Opera, and Baltimore Symphony. His principal teachers have been Michael Mulcahy (Chicago Symphony), Michael Warny (Houston Grand Opera) and Royce Landon (Des Moines, Iowa). He has participated in music festivals with the Roundtop Music Festival, the National Repertory Orchestra, and the Tanglewood Music Center.
Along with a busy orchestra career, Timothy Higgins is a sought after arranger of music. He was the sole arranger of the National Brass Ensemble’s Gabrieli recording, as well as two Verdi overtures conducted by Ricardo Muti. Additionally, Higgins has arranged music for CT3 Trombone Quartet, National Brass Quintet, Bay Brass, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Brass Ensemble. His arrangements have been performed by the Washington Symphonic Brass, the Bay Brass, the San Francisco Symphony brass section, the Chicago Symphony brass section, and the Northwestern University Brass Ensemble. Timothy Higgins has also composed works for brass instruments for solo and chamber settings. His arrangements and original compositions are available through his publishing company, 415Music.
As a teacher, Timothy been a faculty member of the Pokorny Seminar since 2012, and is currently on faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Northwestern University. He has also led masterclasses in Japan, China, Canada and the United States, including classes at the Royal Conservatory in Toronto, the New World Symphony, and the Juilliard School of Music.
In 2005, Timothy won the Robert Marstellar Solo trombone competition, as well as the ITA Trombone Quartet competition with CT3. While attending the Tanglewood Music Center, Mr. Higgins was awarded the Grace B. Upton Award for Outstanding Fellow. In 2013, Timothy released his solo CD, Stage Left.
Dallas Symphony OrchestraDarren McHenry joined the Dallas Symphony Orchestra as the bass trombonist in 1995. He received his bachelor’s in music from Southern Methodist University and his master’s degree from The Juilliard School. He has toured with the American/Soviet Youth Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic, and has performed with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. He has also taught at the University of Texas at Arlington. For the past 7 summers, Darren attends the Sun Valley Summer Symphony in Idaho with his wife Jenny and his two sons Bryce and Grant.
Buffalo PhilharmonicTimothy Smith currently holds the chair of 2nd Trombone with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, a position he has occupied since 2009. Tim has also performed with the Chicago Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Toronto Symphony, Boston Pops, San Diego Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Grant Park Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony and Opera, Sun Valley Summer Symphony and Chicago’s Music of the Baroque.
In the chamber music realm, Timothy was a founding member of the Second City Brass Quintet as well as the CT3 Trombone Quartet, winners of the 2005 ITA International Trombone Quartet Competition. Additionally, he is a member of the Buffalo Chamber Players and Great Lakes Trombone Ensemble. Tim is also an avid proponent of new works for trombone, playing a significant role in several new commissions for trombone in mixed environments.
As a pedagogue, Mr. Smith teaches a private studio in Buffalo, NY and is a frequent recitalist and clinician at universities around the country. Timothy holds a Bachelors Degree from Ithaca College, and a Masters Degree from Northwestern University, where he studied with members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Smith is an S.E. Shires Artist. www.timsmithtrombone.com
Principal, San Francisco Ballet OrchestraPeter Wahrhaftig is the principal tubaist of the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra as well as with the Sun Valley Summer Symphony and the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. He is a founding member of the Bay Brass, which commissions, performs and records large-scale brass masterpieces. He has performed with the San Francisco Symphony and the San Francisco Opera, Chicago Symphony, Israel Philharmonic, St. Louis Symphony, and throughout the Bay Area. Additionally, he is an active recording musician, having appeared in numerous movie and video game soundtracks. He is active as a teacher, a chamber musician, and has been seen using a cimbasso (don’t ask!). Last summer Peter performed the first movement of David Carlson’s Tuba Concerto during the In Focus Series at the Sun Valley Summer Symphony festival.
Peter and his wife Rena have enjoyed coming to Sun Valley since before their two daughters were born. The four of them thoroughly enjoy the natural offerings of the area, and are constantly looking for the next, perfect hiking trail.
Freelance Musician, San Francisco Bay AreaAlex Orfaly is a musician and composer living in the Bay Area. From 2013-2015 he served as acting principal timpani of the San Francisco Symphony and has been the timpanist for the Sun Valley Summer symphony since 2007. Past positions as principal timpanist have included the Palau de Les Arts in Spain, the New World Symphony and the Tucson Symphony.
Since graduating from the Cleveland Institute of music he has performed with orchestras worldwide, including the Cleveland Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Detroit Symphony, the Radio France Philharmonic and the Frankfurt Radio Orchestra. He is also a composer of a growing body of percussion pieces, including his Concerto for Brass and Percussion and the Divertissement No. 2 for timpani soloist and orchestra, both premiered by the New World Symphony. In addition, he composed Mean Man’s March which was premiered by the Sun Valley Summer Symphony. In 2012 the Sun Valley Summer Symphony commissioned and premiered Alex’s work for narrator and orchestra, Cowboy Bill. Orfaly’s newest work, Copper Wired for solo timpani and pre-recorded electronics, won first place in the Percussive Arts Society 2015 composition contest.
Principal, Dallas Symphony OrchestraBrian Jones is currently principal timpanist of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, appointed by Jaap van Zweden in 2011. He has also served as Adjunct Professor of Percussion at Southern Methodist University since 2015. Previously, he occupied identical posts with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and his former students now occupy positions in orchestras and universities throughout the world, including the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, the New York City Ballet, Grand Rapids Symphony, Grant Park Symphony Orchestra, Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Evergreen Symphony Orchestra (Taipei), and The University of South Carolina.
Since performing at age sixteen on drumset with the finest professional jazz musicians
in Houston, Jones has enjoyed a multifaceted career. He has performed as guest
principal timpanist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, San
Francisco Symphony, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and has performed as a
percussionist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Boston
Symphony Orchestra, Houston Symphony, and the Grand Teton Music Festival
Orchestra. Jones has toured and recorded on drumset and percussion with the Empire
Brass Quintet, appeared as a soloist with a chamber percussion ensemble on NBC’s
The Today Show, and was featured as a percussion soloist in a performance for Prince
Rainier of Monaco.
As an undergraduate at the University of North Texas, he was a member of the school’s
world champion marching drumline, as well as a performer on both drumset and bass
trombone in the Grammy-nominated One O’clock Lab Band. Jones performed for a
summer in the Walt Disney World All-American College Orchestra on percussion,
drumset, and trombone, and his transcription of a drumset solo by Jack DeJohnette
earned him publication in the international edition of the Percussive Arts Society
magazine. He furthered his trombone experience while a member of the Dallas
Trombone Exchange and the Dallas Jazz Orchestra. Jones extended his university
training as a fellowship student of Gerald Carlyss at Indiana University, where he
earned a Performer’s Certificate, and as a scholarship student of Alan Abel at Temple
After serving as an Interim Professor of Percussion and Jazz Studies at Sam Houston
State University in Huntsville, Texas, Jones was a percussionist in the New World
Symphony, where he was also a concerto competition winner. He was a featured
clinician at the 2004 Percussive Arts Society International Convention, and has given
presentations and masterclasses throughout the United States and in Japan. Jones has
enjoyed an extensive studio career, and he has premiered solo percussion works with
the New World Symphony, chamber pieces with New Music Detroit, and timpani
concerti with the Detroit Symphony, the Boulder Philharmonic, and The University of
Charles Settle, Principal
Atlanta Symphony OrchestraCharles Settle joined the percussion section of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra at the beginning of the 2004-2005 season. During the 2015/2016 he is serving as Acting Principal Percussion. Prior to accepting the position in Atlanta, he was a member of the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, FL, from 2000-2004. During this time, he also performed as an extra percussionist with the Philadelphia Orchestra.During the 2008-2009 season, Mr. Settle took a one-year leave of absence from the Atlanta Symphony and joined the New York Philharmonic as
a Percussionist and Assistant Timpanist, where he toured, participated in recording projects,and performed with the Berlin Staatskapelle Orchestra during their residency at Carnegie Hall.
He also performs as a member of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony in Sun Valley, ID, and has performed with the Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Seattle and Toronto Symphonies and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. An active educator, Mr. Settle has given master classes at the University of Miami (FL), DePaul University in Chicago, Manhattan School of Music, and The Curtis Institute of Music. He serves as an adjunct faculty member at Georgia State University, teaches privately out of his home in Atlanta, is a faculty member of the Atlanta Symphony Talent Development Program and coaches the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra. He will make his debut solo appearance in September 2016 with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Robert Spano conducting, in Avner Dorman’s Spices Perfume and Toxins. Mr. Settle graduated high school from the Interlochen Arts Academy and received his Bachelor of Music degree from the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Michael Bookspan and Don Liuzzi. He also serves as an Artist and Clinician for Zildjian Cymbals and Freer Percussion products.
Rutgers UniversityPercussionist Joseph Tompkins has performed with the New York Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the New York City Ballet Orchestra, and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, among many others. He has played in twenty one productions on Broadway, and has recorded soundtracks for a number of major films. For seven years he was a member of the percussion trio Timetable, a group committed to commissioning and performing new works for percussion. Tompkins has composed a number of internationally recognized works for snare drum, and has been commissioned as a composer by the New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, and Atlanta Symphony percussion sections. He is Area Coordinator of the percussion department at Rutgers University.
Freelance Musician, ChicagoChicago-based percussionist Ian Ding is a versatile performer specializing in contemporary music and orchestral percussion. He is a founding member and co-director of New Music Detroit, a member of the Fulcrum Point New Music Project (Chicago) and the Virgil Moorefield Pocket Orchestra (Zurich), and serves on the
percussion faculty at the DePaul University School of Music.
Ian is a frequent guest with major orchestras such as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Cleveland Orchestra and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and
has also performed extensively with chamber ensembles Bang on a Can All-Stars and
Alarm Will Sound. Ian is the artistic director and producer of Strange Beautiful Music,
New Music Detroit’s annual marathon concert of contemporary and experimental music
and is also a former board member of the American Composers Forum.
Ian served as Assistant Principal Percussionist of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra from
2003-2011 and Lecturer of Percussion at the University of Michigan from 2005-2014
and was a fellow of the New World Symphony in Miami from 2001-2003. He is a
graduate of the University of Illinois and the Juilliard School where his teachers
included Tom Stubbs, Thomas Siwe, Jim Ross, William Moersch, and Gregory Zuber.
Gretchen Van Hoesen
Principal, Pittsburgh Symphony OrchestraGretchen Van Hoesen has been Principal Harpist of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra since 1977 and has appeared as soloist with the orchestra on subscription concerts and on tour under conductors André Previn, Lorin Maazel, James Conlon, Zdnek Macal, Sergiu Comissiona, Pinchas Zukerman and Manfred Honeck. She has been active in the performance of new music, giving the New York and Pittsburgh premieres of Alberto Ginastera’s Harp Concerto, the Pittsburgh premiere of Witold Lutoslawski’s Double Concerto for Oboe, Harp and Chamber Orchestra with her husband, former Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Co-Principal Oboist James Gorton, the United States premiere of Suite Concertante for Solo Harp and Orchestra by Manuel Moreno-Buendia in San Antonio, Texas, the North American premiere of Concert Piece, Op. 65 for Oboe/English Horn, Two Harps and Orchestra by Eugene Goossens, and the world premiere of Sir André Previn’s Concerto for Harp. Gretchen Van Hoesen has concertized all over the world and was selected to perform in the Super World Orchestra 2000 in Japan, an ensemble made up of key musicians from around the globe. Gretchen Van Hoesen has worked with such maestros as Valery Gergiev, Sir Andrew Davis, Marek Janowski, Yan Pascal Tortelier, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, William Steinberg, Gianandrea Noseda and James Levine. She has been a featured soloist at American Harp Society National Conferences in Boston, Pittsburgh, San Antonio, Denton, Washington, D.C. and Fredonia, and served as a judge for National Competitions of the American Harp Society and as President of the organization’s Pittsburgh Chapter. She has served on the faculty of the Aspen Music Festival, is a coach for the National Youth Orchestra of the USA, Pittsburgh Youth Symphony and Three Rivers Young Peoples’ Orchestra, and is Harp Forum Editor and clinician for the American String Teachers Association. Gretchen Van Hoesen graduated from the Juilliard School, where she earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in harp as a scholarship student of Marcel Grandjany and Susann McDonald. She is also a graduate of the Eastman School of Music Preparatory Department with highest honors in piano and harp, where she was a student of Eileen Malone. She studied further with Gloria Agostini. Her recordings include Lullabies and Night Songs on the Caedmon label, Pavanes, Pastorales, and Serenades for Oboe and Harp, and Concertos for Harp and Orchestra, both on Boston Records, Breath of Heaven, A Christmas Collection with soprano Sarah Botkin, Trio Pittsburgh with violinist Noah Bendix-Balgley and ‘cellist Anne Martindale Williams, and Genetic Harps with Heidi Van Hoesen Gorton. Ms. Van Hoesen is a faculty member of Carnegie Mellon and Duquesne universities and also maintains a private teaching studio at her home in Pittsburgh.
Freelance Musician, ChicagoHarpist Katherine Ventura has performed throughout the United States, Europe, the United Kingdom, and Asia as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestra member. An experienced orchestral musician, Ms. Ventura has performed with the Philharmonia Orchestra (London) as Principal Harp (trial), the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Lyric Opera Orchestra, the Sun Valley Summer Symphony, Charlotte Symphony, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, and the New World Symphony (Miami Beach). By international audition, she was selected as Principal Harp of the Verbier Festival Orchestra 2012 – 2014 (Verbier, Switzerland), Charles Dutoit, Artistic Director. Ms. Ventura has also appeared at the Ravinia Festival (Chicago, IL), Spoleto Festival USA (Charleston, SC), Pacific Music Festival (Sapporo, Japan), Aspen Music Festival (Aspen, CO), National Repertory Orchestra (Breckenridge, CO), and at the Courchevel Music Alp Festival (Courchevel, France).
Katherine received her bachelor’s degree with honors in Music Performance: Harp from Carnegie Mellon University in 2008, where she studied harp pedagogy and performance under Gretchen Van Hoesen, Principal Harp, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. She received her Masters Degree in Music Performance: Harp from Roosevelt University, Chicago College of Performing Arts in 2010 as a student of Sarah Bullen, Principal Harp, Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Artist-in-Residence, Maryville University, St. LouisA versatile pianist, Peter Henderson is active as a performer in solo, chamber and orchestral settings. Henderson is currently Associate Professor of Music and Artist in Residence at Maryville University, where he has served on the faculty since 2005. He performs frequently as an ensemble keyboardist with the St. Louis Symphony, and made his debut as a subscription concert soloist with the Symphony in January 2008. During January and February 2016, Henderson was the piano soloist in the St. Louis Symphony’s subscription concert and California tour performances of Oliver Messiaen’s Des Canyons aux étoiles. Critics described him as a “powerhouse soloist” (San Francisco Chronicle) and an “excellent pianist” (Los Angeles Times), and praised his Messiaen playing for its “intense focus and thrilling vibrancy” (San Jose Mercury News). In addition to his keyboard playing with the St. Louis Symphony, he occasionally gives pre-concert lectures from the Symphony’s Powell Hall stage, introducing subscription concert programs.
Mr. Henderson is an advocate of new music, having given several premieres of solo piano and chamber works. In recent years, he has programmed solo recitals exploring focused repertoire: during the 2011-12 season, he performed the 32 piano sonatas of Beethoven; in November and December 2012, he presented the complete piano works of Debussy; and in November 2013, he played Chopin’s 27 Études in a single concert. Henderson’s discography includes collaborations with violinist David Halen, flutist Mark Sparks, violist Jonathan Vinocour, bass trombonist Gerry Pagano, and soprano Marlissa Hudson. He appears on CDs published by AAM Recordings, AMP Records, and other labels, and is the piano soloist on a disc released during 2015 that features Fred Onovwerosuoke’s 24 Studies in African Rhythms.
Mr. Henderson holds the degree Doctor of Music from Indiana University, Bloomington, where his piano instructor was Dr. Karen Shaw. Prior to attending Indiana University, he studied piano with Dr. Jay Mauchley at the University of Idaho, Moscow. He and his wife Kristin Ahlstrom, a Sun Valley Summer Symphony violinist, live in St. Louis with their lively, sweet beagle/terrier-mix Zinni.
Freelance Musician, San Francisco Bay AreaDavid Henderson grew up in Hartford City, Indiana, and has degrees from the University of Michigan and the Juilliard School. In 1980, he gave his Carnegie Recital Hall solo debut as a winner of the East and West Artists competition, with the New York Times stating “anexceptionally accomplished instrumentalist with something to say, his work is poised, cultivated, and expressive.” In 1981, he received a first prize in saxophone from the Conservatoire de Bordeaux as a recipient of a Fulbright-ITT grant to study in France.
Since moving to San Francisco in 1988, he has played regularly with the San Francisco Symphony, including many tours and recordings under
maestro Michael Tilson Thomas. He has also toured with the BBC
Symphony under Andrew Davis and performed with the New World
Symphony, the San Francisco Opera and Ballet, the Bolshoi Ballet
and Orchestra, the St. Petersburg (Russia) Philharmonic, and the
Philadelphia Orchestra. He has appeared as soloist with the Oakland/
East Bay Symphony and the Bay Area Rainbow Symphony. In 1989,
he joined the San Francisco Saxophone Quartet as tenor saxophonist
and keyboard player. Starting out as street musicians in downtown
San Francisco, the group was discovered on the street by the
president of Angel/EMI records in 1990, and has recorded four CDs
and toured most of the 50 states as well as Japan. In 2005, he joined
the Premiere Saxophone Quartet, artists-in-residence at San José
State University. He has worked as a musician at Disney World and
Great America theme parks, and played both on and off-Broadway
during ten years in New York, including the original productions of
Nunsense and March of the Falsettos. Mr. Henderson currently
teaches saxophone at the University of the Pacific and Stanford.
Kevin J. Stewart
Freelance Musician, San Francisco Bay AreaHailing from Detroit, Michigan, Kevin J. Stewart now calls the San Francisco Bay Area home. A graduate of the University of Michigan, under the study of Donald J. Sinta, Kevin has had the privilege to perform and solo with esteemed groups from the San Francisco Symphony, Opera & Ballet to Chaka Khan, Penn & Teller, & the Temptations. Along with an active freelancing career in the Bay Area, Kevin has toured throughout Europe, Asia, Canada, and the United States, with the San Francisco Saxophone Quartet, the Nuclear Whales Saxophone Orchestra, and most recently, the Premiere Saxophone Quartet. In addition to his musical performances, Kevin is also in demand as a clinician, and teacher, currently holding positions at California State University, Stanislaus, and University of California, Davis as Director of Saxophone Studies.
Freelance Musician, San Francisco Bay AreaChris Pimentel is widely regarded as one of the premier guitarists in the San Francisco Bay Area. His noteworthy career has included performances in top jazz combos, rock bands and theater orchestras. Since 1989 he has provided great solo jazz guitar for Napa Valley events at Opus One, Cuvasion Estate Wines, Clos Pegase, Mumm Napa Valley and many other prestigious venues.
“I have been a professional Musician since 1989. I have worked with many different acts, in many different styles. I tend to pride myself on my ability to play different styles convincingly, as well as playing bass. Although I try to remain musically diverse, my truelove is Jazz Guitar. Some people I have worked with: Bobby Caldwell, Little Anthony,The Coasters, The Drifters, David Pack (Ambrosia), Timothy B. Schmidt, Patrick Simmons (Doobie Bros.) Rich Little, Ernie Watts, Mel Martin, Bennett Freidman, Mel Graves, Randy Vincent, Peter Welker, George Cables, John Stowell, Julian Lage, Sam Andrew (Big Brother and the Holding Co) Linda Tillery, Tommy Tutone and JGB(Formerly the Jerry Garcia Band). Broadway musicals include Mama Mia, The Full Monty,Wicked, Hairspray, The Color Purple, Annie, The Jersey Boys, Disney’s High SchoolMusical, Grease, and Spamalot as well as the off-Broadway San Francisco production of Love,Janis. I have also performed with the Marin Symphony and Sun Valley Summer Symphony performances of “Pixar in Concert.”
The Sun Valley Summer Symphony is comprised of over 100 musicians from major orchestra throughout the United States and Canada. Most of the orchestra musicians return year after year to assemble what Music Director Alasdair Neale calls an “all-star orchestra.” Musicians hail from the San Francisco Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Houston Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra and many others. They come to Sun Valley not only to perform with outstanding colleagues in a world-class venue, but also to play. When not on stage, you may see Sun Valley Summer Symphony musicians hiking, cycling and fly-fishing. They bring their families and friends and become a part of the Sun Valley community every summer. Get to know the Sun Valley Summer Symphony musicians — and if you see a familiar face at the grocery store or on a hike, be sure to say hello!