THE FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA Maestro Robert Moody, Music Director
The Festival Orchestra 2018
The Festival Orchestra is a major destination for the nation's finest orchestra musicians. Arizona Musicfest is uniquely positioned as the only winter music festival of its kind, offering a superlative ensemble of "all-star" orchestra players for one week each February. The ensemble performs five concerts over nine days. The Festival Orchestra is comprised of musicians from the following distinguished institutions:
New York Philharmonic ** Chicago Symphony ** Cleveland Orchestra ** San Francisco Symphony ** Boston Symphony ** Philadelphia Orchestra ** Saint Louis Symphony ** National Symphony ** Toronto Symphony ** Atlanta Symphony ** Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal ** Metropolitan Opera Orchestra ** and many other fine ensembles of North America.
To view individual musician bios, click on photos below. To view the complete 2018 Orchestra Roster click here.
Concertmaster Frank Huang joined the New York Philharmonic as Concertmaster in September 2015. Since 2010, he has also served as Concertmaster for the Houston Symphony. Previously, he was First Violinist of the Ying Quartet and a faculty member at The Eastman School of Music. He currently serves on the faculties of Rice University and the University of Houston. As First Prize Winner of the 2003 Walter W. Naumburg Foundation’s Violin Competition and the 2000 Hannover International Violin Competition, Mr. Huang has established a major career as a violin virtuoso, appearing with orchestras internationally, among them the Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, NDR Radio Philharmonic of Hannover, and Amadeus Chamber Orchestra. His festival appearances include Marlboro Music Festival, Ravinia’s Steans Institute, and the Caramoor Festival. He is Concertmaster and Leader of the Sejong Soloists. An alumnus of the Music Academy of the West, Mr. Huang attended The Juilliard School, studying with Robert Mann. This is his fourth year at Arizona Musicfest.
Nurit Bar-Josef was appointed Concertmaster of the National Symphony Orchestra in 2001. Previously, she was Assistant Concertmaster of the Boston Symphony and Boston Pops, and Assistant Principal Second Violin of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. She studied with Aaron Rosand at The Curtis Institute of Music, with further studies at The Juilliard School with Robert Mann. Her solo appearances include National Symphony, Boston Symphony, Boston Pops, St. Louis Symphony, National Philharmonic, and Britt Festival Orchestras. She has performed at many festivals, including Seattle Chamber Music Festival, Bay Chamber Festival (ME), Aspen, Tanglewood, Portland (ME), Steamboat Springs, Garth Newel, and Caramoor, where she performed piano quartets with André Previn at his Rising Stars Festival. She was a founding member of the Kennedy Center Chamber Players for nine years, and is a founding member of the Dryden Quartet. This is her first year serving as Concertmaster of the Festival Orchestra. She currently plays a 1871 J.B. Vuillaume, generously loaned to her from the Library of Congress. This is her first year with Arizona Musicfest. Ms. Bar-Josef is generously sponsored by Ellen and Howard Katz.
Associate Concertmaster Charles Dimmick is Concertmaster of the Portland (ME) Symphony. He studied at the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music with former Tokyo String Quartet violinist Peter Oundjian and Dr. Won Bin Yim. After moving to Boston, he studied with former Boston Symphony Concertmaster Joseph Silverstein and joined the violin section of the Portland Symphony. He was appointed Concertmaster in 2002. He also serves as Concertmaster of the acclaimed Boston Modern Orchestra Project and Assistant Concertmaster of the Rhode Island Philharmonic. Mr. Dimmick appears frequently as soloist with orchestras throughout New England; most recently performing Mozart’s Concerto No. 3 with Robert Moody and the Portland Symphony. He is also highly sought after as a chamber musician and teacher. Charles lives in the Boston area with wife, piccolo player Rachel Braude, and young daughter, Chloe. This is his ninth year at Arizona Musicfest.
Barrie Cooper is Acting Concertmaster of the Memphis Symphony. She started violin studies at four with John Kendall at the Suzuki program of Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville. She also served as Kendall’s assistant, traveling across the US and Japan to workshops and conferences. Barrie studied viola (because none of her friends would) in order to join the Più Mosso Quartet, which gave numerous concerts in the Midwest and East Coast. For two years, she was Principal Viola in the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra. After attending Ithaca College, Barrie graduated from Peabody Conservatory, where she won the Marbury Violin Competition and the Josef Kasper Prize for excellence in violin performance. Barrie has spent the last 14 summers as Principal Second Violin at the American Institute of Musical Studies orchestra in Graz, Austria. A die-hard St Louis Cardinals fan, she shares her home with two beautiful dogs and five wonderful cats. This is her second year at Arizona Musicfest, where she is also serving as Associate Concertmaster of the Sinfonia.
Violinist Amy Oshiro-Morales joined The Philadelphia Orchestra in 2008. Previously, she was Assistant Concertmaster of the St. Louis Symphony and the Grant Park Orchestra. She also held the Associate Concertmaster chair of the Colorado Symphony. Ms. Oshiro-Morales began violin studies at age three, making her orchestral debut with the Chicago Symphony at 12. As soloist, she has appeared numerous times with the St. Louis Symphony, the Napa Valley Symphony, the Minnesota Sinfonia, and others. She has also been a guest musician with the New York Philharmonic. Ms. Oshiro-Morales studied with Almita and Roland Vamos at Oberlin Conservatory, then at The Juilliard School with Robert Mann. She has been a guest artist at the Sun Valley Summer Symphony, Grand Teton Music Festival, the Kingston Chamber Music Festival, and the Innsbrook Institute (MO), to name a few. Ms. Oshiro-Morales also enjoys hiking and running: she has completed marathons in Chicago and New York City. This is her fourth season at Arizona Musicfest.
Randall Weiss made his solo debut in British Columbia after winning the Victoria Concerto Competition. In high school, he appeared in the Rice Krispies commercial, Music Camp. He studied with Paul Kling at the University of Victoria, then trained with Tadeusz Wronski at Indiana University and Sylvia Rosenberg at The Peabody Conservatory. He has been Assistant Concertmaster of Symphony Silicon Valley since 1985, and also played with the San Francisco Opera and Ballet orchestras. In addition, Randy has been Assistant Concertmaster at Music in the Mountains (CA), Concertmaster and soloist with the Santa Cruz County Symphony, and Acting Concertmaster of the Modesto Symphony. A faculty member at Eastern Music Festival since 1989, he is also Principal Second Violin. He is founder and Music Director of the chamber series Music in the Mishkan. He recorded Tales from Terezin with his chamber ensemble, the Bridge Players. The CD is featured at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. In 2007, he presented The Art of the Violin for the Festival Insights series. This is his 20th year at Arizona Musicfest.
Violinist Shannon Nance is Assistant Concertmaster of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and a member of the RPO since 1993. She holds two degrees from The Eastman School of Music, where she studied with Catherine Tait and Zvi Zeitlin. Shannon has appeared as soloist with the RPO, the SUNY Geneseo Orchestra, the Greater Rochester Women’s Philharmonic, and the Lincoln (NB) Symphony. An active chamber musician, she is the violinist of the Finger Lakes Chamber Ensemble, and enjoys collaborating with colleagues from the RPO and faculty members from Eastman. Shannon is a dedicated teacher and currently has students of varying ages in her violin studio. She also directs the String Intensive Study Program at the Masterworks Festival in Winona Lake (IN). This is her fourth year at Arizona Musicfest.
A native of Poland, violinist Marcin Arendt is a chamber musician, soloist, and teacher. Currently, he is an Assistant Professor at the University of Memphis and a member of the Ceruti String Quartet, and also on the faculty at Interlochen Arts Camp. Marcin serves as Concertmaster and Orchestra Manager of the IRIS Orchestra. He is the co-founder and artistic director of the Memphis in Poland summer festival, which features top musicians in a mix of styles, including blues and jazz. The prize winner at national and international competitions, he has performed alongside renowned artists, among them Itzhak Perlman, Gil Shaham, Jaime Laredo, Yo-Yo Ma, Martin Short, Edgar Meyer, Clay Aiken, Dawn Upshaw, Corky Siegel, Joshua Bell, and Harry Connick, Jr. Marcin holds a master’s and doctorate from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and a Performer’s Certificate from the Stanislaw Moniuszko Academy of Music in Gdansk, Poland. He plays a Jan van Rooyen original violin, modeled after the Guarneri “Carrodus”; his bow was made by the award-winning David Forbes. This is his first year at Arizona Musicfest.
Russian-American violinist, Yefim Romanov, made his solo debut at age of 9 with Camerata of Kazakhstan. After moving to the United States at age 12, he soloed with many orchestras in Central Florida, including Orlando Philharmonic. Mr. Romanov holds a Bachelor’s degree from University of Florida and Master’s degree from Indiana University, where he was awarded Artistic Excellence Award. In 2014, Yefim attended Yale University where he studied under Hyo Kang while pursuing his artist diploma. At Yale, he was the recipient of the Henry and Lucy Moses Scholarship and Fellowship. He was also awarded a career grant from the Rachel Barton Foundation. Currently, Mr. Romanov is studying with legendary Russian violinist, Ilya Kaler, in Chicago. Recently, Mr.Romanov was a concerto competition winner at Colorado College music festival and Miami Music Festival. He was also invited to play with New World Symphony in Miami, FL. Mr. Romanov plays an 18th century Italian violin by Alessandro Mezzadri, Ferrara, courtesy of Darnton & Hersh Fine Violins, Chicago. This is his third year at Arizona Musicfest.
So Yun Kim, violin, began her musical studies with her father at age four. Early teachers included Rafael Sobolevsky and Andrew Zaplatynsk. She holds a bachelor’s and Performer’s Certificate from The Eastman School, where she also won the Dorothy Starling Scholarship Foundation Competition. So Yun received her master’s from the University of Nevada, studying with Phillip Ruder. Formerly a member of the Naples Philharmonic, she has since joined the North Carolina Symphony, where she plays in the first violin section. Currently on the faculty at the Eastern Music Festival, she also has a private studio. She has appeared in numerous festivals including the Tanglewood Institute, Encore Summer Music Festival, New York String Seminar, Heidelberg Opera Festival, Sarasota Chamber Music Festival, and Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival. This is her 11th year at Arizona Musicfest.
Taiwanese-American violinist Yun-Ting Lee is a member of the Second Violin section of The Cleveland Orchestra. Mr. Lee holds Bachelor and Master degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM), where his principal teacher was William Preucil, David Cerone, and David Updegraff. He has also worked extensively with Phyllis Skoldberg and Ming-De Zhang. A Grand Prize winner of the Phoenix Symphony Guild Young Artist Competition, Mr. Lee has also been a winner of the Music Academy of the West concerto competition, the CIM concerto competition, and the Music Teacher’s National Association competitions. In addition, he has appeared as soloist with the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra, the National Repertory Orchestra, McConnell Arts Center Chamber Orchestra, and the Phoenix Symphony. Mr. Lee’s performances have been heard on WCLV 104.9 and NPR’s “Performance Today”. A dedicated chamber musician, Mr. Lee received the Dr. Bennett Levine Memorial Award in Chamber Music from CIM. His chamber groups have performed in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and throughout the United States. He has collaborated with members of the Juilliard, Cavani, and Tokyo String Quartets. Yun-Ting has performed as guest concertmaster for Symphony Orchestra Augusta. He has also played in concerts with the San Diego Symphony, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Yun-Ting won a position with the Minnesota Orchestra in 2012, and has been a member of Canton Symphony Orchestra and CityMusic Cleveland. He is an alumnus of the New York String Orchestra Seminar, the Holland International Music Sessions, Encore School for Strings, and the Pacific Music Festival. This is his third year at Arizona Musicfest.
Principal Second Violin Corine Brouwer is currently Concertmaster of the Winston-Salem Symphony and the Asheville Lyric Opera. Last season, she also appeared with Eastern Music Festival (NC) and the Sunriver Music Festival (OR). Her latest performances have been applauded by critics, who characterized her playing as “amazing” and “alternately tender and assertive and individual.” She has appeared as soloist with the North Carolina Symphony, Winston-Salem Symphony, Arizona Musicfest, Portland Symphony (ME), Canton (OH) Symphony, and Carolina Chamber Symphony, among others. Her chamber music appearances include the Eastern Music Festival, the International Bartók Festival, and the Saugatuck Chamber Music Festival. Formerly Director of the Community Music School of the North Carolina School of the Arts, Ms. Brouwer has taught at Wake Forest University and the National Suzuki Institute in Wisconsin, and currently maintains a private studio. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the NCSA, where she studied with the late Elaine Richey. This is Ms. Brouwer’s eleventh season at Arizona Musicfest. Ms. Brouwer is generously sponsored by Peg and Frank Abbruscato.
Associate Principal Second Violin Paloma Griffin Hébert is a member of the Portland (OR)-based new music ensemble fEARnoMUSIC. Formerly Assistant Concertmaster of the Oregon Symphony, she has also served as Guest Concertmaster of the Eugene Symphony and Guest Violinist in the Kristiansand Symfoniorkester in Norway. As soloist, she has appeared with the Oregon Symphony, Fresno Philharmonic, and Arizona Musicfest Festival Orchestra. Paloma performed around the globe with Pink Martini, appearing with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Orchestre de Paris, and the BBC Concert Orchestra. Her chamber music and festival appearances include the Oregon Bach Festival, Music in the Mountains, and the Festival International d’Art Lyrique in Aix-en-Provence. Paloma received her orchestral training at the New World Symphony led by Michael Tilson Thomas. She was a student of Charles Castleman at The Eastman School of Music and Ian Swensen at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. This is her 12th year at Arizona Musicfest.
Violinist Robert Simonds is the Principal Second Violin of the Louisville Orchestra and a member of the Cabrillo Festival in Santa Cruz (CA). Rob began his orchestral career with the Richmond Symphony Orchestra. Following his years with the RSO, he was a longtime member of The Phoenix Symphony. He returns to Phoenix regularly to perform in the Downtown Chamber Series. His festival experience includes Colorado Music Festival and Spoleto USA. A native of Massachusetts, Rob earned two degrees at The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, studying with Dr. Won-Bin Yim and Dorothy Delay. In addition. he received chamber music coaching from members of the Tokyo and Amernet String quartets. This is his fourth year at Arizona Musicfest.
A member of the Calgary Philharmonic since 2003, violinist Steven Lubiarz received his bachelor’s from DePauw University studying with Dan Rizner, Stephen Boe, and Sebastian Gürtler (Vienna). He earned his master’s at Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts, a student of Cyrus Forough and Joseph Golan. He has been a member of the New World Symphony Orchestra. An avid chamber musician, Mr. Lubiarz has performed in the Czech Republic, Austria, and Japan. He is a member of Kensington Sinfonia, Ensemble Resonance, and the managing member of Bell’arte Strings. Mr. Lubiarz has taught in New York, Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, and Arizona. Currently, he is on the faculty of Calgary’s Mount Royal University Conservatory. He plays an 1897 Leandro Bisiach, a gift from his first teacher, Anne Dodge. This is his eighth year at Arizona Musicfest.
Adelaide Federici is Assistant Principal Second Violin of the Atlanta Opera Orchestra, Concertmaster of the Johns Creek Symphony, and a member of the Atlanta Ballet Orchestra. A frequent substitute with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, she also performs with the Atlanta Chamber Players and the contemporary music ensembles, Bent Frequency and Sonic Generator. A graduate of The Eastman School of Music and the University of Southern California, Ms. Federici has performed as soloist and chamber musician in Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, Colorado, Austria, Germany, and The Netherlands. This is her tenth season at Arizona Musicfest.
Originally from Vashon Island (WA), violinist Caroline Slack has established an active career in the Chicago area. She performs frequently with the Elgin Symphony, Illinois Philharmonic, Northwest Indiana Symphony, Des Moines Metro Opera, Britt Festival Orchestra, Chicago Philharmonic, and the Lake Forest Symphony. An avid chamber musician, Caroline appears with the Grant Street String Quartet, and has also collaborated with the International Chamber Artists, Fifth House Ensemble and the Q Ensemble. Previously, she also performed regularly with the Kansas City Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Austin Symphony, Austin Lyric Opera Orchestra, Victoria Bach Festival, and was a founding member of the Quartus Chamber Players in Houston. Caroline holds degrees from Oberlin Conservatory and the Butler School of Music at the University of Texas in Austin. This is her first year at Arizona Musicfest.
Violinist Dagmara Suchon was born in Poznan, Poland. Following centuries of family tradition, she began music studies early (three years old), taught by her father, Stanislaw, Concertmaster of the Poznan Philharmonic. Under the guidance of Michal Grabarczyk, Dagmara graduated with honors from the Ignacy Jan Paderewski Conservatory in Poznan. She also studied with Wanda Wilkomirska, Marina Jashvili, Abram Stern, Alexander Treger, Jeremy Cohen, and Murray Adler. Her performances have ranged from early music ensembles, symphony orchestras, and film score recordings to jazz groups, flamenco guitarists, and corporate shows with an electric violin. She has appeared internationally with artists such as Joshua Bell, Antonio Meneses, Garrick Ohlsson, Andrzej Ratusinski, Sarah Chang, Ruggero Raimondi, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, James Galway, and John Williams. Since moving to the US, she has taught, given recitals, and appeared with orchestras, including The Phoenix Symphony, San Bernardino Symphony, Redlands Symphony, New West Symphony, The Phoenix Opera, The American Youth Symphony, and MusicaNova Orchestra, where she serves as Concertmaster. This is her second year at Arizona Musicfest.
Mutsuko Tatman, violinist, earned her bachelor’s degree at the Oberlin College Conservatory, a student of David Cerone. After a season with the Honolulu Symphony, Mutsuko moved to New York, where Leopold Stokowski appointed her Concertmaster of the American Symphony Orchestra. She completed her master’s at the University of the Pacific, studying with Warren Van Bronkhorst. For 16 years, she was a first violinist in the Sacramento Symphony Orchestra, and Concertmaster of the Stockton and Modesto Symphony orchestras. A member of the Music in the Mountains (CA) Festival Orchestra, Mutusko plays first violin for the Arizona Opera Orchestra. She also performs with Duo Nouveau (violin and harp), The Arizona Bach Aria Consort and The Agave Trio (with husband, oboist Neil Tatman, and pianist Paul Perry). This is her 24th season at Arizona Musicfest.
Principal Violist Chiara Kingsley Dieguez currently serves in that same role for the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra and the McLean Orchestra. She holds a bachelor’s from Arizona State University and a master’s from the University of Maryland. Her major teachers include Daniel Foster, William Magers, and Michael Tree. She performs each summer at the Grand Teton Music Festival in the orchestra and in the Spotlight Series chamber concerts. She has been a member of the Sonore String Quartet, Phoenix’s Downtown Chamber Series, and San Diego’s Mainly Mozart Festival. Ms. Dieguez has appeared as soloist with the McLean Orchestra, Maryland Chamber Symphony, University of Maryland Symphony and the ASU Chamber Orchestra. She performs regularly with the National and Baltimore symphonies. A member of the IBIS Chamber Ensemble in Arlington (VA), she has appeared on the Sundays at Three chamber series in Baltimore. She was Associate Principal Viola of The Phoenix Symphony for seven years. This is her sixth season at Arizona Musicfest.
Matt Young joined the San Francisco Symphony in 2012. Winner of a McKnight Artist Fellowship for Performing Musicians, Mr. Young was also a founding member of the Verklärte Quartet, which won grand prize in the 2003 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. Winner of the Robert Vernon Prize for Viola Performance, he was a featured soloist in Severance Hall with the CIM Orchestra. In 2015 he was featured with colleagues on a San Francisco Symphony subscription concert in a sold out performance of Beethoven's string quartet op.74. Young has been invited to be guest principal of the Vancouver and Melbourne Symphonies, and has performed with the Boston Symphony, the London Philharmonic, the Minnesota Orchestra, and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. He has served on the faculties of The National Orchestral Institute, The SF Academy Orchestra, and as a mentor for the SF Symphony's Community of Music Makers program. He attended the University of Kentucky, the Yale School of Music, and the Cleveland Institute of Music. This is his third year at Arizona Musicfest.
Associate Principal Violist Ben Geller serves as the Principal Violist of the Charlotte Symphony. Having begun violin studies at three, he continued to pursue music at Butler University, studying violin with Larry Shapiro, viola with Michael Isaac Strauss, and jazz with trumpeter Mark Buselli and pianist Gary Walters. He earned his master’s at The Juilliard School, studying with Toby Appel. He has been a member of the New World Symphony, the Auckland Philharmonic, the Auckland Chamber Orchestra, and the Rochester Philharmonic. His festival experience includes the National Repertory Orchestra, Spoleto Festival USA, Aspen Music Festival, Brevard Music Center, and New York Strings Orchestra Seminar at Carnegie Hall, to name a few. This is Ben’s fourth year at Arizona Musicfest.
Matthew Dane serves as Principal Violist of the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra in Houston and Opera Colorado and is also a member of the Boulder Piano Quartet and the Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado. Chamber music festival appearances include OK Mozart, Portland (Maine), Chamber Music Quad Cities (Iowa), Ruby Mountains (Nevada), Land’s End (Calgary), Snake River (CO), and Tanglewood. With the Boulder Piano Quartet and Jon Manasse he recorded quintets of Lowell Liebermann for Koch Records. Matt has appeared as soloist with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, BCOC, ROCO, and the St. Martin’s Chamber Choir among others; his chamber performances have been broadcast on NPR’s Performance Today and BBC’s Channel 3. Dane co-founded the Brightmusic Ensemble in Oklahoma City. Summers Matt teaches at Greenwood Music Camp in Cummington, Massachusetts as well as his own well-received Boulder Violist Session. Past faculty appointments include the University of Colorado, Metro State University, and the University of Oklahoma, where he earned tenure. He actively maintains a private teaching studio in Boulder. His Doctoral Document, which examines the teaching influence of pedagogue Karen Tuttle, circulates widely among amateur and professional violists nationwide. Also an avid violist d’amore, Matt has worked with composers to create several new works for the unusual instrument. He served the viola community as Editor of the Journal of the American Viola Society 2004-2008 as a Viola Society Board member at both the local and national levels. www.daneviola.com. This is his ninth season at Arizona Musicfest.
Jennifer Puckett has just completed her 11th season as the principal violist with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra. Prior to her tenure here in Memphis, she completed three years with the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Florida. She has been on the EMF faculty since the summer of 2005. Mrs. Puckett has been teaching private lessons since 1996. She has taught with different Suzuki programs and is the founder of the East Memphis Music Academy. Her current private studio consist violin and viola students of all ages. Originally trained as a violinist, she received her Bachelor’s degree in violin performance from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Some of the summer music festivals she attended in the past are the Aspen Music Festival, Meadowmount School of Music, National Repertory Orchestra, Spoleto USA, and the Brevard Music Center. The Aspen Music Festival led her to the University of Colorado in Boulder where she received her Master’s degree in viola performance. Mrs. Puckett held graduate quartet and teaching assistantships for the three years that she was at the University of Colorado. Over the years she has played professionally with many other orchestras including the Colorado Symphony, Alabama Symphony, and the Arizona Music Festival to name a few. In addition to her position with the Memphis Symphony, her leadership experience includes principal viola on numerous occasions with the New World Symphony, and throughout her college career as concertmaster, principal second violin, and principal viola. This is her eighth year at Arizona Musicfest.
Principal Violist of Oregon’s Cascade Music Festival, Tamás Strasser recently retired from the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra after 38 years. In addition to conducting the St. Thomas University Chamber Orchestra, he teaches violin and viola, and is an active freelance musician. Mr. Strasser’s extensive festival experience includes Aspen, Wintergreen, Music in the Mountains (CO and CA), Colorado Music Festival, The North Carolina School of the Arts, Santa Fe Opera, and Minnesota’s Festival of the Lakes. His major teachers were Michael Rabin, Dorothy Delay, Karen Tuttle, Lillian Fuchs, and the Hungarian String Quartet. This is his sixth year at Arizona Musicfest.
Formerly a long-time resident of Phoenix, violist Gregory Falkenstein was a member of The Phoenix Symphony for a decade, serving first as Section Viola and later as Assistant Principal. Raised in York, Pennsylvania, he pursued musical studies at the Eastman School and at Indiana University Bloomington. Prior to his appointment in Phoenix, Gregory was a fellow at the New World Symphony in Miami Beach. For 10 years, he served as Principal Viola and frequent featured soloist at the Breckenridge Music Festival. Gregory has performed with the Atlanta Symphony, Naples Philharmonic, and scores of regional orchestras. He is also an attorney and currently resides in Fort Lauderdale, where he practices law and remains active as a musician. He holds a chair in Opus One, the pit orchestra for Miami City Ballet, and plays with performing arts organizations throughout south Florida. This is his fourth year at Arizona Musicfest.
Born in New York, Brant Taylor began cello studies at the age of 8. His varied career includes solo appearances and collaborations with leading chamber musicians throughout North America, Europe, and Asia, as well as orchestral, pedagogical, and popular music activities. After one year as a member of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, Mr. Taylor was appointed to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra by Daniel Barenboim in 1998. In Chicago, Mr. Taylor's recital appearances include the Dame Myra Hess Concerts, First Monday Concerts, Rush Hour Concerts, the Ravinia Festival's Rising Stars recital series, and regular live radio broadcasts from the studios of WFMT. He has also appeared with the Chicago Chamber Musicians and on the contemporary chamber music series MusicNow. Mr. Taylor made his solo debut with the San Antonio Symphony at the age of 14 after winning a concerto competition, and has since been soloist with numerous orchestras, performing the works of Dvorak, Haydn, Elgar, Shostakovich, Lalo, Boccherini, Saint-Saens, and Brahms, among others. From 1992-97, Mr. Taylor was cellist of the award-winning Everest Quartet, prizewinners at the Banff International String Quartet Competition and the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition. The Quartet performed and taught extensively in North America and the Caribbean, and gave the world premiere performance of a work by Israeli-American composer Paul Schoenfield. In 1997, Mr. Taylor was a member of the New World Symphony. He has returned to appear as soloist with that orchestra under the batons of Michael Tilson-Thomas and Nicholas McGegan, as well as to teach and participate in audition training seminars. In 2002, Mr. Taylor began a seven-year association with the band Pink Martini. With this eclectic ensemble, he has appeared on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien", "The Late Show with David Letterman", at the Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and in venues ranging from nightclubs to concert halls across North America. He can be heard on Pink Martini's 2006 release, "Hey Eugene.” Mr. Taylor is a frequent performer and teacher at music festivals, including the Festival der Zukunft in Ernen, Switzerland, the Portland Chamber Music Festival, the Shanghai International Music Festival, the Aspen Music Festival, the Mimir Chamber Music Festival, the Mammoth Lakes Chamber Music Festival, Music Festival Santo Domingo, Michigan's Village Bach Festival, and Music at Gretna in Pennsylvania, where he has made repeated appearances as a concerto soloist. Mr. Taylor has also served as Principal Cello of the Arizona Musicfest Orchestra since 2006. Active as a teacher of both cello and chamber music, Mr. Taylor serves on the faculty of the DePaul University School of Music. He has also been a faculty member at Roosevelt University's Chicago College of Performing Arts and Northwestern University's National High School Music Institute, and has led classes on pedagogy and orchestral repertoire at the University of Michigan. Mr. Taylor holds a Bachelor of Music degree and a Performer's Certificate from the Eastman School of Music, where he won the school's Concerto Competition and performed as soloist with the Eastman Philharmonia. His Master of Music degree is from Indiana University. Mr. Taylor's primary teachers have been Janos Starker and Paul Katz. This is his 11th year at Arizona Musicfest.
A member of The Cleveland Orchestra since the 1994-1995 season, Associate Principal Cello, Brian Thornton is a musician of many interests. As cellist and conductor, he has performed in venues ranging from The White House to the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. As soloist, he has performed with over 30 ensembles across the United States. Brian’s special interest in modern music has led him to premiere works of lesser-known (Donald Erb) and well-known (John Adams) composers. As soloist or in chamber ensembles, he has helped introduce over 100 new works. Brian has given masterclasses from California to Germany, and enjoys passing on the knowledge given to him by his teachers, Lev Aronson, Lynn Harrell, John Sharp, and Steven Geber. He especially relishes taking part in concerts to benefit special causes, such as the Red Cross concerts for earthquake and tsunami relief in Japan. He spends his days enjoying time with his wife, mezzo-soprano Jennifer Woda, and daughters, Maya and Madelyn. This is his seventh season at Arizona Musicfest.
Joel Noyes is Assistant Principal Cello of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. As a chamber musician and recitalist, Joel has appeared throughout the United States at such prestigious venues as Lincoln Center'sAlice Tully Hall, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, and Bargemusic,Ltd. He performed with Renee Fleming in the opening night concert of Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall and has been seen there several times since as part of the Musicians from the Met chamber series with James Levine. He has also performed at festivals including Marlboro Music, La Jolla Summerfest, and Music from Angel Fire, and has collaborated with many of the world's leading chamber musicians, including members of the Guarneri, Juilliard, and Vermeer Quartets. Born into a musical family, he began playing the cello at the age of three under the tutelage of his father. Joel graduated from the Curtis Instituteof Music in Philadelphia where he studied with David Soyer. While at Curtis, he was chosen principal cellist of the Institute's orchestra and frequently played in the Philadelphia Orchestra. His other teachers have included Richard Aaron at the Cleveland Institute of Music and Marc Johnson of the Vermeer Quartet. A versatile musician, Joel enthusiastically composes his own music, plays Egyptian music in a band in New York, has been seen on the Late Show with David Letterman, and has participated in numerous movie soundtracks. This is Joel's second season with Arizona Musicfest.
As a member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, David Heiss has performed as cello continuo soloist in the entire canon of Mozart operas, in The Enchanted Island, and in the 2013 worldwide HD broadcast of Handel’s Giulio Cesare. For the past two seasons, he has joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic in the same capacity for performances of Le nozze di Figaro and Così fan tutte, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel. Mr. Heiss is Principal Cellist of The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall and a founding member of the OMNI Piano Quartet. He has performed a number of premieres, including concertos by Theodore Antoniou and Irving Robbin, and a cello sonata dedicated to him by Robert Manno. On Broadway, he was featured in The Elephant Man as on-stage solo cellist, performing his own arrangements of incidental music. A scholarship student of Leonard Rose at The Juilliard School, he plays a John Betts cello, dated 1789. This is his eighth season at Arizona Musicfest.
Cellist Bjorn Ranheim joined the St. Louis Symphony in 2005, is Principal Cello of the Colorado Music Festival, and is a member of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony. He has held Principal and Assistant Principal Cello positions with the New World Symphony, National Repertory Orchestra, and Aspen Festival Orchestra. Ranheim has appeared as soloist with the St. Louis Symphony, Colorado Music Festival, New World Symphony, and Columbia Civic Orchestra, among others. He is an active chamber musician, who has performed throughout the US, Europe and Central America. An advocate of contemporary solo and chamber music, Ranheim has given world-premiere performances of works by the late Stephen Paulus, Paul Schoenfield, Steven Heitzig, Peter Martin, Stefan Freund, and William Beckstrand. He is a founding member of the 442s, an acoustic string ensemble that pursues innovative, genre-defying music making. Ranheim studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music under Stephen Geber, retired Principal Cellist of the Cleveland Orchestra. This is his second year at Arizona Musicfest
Charles Tyler is a rising cellist who has performed live on radio stations in Cleveland and Chicago, and in concert venues around the world. In 2006, he won the Concerto Competition at The Cleveland Institute of Music; in 2012, he was the top prize winner at the Osaka International Music Competition. Charles served as a Vorspieler member of the Hyogo Performing Arts Center Orchestra in Japan for three seasons. During this time, he also appeared in numerous chamber music concerts and solo recitals. He has participated in the Tanglewood Music Center, Lorin Maazel’s Castleton Festival, and was Principal Cellist of the National Repertory Orchestra. Tyler’s principal teachers include Richard Aaron, Michel Strauss and Joel Krosnick. Charles holds degrees from The Cleveland Institute and The Juilliard School. While an undergraduate, he was an exchange student at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris. This is his sixth year at Arizona Musicfest.
Cellist Noriko Kishi earned her bachelor’s at The Eastman School and her master’s at The New England Conservatory. Her principal teachers were Irene Sharp, Robert Sylvester and Bernard Greenhouse. Principal Cellist and featured soloist with the New World Symphony, she was a member of the Sacramento Symphony (1994-1996). She has performed with many conductors, including Bernstein, Solti and Ozawa, and participated in master classes with Yo-Yo Ma, and members of the Guarneri and Cleveland quartets. Ms. Kishi performs regularly with Utah Symphony and the Canyonlands New Music Ensemble. She was general manager for the Nova Chamber Music Series (2004-2010). A member of the Music in the Mountains (CA) for 18 years, this is her 20th year at Arizona Musicfest.
Scott Pingel began playing the double-bass at age 17 because of a strong interest in jazz, Latin,and classical music. In 2004, at age 29, he became the principal bass of the San FranciscoSymphony and was named by the San Francisco Chronicle as one of the most prominent additions to the ensemble. Previously, he served as principal bass of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, performed with the Metropolitan Opera, the Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra, and served as guest principal with the National Arts Center Orchestra in Canada. His solo performances with ensembles such as the San Francisco Symphony, the San Francisco Academy Orchestra, and the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, and in recitals frequently consisting of his own arrangements, have been met with high critical acclaim. As a chamber musician, he has collaborated with such luminaries as Yo-Yo Ma, Julia Fischer, Gilbert Kalish, Wu Han, Joseph Silverstein, Yefim Bronfman, and members of the esteemed Emerson, Miro, Pacifica, St. Lawrence, Danish, and Takacs Quartets. He can often be heard at the Music@Menlo and Music in the Vineyards festivals and on television and radio programs including NPR’s “Performance Today”. Formerly active as a jazz musician and electric bassist, he worked with greats including Michael Brecker, Geoff Keezer, and James Williams, and performed in venues from Birdland in New York to Fasching in Stockholm. Mr. Pingel has taught master classes at prestigious institutions such as the Curtis Institute of Music, The Julliard School, Colburn School, Boston University, Manhattan School of Music, Shanghai Conservatory, Beijing Central Conservatory, and the New World Symphony. In the fall of 2015, he joined the prestigious faculty of the University of Michigan as an Associate Professor of Music. Mr. Pingel’s primary instructors were James Clute, Peter Lloyd, and Timothy Cobb. He earned a BM degree from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, a MM degree from the Manhattan School of Music, and spent two years as a fellow at the New World Symphony. Mr. Pingel lives in Ann Arbor with his wife, Iris, and their daughters, Hannah and Sophia. This is his second year at Arizona Musicfest.
Bassist Timothy Spears is a member of Symphony Silicon Valley and California Symphony. He also performs frequently with San Francisco Opera, San Francisco Ballet and other Bay Area ensembles. He recently performed with Philharmonia Baroque in East Coast premieres of Acis & Galatea and Teseo at Lincoln Center and Tanglewood. His interests range from early to contemporary music, including premieres of works by composers as varied as John Adams, Olivier Messiaen, Mason Bates, and Chris Thile. Mr. Spears enjoys a longtime association as Principal Double Bass with Midsummer Mozart Festival Orchestra. He recently resigned after 25 years as Principal Double Bass with Music in the Mountains (CA) to serve as Assistant Librarian and Orchestra Manager with San Francisco Opera. He has been a member of the Filarmónica de Caracas and the Florida Gulf Coast Symphony, after studying with Diana Gannett Mizelle and C. Dee Moses. This is his 25th year at Arizona Musicfest.
Joseph H. Conyers was appointed Assistant Principal Bassist of the Philadelphia Orchestra in 2010, after tenures with the Atlanta Symphony, Grand Rapids Symphony, where he served as Principal, and Santa Fe Opera. He has performed with numerous orchestras as soloist, including the Alabama, Flagstaff, and Richmond Symphonies, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, and the Sphinx Symphony. An artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, his chamber music festival experience includes Ilumina (Brazil), Savannah, Charlottesville, Kingston (RI), and Lexington (KY). Among his many awards is the Inaugural (2015) Young Alumni Award from his alma mater, The Curtis Institute of Music, where he earned his bachelor’s, studying with Harold Robinson, Principal Bass of the Philadelphia Orchestra, and double bass soloist Edgar Meyer. Other mentors include David Warshauer, Principal Bassist of the former Savannah Symphony, Daniel Swaim, and Albert Laszlo. He founded Project 440 in 2010, which uses music to engage, educate, and inspire young musicians, providing them with career and life skills to become tomorrow’s civic-minded and entrepreneurial leaders. Conyers performs on the “Zimmerman/Gladstone” 1802 Vincenzo Panormo Double Bass, which he affectionately calls “Norma.” This is his first year at Arizona Musicfest.
Paul Sharpe is the Artist-Teacher of Double Bass at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and principal bass with the Winston-Salem Symphony Orchestra. Sharpe is a founding member of two ground-breaking ensembles, the Bad Boyz of Double Bass (bass quartet); and Low and Lower (cello/double bass duo), with cellist Brooks Whitehouse. Both ensembles successfully skewer traditional expectations of concert-goers with genre-defying arrangements and new compositions - blending theatre, humor, and virtuosity. As a recitalist he has performed all over the world – including the Paris Conservatory, Wrocław (Poland) Conservatory, multiple venues in Brazil, Cleveland Institute, and the University of Michigan. Prior to coming to UNCSA, he served on the faculties of the Preucil School of Music, Augustana College, Texas Tech University, and University of North Texas. Mr. Sharpe grew up in Alaska, and began his professional career playing double bass in the Anchorage Civic Opera Orchestra and Anchorage Symphony Orchestra at the age of 15. After being named principal bass of the World Youth Symphony at the National Music Camp at Interlochen, MI, he then studied with Jeff Bradetich at Northwestern University, and later earned his Master’s degree from the University of Iowa, studying with Diana Gannett. While a student he earned fellowships to the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute, Tanglewood Music Center, the Pacific Music Festival (Sapporo, Japan), Festival dei Due Mondi (Spoleto, Italy), and Aspen Music Festival. In 1996 Mr. Sharpe won the E. Nakamichi Double Bass Concerto Competition at Aspen, and he was a prizewinner at the International Society of Bassists Solo Competition in 1997. Past students of Mr. Sharpe are professors, members of professional orchestras, and are teaching all over the United States. This is his ninth season at Arizona Musicfest.
Double bassist Eric Shetzen earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at The Juilliard School as a student of New York Philharmonic bassists Orin O’Brien and David Grossman. He has served as Principal Bass of the Hyogo Performing Arts Center Orchestra in Osaka, Japan, the Castleton Festival, and the Juilliard Orchestra. He also was a Double Bass Fellow in the New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral Academy directed by Michael Tilson Thomas. An avid chamber musician, Eric has collaborated with members of the Juilliard String Quartet, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, violinist Jennifer Koh, and conductors Lorin Maazel and James Conlon. He was the first bassist to be invited to the Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival in Blue Hill (ME) by artistic director Seymour Lipkin and performed with Maxim Vengerov in Tuscany, Italy at the Incontri in Terra di Siena Music Festival. Eric now performs as a freelance bassist in Los Angeles both on-stage in various ensembles such as Jacaranda and the Westside Chamber Players and off-stage in a variety of studio recording soundtracks. This is his sixth year at Arizona Musicfest.
Praised for virtuoso technique, rich tone, and command of literature, Principal Flutist Christina Jennings received her bachelor’s and master’s at The Juilliard School. Her principal teachers include Carol Wincenc, Leone Buyse, George Pope, and Jeanne Baxtresser. Ms. Jennings has appeared as soloist with over 50 orchestras, including the Utah and Houston symphonies, Orchestra 2001, Spokane Symphony, Orchestra de Camera (Mexico), and Pro Musica (UK). In 2009, she premiered concertos written for her by Carter Pann and Laura Elise Schwendinger. Recent chamber music festivals include Strings in the Mountains (CO), Cascade Head (OR), OK Mozart (OK), and the Bowdoin International Festival (ME). Ms. Jennings is Assistant Professor of Flute at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and a summer faculty member of the Panoramic Flutist Seminar, Greenwood Music Camp and Sarasota Music Festival. This is her eighth year at Arizona Musicfest.
Jennifer M. Gunn was hired by Maestro Daniel Barenboim to the position of Piccolo of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 2005. Since joining the CSO, she has been involved in the orchestra’s MusicNow Series, The Civic Orchestra of Chicago, as well as other CSO chamber music opportunities. Jennifer has been a frequent guest on series around the Chicago area including the Dempster Street Pro Musica, Music of the Baroque, Chicago Chamber Musicians, and the Rembrandt Chamber Players. In addition to performing in Chicago, Jennifer has recently enjoyed performing with colleagues from around the country at music festivals including Sunflower Music Festival, St. Barth’s Music Festival, and Strings Music Festival at Steamboat Springs. In addition to performing, Jennifer teaches flute and piccolo at the Orford Arts Centre in Canada. Her former teachers include Robert Langevin, Rhian Kenny, George Pope, Mary Kay Robinson, and Mary Hannigan. This is third year at Arizona Musicfest.
Rachel Braude is the Piccolo player of the Portland (ME) Symphony, Rhode Island Philharmonic, Boston Philharmonic and Boston Modern Orchestra Project. Formerly the solo piccolo of the St. Louis Symphony, she currently appears frequently with the Boston Pops, Boston Pops Esplanade and the Boston Symphony. Rachel is a faculty member at the University of Rhode Island and a former Artist-in-Residence at Rhode Island College. A graduate of the New England Conservatory and The Juilliard School, her major teachers include Trevor Wye, Geralyn Coticone, Lois Schafer and Bradley Garner. Rachel has recorded widely, appearing on the Chandos, Naxos, New World and BMOP Sound labels. She lives in Boston with husband, violinist Charles Dimmick, four-year-old daughter Chloe, and two cats, who often present her with inspirational presents of birds. This is her seventh year at Arizona Musicfest.
Rachel Braude is the Piccolo player of the Portland (ME) Symphony, Rhode Island Philharmonic, Boston Philharmonic and Boston Modern Orchestra Project. Formerly the solo piccolo of the St. Louis Symphony, she currently appears frequently with the Boston Pops, Boston Pops Esplanade and the Boston Symphony. Rachel is a faculty member at the University of Rhode Island and a former Artist-in-Residence at Rhode Island College. A graduate of the New England Conservatory and The Juilliard School, her major teachers include Trevor Wye, Geralyn Coticone, Lois Schafer and Bradley Garner. Rachel has recorded widely, appearing on the Chandos, Naxos, New World and BMOP Sound labels. She lives in Boston with husband, violinist Charles Dimmick, four-year-old daughter Chloe, and two cats, who often present her with inspirational presents of birds. This is her seventh year at Arizona Musicfest, during which she is also serving as Principal Flute for the Chamber Players.
Principal Oboe Elizabeth Koch Tiscione joined the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra as Principal at the beginning of the 2007-2008 season. In addition, she is Principal Oboe of the Grand Teton Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, and Festival Mozaic, and a member of the Atlanta Chamber Players. She has performed with many orchestras, among them, Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia, St. Louis, St. Paul, Detroit, Baltimore, Rochester, Buffalo, and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Her solo engagements have included the World Youth Symphony Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony, and Dekalb Symphony. She is currently a faculty member at Kennesaw State University and has a small private studio in Atlanta. Mrs. Tiscione began the oboe in the NY State public school system at age nine, continuing her studies at Interlochen Arts Academy with Daniel Stolper. She went on to study with Richard Woodhams at the Curtis Institute of Music. Other teachers include Mark DuBois, Robert Walters, and Eugene Izotov. This is her second year at Arizona Musicfest.
Neil Tatman is Principal for the Reno Philharmonic, the Arizona Opera Orchestra, and Music in the Mountains (CA). He is Associate Principal Oboist of the Carmel Bach Festival. Neil completed his master’s and doctoral degrees at Indiana University, where he was a student of Jerry Sirucek. He has taught at Indiana University, The University of the Pacific, California State University-Sacramento, and The University of Arizona. He has appeared internationally as a recitalist; he was the featured soloist in Bach’s Oboe d’amore Concerto, BWV 1055 with the Reno Philharmonic in January 2014. This is his 27th year at Arizona Musicfest.
Rebecca Scarnati is Principal Oboist of the Flagstaff Symphony. She teaches at Northern Arizona University and also at NAU’s Curry Summer Music Camp. A member of the Kokopelli Ensemble, Ms. Scarnati received her bachelor’s, master’s and Performer’s Certificate from Indiana University, and her doctorate from the University of Arizona. Her principal teachers include Jerry Sirucek at Indiana and John Mack of the Cleveland Orchestra. She has been a member of the Flagstaff Festival of the Arts, the Wagner Festival Orchestra (Arizona Opera), and the Desert Symphony (Palm Springs). She performed in the US and Europe with the Con Spirito Wind Quintet, and has been a faculty member of Binghamton University and Ohio University. Ms. Scarnati regularly gives recitals at the Chautauqua Institution. This is her twenty-third year at Arizona Musicfest.
Rebecca Scarnati is Principal Oboist of the Flagstaff Symphony. She teaches at Northern Arizona University and also at NAU’s Curry Summer Music Camp. A member of the Kokopelli Ensemble, Ms. Scarnati received her bachelor’s, master’s and Performer’s Certificate from Indiana University, and her doctorate from the University of Arizona. Her principal teachers include Jerry Sirucek at Indiana and John Mack of the Cleveland Orchestra. She has been a member of the Flagstaff Festival of the Arts, the Wagner Festival Orchestra (Arizona Opera), and the Desert Symphony (Palm Springs). She performed in the US and Europe with the Con Spirito Wind Quintet, and has been a faculty member of Binghamton University and Ohio University. Ms. Scarnati regularly gives recitals at the Chautauqua Institution. This is her 24th year at Arizona Musicfest.
Ricardo Morales is Principal Clarinet of The Philadelphia Orchestra. Previously Principal Clarinet of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and the Florida Symphony, he has been Guest Principal with the Chicago Symphony, the New York Philharmonic, and the Berlin Philharmonic. Mr. Morales has been a featured soloist with many orchestras, among them, Philadelphia, the Metropolitan Opera, Chicago Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, and Indianapolis Symphony. An active chamber musician, he has performed widely, including the MET Chamber Ensemble series and the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and at chamber music festivals in Santa Fe and Saratoga. Following studies at the Cincinnati Conservatory, Mr. Morales received his Artist Diploma from Indiana University. He serves on the faculties of The Juilliard School, Temple University and the Curtis Institute of Music. For the 2016 Season, he was a featured soloist in the Mozart Clarinet Concerto. This is his fourth season with Arizona Musicfest.
Steve Hanusofski is Associate Principal and Bass Clarinet for The Phoenix Symphony. He began playing the clarinet in junior high, then added flute, bassoon and saxophone in high school. At 15, Steve also took up the piano. He received his bachelor’s from Chicago’s North Park University, his master’s from Florida State University, and has done doctoral work at FSU and Arizona State University. His principal teachers include Clark Brody, Robert Marcellus, Fred Ormand and Frank Kowalsky. Prior to joining TPS in 1986, he performed with the Florida Philharmonic and the Miami Opera Orchestra. An active chamber musician, he has appeared often as soloist and a member of the Bel Canto Players. Steve is a faculty member of the Arizona Community School of the Arts and the Arizona School of the Arts. This is his eighth year at Arizona Musicfest.
Steve Hanusofski is Associate Principal and Bass Clarinet for The Phoenix Symphony. He began playing the clarinet in junior high, then added flute, bassoon and saxophone in high school. At 15, Steve also took up the piano. He received his bachelor’s from Chicago’s North Park University, his master’s from Florida State University, and has done doctoral work at FSU and Arizona State University. His principal teachers include Clark Brody, Robert Marcellus, Fred Ormand and Frank Kowalsky. Prior to joining TPS in1986, he performed with the Florida Philharmonic and the Miami Opera Orchestra. An active chamber musician, he has appeared often as soloist and a member of the Bel Canto Players. Steve is a faculty member of the Arizona Community School of the Arts and the Arizona School of the Arts. This is his eighth year at Arizona Musicfest.
Principal Bassoon of the Buffalo Philharmonic since 2009, Glenn Einschlag has performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Boston Symphony, the Indianapolis Symphony, and the Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra. In addition to numerous solo recitals, he has been featured soloist with the Ars Nova Chamber Orchestra, the Buffalo Philharmonic, and the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra. Mr. Einschlag has participated in many music festivals, including Aspen, Tanglewood, Spoleto (USA), and Domaine Forget, where he was influenced by the noted bassoon pedagogue Norman Herzberg. He studied at The Juilliard School, the Curtis Institute of Music, and the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, where he received his master’s degree under the tutelage of Benjamin Kamins. This is his ninth year at Arizona Musicfest.
Bassoonist and contrabassoonist Miles Maner joined the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in July 2013. For the three seasons prior to his CSO appointment, he served as Associate Principal Bassoonist and contrabassoonist with the Kansas City Symphony in their new home, the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. At the same time, he was also Principal Bassoonist of the Breckenridge Music Festival. His other festival experience includes the Pacific Music Festival, Tanglewood Music Center, and the National Repertory Orchestra. Maner’s former teachers are Benjamin Kamins of Rice University and Kristin Wolfe Jensen of the University of Texas. This is his first year at Arizona Musicfest.
Principal Horn James Nickel has been a member of the National Symphony Orchestra for the past seven seasons, where he has served as both Acting Associate Principal and Third Horn. While a member of the NSO, he toured Europe, Asia, South America and the US, including performances at the White House. Previously, he was Assistant Principal with the Dallas Symphony and Associate Principal with the Montreal Symphony. He has also performed with the orchestras of Detroit, Houston, and as Principal Horn with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. In the summertime, James has performed at the Garth Newel Music Center, the Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival in South Africa, and Music in the Mountains (CO). James is on the faculty at George Mason University and Catholic University. A native of Saint Petersburg, he completed his bachelor’s at the New England Conservatory. This is his fourth season at Arizona Musicfest.
Hornist Cara Jones is a member of the Sacramento Choral Society Orchestra and the Merced Symphony. She is also an active freelance artist in Northern California, having appeared with the Sacramento Philharmonic, Sacramento Opera, Napa Valley Symphony, Modesto Symphony, and Fresno Symphony. Cara also performs in the Music in the Mountains Festival Orchestra (CA), and is a mentoring professional with the Vocal and Instrumental Teaching Artists Academy of Northern California. A Pi Kappa Lambda graduate of California State University, Sacramento, she earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees with honors. Cara and her husband live in Elk Grove (CA) with their son, Quinn, and daughter, Hannah. This is her 15th year at Arizona Musicfest.
Erin Cooper Gay is an unusually versatile musician. Effectively combining two careers as singer and french horn player she enjoys a peculiarly eclectic musical lifestyle. A real affinity for collaboration compels her to seek out other artists from different genres who share her fascination in breaking new ground and creating new and unique sound worlds. She was educated at the Cleveland Institute of Music (horn) and University of Toronto (voice). In addition to her work as a horn player with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra over the last twelve seasons, she has appeared with many other leading orchestras, including the Cleveland Orchestra, Seattle and Vancouver Symphonies, Canadian Opera Company, National Arts Centre Orchestra, and the Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra amongst others. Since her vocal debut with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in “Last Night of the Proms 2011” she has appeared in recital with the Madison Bach Players, performed both Brahms’s Horn Trio and Handel’s soprano arias with Les Amis Concerts, given multiple recitals in Toronto, and appeared as a vocal soloist with the Canton Symphony Orchestra, where she was also previously principal horn. In a similarly musically-duplicitous vein, she toured Europe with Bernard Labadie’s Violons du Roy (Quebec) on horn and then sang in his Chapelle de Québec at Carnegie Hall. Pursuing her passion for chamber music, Erin has been soprano in residence at the Scotiabank Northern Lights Festival in Ajijic, Mexico for the past 3 years. 2015 was a breakthrough year for Erin as a solo vocal artist. Her debut album, “Black Market”, is an evocative fusion of current indie and renaissance/baroque music. With an eye for exploring and an ear for pushing traditional boundaries, she has formed an important musical partnership with producer, arranger and jazz violinist, Drew Jurecka (who has appeared on more than 150 recordings, including several Juno-winning and Grammy-nominated titles).Trading and fusing the music of various musical genres and eras, “Black Market” is a collection of songs written by artists as diverse as Radiohead, Punch Brothers, John Dowland and Claudio Monteverdi. Future plans for Erin include touring the new album, whilst keeping up with the demands of her freelance horn-playing. She will be joining Les Violins du Roy again this spring as principal horn for their US tour. This is her third season at Arizona Musicfest.
Jessica Valeri has served as Fourth Horn with the San Francisco Symphony since 2008. Previously, she was a member of the Saint Louis Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Grant Park Orchestra, and the Milwaukee Ballet. A Minnesota native, Ms. Valeri started playing the horn at age nine. After studying with Doug Hill at University of Wisconsin-Madison, she earned a graduate degree and Performance Certificate from Northwestern University as a student of Gail Williams, Bill Barnewitz, and Norman Schweikert. Ms. Valeri is on the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and coaches the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra. She has participated in many recording projects, including a Grammy-nominated Sound the Bells with the Bay Brass, and several albums with the Millar Brass Ensemble. During the summers, she is a frequent participant with the Grand Teton Music Festival. This is her first year at Arizona Musicfest.
Principal Trumpet William Gerlach began serving in that same role with the National Symphony Orchestra in the 2014-2015 season. Growing up in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, he started playing trumpet when it was time to join the 6th grade band. William (Billy) earned his undergraduate degree at Indiana University under the instruction of John Rommel. During his time at Indiana, he attended the Aspen Music Festival, once as a member of the Third Street Brass Quintet and once as a New Horizons Trumpet Fellow. In the fall of 2012, he began his master's degree at Northwestern University with Barbara Butler and Charles Geyer, following them to Rice University the following year. Other significant teachers throughout his studies include Mark Niehaus, Christopher Martin, Thomas Hooten, Raymond Mase, and Kevin Cobb. This is his second year at Arizona Musicfest.
Michael 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 Acting Associate Principal Trumpet and Second 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 2014, he began performing as principal trumpet with Festival Mozaic in San Luis Obispo, CA and as a section member of 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. This is his third year at Arizona Musicfest.
Scott Moore is Principal Trumpet with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra. He has also performed with the National Symphony, the Baltimore Symphony, and as guest Principal Trumpet with the Jacksonville Symphony and the Toronto Symphony. He can be heard in recordings of Aaron Copland's Quiet City (with the Nashville Chamber Orchestra), and in two recordings by I Fiamminghi, the Orchestra of Flanders. Each summer, Scott serves as a Mentor with the Hot Springs Music Festival in Arkansas. As a soloist, Scott has appeared with the San Antonio Symphony, the Nashville Chamber Orchestra, as a featured artist at the International Trumpet Guild conference, and on numerous occasions with the Memphis Symphony. In 2009, he performed the world premiere of Eric Ewazen's Trumpet Concerto, an orchestration of the composer's popular Trumpet Sonata. Additionally, he the leader of the Memphis Symphony Big Band, and a frequent performer with the Memphis Jazz Orchestra. Scott has a Master of Music degree from the New England Conservatory of Music, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from McNeese State University. His teachers have included Charles Schlueter, Arnold Jacobs, and Michael Ewald. Scott lives in the historic Cooper/Young neighborhood of Midtown Memphis with his wife, Susan Clement, with whom he enjoys cooking, watching World War II documentaries, and doting on their three cats. He plays golf more often than his skill level would indicate, and is the proud father of two daughters, Shannon and Sarah Grace. This is his third year at Arizona Musicfest.
Principal Trombone Samuel Schlosser joined the San Francisco Opera Orchestra as Principal in 2013. Before coming to San Francisco, he was a member of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra; prior to that, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. He has also appeared with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Seattle Opera, and the New York Philharmonic. An avid teacher, he has given masterclasses at the Mannes College New School for Music in New York and at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. Samuel received his formal training from the Curtis Institute of Music, where he was a student of Nitzan Haroz, Principal Trombone of the Philadelphia Orchestra. This is his first season at Arizona Musicfest.
Australian trombonist Donna Parkes has been Principal Trombone of the Louisville Orchestra since 2008 and during the summer is Principal Trombone of the Colorado Music Festival. Prior to this she played the 2012-13 season with the Utah Symphony and the 2007-8 season with the San Francisco Symphony. Miss Parkes was a member of the Virginia Symphony from 2001-2007 and was a member of the New World Symphony under Michael Tilson Thomas for two years. She has performed with many orchestras including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Diego Symphony, Chicago Symphony, London Symphony, National Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Singapore Symphony, Sydney Symphony and the Australian Chamber Orchestra. Solo competition successes include winning the Australian National Trombone Competition, the Brisbane International Brass Competition and finalist in the Jeju Brass Competition in Korea. She has appeared as a soloist and clinician at the International Women’s Brass Conference and the Melbourne International Festival of Brass. Miss Parkes received her Masters Degree studying under Charles Vernon at DePaul University and other primary teachers include Michael Mulcahy and Ron Prussing. This is her tenth year at Arizona Musicfest.
Scott Hartman joined the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra as Principal Bass Trombone in September 2014. Previously, he was Bass Trombonist of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. Scott has performed in the Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony, and Atlanta Symphony, as well as the contemporary music group Ensemble Dal Niente. A graduate of DePaul University as a student of Charlie Vernon and Mark Fisher, he is an alumnus of Tanglewood Music Center, Music Academy of the West, National Repertory Orchestra, Brevard Music Center, and Bar Harbor Brass. He won the Edward Kleinhammer Orchestral Bass Trombone Competition and the Donald Yaxley Bass Trombone Competition. As a member of Lincoln Chamber Brass, he was a medal winner at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. Since 2015, he has been trombone instructor at Davidson College, and has presented recitals and masterclasses throughout the southeastern US. Scott is the brass coach for the Charlotte Symphony Youth Orchestra and maintains an active teaching studio. This is his first year at Arizona Musicfest.
Aubrey Foard is Principal Tubist of the Charlotte Symphony, Santa Barbara Symphony, and the Britt Festival Orchestra in Oregon. He previously held Principal Tuba positions with the West Virginia, Canton, Youngstown, and Albany Symphonies. Mr. Foard has performed as soloist with the West Virginia Symphony, the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra, the Music Academy of the West Orchestra, and, on multiple occasions, with the Charlotte Symphony. A member of the brass faculty at the University of California, Los Angeles, he coaches the UCLA Brass Ensemble, oversees its Tuba and Euphonium Ensemble, and performs with the Faculty Brass Quintet. He has presented masterclasses and recitals worldwide. Mr. Foard is a graduate of The Colburn School’s Conservatory, Rice University, and the Cleveland Institute. His teachers include Norman Pearson, Fritz Kaenzig, Mark Lawrence, David Kirk, and Alan Baer. In this, his first year at Arizona Musicfest, he is serving as Principal Tubist.
Principal Timpanist John Tafoya served in that same role with the National Symphony Orchestra from 1999-2007. Previously, he was Principal Timpanist with the American Wind Symphony, the National Repertory Orchestra, the Owensboro (KY) Symphony, the Evansville Philharmonic and the Florida Philharmonic. He has also recently performed and recorded with the Baltimore Symphony (2012-13 season) and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (2013-14 season). John is currently Professor of Percussion and Chairman of the Percussion Department at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music. He has served on the faculties of the University of Evansville, Kentucky Wesleyan College, Florida International University, and the University of Maryland. In addition, John has presented numerous master classes and clinics at universities across the United States. This is his ninth season at Arizona Musicfest.
Principal Percussionist Steve Fitch received his bachelor’s from the Oberlin Conservatory, where he was the first percussionist to win the Senior Concerto Competition. He earned his master’s at The Eastman School. Steve taught for seven years at Bayreuth’s Festival junger Künstler, and played, toured, and recorded extensively with the NDR Radio Philharmonie. He has performed or toured with many stars, including Ray Charles, Al Jarreau and Bobby McFerrin. A prolific writer, his fourth book is titled Flam Pathways to Drumming Fluency. Steve is also a composer; his compositions are published by C. Alan Publications and Musikverlag Zimmermann. He is currently Associate Principal Timpanist and drum set soloist for The Phoenix Symphony. A Yamaha Performing Artist, he can also be heard in various Phoenix area jazz constellations, including the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra. This is Steve’s 11th year at Arizona Musicfest.
Gaye LeBlanc has been the Principal Harpist with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic since 1996, and Harp Instructor at University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma City University since 1998. She has also served as Principal with the orchestras of Tulsa, Fort Smith, Tulsa Opera, and Roswell. Miss LeBlanc was Principal Harpist in several ensembles in the Dallas area, among them Richardson Symphony, Irving Symphony, Plano Chamber Orchestra, and Dallas Orpheus Chamber Singers. More recently, she recorded William Grant Still’s Symphonies 2 to 5 with the Fort Smith Symphony. Miss LeBlanc received her master’s at Southern Methodist University, studying with Susan Pejovich. She pursued further studies at the Tanglewood Institute under Lucille Lawrence, and at the Salzedo School with Alice Chalifoux. This is her ninth year at Arizona Musicfest.
Pianist Lawrence Loeber attended Case Western Reserve/ The Cleveland Institute of Music, earning degrees in music and German. He received a master’s in Chinese Linguistics from The Ohio State University, while continuing piano studies and working as coach/accompanist for the opera department. Now in his 17th season as freelance Principal Pianist for The Phoenix Symphony, he has appeared as piano soloist in works by Gershwin and Saint-Saëns, harpsichord soloist in Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos, and kazoo soloist in Michael Dougherty’s March of the Metro. Larry has also been piano soloist in Stravinsky’s Five Movements for Piano and Orchestra for Ballet Arizona. He is Music Director and pianist at Congregational Church of the Valley, and maintains a private piano studio. This is his tenth year at Arizona Musicfest, where he is also rehearsal pianist for the Festival Chorus. In 2010, Larry appeared as soloist in Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.