Appointed 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 also has appeared as guest concertmaster for the Houston and Kansas City Symphonies as well as Pinchas Zuckerman’s National Arts Center Orchestra in Ottawa, Ontario. Prior to joining the RPO, Ms. Athayde was concertmaster of the Canton and Plymouth 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. From 2000-2005 Ms. Athayde was a fellow at the Aspen Music Festival where she studied with Paul Kantor and received the prestigious Dorothy DeLay fellowship in 2004, performing the Prokofiev Violin Concerto No.2 under the baton of famed violinist and conductor Joseph Silverstein.
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 the 2010 premiere of Allen Shawn’s Violin Concerto, 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, 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 Alasdair Neale, she led the world-renowned San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra as concertmaster in performances at Paris’ Cite de la Musique, Leipzig’s Gewandhaus and Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw. In demand as a chamber musician, Ms. Athayde has collaborated with great artists, including Michael Tilson Thomas, Joseph Silverstein, William Preucil, Anton Nel, and Jean-Yves Thibaudet. She has been praised by critics for her “power and precision,” “melting lyricism,” and “larger than life” performances.
A passionate educator, Ms. Athayde is currently Associate Professor of Violin at the Eastman School of Music, a Visiting Teacher at the Cleveland Institute of Music and was previously a Visiting Professor at Cornell University. Attaining her B.M. from the University of Michigan, where she received the distinguished Albert A. Stanley Award, presented “to the graduating senior recognized by the faculty as achieving the highest possible success in scholarship and public performance”, she continued her studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music with Paul Kantor and Cleveland Orchestra Concertmaster William Preucil (M.M. and A.D.), becoming the first graduate of CIM’s prestigious Concertmaster Academy.
She spends her summers 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 J.B. Vuilliaume bow.